During the first post-cold War decade the African continent experienced a number of armed conflicts with an important economic dimension nurtured by the exploitation of natural resources. The study seeks to understand the economic dimension of civil wars and the United Nations responses by looking at the role of different actors and factors endogenous and exogenous to the State entity in the exploitation of natural resources, in shaping and mastering armed conflicts; and the impact of their respective role on the United Nations response. This study contributes to the debate about the understanding of internal and external dynamics of civil wars and the challenges the UN faces in the exercise of its primary duty, the maintenance of international peace and security. The main arguments is that although the economic dimension of civil wars is an important factor that explains armed conflicts, the use politico-economic measures and instruments remain necessary