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  • Author: Diana Felix da Costa
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Despite the Murle group being politically and economically marginalised, local and national political and popular discourses portray this group as the main aggressor in South Sudan's Jonglei State. This widely asserted narrative ignores the fact that responsibility for the cycle of violence in Jonglei rests with all those perpetrating violence and certainly not solely with one group. While sharing an overarching ethnic identity, when it comes to issues of peacebuilding, the Murle can be neither seen nor treated as a consolidated group. Rather, there are cattlekeeping Murle living in the lowlands of Pibor county and agrarian Murle living in the Boma Plateau; there are also age-sets, clans and many other differentiating factors. Accusing all Murle of responsibility for violence only serves to magnify the sense of marginalisation and isolation felt by the Murle as a whole. This policy brief seeks to address some of the differences between the cattlekeeping lowlands Murle and the cultivating highlands Murle from the Boma Plateau. By doing so, it highlights the importance of understanding cultural specificities and the local political economy and, when it comes to peacebuilding, of differentiating who is responsible for a specific conflict and who has influence over those responsible.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Rigobert Minani Bihuzo
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Landmark peace agreements signed in 2002 by 11 African governments and various nonstate armed groups were meant to end 7 years of war that had ravaged Africa's Great Lakes region. A decade later, instability, tightly intertwined with regional geopolitics, persists. Recurring conflict has killed tens of thousands, mostly civilians, and displaced millions of others. The extended instability has also led to a collapse of basic social services and economic activity in parts of the DRC, resulting in manifold more deaths due to malnutrition, lack of access to basic healthcare, and scarce livelihood opportunities.Amid this breakdown, barbaric forms of violence have emerged. During one 4-day period in the summer of 2011, nearly 400 women, men, and children were raped by militia fighters. Since 1996, there have reportedly been more than 200,000 rapes, which are mostly attributed to armed militias.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had not been seen in public for several months, was announced on 20 August 2012 by Ethiopian state television. The passing of the man who has been Ethiopia's epicentre for 21 years will have profound national and regional consequences. Meles engineered one-party rule in effect for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the complicity of other ethnic elites that were co-opted into the ruling alliance, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The Front promised freedom, democracy and ethnic devolution but is highly centralised, tightly controls the economy and suppresses political, social, ethnic and religious liberties. In recent years, Meles had relied ever more on repression to quell growing dissent. His successor will lead a weaker regime that struggles to manage increasing unrest unless it truly implements ethnic federalism and institutes fundamental governance reform. The international community should seek to influence the transition actively because it has a major interest in the country's stability.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Depuis la mutinerie de Bosco Ntaganda en avril 2012 et la formation du Mouvement du 23 mars (M23), les Kivus sont en proie à une nouvelle spirale de violence. Cette crise révèle que les problèmes d'aujourd'hui sont les problèmes d'hier car le cadre de résolution du conflit défini en 2008 n'a pas été mis en oeuvre. L'application de l'accord du 23 mars 2009 entre le gouvernement et le Conseil national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) a été un jeu de dupes au cours duquel les autorités congolaises ont fait semblant d'intégrer politiquement le CNDP tandis que celui-ci a fait semblant d'intégrer l'armée congolaise. Faute de réforme de cette dernière, la pression militaire sur les groupes armés n'a eu qu'un impact éphémère et la reconstruction post-conflit n'a pas été accompagnée des réformes de gouvernance et du dialogue politique indispensables. Pour sortir de la gestion de crise et résoudre ce conflit qui dure depuis presque deux décennies dans les Kivus, les bailleurs doivent exercer des pressions sur Kigali et Kinshasa.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Les Forces démocratiques alliées-Armée nationale de libération de l'Ouganda (ADF-N alu) sont un des groupes armés les plus anciens et les moins connus de l'Est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) et le seul de cette région à être considér é comme une organisation terroriste appartenant à la nébuleuse islamiste d'Afrique de l'Est. S'ils ne constituent pas une menace déstabilisatrice comme le Mouvement du 23 mars (M23), ils tiennent cependant tête à l'armée congolaise depuis 2010. Créé en RDC en 1995 et situé aux confins montagneux de la RDC et de l'Ouganda, ce groupe armé congolo-ougandais fait preuve d'une extraordinaire résilience qui tient à sa position géostratégique, son inse rtion dans l'économie transfrontalière et la corruption de s forces de sécurité. Par con- séquent, avant d'envisager toute nouvelle intervention militaire contre les ADF-Nalu, il convient de faire la part du mythe et de la réalité et de réduire sa base socioéconomique tout en proposant une offre de démobilisation et de réinsertion à ses combattants.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Helmoed Heitman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is much happening in Africa that is positive— economically, socially, and politically. But a large share of the continent remains fragile, putting those gains at risk. The most pressing challenges facing many African states are paramilitary threats— threats that are beyond the ability of most police forces and frequently transcend national borders. Organized crime, rural banditry, piracy, local warlords, guerrillas, ethnic and religious violence, and extremist Islamist groups are just a few of an array of such threats.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Crime, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty, Insurgency, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Chris Kwaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Communal clashes across ethnic and religious faultlines in and around the city of Jos in central Nigeria have claimed thousands of lives, displaced hundreds of thousands of others, and fostered a climate of instability throughout the surrounding region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Amidst jubilant celebration in July 2011, the new Republic of South Sudan entered the international stage albeit as one of the least developed countries in the world. One in eight children die before their fifth birthday, the maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world and more than half the population lives below the poverty line. Against a backdrop of chronic under-development, the country is acutely vulnerable to recurring conflict and climatic shocks. More than 220,000 people were displaced last year due to conflict and more than 100,000 were affected by floods; and already this year, fighting in the disputed border areas, clashes between the Sudan People‟s Liberation Army (SPLA) and militia groups, disputes over land and cattle, and attacks by the Lord‟s Resistance Army, have forced nearly 300,000 people from their homes. The situation is exacerbated by a continuing influx of returnees, restricted movement across the northern border, high fuel prices and regional shortages in food stocks. South Sudan is a context that challenges normal development paradigms and fits awkwardly in the humanitarian relief–recovery–post-conflict development continuum. This complexity has not always been reflected in the strategies of either donors or implementing agencies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: This brief seeks to clarify how the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) applies to the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and examines the measures that should be taken by regional governments, the African Union (AU), donor governments and the UN Security Council in order to protect populations under threat.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Mass atrocities are organized crimes. Those who commit genocide and crimes against humanity depend on third parties for the goods and services—money, matériel, political support, and a host of other resources—that sustain large-scale violence against civilians. Third parties have supplied military aircraft used by the Sudan Armed Forces against civilians, refined gold and other minerals coming out of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and ensured a steady flow of arms into Rwanda. Governments seeking to prevent atrocities cannot afford a narrow and uncoordinated focus on the perpetrators of such violence. Rather, an effective strategy must include identifying and pressuring third-party enablers— individuals, commercial entities, and countries—in order to interrupt the supply chains that fuel mass violence against civilians.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Crime, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda