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  • 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
  • Author: Jean-Christophe Hoste, Andrew Anderson
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The climate change negotiations in Cancun saved the multilateral negotiation process under the UNFCCC, but what were the African political dynamics at the negotiations? In this Africa policy brief the international climate change negotiations are analysed as a “political marketplace” where international, regional and national agendas meet and have an impact that goes far beyond the theme of the negotiations. It addresses three questions to understand the African political processes at the climate negotiations. First, why did the African Union endorse the Copenhagen Accord after COP 15? Second, why was Kenya so active in the high-level segment of the negotiations in Cancun? Third, what could South Africa do to bring the negotiations forward in Durban?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Globalization, International Cooperation, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, South Africa, Durban
  • Author: Damon M. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As Qaddafi's regime crumbles and Libyan rebels assume the mantle of governance, many are bemoaning rather than celebrating the role of NATO in the Libyan revolution. As the Alliance winds down its military campaign and contemplates next steps, now is the time to draw lessons from what worked and what did not, and to prepare to act on these lessons in time for NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa, Chicago
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The failure of President François Bozizé and his close circle to follow through with many of the concessions agreed on during the Inclusive Political Dialogue risks exacerbating the many conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR) and stalling national reconciliation. Those December 2008 talks made a valuable contribution to both reducing levels of violence and shaping the long-term reform agenda. The promised integration of rebel leaders into civilian political life, the precedent of decision-making by consensus and a concrete set of agreements that included rebel disarmament and security sector reform were welcome steps towards greater stability. To ensure these gains are not undone by another political crisis, however, the president must abandon the uncompromising attitude he displayed through much of 2009 and the government must quickly resolve new conflicts in the north east and prepare credible elections. Otherwise, donors should suspend financial support to a regime that is largely dependent on foreign aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Stephanie Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006, supported by the U.S, had the unintentional consequence of fueling splinter insurgent groups including Al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam. Currently Somalia faces a humanitarian crisis with 3.6 million people displaced. Countering the insurgency and alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Somalia demands a creative rethinking of international policy. While the 2008 Dijbouti Accord created a more inclusive Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the international community must weigh whether continued support for the TFG will bring real progress in governance or if it will strengthen popular support for the insurgency. If the international community sees support for the TFG as beneficial, they could consider policies including: Flooding Somalia with development aid and investing in civil society; Expanding the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission to include representation from other Muslim countries; Finding creative solutions for inter-Somali governance and reconciliation. If the international community calculates that support for the TFG is not beneficial because it will only fuel the insurgency, they should consider a policy of "constructive disengagement," withdrawing support from the TFG and the AU peacekeeping mission, while simultaneously investing in local and regional development projects.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Author: Katie Malouf Bous
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Remarkable progress has been made in the last ten years toward achieving the education-related Millennium Development Goals. Many more girls are in school and enrolment rates are on the rise, due to higher-quality aid and to political commitment in developing countries. However, these achievements could be derailed by the global economic crisis, newly falling aid levels, and educational challenges. With 72 million children still out of school, the world's poorest countries urgently need a global financing initiative that can deliver the resources to scale up to Education For All.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jon Temin
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With Southern Sudan's referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede approaching, it is vital that the international community encourage and support negotiations on postreferendum arrangements, which include issues ranging from wealth sharing to citizenship rights to security arrangements. Good coordination among the international community will be essential. A single mediator with a clear and strong mandate should lead negotiations on postreferendum arrangements, supported by a contact group or group of friends that can insert targeted pressures and incentives into the process. The mediator needs to be strong enough to prevent “forum shopping” and contain or co-opt spoilers. States and non-state actors that wish to play a central role in negotiations on post-referendum arrangements should demonstrate a long term commitment to Sudan and to overseeing implementation of any agreement. Negotiations on post-referendum arrangements and the ongoing negotiations on Darfur should be kept separate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: African Heads of States and Governments gather in Addis Ababa for the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union at a time when the continent faces a huge digital divide. African women are disproportionately affected by this divide.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As Zimbabwe enters its second year under a unity government, the challenges to democratic transformation have come into sharp focus. Despite reasonable progress in restoring political and social stability, ending widespread repression and stabilising the economy since February 2009, major threats could still derail the reform process. In particular, resistance of intransigent and still powerful security sector leaders and fractious in-fighting between and within the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) must be addressed now. South Africa and other countries in southern Africa – who monitor the accord that guides the transition – must press the parties, and particularly President Robert Mugabe, to see the transition through to a successful conclusion. Donors should back their efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Øystein Rolandsen
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Despite the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement 9 January 2005, which formally ended the 22-year civil war in Southern Sudan, the frequency and severity of local conflicts increased during 2009. These conflicts are threatening the stability of the South, and ultimately the peace process itself. Widespread insecurity will also make it difficult to hold the planned national elections in April and the 2011 referendum on secession. Land and natural resources are increasingly contested in Southern Sudan and these issues trigger and fuel local violence. The return of internally displaced persons and refugees is also a source of controversy. In addition, partially incompatible interpretations of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army policy of “land belongs to the people” combined with institutional fragmentation further complicate the situation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The principal preoccupation of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is to win the elections now scheduled for 11-13 April 2010. It has manipulated the census results and voter registration, drafted the election laws in its favour, gerrymandered electoral districts, co-opted traditional leaders and bought tribal loyalties. It has done this all over Sudan, but especially in Darfur, where it has had freedom and means to carry out its strategy, since that is the only region still under emergency rule. Because of the fundamentally flawed process, the international community, working closely with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (AUHIP), should acknowledge that whoever wins will likely lack legitimacy; press for Darfur peace talks to resume immediately after the elections; insist that any Darfur peace deal provides for a new census, voter registration and national elections; and lay the groundwork for a peaceful referendum on southern self-determination and post referendum North-South relations.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Studies indicate that violence in Africa's elections affects between 19 and 25 percent of elections. In many countries where electoral violence is a risk, it tends to recur and may consequently lead to an unfavorable view of democratization. The regularity with which electoral violence occurs suggests that underlying grievances or structural characteristics may be tied to the elections and fuel the violence. Electoral violence, especially recurrent, seems indicative of more widespread systemic grievances and tensions. Tensions over land rights, employment and ethnic marginalization are three dominant characteristics of recurring electoral violence. These areas intersect and are frequently manipulated by politicians. Some recent actions taken by the government and civil society may offer insights into reversing the trends of recurring violence. These actions warrant further analysis in order to improve strategies to reduce violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Clement Mweyang Aapengnuo
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Ethnicity is typically not the driving force of African conflicts but a lever used by political leaders to mobilize supporters in pursuit of power, wealth, and resources. Recognizing that ethnicity is a tool and not the driver of intergroup conflict should refocus our conflict mitigation efforts to the political triggers of conflict. Ethnic thinking and mobilization generally emerge from inequitable access to power and resources and not from an intrinsic hatred. Over the medium to long term, defusing the potency of ethnicity for political ends requires a systematic civic education strategy that helps build a common national identity, which so many African countries still lack.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Nationalism, Ethnic Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There have been 40 peace operations deployed to 14 African states since 2000. To be successful, peace operations must be part of an effective political strategy and peace process, not a substitute for them. Policymakers need to move beyond a preoccupation with the number of personnel deployed for each mission and focus on what capabilities are needed to generate the desired political effects. Maintaining legitimacy is a crucial part of achieving success.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Affairs, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The growing internal schisms and factionalism within Somalia's Islamist movement risk plunging the country even deeper into violence and bloodshed, with dangerous implications for the wider region and beyond. These divisions are also aggravating the political crisis by polarising groups further along ideological, theological and clan lines. However, a limited opportunity may now exist for Somalia's political actors and the international community to capitalise on these divisions and re-alignments to reach out to the increasing numbers of domestic militants disenchanted with the growing influence of foreign jihadis and extremist elements bent on pursuing a global agenda.
  • Topic: Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Emile LeBrun
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Eastern Equatoria state (EES) is one of the most volatile and conflict-prone states in Southern Sudan. An epicentre of the civil war ( 1983 – 2005 ), EES saw intense fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), as well numerous armed groups supported by both sides, leaving behind a legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnance, high numbers of weapons in civilian hands, and shattered social and community relations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Luc Soete, Alexis Habiyaremye
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Before the current global recession, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented levels of growth due to a raw material price boom. However, the collapse in raw material prices and the ensuing severe economic difficulties have again exposed the vulnerability of these countries' natural resource export-focussed economic structures. In this research brief, we describe how Africa's abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation-based growth and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital. We suggest that for their long-term prosperity, resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, Global Recession, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Author: Stephanie Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Recent incidences of ethno-religious violence in northern Nigeria have alarmed the international community to the point where Nigeria is now perceived as a potential breeding ground for transnational terrorism and violent religious extremism.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Terrorism, Governance, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Anna Theofilopoulou
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The ongoing effort to use negotiations without preconditions to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara has not produced results. The April 6, 2010 report of the United Nations secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council admits that there has been no movement on the core substantive issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In late May 2010 the African Development Bank will be asking its shareholders to approve a tripling of its capital base. In preparation for this pivotal occasion, a Center for Global Development working group evaluated the Bank and came up with three recommendations: 1) focus on promoting economic growth; 2) specialize in infrastructure; and 3) lead, but don't lend, on critical regional and global issues.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa