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  • Author: Helene Maria Kyed
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In Myanmar, ordinary citizens prefer to have crimes and disputes resolved within their village or neighborhood. There is a clear preference for avoiding conflict escalation, rather than punishing perpetrators. The official courts are seen as places to avoid whenever possible. They are mistrusted, associated with high costs, and many feel intimidated by them due to fear of authority and formality. Reforming the official judiciary is important in Myanmar, but even if the courts functioned according to international standards, there would still be a demand for local forms of dispute resolution focused on reconciliation and negotiated settlements. This is due to culturally and religiously informed perceptions of problems and injustices, related to shame, fate and Buddhist beliefs in past life deeds. This policy brief by Helene Maria Kyed argues that any support to justice sector reform in Myanmar should include already existing local dispute resolution mechanisms and take local perceptions of justice serious, rather than alone focus on the official judiciary and international rule of law principles. It is important to base programming on inclusive dialogues about justice at the local level, and invest in building trust and gaining context-specific knowledge.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Author: Aya Al-Shachli, Ramina Ghassemi, Areej Rashid
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: While Canadian Jewish community organizations are actively engaged in lobbying the Canadian government on its foreign policy with Israel and Palestine, it is not at all clear that the perspectives of the Jewish-Israeli diaspora that have emigrated from this conflict zone have been considered. The absence of diaspora voices from the region seems a missed opportunity for the development of a more comprehensive foreign policy position.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: Canada, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Bobby Anderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: West Papua is the most violent area of Indonesia. Indonesian security forces battle the country's last active separatist insurgency there. The majority of Indonesia's political prisoners are Papuans, and support for independence is widespread. But military repression and indigenous resistance are only one part of a complex topography of insecurity in Papua: vigilantism, clan conflict, and other forms of horizontal violence produce more casualties than the vertical conflict that is often the exclusive focus of international accounts of contemporary Papua. Similarly, Papua's coerced incorporation into Indonesia in 1969 is not unique; it mirrors a pattern of long-term annexation found in other remote and highland areas of South and Southeast Asia. What distinguishes Papua is the near-total absence of the state in indigenous areas. This is the consequence of a morass of policy dysfunction over time that compounds the insecurity that ordinary Papuans face. The author illuminates the diverse and local sources of insecurity that indicate too little state as opposed to too much, challenges common perceptions of insecurity in Papua, and offers a prescription of policy initiatives. These include the reform of a violent and unaccountable security sector as a part of a broader reconciliation process and the urgent need for a comprehensive indigenous-centered development policy.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Insurgency, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Myanmar is in the midst of a long and difficult multifaceted transition, involving political liberalization, economic reform, and the resolution of multiple long-standing civil conflicts. The country has a history of ethno-religious conflict and separatism. Civil-military relations are muddy, and business-military-state relations are similarly opaque. An ongoing natural resource boom, and the blessings and curses that come with it, further complicates these developments. Given the country's evident institutional weaknesses, external policy anchors could play a critical role in this transition. Hendrix and Noland address the possible role for such international precommitment mechanisms—in particular, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)—in Myanmar's growing extractive sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Matthew J. Walton, Susan Hayward.
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: For the past few years, Myanmar's political transition has been hampered by violence between Buddhists and Muslims. A nation with an ethnically Burman and religiously Buddhist majority, the population also comprises a large minority of Muslims and members of other religions, and includes many different ethnic groups. As such, Myanmar society is complex and innately plural.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Religion, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: James Leibold
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Balancing ethnocultural diversity and dignity with national integration and interethnic cohesion has been a constant challenge for Chinese policymakers. With a sizeable ethnic minority population, China has long been engaged in this delicate balancing act. Despite episodic conflict, it could be argued that the Communist Party of China (CPC) has, especially since the 1976 death of Mao Zedong, done a relatively competent job of containing ethnic tensions.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Erwan Fouéré
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Macedonia is a country in deep trouble. Under a veneer of normality lies a climate of deep mistrust between all the political parties and between the main ethnic communities. Several incidents of inter-ethnic violence took place in the capital city earlier this year and are on the increase. Political dialogue, insofar as it exists between the parties, remains confrontational.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Corruption, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan's election result was a vote for the status quo and has clearly maintained power in the hands of the country's political elite. However, analysis of the election process and outcome does indicate some shifts in the deeply entrenched patterns of political, social and economic exclusion that fuel Pakistan's fragility. On the negative side these include increased splits among the provinces and a more dominant Punjab, as well as greater threats to minorities and secular voices. However, some positive trends also emerge. These include a possible increase in political appetite for economic reform and development investment; growing political confidence among Pakistan's women; and the political engagement of the urban youth and middle-class populations with an interest in changing Pakistan's corrupt political system. As the international community begins to engage with Nawaz Sharif's new government it must recognise the importance of addressing exclusion as a major cause of Pakistan's instability. In particular, it must seek new entry points in the post-election environment to support the emergence of a more inclusive political settlement in Pakistan.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Gender Issues, Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • 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
  • Author: Teemu Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The victory of the Georgian Dream Coalition (GDC) over the United National Movement (UNM) has brought pluralism into Georgian policymaking. Until the power shifts from the President to the Prime Minister in 2013, the country will be led by an awkward dual power. New leadership offers great opportunities for Georgia. It can improve its democratic system and economic growth and establish a dialogue with Russia and the breakaway districts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This would alleviate the frozen conflict and tense security dilemma on the boundary lines. If the transition of power does not go well, there will be prolonged power struggles that could cripple the policymaking and cast Georgia back to pre-Saakashvili times. Saakashvili's UNM is still a very significant player in Georgian politics and it is important for the GDC and the UNM to find a way to cooperate. In order to smooth the fragile transition period, Georgia needs special support and attention.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Author: Barbara Gaweda, Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Twenty-one years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international community has not yet managed to solve the four separatist conflicts that broke out in the wake of the USSR's demise. With the help of their patron states (Russia and, in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia), the self-proclaimed Republics of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh have become de facto states with separate political institutions and economic structures.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Gözde Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Considering the recent developments in the EU member states, such as French dismantling of Roma camps, minority protection within the EU has increasingly become questionable. Although the EU often neglects the track record of member states' records in minority rights, minority protection has increasingly received EU's attention in the accession process of Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Minority discontent as a potential threat to the stability of Europe in the aftermath of the Cold War has triggered the EU to focus on minority rights. However, the improvement of minority rights in candidate countries remains limited, especially considering the implementation of minority rules adopted in the pre-accession process.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Islam, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • 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: Johanna Nykänen
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey is one of the most pressing issues facing the EU in its near neighbourhood. It involves a rights-based dimension caused by the lack of cultural rights and freedoms for the Kurds, and a security dimension caused by the violent conflict between the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish military. It has the potential to destabilise Turkey as well as its Kurdish-inhabited neighbours of Iran, Iraq and Syria, with ramifications for Turkey's EU membership negotiations and the EU 's foreign-policy goals in the region. The EU is also directly intertwined with the issue, not least because of its large and active Kurdish diaspora. As such, the EU has a major stake in finding a solution to the question.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Endy Bayuni
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Blasphemy can be a deadly affair in Indonesia and Pakistan, two of Asia's largest Muslim-majority countries. Triggered by allegations of blasphemy, virulent mob attacks against those perceived to have offended Islam have rocked the two countries in recent months. While Indonesia and Pakistan have laws that specifically address issues of blasphemy, those unfortunate enough to be labeled blasphemers are rarely taken to court. Encouraged by, if not with tacit approval from, conservative Muslim leaders, Indonesian and Pakistani mobs have been taking the law into their own hands instead.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Indonesia, Asia
  • 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: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Philippine government is experimenting with a creative but risky strategy to bring peace to Mindanao. It has three goals: demonstrate that good governance in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is possible through a two-year reform program; bring separate discussions with two insurgencies, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the much larger, better-armed Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) together; and hammer out the territory and powers of a future Moro “sub-state” in peace talks with the MILF. Until now, the government has not made clear how the three components fit together, but it may reveal its hand – at least in part – in mid-August 2011, when it is widely expected to present a new proposal to the MILF. After President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III took office in June 2010, he said that resolving the conflict in Mindanao was a priority, and the current occupants of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) are determined to find the formula for peace that eluded their predecessors. The idea of “convergence” is the result.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • 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: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Republika Srpska's flirtation in June 2011 with a referendum is a reminder that Bosnia's smaller entity still threatens the stability of the country and the Western Balkans. It is highly unlikely that the RS will secede or that the Bosniaks will attempt to eliminate it, but if its Serb leaders continue driving every conflict with Sarajevo to the brink, as they have done repeatedly to date, they risk disaster. The agility of leaders and the population's patience need only fail once to ignite serious violence. Over the longer term, RS's determination to limit Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to little more than a coordinator between powerful entities may so shrivel the state that it sinks, taking RS with it. RS also suffers from its own internal problems, notably a culture of impunity for political and economic elites and a lingering odour of wartime atrocities. Its leadership, especially its president, Milorad Dodik, needs to compromise with Sarajevo on state building and implement urgent entity-level reforms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Balkans
  • 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: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Strong support for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing was clearly evident at the opening of the 66th United Nations (UN) General Assembly between 21 and 27 September 2011. From the Secretary-General's reference to R2P as a priority for his second term, to the re-affirmation of government support for the norm in opening statements and the holding of a Ministerial meeting on R2P, clear consensus exists about the critical importance of R2P. At a moment when some were anticipating a backlash in the aftermath of the Security Council authorized civilian protection operation in Libya, the opening of the General Assembly reaffirmed that the imperative today is for states to work together to operationalize R2P.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Government, Human Rights, Torture, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • 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: Maya Mailer, Lydia Poole
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The next 12 months will be critical for the future of Sudan. As the country marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a devastating civil war, southern Sudan has seen a major upsurge in violence. In 2009, some 2,500 people were killed and 350,000 fled their homes. With landmark elections and a referendum on the horizon, the peace deal is fragile and the violence likely to escalate even further unless there is urgent international engagement.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Arabia
  • 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: 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: Thomas de Waal
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The historic normalization between Armenia and Turkey has stalled and it is critical to prevent relations from deteriorating further. If Armenia and Turkey eventually succeed in opening their closed border, it will transform the South Caucasus region. But the concerns of Azerbaijan, Turkey's ally and the losing side in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, need to be taken into account. The international community needs to pay more attention to the conflict and work harder to break the regional deadlock it has generated. The annual debate over the use of the word genocide to describe the fate of the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 has turned into an ugly bargaining process. It is time to take a longer view. President Obama should look ahead to the centenary of the tragedy in 2015 and encourage Turks to take part in commemorating the occasion.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: After hundreds of years as a Portuguese colony and then decades of Indonesian occupation, Timor-Leste (East Timor) finally became independent in 2002. Since then, Timor-Leste has been in the process of building itself as a sovereign nation, fighting to shake off its tumultuous past. Timor-Leste must now decide how best to resolve issues stemming from a brief civil war and Indonesian invasion and occupation (1975–1999), including grave human rights violations on all sides of the conflict. Human rights trials in both Timor-Leste and Indonesia have produced unsatisfying results, but two separate truth commissions recommended reparations—both intrastate and interstate—as a key element of reconciliation and healing. Critical questions remain, however, concerning the value, scope, and implementation of a reparations program within Timor-Leste or between Indonesia and Timor- Leste. Only a sincere, informed, and transparent decision-making process will result in a reparations program that could be a significant and successful part of moving peace and justice forward.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, International Affairs, Reconstruction
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Southeast Asia
  • 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: Nicholas Turner, Nanako Otsuki
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Genocide and ethnic cleansing have all- too-clearly demonstrated the dangers of failing to protect minority groups. A “kin-state” with strong ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic links to a minority population abroad, may be well-placed to assist in its protection. But unilateral interference by kin-states can raise tensions with host-states, endangering international peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Nationalism, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Minorities
  • Author: Sean Kane
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq's March 2010 elections delivered a surprising virtual tie in the ethnically mixed and strategically important province of Kirkuk, making it an opportune time for fresh thinking on how to address persistent disputes over its status.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • 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: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Balkans face more trouble in Kosovo as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina unless the United States and European Union take dramatic steps to get both back on track towards EU membership. In Bosnia, the international community needs to reconstitute itself as well as support an effort to reform the country's constitution. In Kosovo, Pristina and Belgrade need to break through the barriers to direct communication and begin discussions on a wide range of issues. This brief proposes specific diplomatic measures to meet these needs.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: An Experts' Group on Euro-Atlantic Security, convened by the East West Institute as part of a larger Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, is pleased to offer its first series of policy recommendations—an international Central Asian security initiative. Given the Kazakh chair-in-office of the OSCE, this is an opportune time to engage in concrete issues in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia
  • Author: Øystein Rolandsen, Jacob Høigilt
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The conflict in Sudan's western province of Darfur has revived even as the peace talks in Qatar between Sudan's government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) seem to have collapsed. Egypt has hitherto refrained from involvement in negotiations to end the conflict, a strategy that has contributed to further diminishing Cairo's already weakened status as a major player in regional politics and diplomacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Arabia, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The passing of the 4 August constitutional referendum in Kenya is a promising sign in the broader context of efforts to prevent atrocities and uphold the responsibility to protect (R2P). The peaceful referendum sharply contrasts with the wave of violence that erupted in the wake of the disputed December 2007 presidential election, when within hours of the announcement of the results violence broke out. Less than two months later 1,133 Kenyans had been murdered, unknown numbers raped, and over 500,000 forcibly driven from their homes. The perpetrators included individuals, militias and the police with victims often targeted on the basis of their ethnicity and corresponding perceived support for a particular presidential candidate.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The Burmese junta, its armed forces known as the “Tatmadaw,” and other armed groups under government control are committing gross human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities. Extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced labor are prevalent; rape and sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw are rampant; and from August 2008 through July 2009 alone, 75,000 civilians in the east, where armed conflict is ongoing, were forcibly displaced. The Tatmadaw shows a complete disregard for the principle of distinction, intentionally targeting civilians with impunity.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: Dorina A. Bekoe, Andrea Bartoli
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The announcement that 429,000 fraudulent or possibly foreign names were on the voters registry halted the preparations for already delayed 2009 presidential election and revived the divisive discussion of citizenship and identity in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivoirité) The stalled electoral process highlighted unresolved issues such as the failed demobilization and disarmament processes and the marginalization of civil society from the implementation of the 2007 Ouagadougou Peace Agreement. In April 2010, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Community of Sant'Egidio and George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution brought key leaders of Ivorian civil society and the religious community to Washington, D.C. to develop an approach for resolving the present political impasse and to actively participate in the peace process. The April meeting resulted in the Washington Appeal, which urges Ivoirians to tolerate ethnic and political diversity, reduce the tensions around elections, identify longstanding grievances, and expand the role of civil society in the peace process.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Sudan stands today at a precipice. In 100 days the South will hold a referendum on self-determination with a vote for independence expected. Extensive early warnings exist indicating a real threat of the commission of mass atrocities surrounding the referendum, with those populations most at risk already identified. This threat looms while intertribal violence in the South is rising; conflict in Darfur persists; attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Central and Western Equatorial states continue unabated; and a return to war in the South is a possibility.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Yalım Eralp
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: To what extent can the rights granted to minorities or ethnic groups lead those groups to integrate into the society they live in? Or do such rights lead to secession? Academicians alone do not debate such questions; politicians, too, are currently debating how to ensure both the rights of minorities and territorial integrity.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Palestinian question is a central issue at the both state and society level in Turkey. Thousands of Turkish people protested the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza this month in different parts of Turkey. Turkish PM Erdogan responded to the Israeli action by labeling it an act of disrespect to Turkey and suspended Turkey's facilitating role for indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Erdogan also initiated an intensive diplomatic campaign at the regional and international levels, utilizing Turkey's seat in the United Nations Security Council. Turkey calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and urges a compromise between rival Palestinian groups. Finally, the war on Gaza will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the region as well as for Turkish-Israeli relations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonia is a relative success story in a region scarred by unresolved statehood and territory issues. International engagement has, since the 2001 conflict with an ethnic Albanian insurgency, brought progress in integrating Albanians into political life. This has been underpinned by the promise of European Union (EU) and NATO integration, goals that unite ethnic Macedonians and Albanians. But the main NATO/EU strategy for stabilising Macedonia and the region via enlargement was derailed in 2008 by the dispute with Greece over the country's name. Athens claims that, by calling itself “Macedonia”, it appropriates part of the Hellenic heritage and implies a claim against Greece's northern province. At summits it blocked Macedonian membership in NATO and EU accession talks until the issue is settled. Mystifying to outsiders, the dispute touches existential nerves, especially in Macedonia, and has serious regional implications. The parties need to rebuild trust; member states need to press both to compromise, especially Greece to respect its commitment not to block Skopje in international organisations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Author: Valeriy Dzutsev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Website: Few Improvements in the North Caucasus in 2008 Violence Haunts a New Year in Ingushetia and Dagestan Chechens Protest Parole for Budanov Spain Extradites Chechen Terror Suspect A Look Back at Insurgent Activities in the North Caucasus in 2008By Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New Leader Hints at a Merger with ChechnyaBy Valeriy Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen Who Accused Kadyrov of Torture Murdered in Vienna Kadyrov Denounces Parole for Budanov Human Rights Watch's Annual Report Details North Caucasus Abuses Explosion Destroys Building in Nazran; Cause Uncertain North Caucasus Insurgency Attracting Mainly Young and Committed Members By Mairbek Vatchagaev Is Krymshamkhalov's Murder a Political Assassination?
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Lawyer for Family of Budanov's Victim and Journalist Murdered in Moscow Human Rights Groups Press Austria to Investigate Murder of Chechen Ruslan Yamadaev's Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov's Associate Deteriorating Security Situation in Ingushetia Sparks First Ever Visit to Region by MedvedevBy Valery Dzutsev Markelov Assassination Tied to Release of Budanov?By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Seven Chechens Arrested in Austria in Connection with Murder of Ex-Kadyrov Bodyguard FSB Accuses Zakaev of Organizing Armed Attacks in Chechnya Medvedev and Yevkurov Meet Again, This Time in Moscow The War on Dagestan's Police Continues Chechnya Starts the New Year on a Tense NoteBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New President Faces an Uphill BattleBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia