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  • Author: Emile Ouédraogo
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Vivid examples of weak military professionalism in Africa are regularly evident in news accounts of instability on the continent. Militaries collapsing in the face of attacks by irregular forces, coups, mutinies, looting, human rights abuses against civilian populations, corruption, and engagement in illicit trafficking activities are widespread. This pattern persists decades after the end of colonialism, despite billions of dollars of security sector assistance and longstanding rhetoric on the need to strengthen civil-military relations on the continent. The costs for not having established strong professional militaries are high: persistent instability, chronic poverty, deterred investment, and stunted democratization.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Human Rights, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steven Livingston
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Violent crime represents the most immediate threat to the personal security of most Africans. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 36 percent of all homicides globally occur in Africa. With 17 deaths per 100,000, the homicide rate in Africa is double the global average. Rates of robberies and rape in Africa also exceed global norms. The problem is worse in urban areas, with many of Africa's urban-dwellers “often” worrying about crime.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Crime, Fragile/Failed State, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Davin O'Regan, Peter Thompson
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A string of crises stretching back more than a decade has rendered Guinea-Bissau one of the most fragile states in Africa. This recurring cycle of political violence, instability, and incapacitated governance, moreover, has accelerated in recent years, most notably following a military coup in April 2012. Exploiting this volatility, trafficking networks have coopted key political and military leaders and transformed Guinea-Bissau into a hub for illicit commerce, particularly the multibillion dollar international trade in cocaine. This has directly contributed to instability in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, and elsewhere in Africa. European and African organized criminal groups have likewise established ties to the Guinea-Bissau trade. Drawn by the lucrative revenues, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other militant groups in West Africa have also been linked to Guinea-Bissau trafficking. Now commonly referred to as Africa's first narco-state, Guinea-Bissau has become a regional crossroads of instability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steven Livingston
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Political instability and violence in Africa are often the products of rumor and misinformation. Narrow interests have used politically biased newspapers and radio programming to spread disinformation and champion politically divisive causes. Meanwhile, reasonable opposition voices have been kept silent and shuttered from public life, often by repressive, even violent means. This remains a serious concern across Africa.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of “big-man” politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria, Zambia
  • Author: Assis Malaquias
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994 was expected to usher in a new era of peace, stability, and accelerated development. However, despite widespread optimism, political violence has persisted. Although a fraction of that experienced under apartheid, levels of political violence are worsening and indicative of the country's potential fragility. They also map out the fault lines along which South Africa may yet stumble.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Apartheid, Democratization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of "big-man" politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Governance, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The protection of civilians is a critical issue in African security. Nearly 600,000 civilians in 27 African countries have been massacred in the past two decades. Tens of millions more have been killed in battles, displaced, or perished from indirect causes of such attacks and the continent's armed conflicts. Not only are civilians the main victims of Africa's wars, but also an increasing number of United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions have called upon peacekeepers to protect them. For many, civilian protection is the very essence of peacekeeping. This is a driving rationale behind the unanimously endorsed and UN-mandated “responsibility to protect” principle—the idea that governments have a responsibility to prevent and curtail genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing. Civilian protection is also a crucial part of forging durable political settlements because any peace agreement that tolerates continued violence against civilians will not provide a solid foundation on which to build legitimate governance structures.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations