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  • Author: Robert Pringle
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the 1991 uprising, which saw the ouster of the country's long-standing military dictator and ushered in a democratically elected government, Mali has achieved a record of democratization that is among the best in Africa. This process has been driven by multiple factors. External observers often point to broader Africa-wide change and a remarkable constellation of “founding fathers” who demonstrated vision and self-sacrifice following the change of government. But if you ask Malians why their country has successfully democratized, most of them will respond by stressing Mali's heritage of tolerance and decentralized government, dating back more than a millennium to the Ghana Empire and its two successor states. For Malians, democratization combined with decentralization is a homecoming rather than a venture into uncharted waters. But they recognize that the country's democratization process continues to be a difficult one, inevitably laced with controversy. Although satisfaction levels remain generally high, there is a near-universal desire for more rapid progress toward improved quality of life. This unease suggests the possibility that despite their legendary patience, Malians may eventually lose hope and faith in democracy unless economic growth accelerates.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Robert L. Rothstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The failure of the Oslo Accords has been attributed to a variety of factors, including deficiencies in the accords themselves, failures of implementation, and the play of domestic politics. These are all critical factors that describe what happened, but they do not explain why each side behaved as it did—that is, why each side made choices that would only increase the likelihood of the accords' failure. To understand why each side behaved as it did, we must first understand the “conflict syndrome” that affected the negotiating and decision-making process—a syndrome that is, to varying degrees, present in many protracted conflicts. While the conflict syndrome is never the sole cause of failure in any given peace process and does not affect every conflict in the same way, the significant role it often plays in perpetuating conflict is frequently ignored or undervalued.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Oslo
  • Author: George Adams
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in countless other hotspots around the world, religion has been a major factor in matters of war and peace. Since religion often plays a significant role in conflicts, it also needs to be one of the factors addressed in mediating conflicts. Yet, because the United States separates religion from political matters to a greater degree than many other areas of the world, Americans frequently have difficulty understanding the crucial role religion can play in conflict transformation.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: David Smock
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The post-September 11 world is seized with the dangers of religious extremism and conflict between religious communities, particularly between two or more of the Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The threat of religious extremism is real and well documented. The connection between religion and conflict is in the process of being thoroughly explored, however, to the extent that hyperbole and exaggeration are commonplace. In the popular mind, to discuss religion in the context of international affairs automatically raises the specter of religious-based conflict. The many other dimensions and impacts of religion tend to be downplayed or even neglected entirely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Religion, War
  • Author: David Albright, Corey Hinderstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Verified dismantlement of the nuclear weapons program of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can be accomplished successfully. Although difficulties abound in reaching an agreement with the DPRK to achieve this goal, the methods and steps involved in the dismantlement process are well understood.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Scott Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Jordan wants a strong, stable, moderate, and unified Iraq. Having wrestled with the dilemmas of an assertive Iraq for many years, Jordan—like Iraq's other neighbors— now faces a myriad of challenges presented by a weak Iraq. The kingdom, for years a linchpin in the U.S. strategy to promote peace and stability in the region, is now less secure in the wake of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Jordanian leaders worry that Iraq is becoming a haven for terrorist groups, a fear dramatically heightened by the November 2005 suicide bombings in Amman. Jordan also has an interest in the development of an Iraq that does not inspire radical Islamist politics in Jordan. Moreover, the kingdom is anxious about growing Iranian involvement in Iraqi politics, and—more broadly—increasing Iranian and Shiite influence in the region. Despite periodic crises of confidence and lingering Iraqi resentment over Jordan's close ties with Saddam Hussein, the two countries have managed to forge deep ties; in fact, Jordan has taken the lead among Arab states. In the face of repeated attacks and threats, Jordan has maintained a strong diplomatic presence in Baghdad. The kingdom has also played a positive, if modest, role in stabilization and reconstruction efforts. The economic impact of the Iraq crisis in Jordan has been mixed. Jordan has benefited greatly from serving as a “gateway” to Iraq for governments, aid workers, con - tractors, and businesspeople; its real estate and banking sectors are booming, and it stands to reap more benefits from increased trade and transport should the situation in Iraq improve. However, with the fall of Saddam Hussein, Jordan lost the sizable oil subsidies and customary shipments it received from Iraq. One of Jordan's principal economic interests in the new Iraq is securing future energy assistance. Unlike many of Iraq's other neighbors, Jordan can claim only modest influence over developments in Iraq. The kingdom does have notable intelligence capabilities vis-à- vis Iraq, and it reportedly helped the United States track down and kill Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Although some Jordanians highlight cross-border tribal and family connections with Iraqi Sunni Arabs, they pale in comparison to those of Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Jordan's most significant means of influence is its hosting of a large and ever-changing Iraqi expatriate community, composed mostly, but not solely, of Sunni Arabs. Jordan's relationship with the United States remains strong. Viewing Jordan as a reliable and friendly government is nothing new in Washington, but what is new is the determination of King Abdullah to make a strategic relationship with the United States a centerpiece of Jordan's foreign policy. Although the kingdom's behind-the- scenes support for the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq widened the credibility gap with the public, King Abdullah is willing to pay the cost for his close alliance with the United States in order to pursue what he sees as Jordan's larger interests. For Jordan, “the Palestinian Question” looms larger than Iraq. Given their support for U.S. policy in Iraq and their contributions to the global campaign against terrorism, along with the country's central role in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, Jordan's leaders have been disappointed with what they see as U.S. inaction on the Middle East peace process. Moreover, given the turmoil in both Iraq and the Palestinian territories, Jordan must contend with the twin prospects of “state” failure to its east and west.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Melvyn Leffler
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Kennan's thinking and policy prescriptions evolved quickly from the time he wrote the “Long Telegram” in February 1946 until the time he delivered the Walgreen Lectures at the University of Chicago in 1950. His initial emphasis was on the assessment of the Soviet threat. With new documents from the Soviet archives, we can see that the “Long Telegram” and the “Mr. X” article contained both brilliant insights and glaring omissions. After he was appointed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall to head the newly formed Policy Planning Staff, Kennan's thinking evolved from a focus on threat assessment to an emphasis on interests. Believing that the Soviet threat was political and ideological, and not military, Kennan stressed the importance of reconstructing Western Europe and rebuilding western Germany and Japan. The key task was to prevent the Kremlin from gaining a preponderance of power in Eurasia. Kennan always believed that containment was a prelude to rollback and that the Soviet Union could be maneuvered back to its prewar borders. Eventually, the behavior of the Kremlin would mellow and its attitudes toward international relations would change. The United States needed to negotiate from strength, but the object of strength was, in fact, to negotiate—and compromise. It was important for the United States to avoid overweening commitments. American insecurity stemmed from a mistaken emphasis on legalism and moralism. The United States could not transform the world and should not seek to do so. Goals needed to be modest, linked to interests, and pursued systematically. Kennan would have nothing but disdain for a policy based on notions of a “democratic peace.” But the empirical evidence of social scientists cannot be ignored. Should the pursuit of democracy no longer be seen as a value, but conceived of as an interest?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, America, Europe, Eurasia, Asia, Soviet Union, Germany, Chicago
  • Author: Alan Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Three workshops explored hundreds of forces and factors relevant to insurgency outcomes and focused on key drivers to develop five alternative scenarios. These scenarios reflected the participants' perception that positive outcomes would be hard to achieve, and negative outcomes could be foreseen much more easily. The workshops' principal finding is that U.S. goals for Iraq and the region should be reexamined and scaled back. The administration's expressed goal of “an Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country” is possible only in the very long term. Avoidance of disaster and maintenance of some modicum of political stability in Iraq are more realistic goals—but even these will be hard to achieve without new strategies and actions. The scenarios include recommended adjustments to U.S. goals and strategies to achieve reduced expectations. Unfortunately, the United States is now in a position to influence but not to control outcomes; it will have to engage and enlist the cooperation of Iraq's neighbors to attain success. This report broadly outlines the strategies that appear best suited to the current situation and the unfolding futures the participants envisioned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Jason Crosby, Don Hays
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The citizens of Bosnia are united in wanting EU accession and its benefits. However, the constitution as it stands will greatly inhibit Bosnia's ability to move toward accession. Under the current constitution, ethnically based political parties still can thwart the state and prevent Bosnia from entering the EU. The constitution vests power in two entities, the Federation and the Republika Srpska, granting most governmental functions to them and only the most limited powers to the central government. Despite numerous state-building reforms, it is questionable whether the state can implement the broad range of measures the EU requires for accession. With the high representative's departure scheduled for June 2007, the state's capacity to implement the accession requirements becomes critical. A recent report by the Venice Commission outlines the reforms necessary to prepare the state for the accession process. Only Bosnia's politicians can undertake the fundamental changes required for accession. In response to this challenge the leaders of the major political parties undertook a consensus-driven process facilitated by representatives of the Institute, the Public International Law and Policy Group, and the Dayton Project. The goal was to produce a package of constitutional amendments by October 2005 to strengthen the state. Over twelve months, representatives developed amendments clarifying group rights, individual and minority rights, and mechanisms for protecting the “vital national interests” of Bosnia's constituent peoples. They also included reforms to strengthen the government and the powers of the prime minister, reduce the president's duties, and streamline parliamentary procedures. The parties presented their agreement to parliament, and on April 26, 2006, the package failed by two votes to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority. To answer the question of where Bosnia-Herzogovina (BiH) goes from here, the parties decided to wait until after elections in October 2006 to resubmit the package to parliament, in hopes that its political alignment will change enough to ensure passage.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Abubakar Siddique, Barnett R. Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Taliban and al Qaeda insurgencies today are equally active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The nationalist insurgency in Pakistani Baluchistan, which Pakistani leaders assert receives support from Indian agents in Afghanistan, also aggravates relations between the two countries. The challenges of violent insurgency require both countries to address their relationship, particularly as it affects the border areas. Formation of such a policy is essential to the vital interests of the United States, NATO, and the international community, which has committed itself to the effort in Afghanistan through UN Security Council resolutions and other measures Afghanistan and Pakistan have had largely antagonistic relations under all governments but the Taliban since Pakistan was created as part of the partition of India in 1947. Some elements of friction were also inherited from conflicts between Afghanistan and India when it was under British imperial rule. Afghanistan's governments, including that of the Taliban, have never recognized the Durand Line between the two countries as an international border and have made claims on the Pashtun and Baluch regions of Pakistan. Today 's cross-border insurgencies, with their sanctuaries and support networks in Pakistan, are nurtured by the same sources as previous conflicts, as well as global Islamist movements. Arrangements to secure the frontier of the British Empire in the nineteenth century by isolating Afghanistan as a buffer state do not work for a twenty-first-century borderland integrated into networks of global conflict. The United States and other external powers that seek to support the new order in Afghanistan and stabilize both Pakistan and Afghanistan should encourage a multidimensional process of dialogue and peacebuilding focused on the problems of the border region. Pressure may also be needed to convince some actors to engage seriously in such a process, but pressure alone will not succeed. A process should work toward reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, leading to their integration into Pakistani national politics and administration; the recognition by Afghanistan of the international border; assured access by Afghanistan to Pakistani ports and transit facilities; the maintenance by both countries of open borders for trade, investment, and cultural relations; agreement by both countries and by India to keep the India-Pakistan dispute out of Afghanistan 's bilateral relations with both; and agreements on both sides to cease supporting or harboring violent opposition movements against the other. The United States, NATO, and the UN must agree to send a common message to Islamabad: that the persistence of Taliban havens in Pakistan is a threat to international peace and security that Pakistan must address immediately. They also must agree to urge Afghanistan and India to do all in their power to encourage Pakistan to make difficult decisions by addressing sources of Pakistani insecurity, including issues relating to the border region and Kashmir. They should actively promote this process and act as guarantors and funders of any agreements that result from it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, United Kingdom, India, Taliban, Kashmir
  • Author: Stephen Farry
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The British and Irish governments have declared that talks in 2006 will be “make or break” for reestablishing the political institutions that have been suspended since 2002. There is a serious prospect that the Assembly, the agreement's key institution, could be dissolved. Political polarization has created a new context for mediators, in which the relatively extreme Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin have overtaken their more moderate unionist and nationalist rivals in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), respectively. Having historically based their efforts on trying to build an agreement primarily around the moderates, the governments are in uncharted waters in trying to reach a renewed accommodation. Furthermore, the package of incentives and disincentives available to the governments may not be sufficient to persuade the DUP and Sinn Féin to reach accommodation. The key issues in forthcoming negotiations will be the Independent Monitoring Commission's verification of the end to all Irish Republican Army (IRA) activity, agreement on the modalities for the devolution of policing and criminal justice powers, and some changes to the details of the political institutions under the fundamental principles of the agreement. Northern Ireland's Good Friday Agreement has been held up internationally as a model for successful peacekeeping. It has had many successes, most notably the end of republican and loyalist terrorist violence, although some residual paramilitary activity and involvement in organized crime remains a problem. However, the agreement has a number of flaws, many linked to its consociational character. Furthermore, major mistakes have been made during the attempts to achieve its full implementation. The prolonged suspensions of the political institutions are its most visible failure. However, the persistence of deep communal divisions and increased political polarization have been unintended consequences. Peace has come at the price of reconciliation. No fresh accommodation is likely to prove sustainable unless the wider flaws within the agreement are addressed and the lessons from past mistakes with implementation are learned. The British and Irish governments, with the close support and advice of the Bush administration, must avoid the temptation to seek another “quick fix.” If negotiations fail this fall, a return to mass terrorism is unlikely, and the region will remain superficially “normal” in many respects, but Northern Ireland risks emerging as a dysfunctional political entity.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, North Ireland
  • Author: Camille Pampell Conaway
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: It is widely recognized that women and young people are primary victims of conflict. During war, women are displaced, subjected to sexual violence and HIV/AIDS by fighting forces, and assume the caretaking role for children and the elderly. They are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, sexual slavery, disease, and forced recruitment into armed groups. Yet as the survivors of violent conflict, women also bear the burden of reconstruction. They return to destroyed communities and begin the process of rebuilding infrastructure; restoring and developing traditions, laws, and customs; and repairing relationships. Despite rapid progress within the U.S. government to recognize the importance of women's inclusion in stabilization and reconstruction operations, no overarching strategy, mandate, or program exists to ensure implementation. Initiatives, funding, and projects remain ad hoc; research and best practices have not been consolidated; and much depends upon the individual knowledge, commitment, and insight of relevant staff at headquarters and in the field. The challenge of the Working Group on the Role of Women in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations and the purpose of this report is to present a comprehensive list of recommendations to the U.S. government, as well as highlight several critical action areas with the potential to significantly impact the protection and participation of women in postwar situations. An ongoing, at-the-ready capability must be institutionalized within the U.S. government to enhance and protect the role of women in stabilization and reconstruction operations. The steps taken prior to an intervention will make all the difference in the success of the mission. The U.S. government should undertake the following necessary actions to make this capability an integral part of the policy process.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Bouvier Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With the reelection of incumbent President Alvaro Uribe on May 28, 2006, a “ripe moment” may be emerging for resolving Colombia's long-standing armed conflict. After exerting pressure on the guerrillas and demobilizing the largest paramilitary organization during his first term, President Uribe is well positioned to pursue a political solution to the conflict. If he does not, the window of opportunity may close and the conflict could quickly intensify. The Colombian state has a rich and varied history of negotiating peace at the national level with illegal armed groups. Increasingly, state authorities at local and regional levels, as well as individuals, groups, and communities within civil society, have gained experience in negotiating peace with armed actors and establishing mechanisms for the nonviolent resolution of conflict. Since local peacebuilding involves informal, unofficial (“track two”) diplomacy, a central question is how these local experiences might contribute to “track two” diplomacy at the national level. Vibrant, organized, and diverse, civil society actors are seeking ways to participate in a future negotiation while debating what form that participation might take. These actors generally agree on the need for citizen mobilization and peace education, political support for dialogue with armed actors, increased and broader citizen participation in any peace process, and solidarity with all the victims of violence. Peace initiatives that cut across geographic lines offer opportunities for more comprehensive approaches. Women's, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian groups have successfully organized at the local, regional, national, and, increasingly, international levels, and women's groups have designed consensus peace agendas. These sectors have borne the brunt of the conflict and have high stakes in its resolution. International actors can be most effective if they play a subsidiary or complementary role that supports and builds on local, regional, and national peace initiatives. They can provide financial or technical assistance, support basic human rights protection and monitoring, and accompany peace and development initiatives. They also can facilitate consensus that will lead to public policies more conducive to the transformation of the conflict. Contrary to the usual notion that peacemaking should take place before peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction, and reconciliation, and that humanitarian assistance should be emphasized over development, the case of Colombia suggests that concurrent pursuit of these goals can help reduce violence, mitigate conflict, and create conditions for a peace accord.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Jill Shankleman
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This report analyzes the particular challenges of stabilization and reconstruction missions in countries rich in hydrocarbons and minerals and provides lessons learned from the recent experience of such countries as Iraq, Sudan, Angola, Liberia, and Afghanistan. It offers recommendations for the U.S. government and others involved in natural resource–rich countries emerging from conflict and also to the extractive industry companies and banking sectors––that play a critical role in these states. War-torn countries rich in hydrocarbons and minerals face particular problems in the stabilization and reconstruction of their states despite the apparent promise that natural resource wealth holds. Unless deliberate efforts are made to avoid the “resource curses”—corruption, economic instability, conflict over the distribution of resource wealth and control of resource–rich areas—these curses will undermine peace building. Elite groups who receive royalties and taxes paid by extractive industry companies have shown themselves consistently resistant to democratization. Control over natural resources is fundamental to sovereignty. Ultimately, it is the governments and people of resource–rich countries who must put in place the systems that enable resource wealth to support stability and development However, through early and consistent action, the international community can play an important role in helping resource–rich states emerging from conflict manage the wealth that accrues from these resources, and can make proper wealth management a condition for donor assistance. It is essential that international missions and indigenous transitional governments immediately secure effective control of natural resource wealth (physical and monetary) and establish the laws, institutions, and capacity to manage that wealth transparently, accountably, and in ways that support reconstruction. Achieving these goals requires prior planning by relevant U.S. agencies, a willingness to confront vested interests, a consistent approach from the international community and donors, the involvement of civil society, and the deployment of human resources, such as forensic accountants able to “follow the money,” as part of the mission staff. To be successful, the extractive industries and their bankers, the international financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) must be brought into this process
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Sudan, Middle East, Liberia, Angola
  • Author: Trudy Huskamp Peterson
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Temporary international criminal courts create voluminous records of tremendous and lasting significance to victims, scholars, and legal practitioners, and arrangements must be made for their permanent protection, storage, and use. A conceptual framework is offered for creating a central international judicial archives under UN auspices and for standards to select, preserve, and manage the records of temporary international criminal courts. The closure of these courts makes a decision on the disposition of their records urgent: the Timor Leste Special Panels and Serious Crimes Unit closed in May 2005; the status talks on Kosovo are currently under way; the Sierra Leone court is to close in mid-2007; and the ICTY and ICTR are to complete all proceedings by 2010. A survey of the five courts reveals substantial differences among them because of the varied roles played by the United Nations in their establishment and operations. These differences in turn lead to differences in the potential disposition of the records. When the ICTY and ICTR close, their records will become the responsibility of the United Nations Archives and Records Management Section. The legal responsibility for the Sierra Leone court records is to be negotiated between the United Nations and the government of Sierra Leone. The management of the copies of the East Timor records held by the United Nations is controlled by an agreement between that government and the United Nations. The records of the UN mission in Kosovo relating to the Kosovo internationalized courts will be divided among the government and the three organizations currently comprising the UN mission. Records of the tribunals are key research resources for victims, civic activists, academics, journalists, educators, and successors to current court officials. Potential users of the tribunal records urge officials to place the records where research will be fostered. Preservation requires active intervention to ensure that records can be used; if records are simply stored they will deteriorate, and electronic and audiovisual records will deteriorate irretrievably The ICTY, ICTR, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone must establish basic access rules for their records before closing; they should make every attempt to harmonize their access provisions. The United Nations should explore constructing and staffing an international judicial archives in The Hague and should begin providing copies of publicly available court records to institutions in the countries affected by the court proceedings. Governments and donors should actively encourage and support the United Nations in these efforts.
  • Topic: Crime, Government, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Kosovo, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Sumit Ganguly
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Bangladesh has generally been heralded as a stable, democratic Muslim state that has made great strides in economic and human development. Following the restoration of democracy in 1990, it carried out three largely free and fair general elections in 1991, 1996, and 2001. Since 1999, attacks by Islamist militants have been increasing. They have targeted opposition politicians, scholars, journalists, members of the judiciary, religious minorities, and members of the Islamic Ahmadiyya sect. Recent years have seen a deepening crisis in governance with continued politicization of civil society, deterioration of judicial independence, and diminishing rule of law and respect for human rights. Until very recently, the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia (backed by two Islamist parties) denied the existence of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh, dismissing these charges as “hostile propaganda,” designed to besmirch the country's reputation. Following a countryside terrorist attack in August 2005 and recent suicide bombings, the government has begun cracking down on selected individuals. Indian observers and policymakers are concerned about the activities of Bangladeshi Islamists. They accuse Dhaka of exacerbating the ongoing insurgencies in India's Northeast by turning a blind eye to growing illegal immigration. They also contend that Bangladesh is cooperating with Pakistan to target India. In light of these developments, questions persist about the government's dedication to respond decisively to Islamist terrorism, conduct free and fair elections in 2007, and address the deterioration in the rule of law and respect for human rights. Because of Bangladesh's regional importance and the implications of internal security developments, the United States has limited policy options to promote its regional goals and ensure democratic elections.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Religion
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States
  • Author: Daniel Serwer, Yll Bajraktari
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The international community\'s military and financial investments in the Balkans over the past fifteen years have led to substantial improvements in most of the territories of the former Yugoslavia. This progress will be put at risk if talks on Kosovo\'s status lead to de facto ethnoterritorial separation, with Serbs governed on their own territory by Belgrade without reference to Pristina. Partition, or something approaching it, could trigger another wave of violence, mass displacement of civilians, and instability in multiethnic states of the region. The international community has failed so far to reintegrate Serbs into Kosovo. Freedom of movement is insufficient, Serbs returning to their homes in Albanian-majority areas are minimal, Kosovo\'s governing institutions lack Serb representation, and Belgrade has tightened its grip on Serbs living in the north and in enclaves elsewhere. Serbia aims to govern the Serbs of Kosovo directly from Belgrade on clearly defined territory and without reference to Pristina. This is precisely the kind of ethnoterritorial separation that will cause trouble throughout the region. The Kosovo Albanian leadership has failed to improve the living conditions of Serbs living in Albanian-majority areas. Hardliners among Kosovo Albanians would also like to see ethnoterritorial separation, as it would offer them a chance to expel the remaining Kosovo Serbs south of the Ibar River and rid themselves of a “Trojan horse.” If the status talks lead to ethnoterritorial separation in Kosovo, serious instability could affect southern Serbia (Presevo Valley), western Macedonia, and Bosnia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Pierre Hazan
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Facing the Atlantic and Mediterranean, just nine miles from the Spanish coast, Morocco is essential for stability in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and American interests in these regions. The United States and the European Union fully recognize its strategic importance. Its proximity, large diaspora, and extensive trade with Europe place it at the top of the EU's Mediterranean strategy agenda. The United States has designated Morocco a major non-NATO ally; it also was one of the first Arab countries to sign a free-trade agreement with the United States. The Kingdom of Morocco is facing four challenges: weak economic growth; a social crisis resulting from social inequalities, with 20 percent of the population in absolute poverty and 57 percent illiterate; lack of trust in the governing institutions because of the high level of corruption; and an unstable regional and international environment. These factors strengthen the appeal of various Islamist movements, from moderate to more radical groups such as the authors of the deadly bombings in Casablanca in 2003 and Madrid in 2004. Moreover, the conflict over the Western Sahara places Morocco's and Algeria's armies, the two most powerful in North Africa, toe to toe. Unlike Tunisia and Algeria, since the end of the Cold War Morocco has taken steps toward political liberalization, and its pace has accelerated since Mohammed VI came to the throne in 1999. As part of the process of liberalization, the king established a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in January 2004. This is one of very few cases in which a TRC was created without a regime change. Thousands of victims tortured during the reign of King Mohammed's father, King Hassan II, have been given the opportunity to voice their sufferings publicly and have been promised financial compensation. Such outcomes are unprecedented in a region known for its culture of impunity. Morocco is the first Arab Islamic society to establish a TRC. Its experience shows that political factors play a primary role in the functioning of such a body, while religious and cultural factors are of secondary importance. Although the Moroccan TRC is not an exportable model, it could inspire other majority Muslim societies, such as Afghanistan and Lebanon, which are envisaging or might set up TRCs to confront crimes of past regimes. Some security experts hoped the TRC would be effective in the “soft war” against terrorism by winning the hearts and minds of the population. The actual experience in Morocco shows the limits of this approach. The tension is too strong between the perceived requirements of the antiterrorist struggle and a process to establish accountability for past crimes and advance democratization. In the final analysis, the “war against terrorism” has limited the TRC's impact in Morocco. The report of the Moroccan TRC, published in early 2006, recommended diminution of executive powers, strengthening of parliament, and real independence for the judicial branch. The king and the political parties must decide in the coming years if they will permit the transformation of the “executive monarchy” of Morocco into a parliamentary monarchy. This decision will affect the stability of the kingdom, North Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Europe and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia, Algeria, Spain, North Africa, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Anna Theofilopoulou
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This study examines the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara from August 1988, when Secretary-general Pérez de Cuellar submitted the settlement proposals to the two parties—the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario—until June 2004, when James A. Baker III, the secretary-general's personal envoy on Western Sahara, resigned. The settlement proposals were to lead to the holding of a referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, offering a choice between integration with Morocco or independence. A crucial element in the implementation of the plan was the identification of voters for the referendum, which both sides considered the key to producing an outcome in their favor. The Polisario had a restricted view, expecting the 1974 Spanish census of the territory to be the framework for the identification, while Morocco took an expansive view by trying to include tens of thousands of applicants of Saharan origin now living in Morocco. Both parties found reasons to interrupt the identification process. Throughout the process, the UN tried to break the impasses created by the parties through technical solutions that addressed the problem at hand without addressing the underlying political problem, which was the determination by both sides to win the referendum. After six years of trying to move forward the identification process, Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked James Baker to become his personal envoy in order to steer the parties toward a political solution and away from the “winner-take-all” approach of the referendum. However, because both parties insisted that they wanted to proceed with the plan, Baker helped them negotiate the Houston Agreements, which allowed for the completion of the identification process. In September 2000, seeing that the referendum was not likely to work in its favor, Morocco offered to discuss a political solution aiming at autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, which until the conclusion of the identification had been interested in meeting directly with Morocco, now believed that it could win the referendum and therefore said it would talk only about the settlement plan. After two more years of trying to get the parties to agree to a political solution, Baker informed the Security Council that a consensual approach would not work and requested that the Council ask the parties to choose one of four options, none of which would require the parties' consent, to resolve the conflict. The Security Council was unable to agree on any of the four options and asked Baker to prepare another political proposal that would include self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. Baker's final attempt was the Peace Plan for Self- Determination of the People of Western Sahara, which provided for a period of autonomy followed by a referendum on self-determination. Morocco rejected the plan and refused to accept a referendum in which the independence of Western Sahara would even appear as an option. The Security Council, while having expressed support for Baker's efforts in its resolutions, proved unwilling to ask the parties to make the difficult decisions required to solve the conflict. When Morocco rejected the peace plan, the Council, despite having unanimously supported it, did nothing. The study concludes that Western Sahara will remain on the UN agenda for many years to come and offers a number of lessons learned from this failed mediation effort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Giorgi Kandelaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Efforts to resist calling the 2003 events in Georgia a “revolution” were misplaced. Although the turmoil was marked by a lack of violence, a critical mass of people did come out to move the country away from the rampant corruption of the Shevardnadze regimes of 1972 to 1985 (when he was Communist Party first secretary) and 1992 to 2003 (when he was president). As president, Shevardnadze supported independent civil society groups and media outlets such as the television station Rustavi-2. His support of these groups ended in 2001, when he tried to shut down Rustavi-2. This action prompted reform-minded members of his government to form opposition parties. Before the 2003 parliamentary elections, opposition groups hoped only to gain momentum for the 2005 presidential elections. However, blatant electoral fraud, Shevardnadze's refusal to compromise, and the discipline of nonviolent opposition groups precipitated his exit. The youth group Kmara (Enough) played an important role in combating widespread political apathy among the Georgian public and youth in particular. The successful mobilization of so many young people continues to reverberate as former Kmara members maintain their interest in politics. Saakashvili's National Movement party believed that its success depended on radicalizing the political sphere and thereby broadening political participation. It was particularly effective at increasing political participation among provincial populations. Georgia's independent media, particularly Rustavi-2, supported the Rose Revolution by providing a forum for opposition parties and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) critical of the government. The channel also co-funded and broadcast exit polls that contradicted the official election results. Although a few civil society organizations did play significant roles in the revolution, most were constrained by foreign funding priorities and their own elitism. Similarly, foreign actors played a limited role because they lacked information or were overly cautious about fostering significant political change. There was no violence because the various security forces chose not to respond to public demonstrations with force. Three main factors drove their decision: 1) The security forces were accustomed to responding to democratic pressures and not defending autocratic rule; 2) a divided ruling party could not speak with one voice; 3) opposition groups, including Kmara, made strong efforts to build sympathy for their cause while downplaying the threat posed by political change. International actors can best support democratic transitions by targeting assistance to nationwide election watchdogs, such as the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), that can carry out parallel vote tabulations (PVT). Ideally, large numbers of observers from similar organizations outside Georgia should be deployed, since they can be more outspoken about electoral fraud.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Georgia