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  • Author: Andrea Ó Súilleabháin
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The call for national and local ownership of peacebuilding and statebuilding design and practice has grown louder in recent years. The principles of leveraging local knowledge and attending to local context have gained increasing prominence and visibility in international policy. Standards of field practice for international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and peacebuilding missions now regularly include consultation of local perspectives and engagement of local actors. But regional, national, and community-level knowledge have not found effective channels to influence and inform the international decision-making process. Translating these principles into practice—in terms of peacebuilding and statebuilding mechanisms, processes, and programs on the ground—is an enduring challenge for the United Nations and international actors.
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Karlsrud, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In a break from recent tradition, European member states are currently contributing significant military capabilities to a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation in Africa. Europeans are providing more than 1,000 troops to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by staffing a wide range of operations including an intelligence fusion cell, transport and attack aircraft, and special forces. Yet for European troop-contributing countries (TCCs) that have spent several years working in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations in Afghanistan, participating in a UN mission has been a process of learning and adaptation. For the UN, the contributions of key capabilities by European countries have pushed the UN system to adjust to the higher expectations of the new European TCCs, which has proved difficult in Mali’s complicated operating environment and political situation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Gilbert Khadiagala
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since independence, African states and organizations have made significant investments in conflict management and resolution tools. So why do some African states and regions remain saddled by conflict and instability? How can African states leverage democratic governance to end wars? The new report Silencing the Guns suggests that the key to ending conflict in Africa lies in fostering effective governance and creating political and economic institutions that can effectively prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts. Author Gilbert Khadiagala unpacks how and why democratic governance is linked to conflict prevention and management, and provides an overview of landmark trends that have influenced governance in Africa since the 1950s. He shows that not all forms of democratic governance reduce conflicts and examines the ways in which “developmental dictatorships,” corruption, and the privatization of security are posing obstacles for governance and peace today.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Karlsrud, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In a break from recent tradition, European member states are currently contributing significant military capabilities to a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation in Africa. Europeans are providing more than 1,000 troops to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by staffing a wide range of operations including an intelligence fusion cell, transport and attack aircraft, and special forces. Yet for European troop-contributing countries (TCCs) that have spent several years working in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations in Afghanistan, participating in a UN mission has been a process of learning and adaptation. For the UN, the contributions of key capabilities by European countries have pushed the UN system to adjust to the higher expectations of the new European TCCs, which has proved difficult in Mali’s complicated operating environment and political situation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Fiona Blyth, Mireille Affa'a Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The International Peace Institute convened a roundtable discussion on "Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea: Assessing the Threats, Preparing the Response" on June 6, 2013, in New York. The meeting aimed to help develop a better understanding of the peace and security challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea by examining the multifaceted threats to the stability of the region; considering national, regional, and international responses to these threats; and providing practical policy recommendations with a view to strengthening regional and international responses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Bianca Selway
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: With fifteen UN peacekeeping missions already in operation and another in the Central African Republic on the horizon, UN peacekeeping continues to be in high demand. Today, DPKO deploys more than 83,000 troops, 13,000 police, and 2,000 observers, contributed voluntarily by member states. A majority of these are provided by African and South Asian member states, which together provide 74 percent of the UN's uniformed personnel. Latin America has a longstanding history of participating in UN peacekeeping, stretching back more than fifty years to some of the earliest peacekeeping operations. At present, Latin America contributes almost 7 percent of all UN troops and nearly 2 percent of UN police. Two Latin American states occupy spots in the group of top twenty uniformed contributors: Uruguay with a total of 2,164 uniformed personnel and Brazil with 1,755. Latin American contributions are predominantly military contributions (as opposed to police) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with support to missions in sub-Saharan Africa amounting to less than 2 percent of the total uniformed deployments to the region.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Brazil, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Kristen E. Boon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This report assesses the United Nations Security Council's current approach to drawing down sanctions in intrastate war situations. After examining broader questions surrounding the UN's authority to impose sanctions and the corresponding limits on these powers, this report assesses criteria used by the council to terminate sanctions. It observes that multilateral sanctions under the UN Security Council tend to last substantially longer than sanctions by regional organizations, such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); and it argues that short sanctions periods are preferable to long sanctions periods.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Katharina P. Coleman
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The United Nations (UN) has a unique set of mechanisms for financing its peacekeeping operations, and it can draw on significant funding for this purpose: total authorized expenditure for the 2013-2014 budget year was $7.54 billion. These resources allow the UN to employ civilian peacekeepers, enter into commercial contracts for its peacekeeping missions, and shape the financial incentives of states deciding whether and how to participate in a UN peacekeeping operation. Ideally, UN peacekeeping financing mechanisms should incentivize timely state contributions of highly effective peacekeeping units willing to make full use of their capabilities.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Patrice Sartre
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Gulf of Guinea has become notorious for its violent conflicts and political instability. This insecurity has its origins in bad governance, corruption, and failures of social and economic development. Violent power struggles and competition for the control of economic assets periodically cause crises to flare up, and these tend to be persistent and widespread. The international community has worked to move countries in the region onto a stable trajectory. West Africa has also made efforts to develop a coordinated approach to the region's challenges through a common security architecture. Such subregional initiatives may ultimately prove most conducive to long-term stability.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Solomon Dersso
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), composed of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda with its secretariat headquartered in Djibouti, covers northeast Africa, a region continuing to experience major changes, arguably more than any other part of the continent. This is the only region of Africa where colonially drawn borders have been redrawn. In contrast to other regions of Africa, this is also where the prospect of further redrawing of borders—with Somaliland seeking international recognition as a separate state—remains a real possibility.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Economics, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a Mindzie, George Mukundi Wachira, Lucy Dunderdale
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The “Africa rising” narrative has gained traction in recent years. Yet a very important question remains: who is rising? While statistics point to a continent whose fortunes have improved, many African citizens remain at the margins of socioeconomic development. In what has been termed growth without transformative development, there is a heightened focus among African states on translating promising statistics into better livelihoods for citizens. Citizens' uprisings in North Africa and in Burkina Faso provide a fresh reminder of the danger in touting impressive economic growth statistics while the majority of a country's population remains excluded from democratic governance processes and development. It is also widely believed that development failures and governance deficits lie “at the heart of Africa's violent conflicts.” Africa will only achieve its full potential and live up to the Africa rising narrative if it can strengthen its systems of governance; promote inclusive, equitable, and participatory development; and embed a culture of democracy and peace.
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: After the severe twin crises that nearly brought Mali to its knees in January 2012, the country is gradually recovering from their debilitating consequences. In August 2013, Mali successfully elected its new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, thus putting an end to an eighteen-month-long transitional government that was put in place following the March 2012 coup. Even though the violence has abated and renewed hope seems to be in the air, the structural causes of the Malian conflict are still stubbornly present and their consequences are still being felt by neighboring Sahel countries that suffer from similar underlying ills. The situation in Mali and other concerned states in the region generated a renewed interest in the Sahel-Sahara region and in efforts to stabilize this region. This prompted the International Peace Institute, the Executive Secretariat of the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel-Saharan Areas of Niger (SDS Sahel Niger), and the Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) to convene an international seminar on security and development in the Sahel-Sahara on February 15 and 16, 2013, in Niamey, Niger.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Peace Studies, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The popular uprisings in North Africa in 2011 and more recent crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau have raised questions about the capacity of the African Union (AU) and the international community to successfully prevent violent conflicts in Africa. In Mali, the military coup in March 2012, which ousted President Amadou Toumani Touré, occurred only two days after a ministerial meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council was held in the capital Bamako to consider the situation in the Sahel region and the Tuareg rebellion in the northern part of the country. Less than a month later, the equally unforeseen crisis in Guinea-Bissau erupted while an ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council ministerial meeting was taking place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, in April 2012. Against this backdrop, the International Peace Institute (IPI) hosted a roundtable discussion on early warning in partnership with the Permanent Missions of South Africa and Azerbaijan to the United Nations, both members of the United Nations Security Council at the time. The seminar, “Preventing Conflicts in Africa: The Role of Early Warning and Response,” was held on April 27, 2012, at IPI's Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development in New York.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Civil Society, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean Ping
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that Africa, cradle of humanity, land of the Pharaohs and human civilization, and vast reservoir of human and natural resources, is not doing well. She crosses the deepest crisis that has shaken her since the end of colonial times. The specter of chaos lurks everywhere. She is now seen as the continent of “collapsing states” and “zombie nations”; the continent of extreme poverty, misery, and injustice; the continent of horrors, of the Rwandan genocide and of the worst atrocities committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Darfur and elsewhere. This brutal reality has been, for quite some time now, analyzed by most observers and experts with certain fatalism, as testified by these book titles with pessimistic or even alarmist tones: “Black Africa Started on the Wrong Foot” (René Dumont), “Can Black Africa Take Off?” (Albert Meister); “And What If Africa Refused Development” (Axelle Kabou); “Africa Down” (Jacques Giri). By now, it is just a chorus of permanent lamentations about the “lost continent,” the “damned continent,” or the “cursed continent” whose past is not passing. And the rest of the world, which sees us as negligible, even contemptible (“all corrupt and all dictators,” they say), consider that henceforth, they no longer need us.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The security sector in Côte d'Ivoire is both at the root of the recent crisis and the key to finding a way forward. While successive attempts to resolve divisions have recognized some of the larger challenges of security-sector reform (SSR), the failure to reunify the Ivoirian security forces prior to holding the presidential elections in 2010 was a key factor behind the recent crisis and contributed to its escalation into a military confrontation-a confrontation that included violence against civilians committed by both sides. The decade-long crisis and its latest episode have made the politicians in Côte d'Ivoire increasingly dependent on uniformed men. This will have to be addressed through comprehensive security-sector reform to prevent a return to armed conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Demographics, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Guillaume Lacaille
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: As they prepare to discuss the renewal of MONUSCO's mandate six months ahead of general elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the members of the UN Security Council are facing a dilemma. Should they limit the role of MONUSCO to the continued protection of civilians in eastern Congo, as agreed with President Joseph Kabila, or should they expand its mandate in an attempt to enforce democratic principles before the elections at the risk of confronting the incumbent regime? This issue brief argues that MONUSCO should be limited to a technical role in the election—as requested by the Congolese authorities—but only on the condition that the international community reengages President Kabila in a frank political dialogue on long term democratic governance reforms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Democratization, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Peter Gastrow
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The threat posed by organized crime is not confined to serious crimes such as racketeering, the global drug trade, or human trafficking. For many developing countries and fragile states, powerful transnational criminal networks constitute a direct threat to the state itself, not through open confrontation but by penetrating state institutions through bribery and corruption and by subverting or undermining them from within. Governments that lack the capacity to counter such penetration, or that acquiesce in it, run the risk of becoming criminalized or “captured” states. This paper examines whether Kenya faces such a threat.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Government, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Elections are the hallmark of representative democracy, allowing the people's regular input in choices about leaders and policy. Yet they are also competitive processes, unleashing conflict and tensions that, if not constructively managed, could potentially destabilize the fabric of states and societies. Since the new wave of democratization in Africa in the early 1990s, elections have become a core ingredient of popular participation in the governance process. At the same time, elections have spawned conflicts and violence and scrambled ethnic and regional alliances that sometimes threaten the social order, economic development, and efforts to strengthen regional integration. With the steady decline of some of the historic causes of African conflicts, elections have emerged as one of the major recent sources of conflict across Africa. The challenges occasioned by election-related conflicts and political violence underscore the importance of building institutions that balance competition with order, participation with stability, and contestation with consensus.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Adonia Ayebare
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Nile River basin is a vast area covering ten states, of which five are among the poorest in the world. Home to more than 350 million people, it is a troubled region that has been ravaged by armed conflicts, state failure, genocide, severe drought, and aid dependency. But it is also an area with great potential and geopolitical significance. In the past, the Nile River, with its origin in East and Central Africa, has been at the center of international affairs, most critically during the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956. Currently, the Nile is among the postreferendum issues being negotiated by parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan: the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Paul Romita
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Two referenda are scheduled for January 9, 2011, in Sudan. In one, the people of Southern Sudan will decide whether they will remain part of the Republic of the Sudan or form an independent country with its capital in Juba; in the other, residents of the Abyei region will determine whether or not Abyei will become part of Southern Sudan.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Sectarian violence, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Juba
  • Author: Abdel-Fatau Musah
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges to human and regional security in the territory covered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It examines causal factors and their effects, profiles the actors shaping the security environment, and describes the nature and impacts of their interventions. Finally, it projects possible future scenarios based on the current security dynamics. The paper examines the geopolitical environment of West Africa, with emphasis on the strategic importance of the region and the vulnerabilities emanating from its location. Within this context, it discusses the roles of local, regional, and international actors in the evolving regional security architecture, sifting through their actions, motivations, and interventions. It analyzes the attempts by national, regional, and international institutions to transform the security environment, highlighting their roles, strengths, and weaknesses; and it projects various security scenarios, proposing policy options to meet the challenges that these scenarios present.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Phil Williams, James Cockayne
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: An invisible tide is rising on the shores of West Africa, creeping into its slums, its banks, its courts, its barracks, and its government ministries. It is a tide of money, influence, and power, born from the drug trafficking that is sweeping the region. Cocaine produced in Latin America is transported to West Africa, and then on to Europe. From there, the proceeds find their way back to North and South America, fueling further investment and further narco-trafficking. Some of the profits from the trade stay in West Africa, laundered through construction projects and other avenues, and increasingly corrupting politics, society, and security institutions. As the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, recently put it: “Drug money is not only buying real estate and flashy cars: it is buying power.”
  • Topic: Crime, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Elisabeth Lindenmayer, Josie Lianna Kaye
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The postelection violence that erupted in Kenya in December 2007 resulted in the deaths of over one thousand people and left three hundred thousand people displaced. While catastrophic, the scale of the social and economic destruction, not to mention the loss of life, could have been much greater were it not for the peace mediation mandated by the African Union in January 2008. The Panel of Eminent African Personalities, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, led the forty-one-day peace process, culminating in the Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition Government, which was signed by President Mwai Kibaki and the Honorable Raila Odinga on February 28th, putting an end to the crisis which engulfed the nation and took the world by surprise.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Jenna Slotin, Castro Wesamba, Teemt Bekele
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Within the United Nations, the concept of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) has regained considerable momentum after nearly two years of stasis following the 2005 World Summit. Outside the corridors of the world body, discussions about RtoP and its application to specific regional situations, as well as the mandate of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, one of the crimes specified in the Summit's Outcome Document, are still at a nascent stage. In order to contribute to rectifying this imbalance, the International Peace Institute, the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and the InterAfrica Group convened an expert roundtable on “The Responsibility to Protect and Genocide Prevention in Africa” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on October 23 and 24, 2008.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Ethiopia
  • Author: Ronald R. Atkinson
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This paper begins by providing the historical context for “Operation Lightning Thunder,” the Ugandan military's December 2008 incursion into neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo in pursuit of the northern Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The paper first presents (1) a historical background to the northern Uganda war that produced the LRA; (2) an overview of that war, which began in 1986; and (3) an analysis of the Juba peace process initiated in 2005 and its unraveling over the course of 2008.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Mutual accountability has become one of several principles that underpin the PBC's work. The commission has facilitated the articulation of mutual commitments as part of the peacebuilding frameworks developed in Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and the Central African Republic. This has begun to fill an important gap. But, the PBC has so far not fulfilled the full promise of this principle: to serve as a forum where national and international actors can hold each other to their commitments. This brief reflects on the PBC's experience with mutual accountability and puts it into a broader context to highlight why it is an area where the PBC can potentially add value.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone, Burundi