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  • Author: Asnake Kefale
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the prospects of deploying federalism as an instrument of peacebuilding in the context of emerging political reforms in Ethiopia. The ap- pointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister in April 2018 by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) marks a watershed moment in Ethiopia’s political history. The agenda of political reform adopted by EPRDF was largely due to two interrelated factors. First, the need to overcome the ap- parent fissures and constant power struggles within the party, especially since the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 2012. Second, as a response to the youth-led mass anti-government protests which started in 2015, primarily in the two most populous regions of the country, Oromia and Amhara. While the ongoing reforms are generating some optimism, there are also wor- risome developments in parts of the country. More than 1.4 million people have been displaced from their homes. The causes of their displacement are inter- ethnic tensions and identity-based communal conflicts over issues such as the ownership of natural resources linked to people’s livelihoods and the location of territorial borders. Those hit hardest by internal displacement are communities living in Gedeo and West Guji in southern Ethiopia and in the border areas of the Oromia and Somali regions. There are also tensions between the Amhara and Tigray regions over the identity of Wolqait and Raya communities. Similarly, the Sidama ethnic group’s demand for regional status in southern Ethiopia has cre- ated tension in the area. Moreover, there are reports of a breakdown of law and order in parts of the Amhara and Oromia regions. A key issue in Ethiopia’s political reform is the future of federalism, in particu- lar, the strong emphasis placed on ethnicity and whether it will continue to be relevant. On the one hand, there are political forces (centrists) that see ethnic federalism as a root cause of the current crisis, while others contend that theproblems are due to non-adherence to the principles of true federalism. However, it is important to note that the federal system is crucial to Ethiopia’s stability, peace, and develop- ment. With the opening of political space, the future direc- tion of Ethiopian federalism is being hotly contested. There are political forces that aspire to remove the ethnic element from the federal system or change the system altogether from ethnic to geographic federalism. Such a course of ac- tion is fraught with danger. The reactions to the removal of the federal status of Eritrea in 1960 and the autonomy of South Sudan in 1983 demonstrate the inadvisability of re- versing regional or ethnic autonomy. In both countries, the rolling back of autonomous arrangements by central au- thorities was a key factor in the long-running conflicts that culminated in the secession of Eritrea and South Sudan, re- spectively. The government of Ethiopia (GoE) should, there- fore, consider the following policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Development, Reform, Political stability, Peace, Federalism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Oluwatoyin Oluwaniyi
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War shifted the focus from international wars between states to internal wars with immense consequences for unarmed civilians, such as occurred in the African countries of Angola, Burundi, Central Afri- can Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, So- malia, and Sudan, to mention a few.1 The nature of these wars makes these countries susceptible to further wars. To avoid such conflict traps, peace- building measures such as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) have been introduced to pave the way for an easier transition from conflict to peace, by minimizing risks from ex-combatants as possible spoil- ers and, restoring hope and security to victims of conflict while developing their communities.2 Evidence from countries that have utilized DDR, such as Angola, DRC, So- malia, and Liberia, suggests that while disarmament and demobilization may be essential, reintegration remains the most critical component of post-conflict peace and security.3 Debate continues over the notion that while disarmament and demobilization entail short-term security opera- tions, they do not by themselves bring sustainable benefits; reintegration focuses on extensive long-term development efforts that are critical to avoiding the conflict trap and sustaining peace in the long run. Short-term security does not bring about sustainable benefits unless it is coordinated with long-term community development strategies. Reintegration address- es the economic and social transformation of both ex-combatants and the overall communities they are joining, yet the full implementation of this pro- cess is generally ignored in DDR programs in post-conflict countries. This paper focuses on the extent of implementation of the reintegration phase in the Niger Delta region’s post-conflict (usually called post-amnesty) period and its impact on peace, security, and development in the region. The Nigerian federal government embraced the post-amnesty DDR concept in June 2009 to set the pace for gradual resolution of the violence that had embroiled the region for almost a decade. During the execution of the disar- mament and demobilization phases, the Niger Delta region recorded initial progress in peace and security demonstrated by an increase in oil produc- tion from an estimated 700 barrels per day (bpd) to an estimated 2,500 bpd in early 2010. However, the implementation of the reintegration phase has raised several questions due to the region’s relapse into violence and crime. There is, therefore, a need to investigate the factors working against suc- cessful implementation of the reintegration process. A critical analysis of the process will enhance the understanding of schol- ars and policymakers alike on what constitutes sustainable reintegration and at the same time, how it may be achieved in post-conflict societies. The focus on reintegration is meant to facilitate a specific consideration of its importance as the point of intersection between short- and long-term peacebuilding processes.
  • Topic: Conflict, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Vicky Karimi
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The research presented in the 2015 United Nations Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 comprehensively demonstrates the key role played at all levels by women in the operational effectiveness, success, and sustainability of peace processes and peacebuilding efforts. It recommends that mediators, facilitators, and leaders in peace operations be proactive in including women in all aspects of peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. More importantly, the study found a need for the normative framework to be localized and for greater attention to be given to mapping what local communities and women actually need.1 Since 2000, the United Nations has passed several resolutions that constitute the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. These are particularly significant because they were adopted by the UN Security Council. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 prioritizes the inclusion and participation of women in all stages of decision-making in peace processes.2 Subsequent resolutions UNSCR 1820 (2008), UNSCR 1888 (2009), UNSCR 1889 (2009), UNSCR 1960 (2010), UNSCR 2106 (2013), UNSCR 2122 (2013), and UNSCR 2242 (2015) focus on various aspects of the WPS agenda, such as sexual and gender-based violence, peacekeeping, rule of law, impunity, and the role of women in countering violent extremism.3 Together, these resolutions provide a robust normative framework for the substantive participation of women in the discourse on peace and security.
  • Topic: Security, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Iris Tintswalo Nxumalo
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The ongoing civil war in South Sudan was triggered by factionalism within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), reflecting deep divisions and structural challenges within the South Sudanese elite and the state. Despite regional and international efforts at peacemaking and the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) in August 2015, there remain episodes of conflict. This brief calls for a renewed political process that seeks to address the multiple levels of conflict, true reconciliation, and cooperation through recognition of mutual interests among emerging South Sudanese elites, and between them and the people through greater inclusivity in national dialogues and governance structures.
  • Topic: Civil War, Regional Cooperation, Political structure, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, South Sudan
  • Author: Jimam T. Lar
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This policy briefing note focuses on the role of local actors1 in conflict man- agement and peacebuilding in central Nigeria, and explores two issues: the problem of intractable conflicts and the potential for local actors to play a role in policy interventions aimed at conflict management. By focusing on local actors and their impact on prospects for peacebuilding in local conflicts, it reveals the need to draw lessons and best practices from local contexts to apply to regional and national conflict management policies and peacebuild- ing processes.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Conflict, Local, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Godwin Onuoha
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This paper critically explores the nature of post-civil war peace in Nigeria since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra War in 1970. The context of this study is the recent emergence of neo-Biafran groups calling for the secession of the Igbo of Southeastern Nigeria from the federation, almost five decades af- ter secessionist Biafra was defeated and reabsorbed into Nigeria under the banner of national unity. Nigeria’s post-civil war nation-state peacebuilding project was framed around reconciliation, rehabilitation, and reconstruc- tion policies which shaped the nature of national citizenship, the “peace dividend,” and reintegration of the Igbo into a united Federal Republic of Nigeria. The failure of these policies has inevitably fueled lingering post- war memories. The construction of individual and collective memories of the war is intertwined with relations of power, inclusion, and exclusion. Ul- timately, while attempts at post-war reconciliation and national unity ap- peared to have eased opposing memories of the war in the public realm, group memories of “hurt,” “injustice,” and “marginalization” still flourished in the private realm—which consisted of kinship and family networks, town unions, and ethnic groups. Part of the focus of this paper is to examine the onnections between such ill feelings and the emergence of neo-Biafran groups within the country and in the diaspora that are evoking memories of, and nurturing the quest for, a “new” Biafra. As the mobilization efforts of the neo-Biafra groups gain increasing attention in Southeastern Nigeria, the problematic nature of Nigeria’s post-conflict peace, which has not com- pletely eliminated the risk of a relapse into conflict since 1970, is brought to the fore.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, Nationalism, Citizenship, Memory, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Jide Martyns Okeke
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) should prioritize pragmatic realism over idealist ambition in mandating and enhancing the operational effectiveness of future peace support operations (PSOs). By pragmatism, the PSC should realistically and routinely match resources with objectives, and understand the limits of PSOs as tools for conflict management. Acting on behalf of the AU, the PSC has become an important regional actor in mandating PSOs, especially high-intensity offensive operations where the United Nations (UN) is unable or unwilling to deploy. The deployment and operation of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) since 2007 is the most vivid example of a PSC-mandated mission that has clearly transcended the boundaries of a conventional peacekeeping mission. Various assessments of PSC-mandated missions have exposed critical challenges linked to funding gaps, difficulties in assembling and mobilizing peace intervention forces, issues relating to operational command and control, and the fact that the asymmetric nature of new security threats makes extended missions almost inevitable.1 There is urgent imperative that the conduct of protracted peace enforcement operations be based on one of two models. First, that in which the AU takes the lead with a predefined and dedicated source of flexible and predictable resourcing based on shared responsibility on the part of its member states and the international community (for example, Operation Democracy in Comoros). Alternatively, the AU could authorize a mission—without necessarily leading it—with the goal of providing legitimacy for an effective regional coalition to address the security threat at hand. Examples of this latter arrangement include the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Asebe Regassa Debelo
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The China-African Union (AU) peace and security partnership can be positively harnessed in support of peacebuilding processes on the continent. This policy brief urges African policymakers to look beyond the familiar narratives of Sino- African relations as “resource diplomacy.” It notes some of the challenges facing China’s engagement with peace and security issues in Africa, and considers several options for addressing them. The brief also offers recommendations to the AU and African sub-regional organizations on how to optimize the opportunities presented by China’s engagement with Africa to consolidate sustainable peace on the continent.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This brief addresses the mechanisms of the African Union (AU) for protecting and promoting women’s rights during conflict and their participation in post- conflict peacebuilding processes. These mechanisms can be found in the policy frameworks and structures of the Protocol Relating to the Establish- ment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (the PSC Pro- tocol) of 2002, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol), adopted in 2003, and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) of 2004. Other mechanisms include the AU Action Plans on Gender Main- streaming in peace and security, as well as a special rapporteur on women’s rights, appointed in 1999, a special envoy on women, peace, and security, appointed in 2014, and the AU’s Five-Year (2015–2020) Gender, Peace, and Security Programme. While the AU scores high on de jure instruments designed to improve the legal framework for women’s rights and gender equality, the evidence sug- gests less progress in terms of the de facto practices directed toward their implementation. For example, the Maputo Protocol—the African Women’s Bill of Rights—whose full ratification and enforcement were envisaged by 2015 and its domestication by 2020—has not been ratified by fourteen member states,2 and two countries, Botswana and Egypt, have not even signed the in- strument. Even some of the countries that ratified it did so with reservations. Furthermore, while member states are also expected to send biennial reports on the implementation processes in their respective countries, only Malawi had complied with this provision as of December 2015. And although the protocol demands the protection of women against violence in war and in peace times, reports indicate the continued perpetration with impunity of sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women in conflict-affected settings. The PSC protocol, the normative framework on which the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)4 is based, recognizes the need to protect women from violence in conflict-affected areas, but in doing so it makes them appear as mostly passive victims of war. An approach is needed that recognizes women can be perpetrators of violence as well as agents of change pro- moting peace and reconciliation. The integration of an all-encompassing organizational gender strategy to guide the AU’s work in conflict and post-conflict situations will strengthen effectiveness in conflict-affected societies with regard to the women, peace, and security (WPS) goals of participation in post-conflict governance; protec- tion from SGBV and acts of impunity; prevention of the abuse of women, girls, and children; and the promotion of gender equality. The mandate of the AU’s special envoy on WPS to “ensure that the voices of women and the vulnerable are heard much more in peacebuilding and in conflict resolu- tion” is both timely and relevant. Priority should be given to coordinating mechanisms for an Africa-centered gen- der, peace, and security framework and to promoting synergies among women’s organizations, national gov- ernments, and peace support operations to ensure the implementation of actions that make a difference in the lives of women in conflict-affected countries. The spe- cial envoy should also engage closely with stakeholders to ensure full domestication of the Maputo Protocol is achieved by 2020. In sum, although the AU has made some progress in establishing a gender, peace, and security framework to ensure the protection of women’s rights and promote gen- der equality in conflict and post-conflict settings, some gaps and coordination challenges continue to limit its ef- fectiveness. Gender mainstreaming mechanisms across the peace and security sector, including capacity building initiatives, need to be addressed critically to prevent the continued violation of women’s physical and bodily integ- rity in conflict-affected and post-conflict countries.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Zebulun Kreiter
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: he Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) organized a seminar on “Conflict, Peace, and Regional Economic Integration in Southern Africa: Bridging the Knowledge Gaps and Addressing the Policy Challenges.” It was held at AVANI Victoria Falls Resort, Livingstone, Zambia, from October 7 to 8, 2015. The seminar was the inaugural edition of the SRO-SA Southern Africa Sem- inar Series, an informal and frank forum in which academics, policymakers, and other stakeholders have the opportunity to discuss key development is- sues that affect the region. The purpose of the seminar was to sort out issues related to the causes of conflict in Southern Africa, the scope for regional responses and implications, the role of civil society in conflict mediation, the related issues of xenophobia and migration, the interaction of gender and conflict, and the importance of governance for economic development and to elicit perspectives from other regions. Despite promising economic and political developments, the regional in- tegration agenda in Southern Africa faces a number of growing challenges. The skewed nature of economic growth has resulted in in-country and cross- border migration in the region, as people search for employment and better living conditions. Furthermore, inequities in the distribution of income and wealth have inflamed tensions and led to a surge in social and political conflict within member states.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Conflict, Peace, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Southern Africa
  • Author: Heidi Hudson
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: Peacebuilding is big business in Africa and the gendering of peacebuilding even more so—if the number of workshops and funding proposals with gen- der as their focus is anything to go by. As an academic enterprise, gender and peacebuilding have equally grown in stature and scope.1 But more often than not, gender acts as a proxy for women, especially because we are con- tinuously reminded that they must be included in all peacebuilding efforts because they make up more than half of the population and war and its aftermath affect them differently. So why bother with mainstreaming gen- der if it is actually just about adding women? Practice has shown that the rhetorical commitment to gender within peacebuilding programs (hailed as positive by some) has neither changed the generally widespread gen- der-blind nature of policy and practice nor led to more than an increased mainstreaming of women’s and girls’ needs based on a very narrow inter- pretation of male-female categories.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Decolonization, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Pamela Machakanja
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: Africa faces formidable challenges with regard to the relatively few women influencing decisions and policies related to peace and security. A study on women’s participation in thirty-one peace processes between 1992 and 2011 showed that of the fifteen African countries, only five had women on their ne- gotiating teams (Burundi, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, and Uganda); five had women witnesses or observers ( Liberia, Si- erra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda); two had women lead mediators (DRC and Kenya); and only one (DRC) had women signatories.1 Although UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 “reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security,”2 its full implementation remains a work in progress in Africa, as women’s participation in peace and security remains more symbolic than substantive, and their capacity to influence and engage in peace negotiations is often resisted by local cultural norms and patriarchal hierarchies.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Culture, Feminism, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jude Cocodia
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: Despite their burgeoning reputation in peacekeeping, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) are apparently finding the conflict in the Central African Repub- lic (CAR) difficult to resolve. The explanation involves, in part, the complex situation within the country, apathy on the part of national political elites, and a lack of local participation in peacemaking. Other factors are linked to poor field leadership, the composition of the peacekeeping contingent, and the nature of the mandate. The situation demands more analysis of peace operations and the political conditions under which such operations occur, with a view toward lessening human suffering, making peacekeepers accountable, and brightening the prospects for peace.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, United Nations, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central African Republic
  • Author: George Omondi
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The current crisis in Burundi stems from an insistence by incumbent president Pierre Nku- runziza that he is eligible to run in the coming elections to retain his office. Despite a consti- tutional court ruling in May 2015 that upheld the president’s position, opposition parties, civil society groups, religious leaders, and a section of the ruling party—the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD)—disagree. Their view is that President Nkurunziza has served the two terms allowed him by the consti- tution and the Arusha agreement, which was signed in August 2000 to end the civil war that began in 1993. If he runs, it will be for a third term, which is unconstitutional. A recent wave of protests rallying around a movement against a third presidential term crystallized and intensified after the president made his plan official and the National Elections Commission (CENI) subsequently cleared him to run alongside other candidates. Violent repression of protestors by police and the intimidation of citizens by a militia group linked to the ruling party have led to scores of deaths and an increasing number of refugees fleeing the country. A humanitarian catastrophe looms, internally and in neighboring countries, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Tanzania, which are receiving refugees from Burundi. Even worse, a return to civil war, with all the costs associated with such instability, could greatly undermine efforts to attain stability in the Great Lakes Region, where several conflicts are underway in countries around Burundi, notably the DRC, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Uganda. Worst of all, militant ethnic solidarities between pro- regime groups in Burundi and a predominantly Hutu militia opposed to the Rwanda govern- ment based in the DRC could further escalate conflict in the region.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Legal Theory , Protests, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi, East Africa
  • Author: Olawake Ismail
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established in 1975 and has since evolved into a robust subregional group promoting economic integration across its members in several spheres, including commerce, transportation and telecommunications, energy and agriculture, monetary and financial policies, and peace and security.1 To fulfill objectives in these fields, ECOWAS established decision-making structures and policy development processes that include the Authority of Heads of State and Gov- ernment (AHSG); Council of Ministers (COM); a Community Court of Justice; an Executive Secretariat and Parliament; and other specialized commis- sions. The existence of these principal units notwithstanding, the ECOWAS decision-making and policy development process integrates other interven- ing variables that feed into the different channels of policy formulation and incidentally guide the trajectory along which policies emerge. This analysis focuses on ECOWAS’s nuanced (and complex) decision-making process as it relates to peace and security issues and the extent to which peace and security policy communities (including training and research institutions, academic and technical experts, and civil society activists) are engaged. The analysis is, unfortunately, limited by the absence of open source materials on the subject. While the literature on peace and security in West Africa—including the role of ECOWAS and reviews of its peace operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, and Côte d’Ivoire—is extensive,3 little or no research and few publications are extant on ECOWAS’s institu- tional setting and its process for developing peace and security policy. The little available information includes that contained in ECOWAS’s website and fleeting mention and reference in a few publications. This discussion relies instead on the author’s more than ten years of studying, observing, and engaging in ECOWAS activities (including participation in policy-related workshops, seminars, and conferences), knowledge of peace and security issues in West Africa, and interviews and informal discussions with serving and former ECOWAS staff and experts on West Africa’s peace and security.
  • Topic: Security, Peace, Economic Cooperation, Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Corinna Jentzsch
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The analysis begins with a review of trends in financing peace operations, including the proliferation of actors; existing financing mechanisms used by the UN, the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organiza- tion (NATO), and the World Bank; and the devolution of these operations to African regional organizations. Efforts of the past two decades to respond effectively to challenges to peace and security in Africa have produced vari- ous new programs and institutions, funds, and budgets and led to revisions of previous programs and financing mechanisms. This proliferation of institutions and funds has also created challenges, however, which the analysis reviews next, placing particular emphasis on three: the inadequacy of UN reforms to overcome financing constraints; the insufficiency and unpredictability of voluntary contributions; and the limited capacity of African regional organizations. All are rooted in the demand for more integrated approaches to peace operations on the one hand and the lack of coordination, duplication of structures, and waste of resources on the other.
  • Topic: NATO, United Nations, Developing World, Finance, Europe Union, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Dan Kuwali
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The political realities of post-conflict situations present hard choices in the peacebuilding and reconstruction processes. Most post-conflict societies face the dilemma of how to deal with past atrocities, especially genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Where the perpetrators are the winners of the war or elections, victors’ justice has usually been rendered against the vanquished. Yet, even where this is not the case, national judicial systems in most post-conflict societies cannot immediately handle wide- scale prosecutions for atrocities in accordance with international standards of due process, and, in cases where a political compromise has taken place, the question is usually whether to forego justice for the sake of peace. The answer is often to offer amnesty to the perpetrators of atrocities, effectively giving them impunity. This discussion will explore a victim-oriented approach toward resolving the peace and justice dilemma while promoting reconciliation and development in post-conflict settings. The starting point is the assertion that mass atrocities such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity can brook no impunity, although each conflict is sui generis, and legal concerns must be balanced with political reality in determining the appropriate reaction to past atrocities. Following the analysis is an outline of the steps that should be taken to eradicate the root causes of conflicts leading to mass atrocities in Africa.
  • Topic: Genocide, War Crimes, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa