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  • Author: Kizito Sabala
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This briefing note examines the implications of the maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia following claims that Somalia has auctioned the oil and gas fields in the disputed territory, which are currently the subject of an International Court of Justice (ICJ) case at The Hague.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Maritime, Conflict, Borders
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Roseanne Nijru
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This briefing note is based on exploratory research in two informal settlements in Nairobi: Mathare and Kibera. It makes recommendations for engaging health workers in peacebuilding processes in urban informal settlements in Kenya. The recommendations are based on study conclusions showing that health care sys- tems, especially community-centered primary health care services and workers, have great potential to promote peace and security in Kenya. Violent conflicts constitute a public health challenge because of their adverse effects on health, social, and economic systems, which lead to declines in population well-being. Thus, peace and health are mutually reinforcing, and development cannot take place without good health. Despite this health-peace nexus, Kenya’s National Policy for Peacebuilding and Conflict Management (2015) and National Cohesion 1 and Integration Commission (NCIC, 2008) , both formulated in a volatile political climate, have not recognized the contribution of the health system to peace- building. In 1998, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted “Health as a Bridge for Peace (HBP)” as a policy framework on the premise that the role of health care providers in promoting peace is significant for the attainment of “Health for All.”2 This study suggests that health care systems in Kenya can be part of the multifaceted peacebuilding effort in urban informal settlements that experience a range of violence—political, ethnic, extremist, resource-related, gender-based—and vicious cycles of retaliatory attacks.
  • Topic: Health, Peacekeeping, Urban, Community
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • 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: Duncan Mainye Omanga
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The exponential growth of social media use in Africa is not in doubt. The rapid rise in the use of mobile telephony, coupled with the spread of Internet-enabled gadgets, has made social media the latest catalyst of a grand transformation in Africa’s social and political complexion. This essay reveals how a local chief in Kenya has taken to using the microblogging website Twitter to radically transform the historical meeting place known as the baraza into a site of peacebuilding and community policing. In this study, the main aim is to show how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are used every day in Lanet Umoja and how they punctu- ate ordinary life to build, in a subtle yet effective way, a more cohesive soci- ety at a very local level. Without exaggerating the impact and place of ICTs in building peace in Africa, I intend to show how a local actor, using local social structures and infrastructures, has attempted, with varying degrees of suc- cess, to create predictable patterns—or routine forms—of consumption and use of ICTs that, in a sense, reproduce a communication “fabric” for fighting crime, responding to emergencies, and creating a virtual vigilante. His use of an ICT also acts as an experimental form of spiritual healing. As several other scholars have argued, caution is needed in making broad claims regarding the impact of ICTs in Africa and whether they are simply refashioning existing communication structures (Nyabuga 2008; Asiedu 2012; Berger 2012; Mudhai et al 2011). In pursuing this study, I had, therefore, to take note of three broad aspects of my research. One was the main actor (the chief), the second was his medium (Twitter; mobile telephony), and the third was his audience (residents of Lanet Umoja). Using Manuel Castells’s idea of the network and John Postill’s of concept actors or agents in a “networked community,” I attempt to show how these three components interact to reproduce the aforementioned “fabric.”
  • Topic: Internet, Social Media, Police, Community
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa