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  • Author: Matt Bryden
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia marked a milestone in September 2012 with the establishment of a new federal government that has since won the support and recognition of the international community. After more than 20 years of conflict, crisis, and statelessness and 12 years of ineffectual transitional authorities, the Somali federal government (SFG) has been widely welcomed as Somalia's first “post-transition” government. It has been greeted with such a groundswell of optimism that many observers, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have drawn parallels with the “Arab Spring” that has transformed parts of the Middle East. It is tempting to imagine that Somalia is finally on the path to recovery.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Development, Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia, Somalia
  • Author: Andrew Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes politics in northern Nigeria has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law. Since August 2011 Boko Haram has planted bombs almost weekly in public or in churches in Nigeria's northeast. The group has also broadened its targets to include setting fire to schools. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, and as many as 10,000 pupils were forced out of education. Boko Haram is not in the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria's al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Somalia's al Shabab. Despite its successful attack on the UN compound in Abuja in August 2011, Boko Haram is not bent on attacking Western interests. There have been no further attacks on international interests since that time. Following the failed rescue of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in north¬eastern Nigeria in March 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan played up the connections between the group and international terrorism. However, links between Boko Haram and the kidnappers are questionable. It is difficult to see how there can be meaningful dialogue between the government and the group. The group's cell-like structure is open for factions and splits, and there would be no guarantee that someone speaking for the group is speaking for all of the members. Tactics employed by government security agencies against Boko Haram have been consis-tently brutal and counterproductive. Their reliance on extrajudicial execution as a tactic in “dealing” with any problem in Nigeria not only created Boko Haram as it is known today, but also sustains it and gives it fuel to expand. The group will continue to attack softer targets in the northeast rather than international targets inside or outside Nigeria. It is also likely to become increasingly involved in the Jos crisis, where it will attack Christian indigenes of the north and try to push them out. Such a move would further threaten to destabilize the country's stability and unity.Now that the group has expanded beyond a small number of mosques, radical reforms in policing strategy are necessary if there is to be any progress in countering the group. Wide¬spread radical reform of the police is also long overdue throughout Nigeria. As a first step, jailing a number of police officers responsible for ordering human rights abuses might go some way to removing a key objection of the group.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Religion, United Nations, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Somalia
  • Author: Rossella Marangio
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The long-lasting Somali conflict is profoundly linked to the country's historical development and its socio-cultural specificities. The political milieu and the struggle for power in Somalia reflect the cleavage between tradition and modernity. This rift has led to a legitimacy vacuum, which has made it difficult for the warring parties to find enough common ground for a compromise. Furthermore, external influences, at both regional and international levels, have contributed to the fragmentation of the political arena, due notably to the emphasis on the use of force as the principal tool for acquiring or maintaining power. In this unfolding crisis, regional pressures and rivalries, international interventions, economic and strategic interests as well as piracy, corruption and Islamic extremism all play an interlocking role. In view of this, a new approach to the crisis is badly needed. The EU, in particular, should promote a new strategy based on three components: enhancement of social cohesion through local cooperation programmes, state-building and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Roland Marchal
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Somalia has long been a byword for statelessness and extreme insecurity. However, eight years of transitional rule are set to end in 2012, and expectations are rising that continued military-led stabilisation, changing regional security dynamics and efforts to rebuild the Somalia state might soon enable the country to declare an end to two decades of civil war.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Islam, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Alejandro Bendaña
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Rule of law (RoL) programming is caught in the middle of the peacebuilding/tatebuilding discussion. Twenty-first century post-conflict RoL programming seems to have become more statist in character and highly focused on the criminal justice chain. A key question, however, is how external RoL/statebuilding assistance can address the gap between society and the central state so as to in effect give the RoL a greater peacebuilding function. Southern Somalia provides an example of failed RoL/statebuilding, but in Somaliland the existence of an inclusive political settlement has allowed United Nations RoL assistance to contribute not only to core state capacities, but also to engagement with civil society and arriving at innovative programming modalities, which in practice signifies an expanded interpretation of the concept of the RoL and thus of its social impact. Examples are given of engagement with “informal” customary systems and other sectors so as to contribute to the construction of more socially embedded police and justice practices capable of providing greater legitimacy to the state.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Markus Virgil Hoehne
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without effective state institutions since 1991. Over the past two decades, moderately effective state-like institutions have been rebuilt in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia, but they do not enjoy international recognition and are limited in power and scope. This text concentrates on the integration of non-state actors, particularly traditional authorities, during the process of state-formation in Somaliland. Arguably, this integration has brought about a hybrid political system that functioned quite well during the first years of existence of Somaliland. Hybrid political systems are currently of great interest in various African settings, including the possibility of integrating traditional authorities into (local) government in South Sudan. These systems, however, mix modes of legitimacy of different political actors in a way that, in the long run, either undermines the democratic capabilities of modern states or seriously damages the credibility and effectiveness of traditional authorities. Thus, hybrid political systems may be a way to stabilize politics in a transitory phase (e.g., after civil war or independence) but they are not the easy way out of the dilemma that state institutions in many African states are weak, have only a very limited outreach and in many regards lack popular legitimacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without a functioning state ever since 1991, when the former dictator, Siyad Barre, was overthrown. None of the competing factions were strong enough to take his place as ruler of the country, producing first chaos, but gradually a form of stateless order. The international interventions have ever since the failed, and counter-productive intervention by the United Nations and the United States in the early 1990 exacerbated rather than mitigated the problems, let alone solved them. This was especially the case for the Ethiopian invasion (December 2006-January 2009), which produced utter chaos and a severe humanitarian crisis. Since the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces, Islamist extremist militias have been establishing control of Somalia, and they may or may not be able to maintain this control. If they pursue their radical programme of Islamisation, their reign is likely to be short, but if they moderate themselves they may retain control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: A. Sarjoh Bah
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The deployment of peacekeepers is increasingly becoming a reflex solution to crises, often in the absence of viable political agreements. The cluster of peace operations in the Broader Horn of Africa – stretching from Central African Republic and Chad, through Sudan, to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia – epitomizes both practices. Moreover, though the conflicts in the region are deeply inter-linked, the peace operations there are not, nor do they form part of a broader regional strategy. Lack of a regional strategy compounds pre-existing problems of weak commitment and slow implementation. The results have been unsurprisingly poor, at great human cost.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea
  • Author: Nils Goede
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The report analyses the decision-making processes in the security council of the United Nations, which led to the adoption of the Somalia-Resolution 794 on 3 December 1992. For the analysis of the decision-making process the Multiple-Streams approach is employed. This concept regards decision opportunities as ambiguous stimuli concerning information, goals and measuring criteria. Hence, decisions are frequently neither rationally justified, nor are they connected with a certain problem in a linear manner. The organisation is constantly confronted with a high number of problems and policy options. Under time pressure the organisation has to decide which problems and which policy options are going to be placed on the agenda and with regard to which issues a decision is needed. During decision-making processes options and problems are often reconciled into an only artificial accord. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the adoption of resolution 794 came about due to the dynamics of the US presidential election and the constant commitment of UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali rather than due to the situation in Somalia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Nils Goede
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Der Report analysiert die Entscheidungsprozesse des Sicherheitsrats der Vereinten Nationen, die am 3. Dezember 1992 zu der Verabschiedung der Somalia‐Resolution 794 geführt haben. Fürdie Analyse wird der Multiple‐Streams‐Ansatz verwendet. Im Rahmen des Ansatzes warden Entscheidungssituationen als mehrdeutige Stimuli in Bezug auf Informationen, Ziele und Messkriterien betrachtet. Entscheidungen sind vor einem solchen Hintergrund oft weder rational begründbar, noch sind sie gezwungenermaßen linear‐kausal mit einem bestimmten Problem verbunden. Die Organisation ist stets mit einer hohen Anzahl von simultan auftretenden Problemen und Optionen konfrontiert und muss unter Zeitdruck bestimmen, welche Probleme und Handlungsoptionen auf die Agenda gesetzt werden und in welchen Themenbereichen eine Entscheidung ansteht. Lösungen werden hierbei zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt (künstlich) in Übereinstimmung mit Problemen und Akteuren gebracht und in eine Entscheidung transferiert. Die Untersuchung führt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Verabschiedung der Resolution 794 weniger auf die tatsächliche Problemlage in Somalia zurückzuführen war als auf Dynamiken des amerikanischen Wahlkampfs und den stetigen Einsatz des VNGeneralsekretärs Boutros Boutros‐Ghali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, United Nations, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: David Axe
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The two-decade-old conflict in Somalia has entered a new phase, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The elections of new U.S. and Somali presidents in late 2008 and early 2009 provide an opportunity to reframe U.S.-Somali relations. To best encourage peace in the devastated country, Washington needs a new strategy that takes into account hard-learned lessons from multiple failed U.S. interventions. The old strategy favoring military force and reflexive opposition to all Islamists should give way to one emphasizing regional diplomacy and at least tacit acceptance of a government that is capable of bringing order to Somalia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since 1991 Somalia has been the archetypal failed state. Several attempts to create a transitional set-up have failed, and the current one is on the brink of collapse, overtaken yet again by an Islamist insurgency, despite the support of an Ethiopian military intervention since December 2006. Over the last two years the situation has deteriorated into one of the world's worst humanitarian and security crises. The international community is preoccupied with a symptom - the piracy phenomenon - instead of concentrating on the core of the crisis, the need for a political settlement. The announced Ethiopian withdrawal, if it occurs, will open up a new period of uncertainty and risk. It could also provide a window of opportunity to relaunch a credible political process, however, if additional parties can be persuaded to join the Djibouti reconciliation talks, and local and international actors - including the U.S. and Ethiopia - accept that room must be found for much of the Islamist insurgency in that process and ultimately in a new government dispensation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Lahra Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Assistant professor at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on African politics, civil society and democracy in Africa, and peace and conflict in East Africa. The pardon and release of thirty-eight political detainees, mostly from the leadership of the main opposition party, may give impetus to political negotiations in Ethiopia after more than two years' crisis and stalemate. Contentious and previously unresolved national issues, such as land and economic development; the institutional and constitutional structure of the Ethiopian state; and the best way to ensure equality of ethnic and religious communities, were brought to the fore during the past election cycle. However, after the election, much- needed national dialogue on these matters ended. It must be reinvigorated now that the political opposition's leaders have been freed. Citizen discontent has grown with the caretaker administration in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa and repressive local administrations. Elections for city and local government must be held. Further delays will undermine any democratic progress. The current Parliament includes members of several opposition political parties, though not the leaders who were imprisoned. Both the ruling party and the main opposition parties should make as many visible and meaningful concessions as possible to their political opponents. Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia in December 2006, its ongoing military presence in that conflict, and its unchanged, tense border stalemate with Eritrea have contributed to growing violence in the Horn of Africa and stymied domestic democratization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, East Africa
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The report provides a brief overview of the religious landscape of Africa with a special focus on the role of religion in the continent's several conflicts. It then proceeds to look at East Africa, where the three religious “families” of traditional religion, Islam and Christianity are all present in large numbers. It does not find any significant correlation between conflict propensity or terrorism and religion, neither in the sense that religious diversity gives rise to any “clash of civilizations” nor in the sense that the predominance of any one religion (e.g. Islam) make a country more prone to conflict or terrorism. It then proceeds to country case studies of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, providing a brief overview of the history of religion and conflict and an assessment of the present situation and the prospects for the future.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, East Africa
  • Author: Patricia Weiss Fagen, Micah N. Bump
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Although migrant workers, refugees and immigrants have been sending money, goods and ideas home for millennia, until about a decade ago donors and international finance agencies paid little attention to the phenomenon. Interest has grown exponentially as statistics show what we now call migrant remittances to be among the most important contributing factors to national economies in several countries. Nearly all the countries in the conflict, war-to-peace transition, and crisis categories are highly dependent on remittances. The slow recovery of livelihoods and persistent violence or repression ensure high levels of migration and the need for remittances in such countries for several years after conflict and crises have ended. By all accounts, migrant remittances reduce poverty in important ways in developing countries. Research shows that migrants transfer funds and invest in their countries of origin at times when international investment has all but disappeared. By serving these purposes in countries emerging from or still experiencing conflicts (e.g., Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Somalia, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and others), remittances can be seen as a sine qua non for peace and rebuilding.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Liberia, Somalia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the Cold War between 1989-1991 opened new horizons for the United Nations and created expectations that the UN would emerge from the margins of world events to the focus of world politics. But many events since then -- in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq -- have undermined confidence in international institutions. A history of the UN's activities since the end of the East-West conflict conjures up names of recent infamy, such as Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kigali, and Srebrenica, and revisits images of failure and impotence in the face of violence. These crises undermined much of the optimism that greeted the end of the Cold War at the United Nations. The founding dream in 1945 of a community of nations defending human rights and promoting collective security still seems as far from being realized as it did during the height of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Cold War, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The peace process in Somalia is at a critical point. Talks that began with great promise are in danger of collapsing unless the mediators, the international community and the Somali factions themselves provide stronger leadership. The Somali public's flagging interest and support for the process needs to be revived, and improvements are required in the negotiating process or the parties will be unable to tackle the many difficult outstanding issues. Unfortunately, the international community has remained reluctant to throw its full weight behind the peace talks, to take a tough line with those who are undermining it or generally to express a unified position on preferred outcomes.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 27 October 2002, Somali political leaders gathered in the Kenyan town of Eldoret signed a new declaration that envisages an end to the protracted crisis in their country. After more than a decade as the only country in the world totally devoid of a functioning central government and no less than twenty unsuccessful national-level peace initiatives since 1991, the Eldoret Declaration has raised hopes that resolution of the Somali crisis may now be within reach.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Kenya, North Africa, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: For the first time since the last UN mission left the country in 1995, there is considerable international interest in Somalia, centred on the possibility that the country may become part of the global war against terrorism. The U.S. government suspects that al-Qaeda may have used Somalia as a staging area or safe haven in the past and remains concerned – though less than in the immediate aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks – that it could do so again because of the country's highly fragmented internal security situation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, North Africa, Somalia