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  • Author: Karolina Eklöw, Florian Krampe
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Climate-related security risks are transforming the security landscape in which multilateral peacebuilding efforts take place. This policy paper offers a glimpse into the future of peacebuilding in the time of climate change by providing an in-depth assessment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Climate-related change in Somalia has reduced livelihood options and caused migration. It has also left significant parts of the population in a vulnerable condition. These climate-related security risks contribute to grievances and increase inequality and fragility, which in turn pose challenges to the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate. The impacts of climate change have hindered UNSOM in its work to provide peace and security in Somalia and in its efforts to establish functioning governance and judicial systems. UNSOM has responded to the growing impact of climate-related change. It has learned lessons from previous failed responses—notably the 2011 drought—and has created innovative initiatives that have been effective. While there is still room for improvement, UNSOM’s new initiatives may help to deliver a set of responses that meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. The challenges faced by UNSOM and its responses to them have wider implications. They suggest that there is a need for synergetic policy responses that can turn the responses to climate-related security risks into opportunities for UN efforts to sustain peace.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Migration, Governance, Risk, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States, its allies, and international organizations are just beginning to come to grips with the civil dimensions of "failed state" wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen. In each case, it is clear that the civil dimension of the war will ultimately be as important as the military one. Any meaningful form of "victory" requires far more than defeating the current extremist threat in military terms, and reaching some temporary compromise between the major factions that divide the country. The current insurgent and other security threats exist largely because of the deep divisions within the state, the past and current failures of the government to deal with such internal divisions, and the chronic failure to meet the economic, security, and social needs of much of the nation's population. In practical terms, these failures make a given host government, other contending factions, and competing outside powers as much of a threat to each nation’s stability and future as Islamic extremists and other hostile forces. Regardless of the scale of any defeat of extremists, the other internal tensions and divisions with each country also threaten to make any such “victory” a prelude to new forms of civil war, and/or an enduring failure to cope with security, stability, recovery, and development. Any real form of victory requires a different approach to stability operations and civil-military affairs. In each case, the country the U.S. is seeking to aid failed to make the necessary economic progress and reforms to meet the needs of its people – and sharply growing population – long before the fighting began. The growth of these problems over a period of decades helped trigger the sectarian, ethnic, and other divisions that made such states vulnerable to extremism and civil conflict, and made it impossible for the government to respond effectively to crises and wars.
  • Topic: Security, War, Fragile/Failed State, ISIS, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sundan
  • Author: Tarek A. Sharif, Joanne Richards
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: Violent Extremism is now recognized as a growing threat to peace and security in Africa, as exemplified by the recent terrorist attacks in Garissa, Abidjan, and Ouagadougou. While much of the policy discussion on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) focuses on the return of radicalized foreign fighters to the West, less attention is directed to those foreign fighters who may eventually return from Iraq, Syria, and Libya to other areas of North Africa, the Maghreb, and the Horn of Africa. Tunisia is one of the world’s largest contributors to the Islamic State in terms of foreign fighters, with smaller contributions from Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. Issues concerning the return of foreign fighters to Africa are particularly salient not only because these individuals may return to their communities, but also because they may link up with other extremist armed groups present across the continent. These include groups affiliated to either al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, such as Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Attempts to counter violent extremism began in Europe in the 1980s with the advent of programs to dissuade and disengage right-wing extremists in Norway, Sweden and Germany. Although no common definition exists, since that time CVE has come to be associated with a range of measures designed to prevent and reverse the radicalization of individuals and groups, and to forestall the participation of these groups and “lone wolves” in acts of terrorism. Given that CVE is preventative and reactive, different CVE strategies are necessary for different stages of the radicalization continuum, including for individuals and communities with no exposure to extremist networks, those with some exposure, and those already radicalized. The latter is often associated with attempts to shift extremists towards acceptance of more moderate ideologies and is known as “deradicalization.” In some ways, CVE is difficult to distinguish from conventional counter-terrorism, which often includes traditional military measures and the sharing of intelligence between nation states. However, because conventional counter-terrorism does not address the root causes prompting radicalization, policy interventions under the rubric of CVE have more recently been designed to focus attention on the grassroots factors, which may render certain individuals more susceptible to radicalization than others. Social exclusion, poverty, and a lack of education are often named as typical contenders in this regard, although CVE practitioners generally acknowledge that no single causal pathway to radicalization can be identified. Reflecting these general trends, this essay charts the development of African Union policy, from its roots in conventional counter-terrorism, to efforts to devise a continental strategy for CVE in Africa. It also outlines a number of policy measures, which any such continental strategy should take into account.
  • Topic: Security, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Sudan, Middle East, Libya, Syria, Morocco, Somalia
  • Author: Fernando Almansa
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia, the International Community is mixing its political interests with its humanitarian agenda. Insecurity severely hampers access in many parts, making it difficult to implement and monitor humanitarian responses. International humanitarian actors need to revisit their strategies and invest more in working with local agencies to deliver aid. Local humanitarian actors need to take courageous humanitarian leadership with full accountability and transparency. Many international donors often appear to give priority to broader security agendas and the need for transparency over humanitarian action to save lives. This report assesses the capacity of local humanitarian actors to deliver humanitarian aid in response to the repeated crises that the country faces. It is the starting point of an Oxfam project to build the strength of local humanitarian actors to deliver effective humanitarian responses.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Transparency, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia, Puntland, Somaliland
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The decision in October 2011 to deploy thousands of troops in Somalia's Juba Valley to wage war on Al-Shabaab is the biggest security gamble Kenya has taken since independence, a radical departure for a country that has never sent its soldiers abroad to fight. Operation Linda Nchi (Protect the Country) was given the go-ahead with what has shown itself to be inadequate political, diplomatic and military preparation; the potential for getting bogged down is high; the risks of an Al-Shabaab retaliatory terror campaign are real; and the prospects for a viable, extremist- free and stable polity emerging in the Juba Valley are slim. The government is unlikely to heed any calls for a troop pullout: it has invested too much, and pride is at stake. Financial and logistical pressures will ease once its force becomes part of the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia (AMISOM). But it should avoid prolonged “occupation” of southern Somalia, lest it turn local Somali opinion against the intervention and galvanise an armed resistance that could be co-opted by Al-Shabaab, much as happened to Ethiopia during its 2006-2009 intervention.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, 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: Sophie Mack Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The 2011 drought across the Horn of Africa was, in some places, the worst to hit the region for 60 years. It was first predicted about a year beforehand, when sophisticated regional early warning systems began to alert the world to the possibility of drier-than-normal conditions in key pastoral areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern Kenya, linked to the effects of the climatic phenomenon La Niña.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, 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