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  • Author: Molly Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: By interweaving an analysis of the achievements with reflections from Women, Peace and Security (WPS) giants, this Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) seeks to flip the narrative around by focusing on the achievements in advancing and promoting women’s participation in peace processes, and highlighting all the reasons to celebrate the advances in the WPS agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Women, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Owen Mangiza, Joshua Chakawa
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) discusses the implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on border communities, principally in relation to border controls by governments and trans-border activities by community members living close to the border in Zimbabwe.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Border Control, Pandemic, Community, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since early October 2017, when the Islamist militants or jihadists – identified as the Ansar al-Sunna – launched their first attacks in the villages and towns of Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado, insurgency and conflict has continued to escalate, targeting civilians, public infrastructure and government buildings. Although the Government of Mozambique continues to make concerted efforts to fight and subdue the terrorist insurgency through its national defence forces, the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM), a series of battles with the terrorist militants has resulted in widespread violence, insecurity, the death of over 2 400 people[1] and the displacement of over 500 000 civilians by the end of November 2020.[2] It has also disrupted economic activities, especially farming, thereby worsening food insecurity.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Food Security, Displacement, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Mubin Adewumi Bakare
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election on 31 October 2020 marked the fifth presidential election held in the country since the death of the “pere foundateur de la nation” (father of the nation), Félix Houphouët-Boigny, in 1993. The election was held in a tense political and volatile security atmosphere, driven by opposition protests against President Alassane Ouattara’s third-term candidacy, which was a breach of the 2016 constitution. The political contest among the political stakeholders also bordered on matters around the electoral code, the voter register, implementation of the constitutional reforms and the composition of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which opposition parties denounced as non-inclusive, unbalanced and partisan.[1] The inability of the ruling party and the opposition parties – which formed a common political front, led by Henri Konan Bédié – to reach common ground in addressing these issues led to a series of protests, which escalated into violence across the country. On the eve of the election, Bédiéand Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the two major opposition candidates, reneged their participation in the election and called on their supporters to block the election. The election result declared by the IEC proclaimed Ouattara as the winner, having amassed 94.27% of the votes cast. N’Guessan got 0.99%, Bédié was credited with 1.66% and Kouadio Konan Bertin obtained 1.99%.[2] These results, which were ratified by the Constitutional Council on 9 November 2020, as stipulated in the constitution, endorsed President Ouattara as the winner. However, N’Guessan, on behalf of the opposition parties, announced his non-recognition of Ouattara’s victory and thereby installed a National Transitional Council, with Bédié as the president.Protests by opposition parties and their supporters led to violence, which resulted in about 85 deaths recorded in localities including Yopougon, Bonoua, Mbatto, Bongouanou, Daoukro and others.
  • Topic: Elections, Election watch, Domestic Policy, Opposition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Jenny Nortvedt
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the unanimous adoption of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; 25 years since the World Conference on Women in Beijing; and the conclusion of the African Women’s Decade. Since 2000, the UN has adopted 10 subsequent resolutions and several strategies under the normative framework of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. On the African continent, the African Union (AU) and its member states have promoted the WPS agenda through several legal guidelines, training manuals and normative frameworks, including Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063, the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004), The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003) and the AU Gender Policy (2009). Furthermore, in 2016, more than 19 AU member states adopted Resolution 1325 national action plans and, in 2018, the AU adopted the regional Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (2018–2028).[2]Still, despite progress in many areas, the advancement of women’s meaningful participation in peacebuilding efforts and the promotion of gender equality in peace and security has been slow.[3] Since the adoption of Resolution 1325 and the resolutions that followed, which now constitute the WPS normative framework, a substantial body of literature has emerged. The literature has concentrated on some key thematic areas – participation, protection, prevention and gender perspectives – which, to a large degree, mirror the four main pillars in Resolution 1325. In 2018, The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Securityexamined the growing academic and policy contributions to the WPS agenda over the past two decades and highlighted remaining challenges.[4] Therefore, the recent anniversary presents an opportunity to continue on this track and to take stock of recent and ongoing empirical studies and emerging topics within the WPS agenda. This review explores (1) recent academic and policy contributions to the WPS agenda on the African continent from 2017 onwards, with a special emphasis on participation; and (2) relevant new contributions regarding emerging challenges to female participation in peacebuilding efforts. There have been several reviews regarding the operationalisation and implementation of the goals set out in Resolution 1325 by both the UN and the AU, and in academic communities – for example, the AU Commission Review; Implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Africa; the Continental Results Framework: Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa (2018–2028);[5] the review Women, Peace and Security – Implementing the Maputo Protocol in Africa (2016),[6] the recent 10-year Review of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda of the AU Peace and Security Council (2020)[7] and the 2015 UN review, including the UN Global Study.[8] However, the main focus of this article is a review of the academic contributions in the past few years, to evaluate the empirical foundation for the next decade of the WPS agenda.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Peace, Participation, Equality
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christopher Zambakari
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Imperial powers such as Rome, Persia, Japan and China have justified their conquests as a benefit to those that were conquered by virtue of bringing a superior civilisation to their world.[1] Among imperial powers, one of the most strident were the Second and Third French Republics.[2] The civilising mission – or what French historian Raoul Girardet refers to as “colonial humanism”[3] – came to define French colonial statecraft in the early 19th century crusade to improve the lives of people who France saw as backward in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. For intellectuals such as Leroy-Beaulieu, civilisation was to be spread through commerce, trade and exchanges between people, rather than through conquest.[4] By the early 1800s, the republican ideals that inspired the French Revolution were slowly abandoned for a more forceful assimilationist policy exemplified by colonial expansionist policies. According to Jules Brévié, governor-general of French West Africa from 1930 to 1936 and of French Indochina from 1936 to 1939, the most important task for the French was to bring about a cultural renaissance to the indigenous people.[5] Brévié called for a redefined mission with a focus on teaching colonised subjects to live according to “authentic African traditions”.[6] As with the British before them, French policy adapted to the local context and shifted towards a more “indirect mode of rule”,[7] casting foreign rule as the protectors of indigenous cultures. This article analyses the French imperial project in Africa, with a focus on the Federation of French West Africa (consisting of today’s Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal). It outlines differences and similarities between the French mode of direct rule and the British mode of indirect rule. To understand the methodology of rule, one must first understand the system of knowledge production that informed, shaped and guided the colonial project. A policy change occurred after the French experienced a crisis of empire, which ushered in fundamental transformations before World War I (1909 and 1912) and the interwar years between 1918 and 1939 (from “assimilation” to that of “association”). The new policy shifted the focus from antagonism towards Islam to collaboration with Islamic representatives, from civilisations to conservation, from a focus on progress to law and order, and a preoccupation with local customs while managing social and cultural differences (pluralism).[8] This article is offered as an important contribution to the political and intellectual history of the largest colonial state in Africa: the Federation of French West Africa.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Intellectual History, Colonialism, Assimilation , Customs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Mauritania, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin
  • Author: Maryline Njoroge
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since International Youth Day was celebrated on 12 August 2020, it is a good time to take stock of the youth and their role in peacebuilding and peace processes in Africa. With the youth, peace and security agenda gaining ground in recent years, this is an opportune time for youth-focused organisations to strengthen their work on youth and peacebuilding, while contributing to the ongoing discourse. The youth, peace and security agenda is currently backed by three United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted between 2015 and 2020, namely UNSC Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020). Among other priorities, the resolutions emphasise the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security;[1] reiterate the need for stakeholders to take young people’s views into account and facilitate their equal and full participation in peace and decision-making processes at all levels; and recognise the positive role young people can play in negotiating and implementing peace agreements and in preventing and resolving conflict.[2] The third resolution, adopted in July 2020, also establishes a regular biennial reporting requirement on youth, peace and security by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, which is a great step forward in mainstreaming the youth, peace and security agenda into the work of the UN – especially since youth engagement in peacebuilding and peace processes is ad hoc and intermittent. The reporting requirement will therefore provide a snapshot of ongoing processes and how engagement can be enhanced and deepened in future processes.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Youth, Peace, Participation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Yonas Adeto
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Scholarship on the challenges of ethno-linguistic federalism in contemporary Ethiopia is copious; yet a critical analysis of violent ethnic extremism in the country and its implications for the sub-region is rare. This article argues that violent ethnic extremism is a threat to the existence of Ethiopia and a destabilising factor for its neighbours. Based on qualitative empirical data, it attempts to address the knowledge gap and contribute to the literature by examining why violent ethnic extremism has persisted in the post-1991 Ethiopia and how it would impact on the stability of the Horn of Africa. Analysis of the findings indicates that systemic limitations of ethno-linguistic federalism; unhealthy ethnic competition; resistance of ethno-nationalist elites to the current reform; unemployed youths; the ubiquity of small arms and light weapons; and cross-border interactions of violent extremists are the major dynamics propelling violent ethnic extremism in Ethiopia. Thus, Ethiopia and the sub-region could potentially face cataclysmic instabilities unless collective, inclusive, transformative and visionary leadership is entrenched.
  • Topic: Political stability, Ethnicity, Conflict, Political Extremism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Velomahanina T. Razakamaharavo
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since the beginnings of the anti-colonial struggle, Madagascar, a former French colony and an island in the Indian Ocean, has gone through nine episodes of conflict, ranging from political tension to high intensity conflicts. These changes of conflict intensity demonstrate that the proclivity towards conflict may take different forms in various episodes of violence and conflicts in the country. This phenomenon may be explored by examining the causal configurations and the co-existence of positive and negative processes and mechanisms which are interacting and co-constructing each other. In order to untangle the intricacy behind the conflict-readiness of parties preparing for conflict at low, medium or high levels of violence, use is made of concepts and theories pertaining to peace, conflict, negotiation and mediation, conflict escalation and de-escalation to explore the roles played by the following factors: local narratives and metanarratives. repertoires of action of the actors the actors’ framing of the conflicts the actors’ polarising of public opinion construction of the image of the self and the other conflict dimensions (socio-economic, cultural, political and global external) accommodation policies This paper argues firstly that proclivities toward violence/conflict in Madagascar are related to the coexistence of positive and negative elements, and secondly, that such proclivities are built partly upon the fact that liberal strategies for maintaining peace give rise to negative as well as positive effects on the dynamics of keeping that peace.
  • Topic: Colonialism, Conflict, Violence, Local
  • Political Geography: Africa, Madagascar
  • Author: Adeoye O. Akinola
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Apartheid South Africa was noted for historical land dispossession, domination by the white group and disempowerment of the black population. Post-apartheid South Africa has struggled to address the land-related structural and physical violence in the country. Despite the implementation of land reform programmes since 1994, land inequality and impoverishment of black South Africans persist. The government’s failure to use land reform as instrument for socio-economic empowerment has engendered frustrations among those craving for land reform. This has found expression in farm attacks and murders. The subsequent instability in the farming sector and the categorisation of farm attacks as ‘white genocide’ have demonstrated the acute dynamics of the conversation, and the urgency to combat farm attacks, ameliorate the racial discourse and resolve the land question. Through unstructured interviews with key actors involved in the land and farm conflicts, the article engages the land attacks and ‘white genocide’ discourses and provides a more nuanced understanding of conflict recurrence in South Africa. It is claimed that unequal access to land and other intrinsic factors account for the destruction of lives and property on farms. It is concluded that, while white farmers are the major victims of farm murder, a conceptualisation of such as ‘white genocide’ does not adequately characterise the reality. One step among others would be for the government to inaugurate a ‘Panel of the Wise’, comprised of well-respected elders from all races, who would contribute to land reform and conflict-resolution strategies for the farms and agricultural sector.
  • Topic: Discrimination, Land, Farming, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa