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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: Seema Shekhawat
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Two decades ago, history was made as far as gender security is concerned. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) led a revolutionary policy change by passing Resolution 1325 – also known as the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda – on 31 October 2000. The resolution marked the United Nations’ (UN) full-fledged attention to gendered aspects of peace and conflict. This was revolutionary: advocacy for placing women at the centre of peace processes – not merely as victims, but as peacebuilders. The resolution called for the full participation of women in all efforts towards conflict prevention, resolution, peacemaking and post-conflict reconstruction. This resolution is considered a crucial international document for advocating gender equality in all processes of peacebuilding, both during conflict and post-conflict.[1] It brought into focus the official endorsement of the involvement of women in formal peace processes.[2] This article[3] argues that since we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 in Africa, and elsewhere, a reality check is in order.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Feminism, Equality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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
  • Author: Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Blessing Makwambeni
  • 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: Many low and middle-income countries have either implemented or considered conditional or unconditional cash transfers to poor households as a means of alleviating poverty. Evidence from pilot schemes in many developed and developing economies, including those in Africa, suggests that cash transfers do not only alleviate poverty; they also promote social cohesion and reduce the propensity for violent responses. For example, studies have shown a direct impact of cash transfers on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). In some studies, the rate of IPV (including emotional violence) was significantly reduced when one of the partners was a beneficiary of cash transfer. However, there are limited studies on the potential of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) for stemming gang violence. Our study contributes to filling this gap. We examine here the possibilities of conditional cash transfers for stemming intractable gang-related violence in the Cape Flats.
  • Topic: Development, Violence, Gangs, Cash
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Pindai Sithole
  • 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: Nhimbe is an endogenous knowledge practice used in community-based development for community members to provide socio-economic assistance as required. The practice is couched in people’s socio-cultural and moral compass. Households in rural areas use it to assist one another on a wide range of development initiatives, especially agricultural activities to promote and sustain food security and community values. In Africa, practices similar to nhimbe are Harambee in Kenya, Chilimba in Zambia and Letsema in South Africa and Botswana. Since the 1800s or earlier, economic and social benefits have been the known key motivations for the practice of nhimbe. This paper is a re-visit of nhimbe from the perspective of its contribution to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the communities where it is practised. No in-depth studies have been published concerning the conflict and peacebuilding potentials of nhimbe, but it is quite clear that it plays a fundamental role which emanates from its relatedness to social dimensions and community cohesiveness. The analysis here shows that the practice has inherent capacities for pre-conflict prevention, in-conflict mitigation, conflict management, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and post-conflict peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Conflict, Peace, Community, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zambia
  • Author: James Henry Murray, Molly Hamilton, Kundai Mtasa
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Twenty years since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSC 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), women remain underrepresented in peace processes. This underrepresentation has far-reaching consequences for the lives of many women and girls in post-conflict countries. The low participation of women in peacemaking and formal peace negotiations calls into question the legitimacy of the process itself, and the evidence shows that the lack of women’s meaningful inclusion at the peace table leads to less representation during peacebuilding actions. To address this persistent exclusion and to ensure opportunities for societies to become more gender-equal are not lost, there has been a rapid emergence of regional and international Women Mediator Networks (WMNs). Comprised of a diverse group of women from various backgrounds and with different expertise and experience, these networks have the potential to be a transformative mechanism for achieving the goals outlined in the WPS Agenda. Analysing the emergence of WMNs and their potential to rejuvenate the implementation of the WPS project, this Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) seeks to answer the following questions: Why are more WMNs emerging? What impact will these networks have? Where do they fit into the existing global framework and how do they engage with this framework?
  • Topic: Women, UN Security Council, Mediation, Post-Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The 2020 United Nations (UN) peacebuilding review takes stock of the progress made over the first 15 years of the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA). ACCORD consulted a number of stakeholders in Africa on their experiences to date with the PBA between March and May 2020, culminating in a virtual webinar consultation that took place on 10 June 2020 in partnership with the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the African Union (AU) Commission. The 2020 UN peacebuilding review has a special interest on the impact of peacebuilding efforts at the field level. In this regard, ACCORD decided that the theme for its African Regional Consultation will be “Sustaining Peace in Africa: Local Capacities for Peace”. Inputs received for the African Consultation show that despite policy commitments to local ownership and investments in local and national capacities for peace, the funding, coordination, planning, and the state-centric decision-making structures still favour UN agencies, international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and national authorities. Local peacebuilders are not sufficiently involved in the identification of needs, the framing of the issues or the design of the programmes and results frameworks. The majority of those who were consulted for this report had little knowledge of the Sustaining Peace concept. Those who are more familiar with the concept feel that the degree to which it emphasizes local and national ownership, early preventative action, and system-wide cooperation, collaboration, and coherence is exemplary. However, they felt its implementation strategies or mechanisms were weak.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, African Union
  • Author: Aya Chebbi, Helen Kezie-Nwoha, Verlaine-Dian Soobroydoo, Natasha Mutuwa, Pravina Makan-Lakha, Sibusisiwe Nkos
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: 2020 is a momentous year for gender equality. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), and the conclusion to the African Women’s Decade. These celebrations offer an important opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished over the last two decades and assess the challenges that continue to persist. The outbreak of corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic and the measures put in place to curb its spread have quelled a host of opportunities for reflections, assessments and setting new strategic priorities for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. Consequently, concerns have emerged over lost momentum that jeopardizes the gains that have been made over the past two decades in securing women’s empowerment in the field of peace and security. Therefore, it is imperative that conversations among policymakers, practitioners and academics who support women’s leadership and strengthening efforts to empower and protect traditionally marginalized and vulnerable groups continue. At the same time, the youth of Africa have also been fighting to be recognized as agents of peace in their communities. 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) which formally affirmed the important role youth play in maintaining and promoting peace and security. This has clearly been shown during the COVID-19 pandemic as youth are mobilizing in creative ways to support their communities combat the spread of the coronavirus. Yet, their voices continue to be on the margins of decision-making processes.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Youth, Peace, COVID-19, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Helen Scanlon, Pravina Makan-Lakha, Molly Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 marked two milestones for women’s rights and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). Both of these international commitments stressed the importance of advancing women’s rights, particularly in relation to their participation efforts to achieve peace and security. However, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed existing plans to mark these achievements. Instead of allowing the pandemic to further disrupt the strides that have been made to advance women’s human rights over the last two decades, it is critical that peace and security activists reframe the circumstances created by the pandemic as an opportunity to secure meaningful change. Within this context, this Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) will critique the progress made in the WPS’ agenda since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 and provide African perspectives on what should be prioritised over the next 20 years.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Women, Peace, COVID-19, WPS
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ramtane Lamamra
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: To translate the vision of the 2013 Solemn Declaration into action, the Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by Year 2020 (AUMR) was adopted by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in 2016. The AUMR was to be executed by the AU Commission in collaboration with key stakeholders, including regional economic communities; economic, social and cultural communities; organs of the AU; the United Nations (UN) and civil society organisations. Speaking to this endeavour, the 33rd AU Ordinary Summit took stock of achievements and challenges encountered in implementing this flagship project of Silencing the Guns by 2020. It further sought to devise a more robust action plan, informed by the Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism of the AUMR, for a peaceful and prosperous Africa. Conflicts have robbed Africa of over US$100 billion since the end of the Cold War in 1991. The continent has unfortunately witnessed some of the world’s biggest fatalities, food and humanitarian crises and the erosion of social cohesion, coupled with the total breakdown of economies and decimation of the environmental and political landscape. It is worrisome to see countries such as South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Mali and Libya continuing to witness persistent levels of armed conflict, and the decolonisation conflict in Western Sahara is remaining unresolved for so long. The threat posed by COVID-19 has considerably slowed the momentum of the silencing the guns agenda and has abruptly added to the existing challenges, slowing down the attainment of peace and development
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, International Cooperation, Peace, African Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic
  • Author: Bineta Diop
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This reality has been further exacerbated by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens the progress made over the years towards gender equality. It has also shown, as in many previous crises, that women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected, hence stressing the need for a strong women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in response to societal threats. It is from this perspective that the Office of the Special Envoy (OSE) of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission on Women, Peace and Security virtually convened the first Africa Forum on Women, Peace and Security, from 10 to 12 November 2020. The Forum brought together representatives of member states, women peacebuilders, youth peace ambassadors, women peacekeepers, women refugees, media and centres of excellence on WPS, with the aim to federate efforts to accelerate actions for peace. These actions are located in the broader agenda for peace and security in Africa and its clarion call to “silence the guns by 2020” – the guiding theme that represents the overarching aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Peace, COVID-19, Equality, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: A. Sarjoh Bah
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The partnership is underpinned by the twin principles of subsidiarity and complementarity.2 Although the RECs/RMs are not uniform entities, it is well established that neither the AU nor the UN can undertake a successful peacemaking venture without the active involvement of the dominant REC/RM in a particular sub-region. For example, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) pivotal role in the mediation efforts that led to the signing of the Revitalised-Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is the most recent demonstration of this trend.3 Similar examples exist in West, Central and southern Africa, where the RECs/RMs in these sub-regions continue to serve as anchors for security and stability.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Regional Cooperation, Political stability, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Youssef Mahmoud
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU) in 2013, African leaders solemnly declared “not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans” and “to end all wars in Africa by 2020”.1 The AU Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want,2 adopted two years later under the aspirational goal of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens”, reaffirmed that “all guns will be silent by 2020”, meaning that Africa “shall be free from armed conflict, terrorism, extremism, intolerance and gender-based violence, which are major threats to human security, peace and development”. The AU Agenda 2063 rightly recognised that good governance, democracy, social inclusion, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law are the “necessary pre-conditions for a peaceful and conflict free continent”. The framers of this document were keenly aware – as many others are – that without addressing the pervasive, internal democratic, governance and development deficits at the root of much of the violence on the continent, sustainable peace would, at best, be elusive
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Leadership, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Priyal Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The strategic partnership between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), the two principal international organisations tasked with addressing peace and security challenges on the African continent, remains a priority for both organisations. The organisations and their member states have worked in tandem since the AU’s creation in 2002 and the subsequent establishment of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). During this time, the partnership has focused primarily on joint conflict resolution and crisis management efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Eddy Maloka
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Seven years ago, the African Union (AU) set the target of silencing the guns in Africa by 2020. We are already within the target year, but there are no signs that conflict is about to retreat completely from our continent. Instead, Africa still has battlefields in the Great Lakes region, and the menace of terrorism remains a challenge over vast swathes of land in East Africa, North Africa and West Africa. In some African countries, we have seen tempers running high in the streets, among other things due to disputes over elections and the Constitution. All these experiences, as well as ongoing flames in countries such as Libya, are a call to action to find an African solution to these African problems.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Terrorism, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Kumi Naidoo
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: If the global coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it is that there is no them and us. The virus does not discriminate, and nature does not negotiate. That lethal combination does not bode well for our species. Currently, all indications point to the fact that millions of people across the world will be infected and that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more will die.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ayanda Ntsaluba
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Recognition of the nexus between foreign policy and public health is not new; it has found episodic expression that tended to dissipate, only to re-emerge with time. This has been the case because traditional notions of advancing national interests through foreign policy have tended to be anchored around the fields of trade and defence, with health seen as part of so-called “low politics”. This has tended to underplay the foreign policy dimensions of health.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, International Cooperation, Ebola, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Cedric De Coning
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted peace operations. In the short term, activities have been reduced to the most critical, rotations have been frozen and most staff are working remotely. Most of the missions have adapted remarkably well. However, even more changes are likely in the medium term, when the global economic recession that is expected to follow in the wake of the virus may force peace operations to contract drastically in size and scope.
  • Topic: Peace, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Patrick Wight
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Highlighting the precarious standing of any regime attempting to transition towards democracy in a multi-ethnic state that is defined by relatively weak institutions.
  • Topic: Governance, Democracy, Fragile States, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Sandy Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Examining the objective conditions that gave rise to current iterations of violence and assessing whether the policy measures and strategies adopted at the international, regional and national levels bring the continent closer to sustainable peace.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Conflict, Peace, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Harrison Adewale Idowu
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the restriction of terrorist activities, with casualties now mostly from the Nigerian Armed Forces rather than the civilian population.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Mark Chingono
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Considering the land challenge question and its many dimensions in South Africa, it is important to adopt a holistic approach that locates the land question within the broader framework of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Development, Land, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Zurab Elzarov
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The implementation of the Library of Peace project was a model of successful cooperation between UNAMID, the Government of Sudan (State Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth), UNICEF, civil society and the public library personnel
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Andreas Velthuizen
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: An appropriate response in situations such as the Lake Chad Basin and Rovuma Basin is to defend and promote African aspirations in a multinational response involving the AU, RECS and international partners.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Democracy, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joseph Lansana Kormoh
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Critically examining current trends in Sierra Leone's political landscape from the point of view of ethnoregional politics and hate messages.
  • Topic: Development, Geopolitics, Discrimination, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Biruk Shewadeg
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Language is an important factor of identity formation, and given the multilingual nature of Africa, political discourse related to ethnic and nation-state issues founded on the language factor is crucial to a holistic understanding of the situation. A brief glance at divergent conceptualisations of multilingualism in sub-Saharan Africa may enrich the discussion of language, ethnicity and the nation-state nexus.
  • Topic: Culture, Ethnicity, Domestic politics, Language
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Tafadzwa Maganga
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Young people constitute the biggest proportion of the African population, and are the most affected demographic group in any country’s socio-economic and political developments. By 2019, almost 60% of Africa’s population was estimated to be under the age of 25 years, making Africa the world’s youngest continent.1 According to United Nations (UN) demographic projections, the median age in Africa in 2020 is 19.8 years.2 Almost 16 million young Africans – around 13.4% of the total labour force of 15–24-year-olds – are unemployed, more than 40% of young Africans consider their current living situation to be very bad or fairly bad, and 60% of Africans (especially youth) think that their governments are doing a very bad or fairly bad job at addressing the needs of young people.3 Young people are not represented well and are marginalised and excluded from development processes in many African countries. This pushes them to participate in demonstrations as they try to change political systems that are perceived to be incompetent and responsible for the daily suffering of people. These demonstrations have challenged institutions of power, but their influence has failed to go beyond post-protest governments and development. This article provides an overview of some of the causes and achievements of youth-led demonstrations in many parts of Africa since the Arab Spring in 2010. It also highlights several lessons from the recent developments that occurred in Sudan in 2019, where protests gave rise to a coalition government with the military and a roadmap to a civilian government through elections in three years.
  • Topic: Development, Social Movement, Youth, Demonstrations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Irene Dawa
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Many refugees in Uganda do not have the necessary identity documents to guarantee their protection, employment and so on, because most of them moved to urban cities on their own. They experience discrimination, poverty and difficulty in attaining sustainable livelihoods. Many South Sudanese and Congolese refugees have been in Uganda or years, yet still have not achieved full refugee status. Arua and the West Nile sub-region at large are in the unique position of having a number of tribes that share common heritage and ancestry across the borders of Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Most of the South Sudanese from Yei, Morobo and Kajo-Keji in the Western Equatoria region and Congolese from the north-eastern part of Ituri province (Imgbokolo and Abia) not only share the same language, but also have relatives across the border in Uganda. Therefore, in situations of conflict in South Sudan and the DRC, these family members quickly identify with each other and provide easy access to these refugees to enter Uganda. This is commonly seen among the Lugbara, Madi and Kakwa tribes who are predominant in the region. Using qualitative research methods (semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations), this article presents the challenges of urban refugees and how they have attempted to improve their lives and realise their aspirations. The article concludes by proposing options to support urban refugees.
  • Topic: Refugees, Discrimination, Urban, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Oluchi Gloria Ogbu
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article draws from a skills-building project carried out by the Nneola Foundation for Women and Children Development, a livelihoods and peacebuilding initiative for women in Nigeria. The organisation was founded by the author to support women in developing work-related skills that aid socio-economic development. This project was a one-year (2017–2018) skills acquisition training for women that took place in Delta State, Nigeria. The Nneola Foundation partnered with a local tailoring organisation in Delta State to teach sewing skills to five unemployed married women, who were selected from a pool of applicants based on their financial needs and interest in acquiring tailoring skills. Drawing on insights from a year-long interaction with the project coordinator, this article discusses the potential and limitations of tailoring as a peacebuilding and skills-building initiative that seeks to provide women with livelihood and community engagement opportunities. Situated within Johan Galtung’s concepts of positive peace and structural violence,1 the article further demonstrates how structural violence (inequality) can be addressed through positive peacebuilding (livelihood opportunities). This was a relatively small project, and the lessons learnt are summarised and discussed, with recommendations for those considering similar projects in the future.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Entrepreneurship, Peace, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Cedric De Coning
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Peacebuilding is about influencing the behaviour of social systems that have been, or are at risk of, being affected by violent conflict. A society sustains peace when its social institutions are able to ensure that political competition is managed peacefully, and that no significant social or political groups use violence to pursue their interests. Peacebuilding attempts to assist societies to prevent and mitigate the risk of violent conflict. For peace to be self-sustainable, a society needs to have sufficiently strong social institutions to identify, channel and manage disputes peacefully.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Conflict, Local, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Babatunde F. Obamamoye
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Some developments in Africa during the first decade of this century ushered in a shared viewpoint within the African Union’s (AU) institutional space that one of the ways to propel sustainable peace within the African continent is through the forceful implementation of post-conflict reconstruction and development projects. This was a period when it became evident, both regionally and globally, that Africa would not achieve its desired prosperity and development unless sustainable stability was restored in a number of post-conflict states. In activating a coordinated effort to pursue a conflict-free Africa,2 AU policymakers placed priority on post-conflict peacebuilding activities.3 The first prominent action carried in this regard was the development of the AU’s Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) policy in 2006. Six years later, it became apparent to African regional actors that the visionary ideas embedded in the PCRD framework were utopian and unrealistic unless there was a clear demonstration of African self-reliance, leadership and ownership in the area of resource mobilisation for such a complex enterprise. This consensual acknowledgement invariably culminated in the launch of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) in 2012 as a flagship continental mechanism for mobilising resources within the African continent to build the institutional capacity of African states that were, and are, emerging from conflict.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Carolyne Mande Lunga
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The power of social media in contemporary society cannot be ignored. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, among others, provide a space in which society can communicate freely and cheaply, articulating their divergent viewpoints. Social media can be used to promote peace and tolerance if used carefully. However, academics have noted that social media can also have destructive consequences for society, such as heightened conflicts and hatred, due to the spread of “fake” information from various sectors of society. There is empirical evidence showing how social media has been used as a tool to promote hate speech and the isolation of certain groups in society. When parties with divergent viewpoints take their conflict into the offline sphere, it can lead to bloodshed and death.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Social Media, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Innocent Mangwiro
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Human rights violations continue to dominate Zimbabwe’s social and political spaces. Despite being a signatory to continental and global human rights conventions, Zimbabwe’s commitment to human rights remains questionable. As there remains a rift between the African Union (AU), some member states and the International Criminal Court (ICC), the South African government tabled a motion in parliament to withdraw from the Rome Statute in October 2019. This followed an earlier attempt in October 2016 to withdraw, one year after the then AU chairperson, Robert Mugabe, insisted that its members must not cooperate with the ICC, as it was accused of being anti-African.1 South Africa initially rejected the call for non-cooperation but, in 2015, refused to arrest Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, with the ICC’s powers of universal jurisdiction, signalling contempt of court.2 Given this context, this article contends that it will not be South Africans who will bear the consequences if the country eventually succeeds and withdraws from the ICC, but other African people living under regimes without good human rights records, such as Zimbabwe. While the dimension of South Africa’s geopolitical interests in Africa has sufficiently been analysed by Isike and Ogunnubi,3 I argue that the implications for human rights of the country’s withdrawal have not been exhausted.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Criminal Court (ICC), African Union, Human Rights Violations
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Andrew Hankins
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Whilst the number of insurgencies has steadily increased since the end of the 1990s, today they constitute the majority of all globally monitored conflicts.1 Insurgencies, defined as “organized subversion and violence to seize, nullify, or challenge political control of a region”2 have consequently become a key focus for conflict analysts, with counter-insurgency (COIN) operations now a central tenant within the education of modern professional armed forces.3 COIN itself consists of a “combination of measures undertaken by a government, sometimes with […] multinational partner support, to defeat an insurgency”.4 These missions have been primarily conducted by Western forces, which this article defines as those belonging to the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America – as not only are these states in line with what is traditionally considered Western society, but are well documented as leaders of Western COIN operations.5 However, non-Western COIN operations now constitute the majority of global COIN operations. One such example is the ongoing operation against the Islamist group known as Boko Haram, in the Lake Chad Basin.6 Despite the fact that Boko Haram continues to operate today, between 2011 and 2019 the Nigerian Joint Task Force (NJTF), as part of the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), successfully reduced both the ability and reach of Boko Haram. This was achieved by adopting the widely accepted best practices of COIN: a regional focus, a political strategy and a population-centric security focus.7 This article explores each of these strategies, analysing them through a theoretical lens, before outlining the mission’s shortcomings and finally considering the lessons that can be learnt and contrasting them with Western COIN missions in Afghanistan, Vietnam and Kenya.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dudziro Nhengu, Stanley Murairwa
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Electoral disputes have long played a role in directing political conflicts towards the attainment of ephemeral peace in both Zimbabwe and Lesotho – two countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement (GPA) helped to end conflict in the country, further establishing a government of national unity (GNU) with institutional mechanisms and conditions that enabled transition to a more peaceful context. A decade later, Zimbabwe is still at a crossroads, facing almost the same political and economic hardships that it did in 2008, when the GPA was signed. The current political stand-off between the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is a manifestation of the deep-seated political problems in the country, and proof that the GNU did not enable lasting solutions to Zimbabwe’s politico-economic crisis.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Governance, Elections, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho
  • Author: Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The overthrow of Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir from the presidency of Sudan by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) on 11 April 2019, following several months of protests and civil uprisings by Sudanese citizens, resulted in a prolonged governance and political crisis. Al-Bashir, who was a SAF lieutenant general, came to power in June 1989, through a military coup d’état staged against Sadiq al-Mahdi, who was the then-prime minister of Sudan. Al-Bashir had been in power for almost 30 years, making him one of the longest-serving presidents on the continent. Following his ousting on 11 April 2019, internal political players and stakeholders – mainly the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and a coalition of protesters and opposition groups, led by the Alliance for Freedom and Change/Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) in Sudan – failed to speedily agree and settle on an effective transitional governance authority.
  • Topic: Governance, Social Movement, Military Intervention, Protests, Coup, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Darlington Tshuma
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article is an attempt to contextualise Zimbabwe’s complex history of political violence and conflict while providing an analysis of reconciliation, peacebuilding and nation-building attempts since 1980. The article contends that prospects for successful peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction in any society hinge on the development of a specific set of skills to attend to the various challenges and opportunities presented by conflict and violence. In Zimbabwe, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) represents a first major attempt in this regard. The NPRC is an attempt to resolve past violent conflicts while building local capacities to guarantee a peaceful and harmonious future for all. In Zimbabwe, while conflicts today find expression in different interconnected layers, ranging from a household level (domestic violence) to broader social-level land conflicts, the majority of conflicts remain deeply rooted in disputes over national power (politics) and socio-economic hardships. In attempting to provide analyses of the crises in Zimbabwe, this author remains aware that the crises are complex and multidimensional. Because of this limitation, this article only explores issues that have a bearing on the healing, reconciliation and nation-building process in Zimbabwe.
  • Topic: Conflict, Peace, State Building, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Biruk Shewadeg
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Investigating whether Ethiopia's political system divides rather than unites people by creating mutual suspicion and instituted ethnic dynamics.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Ethnicity, Federalism, Identity, Centralization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Clara Carvalho
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Examining the role of women’s organisations in conflict resolution in a country marked by prolonged, systemic political crises.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Women, Fragile States, Conflict, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Author: Gashaw Ayferam Endaylalu
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Prior to the advent of so-called scientific knowledge and systems, indigenous knowledge was the single-most important aspect of human development utilised by communities across the world to sustain their well-being. With the advance of technology, indigenous knowledge is often mistakenly labelled as unscientific, illogical, irrational, traditional and a development impediment.1 Such conceptions of indigenous knowledge resulted in the favouring of scientifically driven approaches, which are mainly Eurocentric, as the main solutions to the development–democracy challenges of underdeveloped nations. Indigenous knowledge is also usually viewed as valueless to sustainable development. Consequently, newly independent states in Africa, South America and Asia have followed the adoption of a “one-fits-all” approach to development. Unfortunately, the adoption of foreign-born and -grown development and democracy models without integration into indigenous development and values creates political and development uncertainties in Third World countries. Policymakers and development planners have thus failed to achieve sustainable development. A dependency syndrome of developing states on Western fabricated development models has thus emerged. Nevertheless, the last three decades have witnessed a paradigm shift from the total sidelining of indigenous knowledge to the importance of promoting, empowering and linking it to solutions. A new area of interest is indigenous natural resource management mechanisms. As mentioned previously, conservationists and policymakers downgraded indigenous resource management mechanisms. According to Zelealem and Williams:2 “[R]ecent interest by conservationists in indigenous resource management systems, however, has arisen from the failure of many other types of conservation initiatives and the search for viable and sustainable alternatives to current models for managing resource use.” In this regard, Ethiopia is very rich in indigenous knowledge systems, practice, knowledge creation (such as Qine), architecture, medicine, agriculture, cottage industry, conflict resolution, governance, natural resource management mechanisms, terracing experience (of the Konso people) and building (of houses from stone in North Shewa and Tigray). However, these indigenous knowledge systems and practices are not systematically identified, studied, documented and utilised in a manner that meets sustainable development goals and improves quality of life. The indigenous knowledge system in Ethiopia is an unseen, underutilised and neglected resource with incomparable potential for development.
  • Topic: Environment, Governance, Democracy, Indigenous, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Irene Dawa
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Internet shutdowns – and especially social media disruptions – in Africa are becoming more frequent, mostly around election times and during national exams. A significant communications shutdown occurred in Cameroon in 2018 and lasted 249 days, costing the country US$38 853 122.1 In 2016, an internet shutdown in India cost US$968 080 702.2 Data shows that globally, India leads, with 70% of all known large-scale shutdowns.3 In Africa, Cameroon leads, with 249 days in 2018.4 Some of the reasons cited by governments for shutting down the internet and communications includes national security, political events and school exams. A communications shutdown entails cutting people off from the rest of the world, creating ambiguity and frustration and preventing access to information, which triggers strikes or protests that may become violent. This article examines two case studies – Kashmir and Cameroon – where recent communications shutdowns have led to violent conflict. The information for Kashmir was collected qualitatively – that is, observation and interviews were the key tools used, during a visit to Kashmir in 2019. Ten key informant interviews were conducted with different stakeholders who were affected by the crisis. The interviewees worked in local hospitals or small businesses. In the case of Cameroon, a desk review was undertaken to understand and analyse the conflict. Information was also gleaned from non-governmental organisations working in Kashmir and Cameroon. The communications shutdowns in Cameroon and Kashmir involved disrupting telephone, internet and mobile networks. These recent events in the two countries, which hampered people’s ability to communicate with each other and be informed, and which also included detention of people without trial, especially in Kashmir, violated Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Also, Article 9 states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention,”5 and calls for the right of political prisoners to have access to justice and get fair trials, which was apparently not the case. There is a close link between conflict, human rights and the denial of rights, as they can lead to the frustration of needs related to identity, welfare, freedom and security, which are fundamental rights for survival. If rights are denied, needs are frustrated – which can lead to violent conflict as people seek ways to address their basic needs and violated rights.6 Everyone has the fundamental right to express their opinion, as indicated by the United Nations (UN): “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”7
  • Topic: Communications, Social Media, Conflict, Oppression, Freedom of Press
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, India, Asia, Kashmir, Cameroon
  • Author: Hussain Taofik Oyewo
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: There is a considerable popular feeling of exclusion and perceived sense of injustice among various units of the Nigerian federation – a situation that has led to alienation, suspicion and apprehension among various groups in the country. Over time, different groups have pursued separatist ambitions in Nigeria – some examples are Ogoni nationalism and the Boko Haram insurgency. This article focuses on Nigeria’s unresolved ethnic tensions and suspicions of domination that led to the declaration of the state of Biafra, leading to the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970, and the subsequent persistent agitation for an independent state of Biafra since the end of the war.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Discrimination, State Building, Secession
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Emmanuel Ikechi Onah, Bamidele Emmanuel Olajide
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Farmers-herdsmen conflict has become a recurring phenomenon in Nigeria. This article argues that the continuing occurrence of this conflict can be explained by the non-application of restorative justice procedures by government when dealing with such conflict. This has made the structures of traditional conflict resolution ineffective. The article concludes that the application of restorative justice as part of conflict resolution mechanisms will more sustainably resolve the farmers-herders conflict in the country, as well as enhance national security and development.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Conflict, Justice, Farming
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Lawrence Mhandara
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Reconciliation in Zimbabwe remains a recurring question despite several interventions by the government to respond to the challenge. Such efforts stretch as far back as the first decade of independence. A key observation about the failure of the interventions is the weak utilisation of localism. Yet other countries with similar historical experiences as Zimbabwe have recorded better progress by embracing community-based methods. Indeed, the traditional liberal view that there is a universal set of approaches to reconciliation has for long been discredited and it is now widely accepted that due to diverse cultural values, practices and norms, communities should approach reconciliation in diverse ways. The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) of Zimbabwe has the opportunity to learn from other developing countries on how community approaches unfolded, and apply such lessons in enriching its own programmes in the country. The East Timor and Sierra Leone cases are adduced as providing practical and valuable insights upon which the NPRC can benchmark and refine its strategy, and take advantage of the idle pool of indigenous methods in the country.
  • Topic: Culture, Peace, Reconciliation , Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Noel Kansiime, Geoffrey Harris
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since the discovery of oil in Bunyoro sub-region, land-related conflicts have grown rapidly. Traditional conflict resolution capacities, which were already in a state of disrepair, have been side-lined and the court system has been overwhelmed. Given this context, the objective of this research was to enhance the capacity of local peacebuilders to help resolve land conflicts in their communities. The research was based on an action research approach which involved three phases – exploring the issue, planning and implementing an intervention and evaluating the short-term outcomes. In the exploration phase, data was collected using focus group discussions with community members and in-depth interviews with key informants. In the intervention phase, an action team was formed to help resolve land- related conflicts in their communities, using traditional conflict resolution approaches. The short-term outcomes show that local peacebuilding capacities were enhanced and that many land-related conflicts were resolved using traditional conflict resolution approaches.
  • Topic: Oil, Natural Resources, Conflict, Land, Community
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: John Narh
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Conflict over a natural resource deposit is commonplace in many resource-rich African countries. Such is the case at Odugblase in the Eastern Region of Ghana where the Manya Krobo and the Yilo Krobo traditional councils are in a protracted conflict pertaining to their claims of sovereignty over land-sites where limestone is mined – each vying for a greater portion of the mineral royalties set aside for local authorities. This article studies the attempts by the government and the mining company (Ghana Cement Limited) to resolve the Manya-Yilo conflict, in order to understand why none of them was successful. This study finds that the government’s committee of enquiry to resolve the Manya-Yilo conflict was unsuccessful as the investigation process did not adequately involve the traditional councils and there is no political will to enforce the recommendation of the committee. Similarly, a mediation attempt by Ghana Cement Limited was unsuccessful due to the limited involvement of the opponents. The complex political structure, the inadequate regulations for distributing mineral royalties, and weak municipal assemblies are major factors protracting the Manya-Yilo conflict. The traditional councils need to negotiate with each other so that they and their respective municipal assemblies receive the limestone royalties and use the funds to develop the mining community.
  • Topic: Politics, Natural Resources, Conflict, Mediation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Odunayo Ogunbodede, Harrison Adewale Idowu, Temitayo Isaac Odeyemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Conflict is inevitable in any human relationship. The situation is the same in the university system where several groups with diverse interests exist. While scholarly attention has focused on conflict and conflict resolution in the larger human society, less attention has been directed towards conflict and its resolution between and among various groups within a university. This article empirically examines the relations between the Students’ Union (the body representing the students) and the management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and the conflict resolution mechanisms available to the groups. The article adopts secondary and primary data sourced from semi-structured interviews, and analyses the data using descriptive and content analysis methods. Findings show that the relations between the Students’ Union and the management of OAU are mixed, largely depending on the strategies adopted by the union leaders and the university administrators; that conflicts are mostly triggered by issues bordering on students’ welfare; and that mechanisms such as mediation, negotiation, and consultation are some of the conflict resolution mechanisms between OAU students and management. The article concludes that the central issue between the Students’ Union and management of OAU is student welfare, and that to avert future conflicts, student welfare must be management’s priority at all times.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Education, Labor Issues, Conflict, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Jude Cocodia
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) has achieved much in conflict management through its ad hoc approach to peacekeeping. Rather than contend on how to make this approach more effective, African conflict scholars and bureaucrats are now favouring and focusing on the African Standby Force (ASF) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Conflict (ACIRC). The debates often laud these mechanisms as necessary for effective peacekeeping in Africa without assessing if they can really get the job done. This paper queries the competency of these mechanisms in achieving stability in conflict areas and asks if they can really be more effective than the ad hoc approach? This article contends that emphasis should rather be on improving the ad hoc approach than on the operationalisation of the two new mechanisms. This paper argues that the ad hoc approach has had major successes. The newly established mechanisms, though yet to be tested, will be ineffective in keeping the peace due to their major structural defects.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nontobeko Zondi, Wandile Langa
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: In 2016, ACCORD outlined its 2017-2021 Six-Pillar Strategy, which seeks to contribute to sustainable peace, security and development in Africa by mitigating conflict. One of the critical pillars of the Strategy is Pillar 2, which focuses on strengthening local and national infrastructures for peace. This Policy and Practice Brief aims to reflect on the practical experiences, challenges and lessons of ACCORD in advancing the concept of local and national capacity for peace, in the period 2018 to 2019. The preliminary reflections are drawn from ACCORD’s work in four countries, namely, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho and South Sudan.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: On 27 November 2019, the EU Delegations to Mozambique and South Africa, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) co-organised a seminar in Pretoria on ‘Addressing the threat of violent extremism in Southern Africa’. The event was financed by the Service of Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and also supported by the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, both having also contributed to this report. The seminar was a first of its kind in Southern Africa, bringing together the diplomatic community, United Nations agencies, government officials, practitioners, policy makers and researchers to discuss the emergence of violent extremism in the region and the necessary measures to combat this phenomenon. Specifically, the seminar provided an opportunity to further understand the drivers and root causes of violent extremism in Southern Africa through a regional approach that takes into consideration context specificities, while also acknowledging transnational spill-over factors and linkages with organised crime and illicit trafficking. Discussions placed a special emphasis on Northern Mozambique, given the risk of the region becoming a hotspot for radical extremism in Southern Africa, and the impacts an escalation into a full-blown security crisis could have on political stability and social and economic development in the country and the entire region. The final panel explored conflict sensitive prevention and mitigation strategies, which could be a basis for EU’s engagement with governments and regional organisations, underpinning future EU assistance. This report summarises the main takeaways of the conference and makes recommendations for follow-up actions, including supporting a regional dialogue within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the EU on how to tackle the growing threat of violent extremism in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Violent Extremism, Political Extremism
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Onyinye Nkechi Onwuka, Kingsley Chigozie Udegbunam
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: At the African Union’s (AU) 18th Ordinary Session in January 2012, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the heads of state and government of African countries agreed to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).1 This free trade area is outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 AU member states currently. The AfCFTA is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization,2 as it translates to a market potential for goods and services of 1.2 billion people, and an aggregate gross domestic product of about US$2.5 trillion.3 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52% by 2022.4 The AfCFTA treaty, one of the flagship projects of the AU Agenda 2063 and a landmark continental agreement, is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspeople and investment. The agreement was brokered by the AU and was signed by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on 21 March 2018.5 The agreement went into force on 30 May 2019 and entered its operational phase following the AU Summit on 7 July 2019.6 This article examines the key provisions of the AfCFTA with the aim of identifying its prospects, and the challenges that may impede the exploitation of its full potential.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Free Trade, Industrialization , African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Katherine Meyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Global Terrorism Database reported 2 402 incidents of terrorism in Africa.1 Perhaps this number is not shocking when considering the extensive international media coverage over the past decade, displaying headlines detailing terrorism-related violence erupting in African countries such as Mali and Libya. Even so, this number is marginally lower than the annual tally over the past five years.2 Counterterrorism strategies by African governments, foreign powers such as France, and multilateral efforts from the African Union, among others, have contributed to the decline. However, to begin to disregard terrorism as an extreme risk on the continent would be a grave mistake. The threat must be considered not only for its intensity, but for its reach as well. Given the pervasiveness of terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel region, international scholars and practitioners have given their attention to analysing and mitigating the threats in these regions. Yet, recent terrorism-related violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Tanzania demonstrates the need to carefully consider the risk of terrorism spreading south-east. The key characteristics that have rendered many of the North African and Sahel countries vulnerable to increased terrorism also exist in southern and eastern Africa; these include poverty and unemployment/underemployment, fragile state governance and civilian grievances. Considering further the poor response to terrorism by the DRC, Mozambique and Tanzania governments, better response mechanisms for this region are needed. Based on the insufficient capacity to protect against the nascent but potentially expanding terrorism, this article argues for urgent attention to be brought to building state resilience that will successfully confront and reverse the spread of terrorism in southern and eastern Africa. This requires developing strong leaders who can make necessary socio-economic and political system changes.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Poverty, Terrorism, Governance, State Building, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Darlington Tshuma, Gilbert Tinashe Zvaita
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: On 8 May 2019, South Africans went to the polls to elect a government of their choice. This election was South Africa’s sixth since the country held its first democratic election in 1994. Twenty-five years later, questions are being asked about whether the ruling party has delivered on its electoral promises since its victory in the April 1994 election. These and other questions have arisen due to the country’s socio-economic challenges such as increasing youth unemployment, massive public-private sector corruption and deep-seated inequality. These challenges have resulted in renewed calls for political alternatives. This search for political alternatives is evidenced by a significant increase in the number of new political parties that have formed since 1994 – over 40 political parties contested the May 2019 election in various parts of the country. In spite of the growth in the number of political parties, the question that has not generated sufficient debate in either political and policy circles is the role of the youth in South Africa’s democracy, and in electoral processes in particular. This article reports on the findings of a socio-anthropological research study on society, politics and electoral processes in South Africa, conducted as part of an international research project titled Re-examining Elections after African Experiences.1 The article provides an analysis on what the electoral process and voting specifically means to South African youth.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Elections, Democracy, Anthropology
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Frederic Foka Taffo
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Many African countries, over the past years, have suffered the effects of civil war – and, more specifically, gross human rights violations. During peace negotiations, victims of human rights abuses are generally not prioritised, as the focus on peace is seen by political actors as superseding the interests of victims and justice. However, what kind of peace can be built in total disregard of the suffering of hundreds or thousands of people? Can a democratic society and sustainable development be achieved where there is no accountability for human rights abuses? Usually, amnesties are used as an instrument of conflict settlement. The effect of these amnesties is to preclude any investigation or prosecution of perpetrators of human rights abuses committed during the conflict period. Amnesties are often an insurmountable obstacle to the victims’ right to a fair trial, and an ineffective remedy for the prejudice suffered. Amnesties can be defined as the legal measures that are used in transitional processes, often as part of peace settlements, to limit or preclude the application of criminal processes and, in some cases, civil actions against certain individuals or categories of individuals for violent actions committed in contravention of applicable human rights and international humanitarian law rules.1 From this definition, “amnesties have a long pedigree in peace negotiations and have historically been commonly used as part of peace settlements even for armed conflicts manifesting most atrocious acts.”2 Amnesties bring into confrontation two fundamental needs of all democratic societies: the need for peace and the need for justice. For example, this was the case after the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The need for peace led the new regime, with Nelson Mandela at the helm, to opt for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission rather than using the judiciary to inquire into past atrocities. As such, the aim of this article is to put forward the position of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter African Commission) on the question: are amnesties compatible or incompatible with the human rights obligations of state parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter African Charter)?
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Democracy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Yolanda Sadie
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The problem of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) in Africa – meaning the interaction between humans and wildlife that results in negative effects for both humans and wildlife – poses risks to the preservation of livelihoods as well as wildlife conservation. HWC affects the food security of people, it decreases their physical and psychological well-being and increases their workload.1 In Botswana, for example, where the largest concentration of elephants on the continent can be found (estimated at 126 114 in October 2018),2 the significant number of elephants is not only putting pressure on the ecosystem, but has also led to increased HWC. The wildlife numbers pose a threat to human life, with official statistics indicating that between February 2018 and June 2019, 20 deaths by elephants and several injuries were recorded.3 Elephants encroach on communities, not only killing people but also destroying crops, thereby impoverishing the rural communities who rely on farming for their livelihood. Hidden costs in the form of diminished psychosocial well-being and disrupted social activities raise additional concerns.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Conservation, Wildlife
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Brown Odigie
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony in West Africa with a population of 1.8 million people,1 has been embroiled in political and institutional crises since August 2015, following the run-off presidential elections of May 2014 that produced President José Mário Vaz. The political and institutional crises had roots in certain structural factors common to most post-colonial African states: an underdeveloped economy, overdependence on foreign aid and former colonial masters, fractionalised and factionalised elites, a praetorian army serving personal interests, and general governance deficits. The case with Guinea-Bissau, however, is peculiar. It has a long history of political and institutional fragility dating back to its independence in 1974, with recurring coups and assassinations of political leaders.2 With the exemption of President Vaz, whose constitutionally mandated term of office ended on 23 June 2019, no elected president has ever completed a term of office – an indicator of the gravity of the country’s political instability. This article examines the lingering political crisis that erupted in August 2015 within the leadership cadre of the country’s governing elites, following the dismissal of Prime Minister (PM) Domingos Simões Pereira by President Vaz and the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) sustained efforts to foster peace, political stability and harmonious relationships among the country’s governing members. It concludes by noting that although ECOWAS and friends of Guinea-Bissau have a responsibility to assist the country in finding enduring solutions to its political and institutional crises, the primary responsibility rests with the country’s political and military leaders and their resolve to collectively act in the best interest of the country.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Leadership, Political stability, African Regional Economic Communities
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Author: Al-Chukwuma Okoli
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article examines the basis of petroleum pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, against the backdrop of the high prevalence and incidences of such events in the region in recent years. Nigeria is an oil-endowed state and an example of a petro-dependent economy. Oil wealth and petroleum resources account for about 75% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.1 The petroleum sector is thus, justifiably, the mainstay of the economy. Although the petroleum sector has rightly been the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, it has paradoxically doubled as a centre for the primitive accumulation of wealth as well as a platform for petro-rentier crimes. Within this sector, petroleum rents have been the object of an opportunistic scramble by corrupt political elites and their counterparts. In effect, the significance of oil wealth in Nigeria has been contradictory: it has been a blessing as well as a curse, by generating both revenue and criminality. This seeming paradox resonates with the “resource-curse” thesis – which holds, among other things, that oil-rich nations have the tendency to squander their development prospects through the abuse or mismanagement of their oil wealth.2 Over the years, the Nigerian petroleum sector has presented many petro-rentier problems: corruption, armed criminality, violence, and so on. A critical dimension of the manifestation of the petro-rentier problem in Nigeria’s oil industry is the phenomenon of petroleum pipeline vandalism – the wilful and malicious destruction of oil and gas pipelines for economic, political or idiosyncratic reasons. Incidences of petroleum pipeline vandalism in Nigeria have spiralled over the years. By way of example, such occurrences surged from 57 incidents in 1998 to over 2 500 incidents in 2008.3 This is rather ominous, considering the primacy of the petroleum sector vis-a-vis the sustenance of the Nigerian economy. The alarming occurrence and trajectory of petroleum pipeline vandalism in Nigeria has caught the attention of scholars and policymakers. There now exist many scholarly and policy-based studies on the various aspects of this subject.4 Nonetheless, most of the insights into petroleum pipeline vandalism in Nigeria has been inadequate in proffering a rigorous interrogation of the socio-structural basis of the phenomenon. What is more, the existing works have overtly concentrated on the political economy of organised crime and violence, with disproportionate emphasis on how the factors of “greed” and “grievance” provide impetus for the crimes. Beyond refreshing the aforementioned perspectives, this article adds the variable of “need” in an attempt to proffer a more robust and comprehensive account of petroleum pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta. Thus, based on the factors of “need”, “greed” and “grievance”, this article provides a socio-structural analysis of the oil pipeline challenge. The article is a by-product of the author’s doctoral research, undertaken in 2015-2016, on oil pipeline vandalism in select communities of the Niger Delta.5 What is reported in this article derives substantively from the outcome of the study.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources, Socioeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Niger
  • Author: Kabale Ignatius Mukunto
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: While senior leaders on both sides of Zambia’s political divide may communicate civilly when faced with differences, the majority of their rank and file members seldom do so. For the latter, the handling of political conflicts is synonymous with violence. The socialisation of the current cohort of political party stalwarts is devoid of peace-oriented mechanisms of dealing with political dissent. Electoral politics have continued to be characterised by skirmishes, discontent and violence, 54 years after the country’s political independence. Political players are no strangers to polarisation, and differences in ideologies or ascension to leadership positions have culminated in splinter parties. What is worrisome is the propensity for violent engagements when managing political disagreements, especially at the lower strata of the Zambian polity. There is very little effort invested in cultivating an environment that facilitates collegial contact among political party affiliates. Such an environment of contact may also promote and support mutual understanding, tolerance and a sense of coexistence. Contact and learning about other parties (outgroups) reduce preconceptions and negative assumptions that drive hostilities, antagonisms and violence within the polity. Elite interparty interactions, even if on a slighter scale, also ought to permeate all political party structures horizontally. This article therefore appraises intergroup contact in light of Zambia’s electoral politics and the emergent violence.
  • Topic: Elections, Ethnicity, Peace, Political Culture
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zambia
  • Author: Mark Chingono
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Much has been written on the politics of food aid. In the literature,1 food aid has been variously depicted as necessary to address the chronic food insecurities in poor countries; an instrument of foreign policy by donor countries; destroying local agriculture while securing markets for subsidised farmers in donor countries; entrenching the dependency syndrome; and fuelling the rampant practice by politicians of using food aid to reward supporters and punish opponents. A little known, if not more insidious, dimension of the politics of food aid is its impact on communities at the grassroots level This article focuses on the Tandi chiefdom in rural Zimbabwe and critically examines the dynamics, impacts and politics of food aid distribution at grassroots level. The article shows that the food aid distribution system is flawed and is abused by villagers, and that village politics determines who gets food. It identifies the inherent flaws and popular criticisms of the food aid distribution system. Specifically, it shows that the selection of food aid recipients is not always based on the “poorest and most vulnerable” principle as espoused by donors, but is oftentimes determined by the village politics of kinship, alliances and power. Consequently, some of the poorest and most vulnerable fail to get food aid, while some of the rich get it. Even worse still, food aid tends to exacerbate community conflict, promote laziness and entrench the dependency syndrome. The article ends by considering policy options to address some of the challenges of the food aid distribution system. Analytically, the article provides a micro-level analysis of the relationship between village politics and food aid distribution, and of the unintended consequences of free food aid. It exposes the underlying oppressive structures that produce egoistic and violent behaviour exhibited during food aid distribution. Methodologically, it is based on critical observations and interviews conducted by the author during the 2008–2009 food aid distribution in the Tandi chiefdom.
  • Topic: Politics, Food, Conflict, Rural, Local, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Opeyemi Ademola Olayiwola
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: On 6 February 2019, a peace agreement was signed between the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and 14 armed groups that control most of the country. After two weeks of talks in Sudan, the Khartoum Agreement was agreed upon to end years of civil war in the CAR. While the agreement is seen by some as a step towards lasting peace, others are sceptical about its viability.1 Such pessimistic reactions are understandable for several reasons. First, the Khartoum Agreement is the eighth of such agreements to attempt to bring peace to the CAR since the country descended into conflict in 2013. Second, less than a month after the new peace agreement was signed, one of the 14 armed groups that signed the agreement abandoned the deal, while another armed group quit a new government designed to be the keystone to the agreement.2 The failure of such peace agreements to stabilise the CAR suggests a need to examine the role of leadership in processes of building peace. Since independence in 1960, the CAR has suffered five successful coups d’état. The 2013 coup, orchestrated by the Séléka – Séléka means “coalition” in the Sango language – occurred against the backdrop of a phantom state and a collapsed economy.3 The Séléka rebels opposed the regime of President François Bozizé. After Bozizé fled from the CAR to neighbouring Cameroon, Michel Djotodia, head of the Séléka, declared himself president of the country on 25 March 2013. Due to the perception that the Séléka was a foreign Muslim force pillaging and perpetrating deadly violence in a country with a Christian majority, the CAR sank into an unprecedented ethno-religious conflict, predominantly between the Séléka and the mostly Christian Anti-Balaka groups. As a result, the international community and regional powers increased pressure on Djotodia to step down; he yielded on 10 January 2014. Catherine Samba-Panza took the lead as interim president that same month, paving the way for the election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra as president of the CAR in March 2016.4 However, instability and violence continued, in spite of these political transitions and the measures put in place to stop the fighting, reconcile warring parties and stabilise the CAR. This article argues for a process-based leadership perspective for achieving sustainable peace in the CAR. A process-based approach to leadership, rather than one that narrowly focuses only on particular personalities or individuals in formal positions of authority, offers a potential for peaceful solutions that are the product of interaction between those administering peace and the whole of the affected society receiving peace. Process-based leadership is conceptualised as process – it opens up the possibility of finding lasting solutions to conflict, from within wider society.5 This article looks at the historical and contemporary roots of conflict in the CAR. The dilemma of peacebuilding in the CAR is then discussed, followed by leadership as a process in peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Leadership, Peace, Sustainability, Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central African Republic
  • Author: Naila Salihu
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been home to the one of the oldest peacekeeping missions in the world – the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) – due to many periods of instability. Since independence in 1960, the country has been embroiled in conflict. Joseph Kabila succeeded his late father, Laurent Kabila, as president, following the latter’s assassination in 2001. He ruled the country for almost 17 years, and controversially won two elections, in 2006 and 2011. His tenure expired in November 2016, necessitating presidential and legislative elections. However, in September 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced the postponement of elections, citing reasons of violence in parts of the country, as well as logistical and financial constraints. CENI also petitioned the Constitutional Court and obtained authorisation to postpone elections to compile a fresh voter register. These developments were met with widespread anger and protests over what some saw as Kabila’s refusal to relinquish power at the end of his second constitutionally mandated term. In the face of a legitimacy crisis and mounting domestic and external pressures from western powers, the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), combined presidential, legislative and provincial elections were held on 30 December 2018. The initial announcement to the elections was met with some reservations. Nonetheless, the elections took place. Contrary to widely held views of machinations by the incumbent government to cling to power, long-time opposition leader, Félix Tshisekedi, emerged as the new president of the DRC, having secured over 7 million votes, representing 38.57% of the total votes cast. The runner-up – another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, leader of the Lamuka coalition – garnered about 6.3 million votes (34.38%). The ruling coalition’s candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, came in third with over 4.3 million votes, representing 23.84% of votes cast.1 The voter turnout was 47.6%. However, Fayulu, who led the pre-election polls, filed a fraud complaint with the country’s highest court, calling for a recount of the official results. The court upheld the results. The DRC’s Catholic Church also intimated that the results gathered by its 40 000-strong monitoring team pointed to a different outcome than announced by the electoral commission.2 The disputed elections have larger consequences for the post-Kabila government. This article discusses the issues surrounding the elections and implications for stability in the post-election environment. The first section discusses the contentious issues that characterised the pre-election phase. This is followed by an analysis of developments in the post-election environment and the overall implications for stability.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Political stability, State Building
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Sandra Tombe
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The date 12 January 2019 marked four months since the government of South Sudan, under the leadership of President Salva Kiir; the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), under Riek Machar; and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, among others, signed the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018. The agreement stipulates that its implementation will be done in two stages. First, the Pre-Transitional Phase (PTP) has an eight-month time frame in which parties to the agreement, through the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC), will prepare for the implementation of the R-ARCSS. Phase Two, effectively, is the implementation phase: a three-year period of a Revitalised Transnational Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) to begin at the end of the PTP. The three-year period of the RTGoNU is then to be followed by national elections. Although Kiir released some political prisoners and detainees in accordance with the R-ARCSS shortly after its signing, there was no shortage of concerns regarding whether the agreement would hold. The R-ARCSS – an endeavour to resuscitate its predecessor of 2015, the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) – is the 12th such attempt at present to broker peace between the main opposition parties and end the conflict in the world’s newest state. If anything can be gleaned from the short South Sudanese past in relation to the conflict, it is that one has no reason to expect a significantly different outcome from the R-ARCSS. It could fall apart the way agreements that came before it did. However, times have also changed, and there is a potentially different outcome that could be expected. At this juncture, Sudan to the north and Uganda to the south are much more “invested in peace” in South Sudan. For Sudan, not only does championing peace present President Omar Al-Bashir with the opportunity to rebrand himself regionally as a peacemaker, but it also diverts from the turmoil and uncertainty he faces at home because of the tanking Sudanese economy, which recently led to the declaration of a state of emergency.2 For Uganda, brokering peace not only allows it to counter recent credible reports of its role in arms supply to the South Sudanese warring parties, but it may provide the state with an opportunity to show a “positive” side of its interventionist politics in the region – if not quite a paradigm shift in its foreign policy.3 Uganda also faces an influx of thousands of South Sudanese refugees, displaced by the violence and insecurity in their home country. For both Sudan and Uganda, the war in South Sudan comes with significant costs, including economic challenges that only worsen with time.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Peace, Transition, Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Ingvild Magnaes Gjelsvik
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration for members of violent extremist groups during ongoing conflict is a tricky matter. Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes are normally implemented after a peace agreement is in place. However, this does not apply to south central Somalia, as well as other conflict-ridden areas around the world today. Providing adequate security for those wanting to leave violent extremist groups is arguably a key element for success for programmes operating in such contexts. This article looks at some of the security challenges the Defector Rehabilitation Programme (DRP) for al-Shabaab members has encountered in south central Somalia. The lessons learnt presented in this article were mainly gathered through discussions and presentations made at a training held in Nairobi in November 2017 by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for programme staff in the DRP. Interviews and conversations were also carried out with staff members and partners involved in different stages of the programme, and practitioners and stakeholders working to prevent or counter violent extremism in Somalia, during field trips to south central Somalia between 2013 and 2017.
  • Topic: Security, Violent Extremism, Peace, Rehabilitation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Edknowledge Mandikwaza
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Beyond offensive international diplomatic actions, court applications and protests, a national dialogue appears the best alternative to resolve Zimbabwe’s swelling socio-economic and political afflictions. The country is at a crossroads as its political and economic crises deepen. To salvage it from complete collapse, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on 22 January 2019, called on political parties, churches and civic society leaders to participate in a national dialogue. Only political parties, however, were invited to the inaugural dialogue, which commenced on 7 February 2019. Churches, on the other hand, have mooted their own national dialogue process. The dominant purpose of both dialogue initiatives, however, remains vague to ordinary citizens and to diverse stakeholders, yet the principle of inclusivity should underpin such developments. This article therefore provides insights on what constitutes a national dialogue, why it is necessary, the potential for success, challenges, and possible steps towards an inclusive process.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nationalism, Elections, Political Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Robin Faibt
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: National interests and unilateral action hinder cooperation between the Nile riparian countries.1 While there is broad consensus that cooperation provides a solution to conflict over the Nile River, the question is how to transform the conflict towards cooperative behaviour. Mediation between the main conflict parties – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – is necessary. The mediation efforts should be based on African approaches to conflict resolution, focusing on the realisation that one’s own well-being is intrinsically linked to the well-being of others. Mediation based on such a framework could change perspectives from national interests towards cooperation, which is not merely interested in mutual gains but reflects a sense of solidarity between the conflict parties and how benefits are interconnected.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Territorial Disputes, Water, Maritime, Land
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt
  • Author: Ugwumba Egbuta
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The drive for survival and for greener pastures has continued to force millions of West African young men and women to gamble with death in attempts to cross over to Europe and other parts of the world. This quest to escape poverty, hunger, unemployment and insecurity, among other reasons, caused a major segment of Nigeria’s population to seek alternatives for better livelihood prospects for themselves and their families.1 Those seeking economic survival see irregular migration as the best alternative, given the difficulty and resources involved in migrating through regular and legitimate routes. In many instances, very few of the original number who set out on these dangerous journeys live to tell their stories. While many regularly drown in the Mediterranean Sea, many also die in the deserts, and others are sold as slaves in a modern slave market. Most of the victims of this trade are from West Africa. Many of them leave home with expectations of getting to Europe and other destinations perceived to have better economic prospects for them, but they end up in the slave merchant nets in North Africa. The victims are put in camps and sold in open markets in Libya, while the international community watches in silence. The geographical location of Libya renders it a transit route for migrants journeying to Italy and many other parts of Europe. The migration crisis in Libya and its attendant consequences was made more possible by the instability in Libya, occasioned by the October 2011 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led war against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. The fall of that regime left the country even more politically unstable, with increased security threats that are spilling over into other parts of Africa. Europe, in particular, lost a credible partner in its efforts to address or reduce irregular migration from Africa. Poor governance and institutional ruin as a fall-out of the war paved the way for the emergence of criminal syndicates, whose trade in human beings is now finally attracting some global attention. To address this, the European Union (EU) proposed setting up reception centres in Libya for African migrants while their asylum applications undergo consideration.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Slavery, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Nigeria
  • Author: Lweendo Kambela
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: There are currently a number of debates among scholars and researchers in social sciences, particularly those whose research work is on the issues of war and peace. These debates are around the notion of “new” and “old” wars, and were sparked by scholars such as Kaldor, who argued that new wars are significantly distinct from old wars in many ways. In her writing, she described new wars as “a mixture of war, organized crime and massive violations of human rights in which actors are both global and local, public and private. These wars are fought for particularistic political goals using tactics of terror and destabilization that are theoretically outlawed by the rules of modern warfare.”1 Following this argument, this article presents a similar view: that new wars are distinct from old wars. In describing old wars, Kaldor explains that they were fought by regular armed forces of states, and were financed by the respective states. To a greater extent, these wars were fought within the dictates of international humanitarian law (IHL) or the law of armed conflict (LOAC). This article advances this idea by adding terrorism as one dimension of new wars. It discusses terrorism as a phenomenon of new wars, and narrows down this discussion to modern terrorism activities perpetrated by the Boko Haram and al-Shabaab terrorist groups. Such activities are principally a manifestation of new wars on the African continent.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Conflict, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the warring parties in South Sudan, has been widely extolled and commended as a significant development signalling the dawn of peace. The peace deal is an attempt to revive the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) of 17 August 2015, which had apparently broken down as a result of the outbreak of civil war triggered by the violent confrontations that erupted on the night of 7 July 2016 in Juba. Whilst it is not very surprising that almost all South Sudanese, stakeholders to the conflict and commentators across Africa and beyond have expressed fervent hope, generous optimism and great expectations for peace and stability, given the intractability of the conflict in South Sudan, it is equally important to undertake a timely analysis of the R-ARCSS – specifically the possible and probable interplay of factors that may have implications for the success, or otherwise, of the peace agreement. The idea is always to systematically and constructively identify critical issues that may be pertinent to consider as all relevant stakeholders invest efforts towards peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes in South Sudan. This article therefore examines the R-ARCSS within the context of the South Sudanese internal and external conflict environment, and presents the key enablers and obstacles to the success of the peace agreement.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Bard Drange
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: In most cases, political solutions to armed conflicts are professed by a plethora of local, regional and international actors. In practice, however, durable political solutions – typically symbolised through peace agreements – are scarce. While peace agreements may be signed, political willingness, as well as the ability to implement them, is often in short supply. Hence, many peace agreements remain words on paper, not actions in the field. This is also the case in Africa, where many conflict areas see peace agreements being signed, violated and forgotten. This article examines the 2015 peace agreement in Mali and the case of the 2016 peace agreement in Colombia. The 2015 Bamako Agreement for Mali – despite hopes to end armed violence and provide a framework for peace – has had little impact on the ground and serves to illustrate some of the limitations of peace agreements. Does the commonly considered successful case of Colombia shed light on the struggling Malian peace process? This article suggests that the Colombian peace process does provide useful insights into the challenges in Mali. This is discussed in the context of what, with whom and when to negotiate. Following this analysis, some lessons learnt are identified, along with concluding remarks on how these two cases illustrate both the potential and limits of peace agreements.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Colombia, South America, Mali
  • Author: Reuben J.B. Lewis
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: It is now commonplace that every election in any country across Africa is a defining moment for statebuilding or a potential source of conflict – and for countries coming out of civil war, the stakes are even higher. Therefore, systems and structures must be operationalised as a catalyst to prevent or avert political violence in times of elections. In West Africa, National Elections Response Groups (NERGs) are being developed as response structures to mitigate election-related conflict, and their operationalisation is proving to be successful in a number of countries that have held elections – including, most recently, in Sierra Leone. NERGs are designed as infrastructures for peace, and serve as platforms for peaceful dialogue and shuttle diplomacy with political parties during national elections. NERGs also respond to incidences of harassment, intimidation and violence; work towards keeping communities calm and organised; and engage with all political groups to keep the peace. This article discusses the development and operationalisation of NERGs as an infrastructure for peace during recent elections in some West African countries.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Elections, Democracy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Zurab Elzarov
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The protracted conflict since 2003 in Darfur, Sudan, has resulted in massive loss of human lives and assets, disrupted livelihoods and led to severe food insecurity in some areas. Some 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are registered as living in camps. For unregistered IDPs – that is, displaced people living in rural settlements and urban areas – estimates vary considerably, especially as there is no systematic registration of displacement outside of camps.1 IDPs and their host communities have limited livelihood options and often rely on unsustainable coping strategies, such as unmanaged cutting of trees and shrubs for fuelwood and charcoal production. This places an additional burden on Darfur’s fragile ecosystem and related livelihoods.2
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Darfur
  • Author: Jude Nsom Waindim
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Long before Africa was colonised, and way beyond the advent of slave trade, African societies had institutional mechanisms as well as cultural sources to uphold the values of peace, tolerance, solidarity and respect for, and of, one another. These structures were responsible for “peace education, confidence-building, peacemaking, peacebuilding, conflict monitoring, conflict prevention, conflict management, and conflict resolution”.1 If these mechanisms were effective in handling and managing conflicts among the people, it was largely because they reflected the sociopolitical orientation of the African people, addressing all the social, political and economic conflicts among a people who lived a communal way of life. Thus, it was customary as well as common currency to happen upon people sitting down informally to discuss and agree on important issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict, Peace, Tradition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Irene Dawa
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article presents the results of a study conducted in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in the Yumbe District of Uganda between June and August 2018. It examines the conflict trends between refugees and host communities. The aim was to understand the drivers and dynamics of conflicts in the settlement. This article highlights the key findings of the study and some suggestions for conflict transformation for better relationships. The data collection process took 20 days. The methodology used for this research was based on qualitative study design. Qualitative data collection was done through focus group discussions using interview guides, direct observation, and structured and semi-structured interviews with different community-level committees, such as refugee welfare committees (RWCs) and the host population. Non-structured interviews and informal meetings were also held to collect complementary information, especially with the various stakeholders, such as local government officials, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other implementing partners. Direct observation was used to confirm conflict dynamics reported during interviews, for validity and reliability. This study was inspired by the conflict transformation theory of Lederach. According to Lederach,1 conflict is normal and dynamic within human relationships and can be seen as a catalyst for growth.
  • Topic: Refugees, Displacement, Conflict, Humanitarian Crisis, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Kazeem Oyedele Lamidi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article presents a contextual discourse on the communal conflict in Nigeria, using the Ife-Modakeke crisis as a case study. It conceptualises the key terms to understand the dynamics of communal conflict and its peacemaking processes vis-à-vis government as an institutional mediator. It reviews existing studies on communal conflict resolution and empirical underlying assumptions. It argues that peacemaking processes demand serious attention of government in a non-partisan mediation perspective. It x-rays the possible roles of government in peacemaking processes as well as its commitment problems. In concretising government efficacy, adaptable peacemaking principles are discussed for communal conflict resolution within the sociopolitical space of Nigeria and beyond. The paper concludes that governments can play a significant role in communal peacemaking, and recommends a few valuable principles
  • Topic: Governance, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict, Peace, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Andrea Prah
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article provides an analysis of less traditional forms of regional security cooperation in Africa through the case study of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) in Central Africa. It explores the progress and shortcomings of this task force. It argues that although its successes were limited by its militarised mandate and approach, the operation has been largely effective in downgrading the threat status of the Lord’s Resistance Army. This example of regional cooperation offers important lessons for other arrangements which deal with similar threats. This type of response represents an emerging trend in security cooperation in Africa and it is clear that task forces of this structure are becoming more frequent in dealing with transnational violence as opposed to more traditional cooperative arrangements organised through the African Union’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Theo Neethling
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: A growing emphasis on stabilisation and counterterrorism in international peacekeeping operations has increasingly become apparent. In Africa, the phenomenon of terrorism has become of special importance in contemporary peacekeeping activities and has significantly influenced the nature and profile of peacekeeping operations on the continent. Bloodshed, death, displacement and destruction caused by terrorism and violent extremism are increasingly posing challenges to peacekeepers in African conflict theatres. In view of this, this article analyses the tasks and contours of two of the most important peacekeeping operations on the African continent, namely those in Mali and Somalia. These operations could be considered laboratories for further exploration and innovation in the African peacekeeping landscape. At the same time, any scholarly discussion on contemporary peacekeeping and counterterrorism would be incomplete without reflections on scholars and analysts who consider an increasing entanglement between peacekeeping and counterterrorism as highly problematic. In this regard, the discussion touches on some of the fundamental questions that have started to surface on the future of United Nations and (to some extent) African Union peacekeeping operations.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia, Mali
  • Author: Demola Akinyoade
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: For about a decade, numerous activities involving practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and scholars in peace and conflict sensitivity (PCS) have led to an appreciable volume of scientific knowledge on the nature, dynamics and the implications of the interactions of interventions and their contexts. Thus, there is a relatively high level of development in the practice of PCS, but the level of development of theory for PCS is significantly low. This paper argues that the building blocks for developing theories of PCS abound. But disincentives also abound, and these may be found in the conditions that informed the emergence of the field, the inherited orientation and normative commitment of PCS, stakeholders’ justifiable preference for practice, and the epistemological contention between and among social science methodologies. Despite these encumbrances, there is a need to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This will require a concerted effort, employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, to construct and build context-specific and generalisable theories in PCS.
  • Topic: Development, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Aduku A. Akubo, Benjamin Ikani Okolo
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This study attempts to draw attention to the Boko Haram insurgency and its implications for national security in Nigeria. Using a historical method of research and content analysis, it adopts a descriptive and exploratory approach. It shows how the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in a dire humanitarian situation evident from the human casualties, human rights abuses, population displacement and refugee debacle, livelihood crisis, and public insecurity – which portend negatively for the maintenance of national security in Nigeria. The study discusses how the counter-terrorism in northeast Nigeria appears to have caused more harm than good and how the terrorist conflict is far from reaching a stalemate ripe for resolution. It is recommended that the Nigerian government should refocus its efforts on a people-centric, community-based and intelligence-driven, whole-of-government approach to better police its borders, improve the capacity of the security forces, enhance interagency cooperation and improve cooperation in the sub-region. The Government should empower the local communities to reach out to the perpetrators of the insurgency with a message of peace and reconciliation. A shift to a restorative and community justice approach may be a pointer to a lasting solution.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Boko Haram, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Yonas Adeto
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Although research on natural resource and ethnic identity-based conflict abounds, studies which critically examine how the state fragility–conflict nexus shapes the contemporary security of the Horn of Africa are rather limited. Qualitatively designed, this study attempts to explore and explain security implications of such a nexus. Analysis of the regional security complex (RSC) and empirical data from the field reveal that conflict dynamics feed and fuel state fragility in the Horn of Africa sub-region. The presence of extra-regional security actors, who are competing for military bases along the coast of Djibouti, the spill-over effects of violence in Yemen, and the Iran–Saudi power rivalry, together with incompetent regional political leadership, tend to shape the security of the Horn. Hence, a new and innovative approach to contemporary security and political commitment are sine qua non since the existing institutions and policies are not fully capable of coping with the need for a new security regionalism. It is hoped that the recent rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, albeit at an embryonic stage, is and will be a positive force capable of bringing about a paradigm shift in security structure, and inducing a viable and sustainable economic, political and security community in the Horn of Africa.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Fragile States, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Al-Chukwuma Okoli
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The significance of forests as an existential threat to national security in Nigeria has been underscored in the phenomenon of Boko Haram insurgency. The occupation and apparent ‘weaponisation’ of Sambisa and the adjoining forests by Boko Haram insurgents have continued to pose an enervating tactical challenge that complicates the ongoing counter-insurgency efforts in northeast Nigeria. The instrumentalisation of forests as an operational and defensive stronghold by the insurgents in the lower Lake Chad Basin has been enabled by the existence of large expanses of dispersed, uninhabited and un-policed forested spheres in the area. This study examines the imperative for transnational forestland governance in the lower Lake Chad Basin, in the light of a continual incidence of Boko Haram insurgency in that context. Drawing discursively from the ‘ungoverned spaces’ (territorial ungovernability) hypothesis, the study posits that the prevailing vacuum of effective forestland governance in the region must be filled in order to mitigate the security challenge. To that end, the study prescribes a strategic trans-territorial forestland governance regime whereby Nigeria and Cameroon synergise efforts in bringing about effective reclamation and occupation of the volatile forested landscapes.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Terrorism, Insurgency, Governance, Violent Extremism, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean Pierre Misago
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: By demonstrating that local governance facilitates the occurrence of xenophobic violence by providing what I term favourable micro-political opportunity structures, the article argues that governance is a key determinant of xenophobic violence in South Africa and of collective violence generally. Research evidence (from extensive comparative empirical data and the global literature) informing this argument sits incongruently with the common and widely accepted understanding of governance and its relationship with collective violence. It shows that some aspects of this relationship are misunderstood and others are yet to be examined. Indeed, theoretical predictions in this regard indicate that collective violence and other forms of contentious collective action tend to occur in societies where mechanisms of social control have lost their restraining power. This article challenges these predictions by illustrating that, in most cases, xenophobic violence occurs in areas where social controls are strong and actually a facilitating factor. Further, the article indicates that the biggest misunderstanding of the relationship between governance and collective violence lies in interconnections yet to be examined. Such an examination would reveal the predominant role of governance, not only as a determinant, but particularly because of the significant role it plays in the making of violence co-determinants.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Discrimination, Violence, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Sadiki Koko
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article uses the cases of Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone to analyse transitional justice processes in African societies where power-sharing was used as a key tool to end very protracted and violent civil wars. It is argued that, by affording warring parties a prominent role in the post-settlement political environment, power-sharing inadvertently impeded the pursuit of both restorative and criminal justice in all three countries. As an instance of ‘warriors’ justice’, power-sharing was used by such actors as an opportunity to avoid facing retributive justice. Indeed, due to the central position they held within the power-sharing dispensations, former warriors emphasised amnesty while paying lip service to reparations for victims. In all three countries, the decision to revert to the international judicial system or not was mainly motivated by political calculations rather than any genuine concern for justice. However, notwithstanding the shortcomings above, the consensus brought about by the power-sharing dispensations enabled the three countries to effect meaningful institutional reforms, albeit with limited and different levels of success.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, Political Power Sharing, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Burundi
  • Author: Adeniyi S. Basiru
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Intra-party conflicts of all shapes and complexions have been part and parcel of Nigeria’s democratic journey. However, in recent times, they have become much more pervasive and even assumed crisis dimensions, with negative implications for democratic stability and consolidation. Drawing from the literature and interpreting the evidence, this article examines the terrain, implications and drivers of intra-party conflicts in a democratising Nigeria with a view to recommending options for resolution. It proceeds from the premise that pervasive intra-party conflicts, which have now assumed crisis dimensions, are not given, but have been nurtured by certain structural factors which have shaped the contours of politics in Nigeria. Specifically, it argues that the crises are closely connected with the neo-patrimonial character of the Nigerian petro state, the nature of politics being played by the political actors, praetorian hangover, and the paucity of democrats who genuinely have democratic temperaments to play the game of democratic politics according to established rules. It calls for, among others, the reform and strengthening of the internal conflict management capacities of political parties in Nigeria.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Conflict, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Busani Ngcaweni
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, charismatic and iconic, is a product of his time and can only be understood within the context of the social movements that he belonged to and led. Thus, this article locates Mandela within the local and global context in which he emerged while at the same time making sense of his instrumental interventions and nationalist humanist vision of life, peace and justice. This article situates Mandela’s political life within the broader context of the third humanist revolution, which was a response to the inimical processes of racism, enslavement and colonisation. In its centenary celebration of Mandela, the article re-articulates how he embodied alternative politics founded on the will to live as opposed to the will to power; the paradigm of peace as opposed to the paradigm of war; political justice as opposed to criminal justice; as well as pluriversality as opposed to tragic notions of racial separate development known as apartheid. What is fleshed out is a ‘Mandela phenomenon’ as founded on strong progressive politics albeit predicated on the unstable idea of the potential of advocates and victims of apartheid undergoing a radical metamorphosis amenable to the birth of a new pluriversal society.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Leadership, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Shirambere Philippe Tunamsifu
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: For more than five decades after the Independence Day (1960–2018), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued to witness large-scale violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law. Trying to deal with past abuses, the country twice experienced a process of transitional justice, in 1992 and in 2004, as the result of the Conférence Nationale Souveraine and the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, respectively. Both of these processes failed to achieve the desired result, and neither adopted any memorialisation process that honours the memory of victims. In October 2013, however, delegates to the Concertation Nationale recommended the government to build monuments in memory of victims of the different armed conflicts. Unfortunately, five years later the government has not yet done anything to implement that recommendation. Based on the interrogation of stakeholders, this paper offers strategies on how to honour the memory of victims of the various armed conflicts in the DRC – in order to consolidate the degree of transitional justice that had been attained. To collect data, 32 key informants were interviewed and two focus group discussions were held in areas affected by armed conflicts. Findings included the recommendation that the State should apologise publicly for its failure to protect the civilian population. Thereafter, a commemorative day should be adopted to bring together victims and alleged perpetrators, and official monuments and memorials should be built in the most affected areas. Uncostly monuments, and aptly named schools, hospitals and public markets in memory of abuses should be built as symbolic collective reparation.
  • Topic: Transitional Justice, Memory, Reparations, Symbolism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Israel Nyaburi Nyadera
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: With the South Sudanese conflict in its fifth year in 2018, this paper seeks to not only examine the status of the civil war that has engulfed the youngest nation on earth but to also discuss the evolving narratives of its causes and provide policy recommendation to actors involved in the peace process. Having examined the continuously failing peace treaties between the warring parties, it is evident that the agreements have failed to unearth and provide solutions to the crisis and a new approach to examining the causes and solutions to the problem is therefore necessary. This paper argues that ethnic animosities and rivalry are a key underlying cause that has transformed political rivalry into a deadly ethnic dispute through vicious mobilisation and rhetoric. Therefore, it recommends a comprehensive peace approach that will address the political aspects of the conflict and propose restructuring South Sudan’s administrative, economic and social spheres in order to curb further manipulation of the ethnic differences.
  • Topic: Civil War, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Owiso Owiso
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan provides quite ambitiously and laudably for the creation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan under the auspices of the African Union. The article is an extract from the author’s 2016 LL.M. dissertation submitted to the University of Pretoria. It critically examines the salient features of the proposed court with the aim of testing the court’s ability to effectively address historical grievances and injustices in South Sudan. In so doing, the article draws lessons from similar mechanisms in Africa and beyond. It also interrogates the role of the African Union and South Sudan in operationalising this court. It reveals strengths as well as weaknesses in the proposed design of the court as well as in the ability of the African Union and South Sudan to fulfil their obligations. Despite these weaknesses, the article argues that by harnessing the strengths identified and learning from lessons from across the continent, the African Union (AU) and South Sudan can overcome the anticipated challenges and operationalise a hybrid court which will effectively deliver sustainable justice to the victims of international crimes committed during the South Sudan civil war.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Transitional Justice, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Julius Kinyeki
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This study addresses three questions: how Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) following the post-election violence of 2007/2008 in Kenya are recreating their community resilience capacities; how the Kenyan government and non-state interventions are influencing the victims’ livelihood strategies towards their reconstruction and recovery process and how social support and social capital have accelerated their reconstruction and recovery process. The study adopted qualitative research methodology, and primary data were collected since January 2015, continuously and concurrently with data analysis. The key finding was that ownership of land is identified and perceived as a milestone in the process of post-conflict reconstruction and recovery, and as an avenue for community resilience. The study found that after the rather short-term programmes of the Kenyan government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), the main means of livelihood for IDPs still is casual labour and other menial jobs. However, many IDPs, especially those who were not placed in camps or resettled on farms, but integrated with host communities, developed new emergent norms to support each other. The key recommendations are that government should evaluate the economic loss of every integrated IDP, and that those resettled in government procured farms should be provided with legal ownership documents. There should be an urgent re-profiling of IDPs in camps and a definite commitment to follow the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004). The findings of this study bring to light new knowledge on the theory of social capital. It shows how victims of displacement develop new emergent norms, values and culture to support each other, which eventually creates a new society/community.
  • Topic: Reconstruction, Violence, Recovery, Social Capital, Community
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Adejoke Christianah Olufemi
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Globally, mining and combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal, have resulted in various environmental problems. The adverse effects of these industries on human health, agriculture and the general ecosystem, and how they could result in conflict, have been widely reported. Firstly, this study examines the current state of environmental pollution at a few places in South Africa, and how it could possibly result in environmental conflict between the affected communities and the polluting industries. Secondly, using Nigeria as a case study, it suggests pre-emptive measures that can be taken to forestall such conflict. The issues raised in this study are supported by findings from previous studies conducted at Emalahleni, in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. This study used a mixed-methods approach involving interviews with relevant stakeholders and scientific analysis to prove the levels of pollution in the Emalahleni area. The levels of certain air pollutants which are commonly linked with coal combustion and mining activities were assessed at five different schools around mines. Based on these scientific and qualitative results and other issues raised in this study, a number of recommendations are made. It was found that air pollution is a problem which cannot be ignored and immediate action should be taken to avoid future problems.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Health, Conflict, Pollution
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Francis Onditi, Kizito Sabala, Samson Wassara
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article uses Arend Lijphart’s notion of ‘power-sharing consocia-tionalism’ to understand the mutually reinforcing conflict system and the barriers to resolving such conflicts in South Sudan. ‘Consociationalism’ has been affirmed as an ideal approach for resolving conflicts in ethnically divided societies, but in South Sudan, the formal institutions of power sharing have not delivered sustainable peace. Analysis in this article reveals that the implementation of the various ‘peace agreements’ and ‘deals’ deviated from classical ‘consociationalism’. Consequently limited attention was paid to inter-ethnic tensions and too much emphasis was placed on the mechanics of power sharing among the executive and military institutions, leading to the proliferation of ‘organised political movements’. Rather than focusing on the mechanics of power sharing, a viable consociational model for South Sudan should concentrate on how such multifaceted layers of issues can be accommodated within a single settlement. Therefore, the South Sudan conflict system requires a stronger reconceptualisation of issues. Hence we have coined the term ‘tragedy of ethnic diversity’, not as a replacement of the well-known concept of ‘resource curse’, but as new thinking that might shape future research and scholarship in the increasingly complex South Sudan conflict system.
  • Topic: Political Power Sharing, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Charles Mulinda Kabwete
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article contributes to the debates around concepts of truth, confession, forgiveness and reconciliation. The theoretical discussion shows to what extent these concepts are interconnected, and share a complex relation with justice and reconciliation. It argues that the knowledge about past violence is hardly a canonical truth. It is at best a negotiated truth. This knowledge is inevitably a combination of facts and interpretations. This knowledge is sought and used for understanding past violence but also for paving a way towards the reconstruction of post-conflict societies. The article argues that confession offers a twofold opportunity: it produces knowledge of past violence, and acknowledgement of victims’ pain through perpetrators’ expression of remorse, although in a limited manner. Forgiveness is also discussed in relation to its essential meaning, the actors involved, and its purposes. Finally, reconciliation is built on two pillars, firstly, the proclamation of a seemingly achieved reconciliation; and secondly, the experiencing of reconciliation in everyday interaction between perpetrators and victims.
  • Topic: Conflict, Justice, Reconciliation , Truth
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Rabuogi Ahere
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Political struggles and competitions are conflictual by their very nature, and if not well managed can lead to violence. As political parties are crucial actors in political processes, it is vital to understand the roles they play in escalating or de-escalating political violence. This paper provides an analysis of political parties in Kenya and South Africa, focusing on their linkages to political violence. It concludes that political parties are indispensable actors in peacebuilding. The design and implementation of peacebuilding interventions that effectively target political violence must therefore anticipate the involvement of political parties. This applies to both case study countries, but most probably to other countries as well.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Peace, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, South Africa