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  • Author: Richard Reid
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This article seeks to place the recent conflict in Ethiopia in deeper historical context. It traces the roots of Tigray province’s identity through various phases in Ethiopia’s history, and argues that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the culmination of decades, even centuries, of a struggle for status within the Ethiopian nation-state. The article proposes that Ethiopia’s history, inseparable from that of neighboring Eritrea, is characterized by cyclical shifts in access to power, as well as conflicts over inclusivity and cohesion, and that crushing the TPLF militarily will not resolve those conflicts.
  • Topic: Security, History, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Tigray
  • Author: Roman Krtsch
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The immediate aftermath of civil wars is a period prone to heightened contention: Political decisions about the distribution of aid or power, for example, can deepen social fault lines and in some instances even result in violent unrest. Yet despite its relevance, our knowledge on the drivers for individual participation in post-conflict contentious activism remains limited. Previous research has found particularly wartime experiences to affect political and social behaviour of individuals in the post-conflict period. Based on these findings, I argue that exposure to civil war violence increases the likelihood for individuals to participate in post-war protests. Moreover, I conjecture that this effect can be explained with the reinforcement of group-based grievances. Using survey data from the Afrobarometer collected shortly after the end of the Ugandan civil war in 2008, I find support for the argument: Results from linear probability models show a consistent and robust relationship between county-level war violence and the likelihood to participate in protests. An additional analysis with a novel measure of group-level exposure and a causal mediation analysis furthermore corroborate the assumed mechanism.
  • Topic: Conflict, Protests, Violence, Post-Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Alan Boswell
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: South Sudan’s civil war expanded into Equatoria, the country’s southernmost region, in 2016, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee into neighboring Uganda in what has been called Africa’s largest refugee exodus since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Equatoria is now the last major hot spot in the civil war. If lasting peace is to come to South Sudan, writes Alan Boswell, it will require a peace effort that more fully reckons with the long-held grievances of Equatorians.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil War, Conflict, Crisis Management, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, South Sudan
  • Author: Stephanie Savell
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: United States “security assistance” exports a militarized counterterrorism model to dozens of countries through money, training, and weapons. This model comes with dangerous costs. The narrative, tactics, funding, and institutional supports of the U.S. post-9/11 wars fuel repression and corruption, and escalate cycles of violence. This paper delves into the current conflict in Burkina Faso as an illustrative case study of how the U.S. counterterrorism model has caused more, not less, instability and violence. Despite the relatively low levels of terrorism assessed in Burkina Faso at the time, the United States laid the groundwork for increased militarism in the region when it began providing security assistance to the country in 2009. Today, Burkina Faso is enveloped in a spiraling conflict involving government forces, state-sponsored militias, and militant groups, and civilians are paying the price. Militant groups have strengthened and seized territory, ethnic tensions have skyrocketed, thousands of Burkinabe have been killed and over one million displaced. A Burkina-based human rights group has warned that the government’s ethnic killings may lead to the “next Rwanda.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Counter-terrorism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States of America, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Jos Meester
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Disputes over natural resources such as water and land among pastoralist groups and between mobile pastoralists and sedentary farmers have a long history and are turning increasingly violent. Competition over scarce natural resources is often put forward as the key driver of farmer-herder conflicts, disregarding the significant role governance is playing in conflict dynamics. Oversimplifications of the pastoralist-conflict equation and a lack of understanding of pastoralist systems and the way they are governed has led to inappropriate interventions further undermining pastoralism. Policies and interventions in response to pastoralism-related conflicts often do not take an integrated approach but are based on sectoral policies and are not conflict sensitive as they fail to take into account the political economy driving farmer-herder conflicts. Comparing the cases of Burkina Faso, Somalia and South Sudan, this paper analyses how pastoralist resource governance in combination with its specific underlying political economy differentially affects the dynamics of conflict around pastoral resources. Reflecting upon three agendas that inform the thinking about pastoralism as well as donor interventions – climate change, food security and governance – this paper provides some recommendations on how to take underlying political economy into account for sensible and effective programming.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Conflict, Pastoralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia, South Sudan, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Anwar Ibrahim
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The election, which was held in Ethiopia on Monday, June 21, 2021, was the most complicated election that the country has witnessed in more than three decades, or, more accurately, since the 1994 constitution was approved. The reason is that this election was held amid lots of internal challenges, not to mention the strong criticism of its legitimacy (both domestically and internationally) even before it was held. Ethiopians are warily looking forward to the results, which are supposed to be announced within a few days, despite that it is not unlikely that these results will escalate the tensions in an already unrest-ridden country.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Conflict, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Tigray
  • Author: Brian Kagoro
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Peacebuilding is an overtly political act laden with sociocultural assumptions, preferences and values. It is also an act impelled by the geoeconomic and geopolitical considerations of both the protagonists and some "invisible hands" with a stake in the ongoing conflict. In essence, the process of defining African peacebuilding and its socioeconomic value is both revolutionary and futuristic in pointing to a possible trajectory for the development of the sector beyond its bureaucratic organizational forms. This discussion paper explores the relationship between the African philosophy of Ubuntu and the practice of peacebuilding in historical and contemporary Africa. In particular, it seeks to establish Ubuntu's actual and potential value-added to shaping the theory and praxis of peacebuilding in Africa.
  • Topic: Peacekeeping, Conflict, Social Roles, Mythology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rachel Morley
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Within the international development and human rights communities, awareness of the use of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) as a tool of war has grown significantly over the past two decades. Truth commission have emerged as a key response to support victims of CRSV and provide recommendations on how the state should provide assistance and avoid future violations. This report draws on an analysis of the final reports of truth commissions in four African countries—Sierra Leone (2004), Liberia (2009), Kenya (2015), and Tunisia (2019)—to explore the evolving nature of truth commission engagement with this specific mandate on the continent.
  • Topic: Conflict, Sexual Violence, Peace, Reconciliation , Truth
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tunisia
  • 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: 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: Obert Hodzi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With a few exceptions, armed civil wars are no longer commonplace in Africa, but anti-government protests are. Instead of armed rebels, unarmed civilians are challenging regimes across Africa to reconsider their governance practices and deliver both political and economic change. In their responses, regimes in countries like Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Burundi have favored the combat mode—responding to dissent with military and repressive means. With few options, civilian movements look to the United States for protection and support while their governments look to China for reinforcement. If the United States seeks to reassert its influence in Africa and strengthen its democratic influence, its strategy needs to go beyond counterterrorism and respond to Africa’s pressing needs while supporting the African people in their quest for democracy and human rights.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, State Violence, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rahma Dualeh
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Five years have passed since the UN global mandate on preventing violent extremism (PVE) was launched and rapidly adopted by the Horn of Africa (HoA) countries. Since then, mostly small and medium international organizations funded by foreign, largely Western, donors have pioneered work in this space. Notably, the African Union (AU) Peace & Security Council has tried to lead the region’s path to PVE – it has championed the inclusion of youth and called for gender mainstreaming in programming. The AU has also attempted to connect East and West Africa’s lessons learned in combatting violent extremism. Yet, challenges remain with regard to implementing both regional and international PVE-related commitments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War, Violent Extremism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Horn of Africa
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Trafficking – a catch-all term for illicit movement of goods and people – has long sustained livelihoods in northern Niger. But conflicts are emerging due to heightened competition and European pressure to curb migration. Authorities should persevere in managing the extralegal exchange to contain violence. What’s new? Niger’s informal systems for managing violence related to drug, gold and people trafficking in the country’s north are under strain – due in part to European pressure to curb migration and in part to increased competition over drug transport routes. The discovery of gold could bring new challenges. Why does it matter? Tacit understandings between the authorities and traffickers pose dangers, namely the state’s criminalisation as illicit trade and politics become more intertwined. But the collapse of those understandings would be still more perilous: if trafficking disputes descend into strife, they could destabilise Niger as they have neighbouring Mali. What should be done? Niger should reinforce its conflict management systems. Action against traffickers should focus on those who are heavily armed or engage in violence. Niamey and external actors should reinvigorate the north’s formal economy. European leaders should ensure that their policies avoid upsetting practices that have allowed Niger to escape major bloodshed.
  • Topic: Economy, Trafficking , Conflict, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Niger
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The African Union is best positioned to send peacekeepers to the continent’s various war zones. But it often lacks the funds available to the UN’s blue helmets. A compromise over co-financing peacekeeping missions would serve the conflict prevention goals of both institutions. What’s new? Attempts to reach agreement upon a UN Security Council resolution on using UN assessed contributions to co-finance African Union (AU) peace support operations have ended acrimoniously, damaging relations between the Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. Discussions are now on hold, offering the parties an opportunity to clarify positions. Why does it matter? Access to UN financing offers the hope of predictable and sustainable funding for vital AU peace operations, whose offensive mandates are often better suited to current conflict dynamics in Africa. An AU summit in February 2020 could determine if and how the proposal is pursued. What should be done? The UN and AU should pursue a compromise. It could involve agreeing to treat AU troop contributions as in-kind payment, creating a joint mechanism for monitoring human rights compliance, and stipulating that a commander reporting to both institutions will lead co-financed missions.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Conflict, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Peter Albrecht, Podder Sukanya
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: UN peacekeeping missions are deployed in increasingly violent contexts, such as Mali and South Sudan. It leaves such missions suspended somewhere between traditional peacekeeping and peace enforcement. Concurrently with this transformation, protection of civilians has become increasingly important. How do countries like Ghana and India, two of the main contributors of troops to UN missions, define, approach, and experience the task of protecting civilians? What do they consider its key components to be? And what do they think is required to protect well? This new DIIS report concludes that the individual combat experience of troop-contributing countries is a defining feature of how protection of civilians is approached in peacekeeping missions. The report suggests that it is important to understand how difference plays out across missions, and how countries that contribute troops to missions understand and respond to their roles in these missions. This understanding is required in discussions about how effective and coherent we might expect peacekeeping to be as a form of intervention. This report is based on fieldwork in India and Ghana. Data on the Ghana case has been partially collected through the project Domestic Security Implications of Peacekeeping in Ghana (D-SIP), funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Conflict, Violence, Peace, Police, Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, India, Ghana
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Peer Schouten
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Pastoralism is the key to climate change adaptation in African drylands, but it is threatened by conflicts with farmers, regional insecurity and violent extremism. Stabilisation and development efforts should place pastoralism at the centre by strengthening pastoral livelihoods and should include herders as peacebuilding and development partners. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Strengthen pastoralist capacities to cope with risk and variability by boosting inclusive and equitable resource governance in new development programmes. ■ Include pastoralists as potential peace-builders in conflict resolution efforts. ■ Support dialogue between pastoralists and local and national governments in order to prevent the further marginalisation of vulnerable pastoralist groups.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Democratization, Development, Environment, Migration, Non State Actors, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Investment, Peace, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Fiona Mangan, Igor Acko, Manal Taha
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Coffee production is a fairly small part of the Central African Republic's economy, but it plays an outsize role in the country's ongoing conflict. Armed militia groups that hold sway over the country's main coffee growing regions and trade routes reap millions of dollars in funding to sustain their operations. This report discusses how understanding the political economy of conflict in the Central African Republic can help national and international stakeholders break the cycle of violence.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Economy, Conflict, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central African Republic
  • Author: Laura Barber
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Sudan's decades-long economic relationship with China has almost always been dominated by oil. Yet this relationship has changed significantly in the past decade—first with the loss of oil reserves when South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011, and more recently due to the ouster of longtime ally President Omar al-Bashir. This report, based on interviews with policy officials, diplomats, industry and security experts, and others, examines China’s evolving commercial and political interests in this vital nation in the Horn of Africa.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Geopolitics, Conflict, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Sudan, Asia
  • Author: Paul M. Carter Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s global ambitions have steadily increased, including in unstable areas of the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. For the most part, Moscow’s activities in these and other areas run counter to Western interests and undermine efforts to mitigate conflict through broad-based, transparent processes. This report outlines the factors that appear to be motivating the Kremlin’s conflict-zone interventions and places them within the larger context of Russian foreign policy interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Eurasia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Heni Nsaibia, Caleb Weiss, Seth Loertscher, Nick Kramer, Robin Simcox, Hannah Stuart, Amarnath Amarasingam, Marc-Andre Argentino
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the United Nations monitoring team that tracks the global jihadi threat warned the Security Council that “ISIL franchises in West Africa and the Sahel continued to enjoy operational success in early 2020, as have those of Al-Qaida, heightening international concern about stability in the region.” Concern over the threat has grown despite the fact that a year ago clashes erupted between the Islamic State and al-Qa`ida franchises in the region, turning what had been an often amicable and sometimes cooperative relationship into fighting between them in Mali and Burkina Faso. In our feature article, Héni Nsaibia and Caleb Weiss assess that a number of factors ended the “Sahelian anomaly” of amicable relations between the regional Islamic State and al-Qa`ida groupings, “including the hardening of ideological divisions, pressure from Islamic State Central for its regional satellite to take on a more confrontational approach toward its rival, and tensions created by the growing ambition of the Islamic State affiliate in the Sahel.” They note that “while some argue that fighting between jihadi groups is positive for the counterterrorism landscape, it is also possible that the two groups are in effect engaging in a process called ‘outbidding,’ wherein a group aims to show ‘greater resolve to fight the enemy than rival groups.’” Our interview is with Chris Costa, who during the first year of the Trump administration served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism. Building on a study of terrorist recidivism in Belgium by Thomas Renard published in the April issue of CTC Sentinel, Robin Simcox and Hannah Stuart examine the problem set created by jihadi prisoners in Europe from two different angles. Firstly, they examine the nature of the threat by analyzing a dozen alleged jihadi terror plots and attacks that occurred inside and outside prisons in Western Europe since 2014 in which at least one of the attackers/plotters had been convicted in Europe of a previous terrorism offense. Secondly, they look at the scale of the threat by calculating the rates of various forms of recidivism from a comprehensive database relating to U.K. jihadi terror activity. Amarnath Amarasingam and Marc-André Argentino assess the emerging security threat posed by the QAnon conspiracy. They write: “A survey of cases of individuals who have allegedly or apparently been radicalized to criminal acts with a nexus to violence by QAnon, including one case that saw a guilty plea on a terrorism charge, makes clear that QAnon represents a public security threat with the potential in the future to become a more impactful domestic terror threat. This is true especially given that conspiracy theories have a track record of propelling terrorist violence elsewhere in the West as well as QAnon’s more recent influence on mainstream political discourse.”
  • Topic: Terrorism, Prisons/Penal Systems, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Conflict, QAnon
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sahel, United States of America
  • Author: Jason Mosley
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The intersection of two significant trends are affecting the regional dynamics of the Horn of Africa: the political transition underway in Ethiopia since 2018 and evolving Red Sea and Gulf security dynamics. Ethiopia’s transition has affected its relations in the Horn of Africa and the broader Red Sea region. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken a much more assertive approach to regional security since 2015, contributing to a major diplomatic rift with Qatar since 2017. Elucidating how states in the Horn of Africa are affected by and responding to external influences largely hinges on understanding the Ethiopian transition. The implications for the future of regional integration in the Horn of Africa must also be considered.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Elaine (Lan Yin) Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: It has often been cited that major armed conflicts (>1,000 casualties) afflicted two-thirds (23) of the world’s recognized biodiversity hotspots between 1950 and 2000.1 In 2011, the International Law Commission (ILC) included in its long-term work program Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict.2 This led to the adoption of twenty-eight Draft Principles, including designation of protected zones where attacks against the environment are prohibited during armed conflict.3 Protected zone designations apply to places of major environmental and cultural importance, requiring that they “[...] shall be protected against any attack, as long as it does not contain a military objective.”4 Most research on armed conflict and protected areas has focused on impacts to wildlife and less on how to protect these natural habitats from the ravages of armed conflict.5 This article highlights some of the gaps in the ILC Draft Principles towards protecting protected zones in bello. It uses transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) formalized through multilateral agreements to illustrate challenges on the ground. TBPAs are internationally designated “[...] protected areas that are ecologically connected across one or more international boundaries [...]” and sometimes even established for their promotion of peace (i.e., Parks for Peace).6 There is little legal research on how to design TBPA agreements for conflict resilience, conflict sensitivity, and ultimately positive peace.7 The research draws from two case studies in Africa’s Great Rift Valley: the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, and the Kidepo Landscape, which forms part of the broader Landscapes for Peace initiative between South Sudan and Uganda. Both suffer from armed conflicts of various types and present two of the only TBPAs in the world that have incorporated environmental peacebuilding into their transboundary agreements.8 The case studies illustrate different approaches to TBPA design and the pros and cons of each modality in the context of conflict resilience and conflict sensitivity. This guides us on how to better protect protected areas in bello, ensuring that protected zones endure on the ground and not just in principle.
  • Topic: Environment, Culture, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Author: James Barnett
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: A civil war is erupting in Ethiopia—Africa’s second most populous state, a geopolitical fulcrum in the volatile Red Sea arena, and the seat of the African Union (AU). The question now is whether a ceasefire can quickly be brokered that would, in the best case, serve as the basis for a broader national dialogue aimed at stabilizing the country’s political transition; or whether the situation will devolve into a multisided conflict that draws in neighboring states and further destabilizes what is already one of the world’s most fragile regions. As of this writing, the latter unfortunately seems more likely, but there is still hope for a ceasefire, particularly if Ethiopia’s regional and international partners make a concerted push for de-escalation. One should not use the term “civil war” lightly, but this appears to be the course that Ethiopia is on. While in recent years the country has suffered from intercommunal clashes, assassinations, a coup attempt, and a low-level insurgency, this is the first time that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has faced a direct challenge from a well-armed state within the state. The stakes are high. With a population of over 100 million, the United States Institute of Peace’s senior study group on the Red Sea warns that Ethiopia’s disintegration would constitute “the largest state collapse in modern history.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, Geopolitics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Anna Schmauder
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The Malian peace agreement of 2015, known as the Algiers Agreement, aimed to improve relations between select representatives of northern Mali and central state authorities through decentralisation. Yet, in contrast to ongoing counterterrorism efforts, governance reform through the decentralisation process has received little attention from either the Malian government or its international partners. As a consequence, effective decentralisation in northern regions remains limited at this point in time. This policy brief contributes to the debate on decentralisation in Mali by illustrating how decentralisation in northern Mali has become an issue of contestation between central state authorities and armed signatories. Decentralisation remains captured in a logic of territorial control, in which the representation of armed signatories takes precedence before the needs and interests of marginalised tribes and communities in northern regions. Central state authorities and signatories have been reinforcing this logic of representation, each trying to hamper the influence of the other over territorial control in northern regions.
  • Topic: Governance, Fragile States, Conflict, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Fransje Molenaar
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Over the course of 2019, and despite being located in a region marked by violent conflict, the Inter collectivité du Sourou achieved a unique feat in the West African region. It developed an Integrated and Sustainable Development Programme (ISDP) that defined concrete actions to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Sourou river plain in Mali in an adaptive fashion and set itself up as the main coordinator for the implementation of this plan. Both achievements will help the region coordinate natural resource management – thereby addressing one of the region’s root causes of conflict. This policy brief outlines how the effective devolution of power was achieved through an inclusive rather than a ‘rubber stamp’ approach to the planning process and by having a donor that made the improvement of local governance a result of its own intrinsic value. For the long- term implementation of the ISDP, care should be taken to ensure the continued inclusivity and representativeness of local development and resource management while remaining mindful of the interaction of this new governance structure with existing governance and power structures.
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Governance, Sustainable Development Goals, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali, Sahel
  • Author: Loïc Bisson
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: In the Sahel, market closures, border closures and movement restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted the structurally weak pastoral sector, already made vulnerable by conflict. There are several signs of the negative impacts of COVID-19, such as difficulties in moving food and people, poor access to markets, rising food prices and loss of livelihoods. In Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, the pandemic adds to ongoing problems of conflict and political instability. The threat to pastoralists is to lose their herds through overgrazing, zoo-sanitary diseases or lack of income to feed the animals. If pastoralists go bankrupt, they could be forced to sell their livestock at devastatingly low prices to large landholders or wealthy neo-pastoralists. This scenario would aggravate an already-growing trend in the region – escalating economic inequality and the consolidation of wealth among an elite. This risks fuelling inequality and deepening existing fault lines. The priority for Sahelian governments should be clear: keep food coming and people moving, and develop a post-COVID-19 strategy to tackle the vulnerabilities revealed by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Poverty, Conflict, Pastoralism, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Last week’s inauguration of a new Egyptian military base on the Red Sea was heavy with the symbolism of the rivalries shaping the future of the Middle East as well as north and east Africa.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Geopolitics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Red Sea
  • Author: Anwar A. Bashir
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Since Abiy become the new prime minister of Ethiopia, Ethiopian politics has taken a new turn. He has released political prisoners, promoted media freedom and increased inclusion of women into the political arena. He has also invited the opposition to the discussion table, and reduced tension in the 18-year feud between Ethiopia and Eritrea. As a result, some politically-oriented Ethiopians believe Abiy has taken exquisite and peerless actions. There are also several reprehensible issues, which have started under his tenure. Communal violence has peaked whilst agreements with opposition groups was met with skepticism. Moreover, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ethiopia has reached a zenith due to the ethnic violence, for which human rights organizations have heavily criticized Ethiopia’s leadership. Several political analysts note that Abiy’s transformations are only a veneer, because his agreement with oppositions groups are yet to be implemented, especially with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the oldest opposition in the country. This skepticism from the opposition has resulted in a new coalition party aimed at undermining the incumbent government in the upcoming Ethiopian 2020 election. Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF), the second oldest opposition has complained of mistreatment by the leadership of the Somali region. Outspoken opposition politician Lidetu Ayalew of the Ethiopian Democratic Party has asserted, “Ethiopia as a nation is not ready to hold general parliamentary elections.” On the other hand, Abiy disbanded the longest ruling party in the country, the EPRDF, an action that has resulted in a widening dichotomy within his inner-circle. Jawar, an Oromo media tycoon, has tremendous support from the youth, especially since the Oromo region has boycotted Abiy’s policies. With all these various issues and considerations, there is much anticipation as to how the upcoming elections will unfold.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Conflict, Borders
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: There has been fluctuation and reconstruction of political legitimacy. Since the summer of 2014, two battles over legitimacy have spoiled Libyan politics and weakened the UN mediation with two rounds of international recognition of one new political institution or another.
  • Topic: Politics, United Nations, Conflict, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Foreign manipulation defies the wisdom of envisioning a political settlement of the Libyan conflict. All international diplomatic gestures need to be aligned via the UN platform, with a well-defined trajectory, rather than any zero-game equation or realist calculation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics, United Nations, Conflict, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Haim Koren Gideon Behar
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Ifriqiya, Dr. Haim Koren and Ambassador Gideon Behar discuss the causes and potential solutions to the dual challenges of climate change and rising violence in the Sahel region of Africa.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Conflict, Violence, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Germaine Guidimabaye Remadji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Ifriqiya, Germaine Guidimabaye Remadji describes several of the conflicts going on inside and around Chad. She analyses the role of the current government, as well as persistent social and ethno-religious challenges that have complicated efforts to reduce civilian displacement and the rise of jihadi organizations in the Lake Chad region in recent years.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Displacement, Conflict, Jihad, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa, Chad
  • Author: Khayreddine Basha
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The military conflict between Haftar and GNA forces in Libya continues to escalate, unaffected by Covid-19 or international calls for a ceasefire. A lack of coordination between the fighting parties and the ineffective implementation of measures to fight the spread of the pandemic further compound Libya’s worsening humanitarian situation. This paper explores Covid-19 impact on the health and humanitarian situation in Libya and examines the factors that contribute to the continuation of the conflict, including the incitement of international and regional actors involved in it.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Conflict, Public Health, Humanitarian Crisis, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Adv. Belal Al-Najjar
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pal-Think For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Rwandan experience accomplished a success in dealing with conflicts, making an example for countries that are suffering from civil wars, internal divisions, or armed conflicts now. It demonstrates the ability to rebuild a modern state if an actual willingness is available in spite of the existence of tremendous historical epic violence, oppression or armed conflict. Since the beginning of the nineties, Rwanda has been the scene of the most horrific genocidal wars which caused nearly a million lives of people to be gone. These crimes prompted the resignation of President Bisi Mongo, who was unable to control the country after it plunged into chaos. As a result, a civil war broke out in Rwanda between the government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front. The Hutu majority confronted the Tutsi minority. Their conflict continued until the outbreak of a three-month genocidal war. The massacres, which occurred during the conflict period, are considered the fourth largest genocide in the modern history.
  • Topic: Civil War, Genocide, Minorities, Discrimination, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Rwanda
  • Author: William G. Nomikos
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Despite the abundance of evidence that peacekeeping works, we know little about what actually makes peacekeepers effective. Recent work suggesting that local agendas are central to modern conflicts make this omission particularly problematic. The article demonstrates that the presence of peacekeepers makes individuals more optimistic about the risks of engagement and the likelihood that members of outgroups will reciprocate cooperation. I use data from a lab-in-the-field experiment conducted in Mali, a West African country with an active conflict managed by troops from France and the United Nations (UN), to show that UN peacekeepers increase the willingness of individuals to cooperate relative to control and French enforcers. Moreover, I find that UN peacekeepers are especially effective among those participants who hold other groups and institutions in low esteem as well as those who have more frequent contact with peacekeepers. Follow-up interviews and surveys suggest that perceptions of the UN as unbiased rather than other mechanisms account for its effectiveness.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali
  • Author: Ulrich J. Eberle, Dominic Rohner, Mathias Thoenig
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of climate shocks on violence between herders and farmers by using geolocalized data on conflict events for all African countries over the 1997-2014 period. We find that a +1℃ increase in temperature leads to a +54% increase in conflict probability in mixed areas populated by both farmers and herders, compared to +17% increase in non-mixed areas. This result is robust to controlling for the interaction between temperature and ethnic polarization, alternative estimation techniques, disaggregation levels, and coding options of the climatic/conflict/ethnic variables. When quantifying at the continental level the impact on conflict of projected climate change in 2040, we find that, in absence of mixed population areas, global warming is predicted to increase total annual conflicts by about a quarter in whole Africa; when factoring in the magnifying effect of mixed settlements, total annual conflicts are predicted to rise by as much as a third. We also provide two pieces of evidence that resource competition is a major driver of farmer-herder violence. Firstly, conflicts are much more prevalent at the fringe between rangeland and farmland - a geographic buffer of mixed usage that is suitable for both cattle herding and farming but is particularly vulnerable to climate shocks. Secondly, information on groups' mobility reveals that temperature spikes in the ethnic homeland of a nomadic group tend to diffuse its fighting operations outside its homeland, with a magnified spatial spread in the case of conflicts over resources. Finally, we show that violence is substantially reduced in the presence of policies that empower local communities, foster participatory democracy, enforce property rights and regulate land dispute resolution.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Conflict, Violence, Farming
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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