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  • 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: 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