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  • Author: Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since early October 2017, when the Islamist militants or jihadists – identified as the Ansar al-Sunna – launched their first attacks in the villages and towns of Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado, insurgency and conflict has continued to escalate, targeting civilians, public infrastructure and government buildings. Although the Government of Mozambique continues to make concerted efforts to fight and subdue the terrorist insurgency through its national defence forces, the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM), a series of battles with the terrorist militants has resulted in widespread violence, insecurity, the death of over 2 400 people[1] and the displacement of over 500 000 civilians by the end of November 2020.[2] It has also disrupted economic activities, especially farming, thereby worsening food insecurity.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Food Security, Displacement, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Mubin Adewumi Bakare
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election on 31 October 2020 marked the fifth presidential election held in the country since the death of the “pere foundateur de la nation” (father of the nation), Félix Houphouët-Boigny, in 1993. The election was held in a tense political and volatile security atmosphere, driven by opposition protests against President Alassane Ouattara’s third-term candidacy, which was a breach of the 2016 constitution. The political contest among the political stakeholders also bordered on matters around the electoral code, the voter register, implementation of the constitutional reforms and the composition of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which opposition parties denounced as non-inclusive, unbalanced and partisan.[1] The inability of the ruling party and the opposition parties – which formed a common political front, led by Henri Konan Bédié – to reach common ground in addressing these issues led to a series of protests, which escalated into violence across the country. On the eve of the election, Bédiéand Pascal Affi N’Guessan, the two major opposition candidates, reneged their participation in the election and called on their supporters to block the election. The election result declared by the IEC proclaimed Ouattara as the winner, having amassed 94.27% of the votes cast. N’Guessan got 0.99%, Bédié was credited with 1.66% and Kouadio Konan Bertin obtained 1.99%.[2] These results, which were ratified by the Constitutional Council on 9 November 2020, as stipulated in the constitution, endorsed President Ouattara as the winner. However, N’Guessan, on behalf of the opposition parties, announced his non-recognition of Ouattara’s victory and thereby installed a National Transitional Council, with Bédié as the president.Protests by opposition parties and their supporters led to violence, which resulted in about 85 deaths recorded in localities including Yopougon, Bonoua, Mbatto, Bongouanou, Daoukro and others.
  • Topic: Elections, Election watch, Domestic Policy, Opposition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Jenny Nortvedt
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The year 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the unanimous adoption of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; 25 years since the World Conference on Women in Beijing; and the conclusion of the African Women’s Decade. Since 2000, the UN has adopted 10 subsequent resolutions and several strategies under the normative framework of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. On the African continent, the African Union (AU) and its member states have promoted the WPS agenda through several legal guidelines, training manuals and normative frameworks, including Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063, the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004), The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003) and the AU Gender Policy (2009). Furthermore, in 2016, more than 19 AU member states adopted Resolution 1325 national action plans and, in 2018, the AU adopted the regional Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (2018–2028).[2]Still, despite progress in many areas, the advancement of women’s meaningful participation in peacebuilding efforts and the promotion of gender equality in peace and security has been slow.[3] Since the adoption of Resolution 1325 and the resolutions that followed, which now constitute the WPS normative framework, a substantial body of literature has emerged. The literature has concentrated on some key thematic areas – participation, protection, prevention and gender perspectives – which, to a large degree, mirror the four main pillars in Resolution 1325. In 2018, The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Securityexamined the growing academic and policy contributions to the WPS agenda over the past two decades and highlighted remaining challenges.[4] Therefore, the recent anniversary presents an opportunity to continue on this track and to take stock of recent and ongoing empirical studies and emerging topics within the WPS agenda. This review explores (1) recent academic and policy contributions to the WPS agenda on the African continent from 2017 onwards, with a special emphasis on participation; and (2) relevant new contributions regarding emerging challenges to female participation in peacebuilding efforts. There have been several reviews regarding the operationalisation and implementation of the goals set out in Resolution 1325 by both the UN and the AU, and in academic communities – for example, the AU Commission Review; Implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Africa; the Continental Results Framework: Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa (2018–2028);[5] the review Women, Peace and Security – Implementing the Maputo Protocol in Africa (2016),[6] the recent 10-year Review of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda of the AU Peace and Security Council (2020)[7] and the 2015 UN review, including the UN Global Study.[8] However, the main focus of this article is a review of the academic contributions in the past few years, to evaluate the empirical foundation for the next decade of the WPS agenda.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Peace, Participation, Equality
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christopher Zambakari
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Imperial powers such as Rome, Persia, Japan and China have justified their conquests as a benefit to those that were conquered by virtue of bringing a superior civilisation to their world.[1] Among imperial powers, one of the most strident were the Second and Third French Republics.[2] The civilising mission – or what French historian Raoul Girardet refers to as “colonial humanism”[3] – came to define French colonial statecraft in the early 19th century crusade to improve the lives of people who France saw as backward in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. For intellectuals such as Leroy-Beaulieu, civilisation was to be spread through commerce, trade and exchanges between people, rather than through conquest.[4] By the early 1800s, the republican ideals that inspired the French Revolution were slowly abandoned for a more forceful assimilationist policy exemplified by colonial expansionist policies. According to Jules Brévié, governor-general of French West Africa from 1930 to 1936 and of French Indochina from 1936 to 1939, the most important task for the French was to bring about a cultural renaissance to the indigenous people.[5] Brévié called for a redefined mission with a focus on teaching colonised subjects to live according to “authentic African traditions”.[6] As with the British before them, French policy adapted to the local context and shifted towards a more “indirect mode of rule”,[7] casting foreign rule as the protectors of indigenous cultures. This article analyses the French imperial project in Africa, with a focus on the Federation of French West Africa (consisting of today’s Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal). It outlines differences and similarities between the French mode of direct rule and the British mode of indirect rule. To understand the methodology of rule, one must first understand the system of knowledge production that informed, shaped and guided the colonial project. A policy change occurred after the French experienced a crisis of empire, which ushered in fundamental transformations before World War I (1909 and 1912) and the interwar years between 1918 and 1939 (from “assimilation” to that of “association”). The new policy shifted the focus from antagonism towards Islam to collaboration with Islamic representatives, from civilisations to conservation, from a focus on progress to law and order, and a preoccupation with local customs while managing social and cultural differences (pluralism).[8] This article is offered as an important contribution to the political and intellectual history of the largest colonial state in Africa: the Federation of French West Africa.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Intellectual History, Colonialism, Assimilation , Customs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Mauritania, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin
  • Author: Maryline Njoroge
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since International Youth Day was celebrated on 12 August 2020, it is a good time to take stock of the youth and their role in peacebuilding and peace processes in Africa. With the youth, peace and security agenda gaining ground in recent years, this is an opportune time for youth-focused organisations to strengthen their work on youth and peacebuilding, while contributing to the ongoing discourse. The youth, peace and security agenda is currently backed by three United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted between 2015 and 2020, namely UNSC Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020). Among other priorities, the resolutions emphasise the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security;[1] reiterate the need for stakeholders to take young people’s views into account and facilitate their equal and full participation in peace and decision-making processes at all levels; and recognise the positive role young people can play in negotiating and implementing peace agreements and in preventing and resolving conflict.[2] The third resolution, adopted in July 2020, also establishes a regular biennial reporting requirement on youth, peace and security by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, which is a great step forward in mainstreaming the youth, peace and security agenda into the work of the UN – especially since youth engagement in peacebuilding and peace processes is ad hoc and intermittent. The reporting requirement will therefore provide a snapshot of ongoing processes and how engagement can be enhanced and deepened in future processes.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Youth, Peace, Participation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: 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