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  • Author: Daniel Forti, Priyal Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The strategic partnership between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), the two principal international organisations tasked with addressing peace and security challenges on the African continent, remains a priority for both organisations. The organisations and their member states have worked in tandem since the AU’s creation in 2002 and the subsequent establishment of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). During this time, the partnership has focused primarily on joint conflict resolution and crisis management efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: 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: Alexandre Kateb
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: According to official statistics, the African continent has been relatively spared by the Covid-19 pandemic compared to Europe, America and Asia. The factors behind the low incidence of coronavirus in Africa are not fully understood. According to the WHO, the African continent has benefited from certain structural factors such as the limited international connectivity of most African countries, with the exception of some regional "hubs" such as Johannesburg, Casablanca, Addis Ababa and Nairobi. Incidentally, the most 'connected' African countries such as Morocco and South Africa have incurred the highest prevalence rates of Covid-19, which may lend credence to this explanation.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Louis Caudron
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Robert Schuman Foundation (RSF)
  • Abstract: On 18 December 2020, the European Commission welcomed the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Member States allocating €79.5 billion to a new Neighbourhood, Development Cooperation and International Cooperation Instrument (NDCI) for the period 2021- 2027. Since its creation, the European Union has been a major player in public aid granted by rich countries to developing countries. The European Development Fund (EDF) was launched by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and for decades provided aid to the former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). The eleventh EDF, covering the period 2014- 2020 with a budget of €30.5 billion, will be replaced by the NDICI (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument). The Union and its Member States are the world's largest donor of official development assistance. Their contribution of €74.4 billion in 2018 represents more than half of the OECD countries’ Official Development Assistance ($150 billion in 2018).
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Education, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Wendell Hassan Marsh
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), Rutgers University School of Law
  • Abstract: African Islamic modernity is a discourse, a historical condition, and a project that highlights the entanglements of African racial identities, Islamic forms of life, and modernity as the globally hegemonic mode of social, economic, and political being. While there are many lineages by which one might trace the story of entanglement — situated differently in various locations, traditions, and contexts — the contemporary nation-state of Senegal is the ideal setting to think through these relationships. It is a space marked by a millennium of Islamic presence and over five centuries of integration in the global economy sequentially defined by the trans-Atlantic slave-trade, colonization, and neoliberal economic structural adjustment. It is also a space in which conflicting Africanist and Orientalist discourses have competed to represent a society that consistently escapes both constructions. Between and beyond these discourses, there is an important national discourse that narrates a story of modernity in three key episodes: 1) Islamic revolution that enshrines Islamic principles of governance, 2) anti-colonial messianism that carves out an autonomous space of Islamic economics, and 3) Racial accommodation in which the colonial state and Sufi orders negotiate the terms of the social contract. In this talk, I will show how these episodes together constitute a history of the present.
  • Topic: Islam, Race, Religion, History, Hegemony, Colonialism, Discourse, Modernity
  • Political Geography: Africa, Senegal
  • Author: Matthew Page
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For politically exposed persons (PEPs) with ill-gotten wealth, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an alluring destination for investing their gains. Although certainly not the only place to stash money, Dubai—dubbed the commercial capital of the Middle East—exercises minimal oversight and has few legal or logistical obstacles to transferring large amounts of cash or purchasing property. PEPs, defined as individuals who are or have been entrusted with a prominent public function, are at higher risk of involvement in unlawful activity due to their positions of influence and access to assets.1 In some cases, government officials and associates who succumb to the temptation become front-page news, but in many other cases, their activities go undetected or uncorroborated, despite the efforts of local authorities and intergovernmental bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force. As a result, billions of dollars are siphoned away to the detriment of both prosperous and struggling economies and societies. The case of Nigeria—home to Africa’s largest economy and the world’s seventh most populous country—offers valuable insights into this phenomenon.2 For Nigerian PEPs in particular, Dubai is an accessible oasis far away from the political drama in their capital, Abuja, or the hustle and bustle of their biggest city, Lagos. But a dearth of specific information about Nigerian PEPs’ property in Dubai has long precluded a deeper analysis of the share of illicit financial outflows from Nigeria; that is, until 2016, when the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (now known as C4ADS) acquired the data of a private database of Dubai real estate information (dubbed the “Sandcastles” data). At least 800 properties were found to have links to Nigerian PEPs or their family members, associates, and suspected proxies. With such information and continued monitoring, Nigerian and Emirati authorities and national and international actors could ramp up their scrutiny on high-end property transactions involving Nigerian elites to ensure that these purchases are not being made with pilfered public funds. The two countries could also deepen bilateral law enforcement cooperation by sharing information and assisting investigations more responsively and routinely. For their part, Western governments, the United Nations, and other international organizations could press the UAE to make its property and corporate records more transparent.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economy, Financial Crimes, Elites, Property
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria, Dubai, Gulf Nations