An Analysis of the Sustainability of Peace Agreements in West Africa: The Cases of Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia›
This policy brief summarizes some of the results of a study based on empirical data carried out in Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia with financial support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Careful interrogation of the key sustainability factors of peace agreements through the recent experiences of countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is crucial to effectively managing those agreements. Given the very transient nature of the various peace agreements signed following military-political conflicts in Africa, important questions arise:MORE
Media Narratives on Female Violent Extremism Open Up a Rich Field of Scholarly Inquiry›By Fredrick Ogenga // Tuesday, December 27, 2016
There is an emerging trend of female violent extremism in Kenya, embodied by three women who botched an attack on the Mombasa police station on September 15, 2016. To say the least, the attack was publicly shocking, as Kenya has never witnessed anything like it before, in terms of women’s direct involvement in terrorism. This incident points to a worrying trend of female violent extremism, but scholarly inquiry is required to fully make out what it means.MORE
Localizing African Structural Transformation: Voicing Lessons from Madagascar›
The 2009 uprising in Madagascar that led to the overthrow of President Marc Ravalomanana and the subsequent intervention of the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) shook Madagascar to its core. The political crisis, which began with tensions and protests, culminated in violence against the opposition, a Malagasy military intervention, and the ousting of the president. President Ravalomanana’s removal was followed by an AU and SADC intervention to mediate and resolve the conflict.MORE
Peacebuilding in CAR: How the AU Can Be More Effective›
In February, Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected president of the Central African Republic (CAR), ending a three-year-long transition in the country. This has given CAR a new opportunity to achieve and sustain peace by addressing the complex array of political, economic, and social causes of the conflict.
International organizations have been active in supporting CAR’s transition in recent years, but with limited results. One of these organizations, the African Union (AU), is now evaluating ways to be more effective. In particular, the AU is looking for better ways to address the long-term drivers of conflicts – in CAR, but also elsewhere – through its post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) framework.MORE
South Sudan: Can a Fragile Unity Government Guarantee Peace and Security?›By Getachew Zeru Gebrekidan // Thursday, July 14, 2016
In August 2015, under the auspices of IGAD Plus,1 President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar signed a peace deal for the formation of the transitional national unity government to end more than two years of devastating civil war. Following the deal, Machar, who is also leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), returned to Juba in April 2016 and was sworn in as First Vice President, forging a unity government with President Kiir. In accordance with the transitional security arrangements, which came into effect in April, the two rival armies of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA-IO have been stationed in Juba to co-exist and hold joint patrols, providing security and protection in the capital. However, the political leadership has been unable to deal with serious structural issues in the peace agreements and the security situation has deteriorated rapidly since June 2016.MORE
Mozambique: There’s More to Peace than Silencing the Guns›
“We hadn’t understood the war, and now we didn’t understand the peace. But everything seemed to be going well, after the guns had fallen silent.”
This quote from Mia Couto’s famous 2000 book, The Last Flight of the Flamingo, remains a pertinent reminder of the many challenges faced by Mozambique’s peacebuilding process.
Following the end of Mozambique’s civil war over two decades ago, the country has come to be seen as a model of successful peacebuilding. Years of high economic growth and relatively peaceful elections seemed to indicate that the country had achieved sustainable peace.MORE
Peacebuilding in Africa: What Comes After?›By Maame Esi Eshun // Thursday, June 16, 2016
Sustainable peace eludes many African countries. Most post-conflict societies in Africa continue to be dominated by the aftermath of war, including weak health, educational, and infrastructural systems; growing slums; power and identity issues; corruption; and a legacy of violent tendencies which often do not easily fade away. When the root causes of conflict—largely land disputes, inequalities, the quest for power, and ownership of natural resources—are not thoroughly dealt with, violence can reoccur even after peace has been restored.
At the core of many of these issues is a lack of inclusivity in peacebuilding efforts. While recognizing the numerous reconstruction programs, there is limited evidence of reconstruction programs that continue to support the reintegration of all members of society to cope with the difficult and long-term process of transformation even after peace is restored. It is therefore imperative that in promoting sustainable peace, the physical, social, economic, and psychological wellbeing of all members of society are catered for. But how do we ensure that all members of society—men, women, and youth—are well supported for successful reintegration into society and adaptation to the change in the status quo in the ‘next phase’ after peacebuilding? What happens to these groups after peacebuilding, and how can post-peacebuilding challenges be addressed to prevent fueling tensions and conflicts?MORE
What Does New Momentum for UN Peace and Security Really Mean?›
A famous maxim defines insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly, but expecting different results. In her opening statement at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Thematic Debate on Peace and Security, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee used this definition to describe challenges faced by UN engagements in peace operations and peacebuilding.
The 10-11 May meeting, called by the president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and themed In a world in risks: a new commitment for peace, provided a platform to reflect on current challenges to international peace and security. These focused, in particular, on responses to the 2015 reviews on peace operations, peacebuilding, and women, peace, and security.MORE
Peacebuilding through Elections in Africa›By Arsène Brice Bado // Thursday, November 19, 2015
Photo by MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh via Flickr. Creative Commons.
The rise of violence and armed conflicts following elections in some African countries has ignited a hotly contested debate on the correlation between elections and peace (Fischer, 2002; Wai, 2011). This debate is part of a larger scholarly debate on democracy and peace (Buchan, 2002; B. Russett, Layne, Spiro, & Doyle, 1995; B. M. Russett, 1993). One has to acknowledge the existence of a paradox in the use of elections in peace building strategies, since there is no doubt that elections can exacerbate conflicts in divided societies (Wai, 2011). Elections are about power and who will control it and lead the community. Elections are also about choosing between rivals and deciding who the winner is and who the loser is. In such situations, an election may act as the perfect trigger for conflict and political violence. Divided societies, including war-torn areas, therefore become “dangerous places” by holding elections (Gillies, 2011).MORE
Why Are So Many Post-Conflict Electoral Processes Trapped by Spoilers?›By Arsène Brice Bado // Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Just a few weeks before the long-awaited post-conflict elections in the Central African Republic, armed fighting resumed, making it impossible to hold the elections on October 18th as initially scheduled. This scenario is very common in post-conflict electoral processes: election dates are often postponed due to logistical problems and an unwillingness to participate by groups that do not feel they have a stake in the success of the elections.1 This has been the case in most of the post-conflict elections in Africa, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.2MORE
What We’re Tweeting
- The Media and Election-Related Violence in Africa: Lessons from Kenya March 27, 2017
- CANCELED: A Conversation with the Foreign Minister of Nigeria, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama March 15, 2017
- Sudans Working Group: A Private Discussion with His Excellency Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of the Sudan March 1, 2017