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  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nigeria has had a grim history of electoral violence since its return to democratic rule in 1999, and with its next elections eight weeks away, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding - Nigeria (WANEP-Nigeria), held a workshop on the prevention of electoral violence. The workshop entitled, "Nigeria 2007: Building Blocks for a Peaceful Transition," took place in Abuja, Nigeria, from February 13 to February 15, 2007. Thirty-one participants from civil society organizations representing all six of Nigeria's geo-political zones attended the workshop.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Nigeria
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform (SSR) is one of the four major objectives pursued by the Liberian government as it rebuilds after the fifteen-year civil war. The innovative approaches and framework employed by the government of Liberia and the international community to reform the Liberian security sector after the civil war were discussed at a meeting of the Liberia Working Group, an initiative of the United States Institute of Peace. The meeting, which took place on February 21, 2007 featured Ambassador Jacques Paul Klein, former United Nations special representative of the secretary general in Liberia (UNSRSG), and Andy Michels and Sean McFate, co-founders of Interlocutor Group. The panelists provided an overview of the policy framework used for security reform in post-conflict Liberia and the challenges facing Liberia in rebuilding its security services. This USIPeace Briefing highlights the central points of the meeting and summarizes recommendations for the way forward. Most of the discussion during the working group meeting centered on the reform of the army, although key points on police reform are also noted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Communism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Liberia
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The socio-economic and political conditions in Zimbabwe have been declining for years, but on March 11, 2007, they seemed to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Following months of protests, the Zimbabwean security forces embarked on a political crackdown that resulted in the arrest and assault of opposition leaders, including Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition party. Against these worsening conditions, the United States Institute of Peace convened a public meeting on April 25, 2007, led by Michael Bratton, Adrienne LeBas, and Martha Mutisi, to discuss the triggers leading to the March 2007 crackdown, the changes within the political parties in Zimbabwe, the challenges facing civil society organizations (CSOs), and the public's response to past political violence. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes the meeting's discussions and highlights recommendations for the way forward.
  • Topic: Security, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Anna Theofilopoulou
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The conflict over Western Sahara between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, a rebel movement striving for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco, has been on the agenda of the UN Security Council since 1991. The settlement plan that came into effect that year envisaged a referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara with the choice of either integration with Morocco or independence. This "win or lose" approach is responsible for the "take no prisoners," zero-sum attitude adopted by both sides ever since. It has caused both parties to miss opportunities for a solution that would have allowed each to get some of what it wanted while allowing the other to save face. It has also paralyzed the UN from taking decisive action that could have resolved the conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Finn Stepputat
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This brief provides a concise overview of the problems and dilemmas that confront organizations and companies working in fragile states and presents the major guidelines, recommendations and ethical frameworks that have emerged to address these issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anthony Turton
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: It is impossible to understand the developmental constraints of Africa without grasping the significance of water resources, particularly groundwater. Southern Africa faces potentially severe groundwater shortages, which not only imperil the lives of those directly dependent on it, but also the continued development of the economic engines of the region—South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe—all of which face significant constraints on their future economic growth due to the insecurity of water supply. In addition, groundwater resources are the foundation of rural water supplies, which sustain livelihoods for the poorest of the poor communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Environment
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
  • Author: Andrew Mwenda
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Africa is the world's poorest continent. Between 1974 and 2003, the per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa declined by 11 percent. Africa continues to trail the rest of the world on human development indicators including life expectancy; infant mortality; undernourishment; school enrollment; and the incidence of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. The international aid lobby advocates more foreign aid and greater debt relief for Africa as solutions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Somalia has been drifting toward a new war since the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was formed in late 2004 but the trend has recently accelerated dramatically. The stand-off between the TFG and its Ethiopian ally on the one hand, and the Islamic Courts, which now control Mogadishu, on the other, threatens to escalate into a wider conflict that would consume much of the south, destabilise peaceful territories like Somaliland and Puntland and possibly involve terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries unless urgent efforts are made by both sides and the international community to put together a government of national unity.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A potent cocktail of poverty, crime and corruption is fuelling a militant threat to Nigeria's reliability as a major oil producer. Since January 2006, fighters from a new group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), have fought with government forces, sabotaged oil installations, taken foreign oil workers hostage and carried out two lethal car bombings. MEND demands the government withdraw troops, release imprisoned ethnic leaders and grant oil revenue concessions to Delta groups. The Nigerian government needs to forge far-reaching reforms to administration and its approach to revenue sharing, the oil companies to involve credible, community-based organisations in their development efforts and Western governments to pay immediate attention to improving their own development aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform has become a pivotal part of international peacebuilding efforts. Donor agencies and Western government are devoting substantial resources to strengthen the legitimacy and efficiency of war-torn societies' security systems. At the same time, it is commonly accepted that lasting solutions cannot be imposed on societies. In order to be sustained, reforms must be locally owned. Based on an outline of the concept of Security Sector Reform and a presentation of two different approaches to ownership, the brief discusses the ongoing SSR-process in Liberia in view of the recent shift from a transitional to a democratically elected government. It identifies dilemmas between the current SSR-agenda and the objective of ownership, and argues that a more inclusive and less state-centred approach is needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa