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  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As the crisis in Mali threatens to grow into a full-fledged regional security and humanitarian nightmare, nervous neighboring countries are looking to Algeria to lead a conflict management effort. In many ways Algeria has always wanted recognition as a regional leader. Yet, Algiers worries about being dragged into a Saharan quagmire and seems reluctant or unable to maintain stability in its backyard. Both the country's neighbors and the West are questioning Algeria's decision not to take a more active role in Mali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Mali
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Carlo Koos
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: We employ a two‐tier spatiotemporal analysis to investigate whether uranium operations cause armed conflict in Africa. The macrolevel analysis suggests that – compared to the baseline conflict risk – uranium ventures increase the risk of intrastate conflict by 10 percent. However, we find ethnic exclusion to be a much better predictor of armed conflict than uranium. The microlevel analysis reveals that uranium‐spurred conflicts are spatiotemporally feasible in four countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Niger and South Africa. We find strong evidence in the case of Niger, and partial evidence in the case of the DRC. Namibia and South Africa do not yield substantial evidence of uranium‐ induced conflicts. We conclude that uranium may theoretically be a conflictinducing resource, but to the present day empirical evidence has been sparse as most countries are still in the exploration phase. Considering that the coming years will see 25 African countries transition from uranium explorers into producers, we strongly suggest that our analysis be revisited in the coming years.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The “Sudan Problem” has not gone away with the South's secession. Chronic conflict, driven by concentration of power and resources in the centre, continues to plague the country. The solution is a more inclusive government that addresses at least some of the peripheries' grievances, but pledges to transform governance remain unfulfilled. A key hurdle – though not the only one – is President Bashir, who has further concentrated authority in a small circle of trusted officials and is unwilling to step aside. Many hope for regime change via coup but have not considered the dangers. The goal should be managed transition to a government that includes, but is not dominated by his National Congress Party (NCP). He might be willing to go along if he concludes greater disorder or even a coup is growing more likely, but only if the right incentives are in place. The international community should contribute to these provided a credible and inclusive transitional government, a meaningful national dialogue on a new constitution and a roadmap for permanent change in how Sudan is governed are first put firmly in train.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Regime Change, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Megan Gleason
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper, commissioned by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, analyzes current trends in United Nations peacekeeping and makes predictions about the development of UN operations over the next five years (to 2017). It covers (i) the changing global context for UN operations and efforts to enhance the organization's performance over the last five years; (ii) trends in troop and police contributions; (iii) projections about potential demand for UN forces in various regions, especially the Middle East and Africa, in the next five years and (iv) suggestions about the types of contributions European countries such as Denmark can make to reinforce UN missions in this period.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Relations, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since 2001, violence has erupted in Jos city, capital of Plateau state, in Nigeria's Middle Belt region. The ostensible dispute is over the “rights” of the indigene Berom/ Anaguta/Afizere (BAA) group and the rival claims of the Hausa-Fulani settlers to land, power and resources. Indigene- settler conflicts are not new to Nigeria, but the country is currently experiencing widespread intercommunal strife, which particularly affects the Middle Belt. The Jos crisis is the result of failure to amend the constitution to privilege broad-based citizenship over exclusive indigene status and ensure that residency rather than indigeneity determines citizens' rights. Constitutional change is an important step to defuse indigene-settler rivalries that continue to undermine security. It must be accompanied by immediate steps to identify and prosecute perpetrators of violence, in Jos and other parts of the country. Elites at local, state and federal level must also consistently implement policies aimed at reducing the dangerous link between ethnic belonging and access to resources, power and security if intercommunal violence is to end.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: En l'espace d'une décennie, le golfe de Guinée est devenu l'une des zones mar itimes les plus dangereuses du monde. L'insécurité maritime est un véritable problème régional qui menace, à court terme, le commerce et, à long terme, la stabilité des pays riverains en compromettant le déve- loppement de cette zone éc onomique stratégique. Initia- lement pris au dépourvu, les Etats de la région ont pris conscience du problème et un sommet international sur ce sujet doit être prochainement organisé. Afin d'éviter que, comme sur les côtes est-africaines, cette criminalité trans- nationale ne prenne une ampleur déstabilisatrice, les gou- vernements concernés doivent mettre fin au vide sécuritaire et apporter une réponse collective à ce danger. Grâce à une coopération dynamique en tre la Communauté écono- mique des Etats d'Afrique centrale (CEEAC) et la Commu- nauté économique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Ce- deao), les pays du golfe de Guinée doivent devenir les premiers acteurs de leur sécurité et mettre en œuvre une nouvelle approche fondée sur l'amélioration de leur sécuri- té maritime mais aussi de leur gouvernance économique.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Crime, Development, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce, Fragile/Failed State, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Roland Marchal
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: No clear settlement of the crisis in Mali seems possible in the short term, despite a UN Security Council resolution on October 12th paving the way for a military intervention by ECOWAS countries. The crisis is fed by various dynamics that need to be reconciled for peace to prevail. Firstly, the transition in Bamako is going nowhere, and further divisions in the government and the resurgence of the coup makers undermine the fragile progress witnessed in July. Unable to agree on a solution in Bamako, most political actors have developed a militaristic approach to any solution for the north. Secondly, Islamist and jihadist movements were able to gain control of northern Mali (two-thirds of the country) in a few months and have enforced new rules inspired by their understanding of Islam. Although protests erupted in several cities, the militants deepened their control over the region and its local and transnational economy and may have a constituency among the population. ECOWAS, supported by France, is willing to intervene militarily, but the fragmentation of the Malian army is a key weakness. Moreover, ECOWAS has not spelled out the actual aims of its intervention: mere territorial gains without addressing local and national grievances may mean the return of the status quo ante, which would be unacceptable to most people in northern Mali. As usual, the long-term political dimensions of the ECOWAS intervention are dismissed in favour of an immediate military victory that would be very fragile as a result.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, Northern Mali
  • Author: Richard Downie
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Less than 18 months into its life as an independent nation, South Sudan is facing a desperate struggle for survival. Because the terms of its separation from Sudan were not decided before independence, negotiations have dragged on over issues including borders, security arrangements, and the qualifications for citizenship, diverting attention from the urgent task of development. Most damagingly, the two nations have failed to cooperate on oil production, the mainstay of their economies. Anger over the high price Sudan was demanding to use its pipeline prompted the government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) to shut off oil production entirely in January 2012. Although a compromise was reached in August, implementation stalled until a broader agreement was signed by the two countries in late September. The implications for health development in South Sudan are stark. Even before the oil shutdown, international donors had paid for and delivered most health services. However, talks had been ongoing to transfer to a more sustainable system in which the GRSS assumed more responsibility for the health needs of its citizens. Donors spoke of the importance of moving away from a top-down system centered on emergency relief and primary health care delivery, mainly administered by international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Instead, the objective was to move to a new phase focused on developing health systems that would increasingly be managed by South Sudanese themselves. These plans were put on hold by the oil shutdown and the calamitous economic crisis it triggered. Donors feel that South Sudan has regressed in the period since independence, and they apportion a lot of the blame for the dire situation on the government of South Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Health, Oil, Infectious Diseases, Financial Crisis, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Øystein Rolandsen, Jacob Høigilt, Åshild Falch
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: As a former coloniser and the Sudan's Nile-valley neighbour to the north, Egypt will inevitably be affected by the Sudan's political transition. As Egypt's regional influence appears to wane, the Sudan's increasing economic strength and the likely secession of Southern Sudan exemplify Egypt's overall difficulties in regard to the regional politics of the Horn of Africa and Nile Basin. Egyptian policy-makers and diplomats struggle with fundamental contradictions in Egypt's current regional status, competing priorities, and the need to stay on good terms with all political parties in the Sudan. To be able to balance domestic needs, relations with its immediate neighbours, and its role as a regional power Egypt must reshape its foreign policy; Egypt's national interests in the Sudan preclude neutrality in the processes ahead. It can however play a key role in a joint regional and international effort to secure the peaceful secession for Southern Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Civil War, Democratization, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Sudan, Egypt
  • Author: Matthias Basedau, Johannes Vüllers, Georg Strüver
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the religious diversity in sub–Saharan Africa and the religious overtones in a number of African conflicts, social science research has inadequately addressed the question of how and to what extent religion matters for conflict in Africa. This paper presents an innovative data inventory on religion and violent conflict in all sub–Saharan countries for the period 1990–2008 that seeks to contribute to filling the gap. The data underscore that religion has to be accounted for in conflict in Africa. Moreover, results show the multidimensionality (e.g. armed conflicts with religious incompatibilities, several forms of non‐state religious violence) and ambivalence (inter‐religious networks, religious peace initiatives) of religion vis–à–vis violence. In 22 of the 48 sub–Saharan countries, religion plays a substantial role in violence, and six countries in particular—Chad, Congo‐Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda— are heavily affected by different religious aspects of violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Post Colonialism, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa