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  • Author: Kitenge N'Gambwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) gained its independence in 1960, the country 's leadership has been lacking three attributes of the utmost importance to the country's welfare: a real vision for the DRC's future, the competence and ability to execute the vision, and the character needed to ensure the realization of the vision with sound judgment, integrity, and equity. To break from the DRC's past patterns of poor governance, a clear and practical vision for the country's future must be articulated and implemented, requiring concerted effort from a new and energized leadership. This type of leadership should come from the Congolese people—both those living in the country and those who are part of its far-flung diaspora. Opportunities and avenues for reform include revamping democratic governance and electoral reform, promoting economic growth by moving beyond aid and creating a favorable environment for investment, reforming the mining sector, improving the health and education systems, and strengthening the DRC's judiciary. A well-organized and invigorated Congolese diaspora can join with Congolese living in the DRC to work toward the reforms. The upcoming elections in November 2011 offer a chance to step up these organizational and advocacy efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Crystal Murphy
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Though microfinance is championed in “typical” underdeveloped societies, its appropriateness for societies in the wake of conflict is not certain. Through in-depth field interviews and subsequent narrative analysis, this essay details lived realities of microfinance in Juba, South Sudan since the 20 05 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It describes how repatriates navigate the complex new economy, credit, and income opportunities to secure livelihoods after war. It finds that microfinance in Juba does serve some worthwhile ends in the post-conflict economy, which, however, complicate the industry's success narratives.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan, Juba
  • Author: Ruben de Koning
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Mineral resources have played a crucial role in fuelling protracted armed conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Resource revenues obtained by looting, illegal levies and more sophisticated entrepreneurial involvement help foreign rebels and Congolese militia to finance violence and to withstand military defeat and pressure to lay down arms. However, the regular armed forces are becoming equally involved in illegal exploitation of mineral extraction and trade. The thirst for resource revenues spurs rivalry between regular army units and undermines effective command and control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Armed Struggle, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) remains a deadly threat to civilians in three Central African states. After a ceasefire and negotiations for peaceful settlement of the generation-long insurgency broke down in 2008, Uganda's army botched an initial assault. In three years since, half-hearted operations have failed to stop the small, brutally effective band from killing more than 2,400 civilians, abducting more than 3,400 and causing 440,000 to flee. In 2010 President Museveni withdrew about half the troops to pursue more politically rewarding goals. Congolese mistrust hampers current operations, and an African Union (AU) initiative has been slow to start. While there is at last a chance to defeat the LRA, both robust military action and vigorous diplomacy is required. Uganda needs to take advantage of new, perhaps brief, U.S. engagement by reinvigorating the military offensive; Washington needs to press regional leaders for cooperation; above all, the AU must act promptly to live up to its responsibilities as guarantor of continental security. When it does, Uganda and the U.S. should fold their efforts into the AU initiative.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Religion, Torture, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, United States
  • Author: Nada Mustafa Ali
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: South Sudan’s independence ends decades of conflict as well as socioeconomic and political marginalization at the hands of successive governments in Khartoum, which affected women in gender-specific ways. Independence thus opens up opportunities for women’s economic and social empowerment, ensuring that the new country’s political and economic structures and institutions reflect commitments to women’s participation and human rights. In turn, empowering women will enable South Sudan to strengthen its economic and political structures and institutions. There is great potential for gender equality and respect for women’s rights in South Sudan. The government has expressed commitments to equality between women and men and to women’s participation. South Sudan is relatively egalitarian and lacking in religious extremism. International actors interested in South Sudan recognize that promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and addressing gender-based violence (GBV) are key to maintaining peace and security and helping South Sudan’s economy grow. Challenges abound, however. South Sudan is severely lacking in infrastructure and has some of the worst human development indicators worldwide. Social and cultural practices harmful to women compound the effects of conflict and marginalization. There are constant internal and external security threats, a limited understanding of gender equality, and a tendency within communities to view gender as an alien and illegitimate concern, given the acute problems that South Sudan faces. The government of South Sudan, with the support of regional partners and the international community, should ensure that gender equality and women’s rights are fully integrated into and are outcomes of state building. National planning, developing the permanent constitution, and building the country’s new institutions and structures should reflect commitments to gender equality and input from women and women’s groups across South Sudan. The government should cost and meet the full budgetary needs of the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Welfare; ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; strengthen efforts to prevent GBV and address the needs of GBV victims and survivors; and invest more in quality and accessible health and education.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Howard B. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: On the day after Christmas 2004, a powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake under the Indian Ocean off of northern Sumatra sent massive waves crashing against the coastlines of countries as far away as Kenya and Madagascar. This tsunami killed or left missing some 226,000 people and displaced an estimated 1.7 million more in fourteen Asian and African countries.1 Damage to property—infrastructure, residences, government buildings, and commercial establishments—was enormous. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives were the most seriously affected. Dramatically filmed on the cameras and cell phones of local inhabitants and the many western tourists caught up in the catastrophe, the tsunami attracted instant and extensive worldwide attention and sympathetic response. Foreign governments, international agencies, and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) alike quickly undertook what became a global effort to assist local authorities to rescue and rehabilitate the victims and begin rebuilding the extensive stricken areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Peace Studies, Poverty, Natural Disasters, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, India, Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Shepard Forman, Rahul Chandran, Gigja Sorensen
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Burundi was placed on the Peacebuilding Commission's (PBC) agenda in June 2006, as the peacekeeping mission (ONUB) was drawing down and the Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Burundi (BINUB) was starting up.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Jason Stearns, Steve Hege
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) convened a group of leading non-governmental experts, on 3-4 December 2009, in a two-part discussion entitled: “Practical Mechanisms to Combat the Militarization of Natural Resources in the DR Congo.” This workshop aimed to facilitate constructive dialogue on the issue of natural resources and conflict in the DRC. Participants sought to identify common ground regarding existing and potential measures to combat the militarization of mining in the short to medium term. Over the course of these discussions, a clear consensus emerged surrounding the added value of independent oversight in order to both prevent mining from fuelling conflict as well to strengthen state capacity in the eastern Congo. In their most recent report, released days after this CIC event, the United Nations Group of Experts also included a recommendation for the establishment of such a mechanism. Through this concept note, CIC seeks to further develop how to operationalize this idea within the complex political and economic context of the eastern Congo.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Julie Flint
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Seven years after large-scale militia attacks signalled a change in the long- running but generally low-level conflict in Darfur, an unprecedented array of international instruments has been deployed, often chaotically, to address the conflict, including peacekeepers, peacemakers, special envoys, mediators, sanctions, embargoes, and criminal prosecution. Yet peace remains as elusive as ever. In the three and a half years since the Darfur Peace Agreement was precipitously concluded in Abuja and, rejected by most Darfurians, left to wither, the paradigm of government–rebel talks has persisted, despite stalemate. Time is not on Darfur's side: the longer the conflict continues, the more actors become involved and the harder it is to resolve. With national elections scheduled for April 2010 and a referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan in 2011, the focus has moved away from Darfur. This Working Paper examines mediation efforts since Abuja and suggests why they have failed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Treaties and Agreements, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde, Moussa Djiré, Abdoulaye O. Cissé, Amadou Keita, Anna Traoré
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recent years have witnessed an increasing focus on water as a source of conflict. So far, much of the focus has been on the risk for transboundary water conflicts. Our current knowledge on local water conflicts is however more limited, and tends to be based on sporadic accounts of local water conflicts rather than on systematic empirical evidence. At the same time, the extent and nature of local water cooperation is often overlooked, just as we know little about the particular role of the poorest in water conflict and cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mali