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  • Author: Mireille Affa'a-Mindzie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: After the severe twin crises that nearly brought Mali to its knees in January 2012, the country is gradually recovering from their debilitating consequences. In August 2013, Mali successfully elected its new president, Ibrahim Boubacar Ke├»ta, thus putting an end to an eighteen-month-long transitional government that was put in place following the March 2012 coup. Even though the violence has abated and renewed hope seems to be in the air, the structural causes of the Malian conflict are still stubbornly present and their consequences are still being felt by neighboring Sahel countries that suffer from similar underlying ills. The situation in Mali and other concerned states in the region generated a renewed interest in the Sahel-Sahara region and in efforts to stabilize this region. This prompted the International Peace Institute, the Executive Secretariat of the Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel-Saharan Areas of Niger (SDS Sahel Niger), and the Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) to convene an international seminar on security and development in the Sahel-Sahara on February 15 and 16, 2013, in Niamey, Niger.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Economics, Peace Studies, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Elections are the hallmark of representative democracy, allowing the people's regular input in choices about leaders and policy. Yet they are also competitive processes, unleashing conflict and tensions that, if not constructively managed, could potentially destabilize the fabric of states and societies. Since the new wave of democratization in Africa in the early 1990s, elections have become a core ingredient of popular participation in the governance process. At the same time, elections have spawned conflicts and violence and scrambled ethnic and regional alliances that sometimes threaten the social order, economic development, and efforts to strengthen regional integration. With the steady decline of some of the historic causes of African conflicts, elections have emerged as one of the major recent sources of conflict across Africa. The challenges occasioned by election-related conflicts and political violence underscore the importance of building institutions that balance competition with order, participation with stability, and contestation with consensus.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Paul Romita
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Two referenda are scheduled for January 9, 2011, in Sudan. In one, the people of Southern Sudan will decide whether they will remain part of the Republic of the Sudan or form an independent country with its capital in Juba; in the other, residents of the Abyei region will determine whether or not Abyei will become part of Southern Sudan.
  • Topic: Civil War, Islam, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Sectarian violence, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Juba
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Mutual accountability has become one of several principles that underpin the PBC's work. The commission has facilitated the articulation of mutual commitments as part of the peacebuilding frameworks developed in Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and the Central African Republic. This has begun to fill an important gap. But, the PBC has so far not fulfilled the full promise of this principle: to serve as a forum where national and international actors can hold each other to their commitments. This brief reflects on the PBC's experience with mutual accountability and puts it into a broader context to highlight why it is an area where the PBC can potentially add value.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone, Burundi
  • Author: Ngaire Woods
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The good news in the global economy is that the past two decades have seen globalization proceed apace with unprecedented economic growth in several parts of the world. To date, sound economic policy has made hyperinflation a rarity. Rising commodity prices are fueling growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Formerly poor countries are emerging as major players in the world economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Organization, International Political Economy, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Bangkok
  • Author: Gavin Cawthra
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The southern African region is now generally defined in political terms as those countries that are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (the geographic definition is usually somewhat more limited). Currently there are fifteen member states of the SADC: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Topic: Development, Peace Studies, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland
  • Author: Claire Spencer
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: North Africa is often loosely defined, but for the purposes of this paper, it encompasses the states of the Arab Maghreb Union (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia) together with Egypt.1 With the exception of Mauritania, this group of states lies on the northern littoral of the African continent, between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Sahara to the south. This contiguity, however, has not automatically made for a cohesive region; differences between political and economic trajectories have overridden the social solidarities that still unite the peoples of North Africa.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Algeria, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Monica Juma, Aida Mengistu
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In October 2000, the Ford Foundation requested the International Peace Academy's (IPA) Africa Program to generate a database of institutions managing conflicts and crises in Africa. After consultations, the scope of this project was expanded to comprise an assessment of capacity, and determination of the potential of institutions to respond to crises and conflicts in Africa. This report is the outcome of that exercise and hopes to guide and facilitate the design of the Ford Foundation's funding strategy for peacebuilding in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is hoped that this report will also serve to stimulate further discussion by the Ford Foundation and IPA staff, with the involvement of other relevant donors, about the challenges and opportunities for supporting peace and development in Africa. To that end, this report landscapes the condition of capacity in Africa, provides a diagnostic overview of institutional layout at the regional, national and local levels and proposes areas of intervention that can bolster and improve performance. It must be noted from the start that this report claims to be neither exhaustive nor comprehensive. Many important organizations engaged in useful peacebuilding work in Africa have not been included in this report due to logistical and time constraints. The organizations included in the report are merely illustrative of some of the peacebuilding work being conducted in Africa, and are mainly concentrated in conflict areas.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lotta Hagman
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In Sierra Leone and elsewhere, the fields of security and development are intrinsically linked and cannot be treated as separate spheres. Just as activities by security actors have an impact on development programs, development activities have security implications. More work is needed in defining a common agenda at the intersection of security and development in order to foster strategies in both areas that are mutually reinforcing. On an operational level, making development thinking part of a peacekeeping operation from the outset, both in planning and implementation should be a priority.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John Packer, Augustine Toure, Albrecht Schnabel, Chandra Lekha Sriram
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN does not act alone in conflict prevention. It is important for the UN to identify other actors with comparative advantages in certain aspects of conflict prevention, and to partner wisely with them. These may include regional and subregional organizations as well as local actors such as states or civil society organizations. Increased coordination between the UN and regional, subregional and civil society organizations might enable better linkages between national, regional and international conflict prevention efforts and improve planning at the field and headquarters level. Regional and subregional organizations offer important opportunities for partnering for the UN, but are quite varied in terms of resources, the political will that they can mobilize, and institutional capacity. Development of institutional capacity within nations to manage conflict peacefully can be assisted and encouraged by regional organizations and others. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's High Commissioner on National Minorities may be one example; the work of Organization of African States in democratization and human rights is also instructive. UN and World Bank development activities are increasingly being viewed through a conflict-prevention lens; their evaluations may help in not only identifying early warning signs, but also in developing strategies that mitigate the potential for violent conflict. Such analyses and approaches could be usefully adapted by regional and subregional organizations. The UN Staff College training course in early warning and preventive measures has sought to develop analytic skills in staff such that early warning can be translated into specific policy guidance. Such training will be available to some regional organization staff; the courses might usefully be adapted by such organizations for their own use.
  • Topic: Civil Society, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe