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  • Author: Andrew Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes politics in northern Nigeria has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law. Since August 2011 Boko Haram has planted bombs almost weekly in public or in churches in Nigeria's northeast. The group has also broadened its targets to include setting fire to schools. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, and as many as 10,000 pupils were forced out of education. Boko Haram is not in the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria's al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Somalia's al Shabab. Despite its successful attack on the UN compound in Abuja in August 2011, Boko Haram is not bent on attacking Western interests. There have been no further attacks on international interests since that time. Following the failed rescue of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in north¬eastern Nigeria in March 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan played up the connections between the group and international terrorism. However, links between Boko Haram and the kidnappers are questionable. It is difficult to see how there can be meaningful dialogue between the government and the group. The group's cell-like structure is open for factions and splits, and there would be no guarantee that someone speaking for the group is speaking for all of the members. Tactics employed by government security agencies against Boko Haram have been consis-tently brutal and counterproductive. Their reliance on extrajudicial execution as a tactic in “dealing” with any problem in Nigeria not only created Boko Haram as it is known today, but also sustains it and gives it fuel to expand. The group will continue to attack softer targets in the northeast rather than international targets inside or outside Nigeria. It is also likely to become increasingly involved in the Jos crisis, where it will attack Christian indigenes of the north and try to push them out. Such a move would further threaten to destabilize the country's stability and unity.Now that the group has expanded beyond a small number of mosques, radical reforms in policing strategy are necessary if there is to be any progress in countering the group. Wide¬spread radical reform of the police is also long overdue throughout Nigeria. As a first step, jailing a number of police officers responsible for ordering human rights abuses might go some way to removing a key objection of the group.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Religion, United Nations, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Somalia
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The field of religious peacebuilding has begun to move closer to the mainstream of conflict resolution practice and theory. The 2011 unrest in the Middle East and North Africa—the Arab Spring—reflects ongoing challenges and opportunities for the field. American and European nongovernmental organizations, agencies in the U.S. government, academia, and international organizations—sectors that once held religious issues at a distance or understood religion mainly as a driver of violence—increasingly engage religious communities and institutions as partners in creating peace. Meanwhile, religious organizations that have been involved in creating peace for decades, if not longer, increasingly have institutionalized and professionalized their work, suggesting ways that religious and secular organizations could coordinate their efforts more closely. The U.S. Institute of Peace's own programs on religion reflect the development of the wider field, having moved from research and analysis to on-the-ground programming to foster interfaith dialogue in the Balkans, Nigeria, Israel-Palestine, and Sudan. In addition, it has trained religious actors in conflict management in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Colombia and developed peace curricula based on Islamic principles for religious and secular schools in Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. As the U.S. field of religious peacebuilding continues to develop, challenges include integrating further with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth and addressing their priorities, working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions, and improving evaluation, both to show how religious peacebuilding can reduce and resolve conflict and to strengthen the field's ability to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Aaron Sayne
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Many of Nigeria's worst conflicts pit the recognized original inhabitants, or indigenes, of a particular place against supposedly later settlers. These conflicts may be growing deadlier and more numerous with time. State and local governments have free rein to pick who is an indigene. Abuse of the label can foster deep socioeconomic inequalities, given that indigenes enjoy preferential access to land, schools, development spending, and public jobs. These inequalities feed into violence, although righting inequality may not be sufficient to end violence in every case. The indigene-settler distinction is also explosive because it reinforces and is reinforced by other identity-based divides in Nigeria. These differences in ethnicity, language, religion, and culture can be longstanding and deeply felt, but how they factor into violence is again not well understood. Poor law enforcement responses also help entrench violence between indigenes and settlers. Official complicity and indifference make prosecutions rare. Destructive conduct by the Nigerian security forces itself often becomes a structural cause of violence. Serious thought about how to prevent or resolve indigene-settler violence has barely started in Nigeria. Addressing inequality between indigenes and settlers calls for serious, microlevel analysis of local economic dysfunctions and opportunities, along with real official commitment to make and enforce better policies. More holistic understandings of justice are also needed. The worst hot spots will need a wide menu of well-planned interventions. Options include securitization, criminal prosecution, mediation and dialogue, truth commissions, victim compensation programs, public health and trauma assistance, public institutional reforms, education, and communications work. In some cases, building sustainable peace could take a generation or more.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Crime, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Jon Temin, Theodore Murphy
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Approaches to Sudan's challenges—by both Sudanese and the international community— have been fragmented and regionally focused rather than national in scope. They overlook fundamental governance challenges at the roots of Sudan's decades of instability and the center of the country's economic and political dominance of the periphery, which marginalizes a majority of the population. Such fragmentation diffuses efforts into fighting various eruptions of violence throughout the periphery and confounds efforts to address governance and identity issues. Ongoing processes in the future Republic of Sudan, sometimes referred to as north Sudan, continue this trend. While Darfur negotiations and popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states should continue, they should eventually be subsumed into a national process aimed at addressing the root causes of Sudan's governance failures. The process should feed into, and then be reified by, development of a new national constitution. Even now the goal of these regional processes should be re-envisaged as steps toward a national process. Sudanese negotiations largely occur between elites. Negotiators often cannot claim genuine representativeness, resulting in lack of broad buy-in and minimal consultation with the wider population. The ongoing Darfur negotiations are a case in point. To avoid prolonging the trend, a more national process should be broad-based and consultative. It should feature an inclusive dialogue, involving representatives from throughout the periphery, about the nature of the Sudanese state and how to manage Sudan's considerable diversity. Southern secession in July 2011 presents an opportunity for Sudanese to take a more comprehensive, holistic approach to their governance problems. Significant adjustments are warranted by the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, such as the development of a new constitution. The opportunity to initiate fundamental governance reform may be ripe because the ruling National Congress Party is under intense political and economic pressure. The Arab Spring revolts, the economic shock of lost oil revenue, and the proof of governance failure that southern secession represents have inspired, among some NCP leaders, a belief in the necessity of preemptive change. Any reform of northern governance should be led by Sudanese. Perceptions that external actors are forcing change can be counterproductive. The international community can support a reform process but should tread carefully. International efforts should focus on promoting an enabling environment in which nascent Sudanese-led efforts can take root and grow. Support to constructive voices and aid to inchoate political initiatives should be available when requested. Supporting a national process poses a challenge for the international community as its capacity, pressure, and incentives are already distributed across the various regional political processes. Pressures and incentives are tied to specific benchmarks defined by those processes, making it difficult to reorient them toward the new criteria dictated by a national process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Chris Newsom
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Neither Nigeria nor foreign donors are investing enough to end violent conflict in the Niger Delta. While Nigerian officials opt to buy short-term cease-fires, such as the 2009 amnesty process, other governments spend too little in money and manpower to grow local civil society, engage core conflict issues, or adequately understand the region's problems. All parties likewise fail to focus on deeper trends when planning their anticonflict strategies. This causes them to undervalue the potential costs of ongoing violence, as well as the importance of a peaceful Niger Delta to Nigeria's economic development and global energy security. A tragedy of the commons results. The situation in the delta remains fragile and will likely return either to intermittent conflict or full-blown insurgency within six to eighteen months if a "business as usual" approach is taken to interventions. The amnesty process opened a door for stabilization but did not reduce the long-term potential for violence or deal with root conflict issues. Governance is both at the heart of the conflict and the best place to seek solutions. To best help catalyze peace in the region, donors should invest heavily in democratization and learn lessons from a decade of setbacks and poor investment choices. International support for governance reform in the delta must start at the grass roots. The key is to lay a foundation to support and argue for better government practices higher up. Civil society is already having some success promoting accountability at the community level. Obstacles are high and progress is slow, making longer commitments from donors a must. Reformers in the Niger Delta also have operated too much in isolation. Local and international actors need a multilateral strategy allowing them to combine levers and use each other's momentum. They must ground this strategy in deeper analysis of the region's problems and a unified theory of change. Donors should also complement their support of governance reform in the delta with funding for innovative local development work. Ideas and best practices should be sought from other countries, with flexibility for keying in to promising government initiatives.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • 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: 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: Julie Flint
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The response to the renewed war in Sudan's Nuba Mountains has been driven largely by a human rights and humanitarian crisis. The crisis will continue indefinitely without a political agreement that acknowledges the Nuba rebellion is self-sustaining and reflects a wider malaise within the new Republic of Sudan. With Sudan facing financial collapse, economic normalization must be part of negotiations with Khartoum to end the war in the Nuba Mountains and promote democratization throughout Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, War, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Largely unnoticed outside the region, the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile have begun the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)–mandated process of popular consultation, which permits Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to either adopt the CPA as the final settlement between the two states and the Government of Sudan (GoS) or renegotiate the CPA to remedy any shortcomings and reach a final settlement. The first phase of the popular consultation process involves civic education campaigns to inform the two states' populations of the contents of the CPA and the issues at stake. The second phase is the consultations themselves, which are to be conducted by a commission in each state. The results of the consultations will be reported to the state assemblies and inform the positions taken by the states during negotiations with the central government. A successful popular consultation could begin to transform Sudanese politics by realigning political interests from political parties to the states and could provide a test case for new governance structures between the center and the states. A neglected or mismanaged process could destabilize not just Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, but all of Sudan. The international community can contribute to a successful process through financial assistance, monitoring and reporting, promoting reconciliation within the population, and engaging directly with Khartoum and Juba to smooth negotiations. It might also anticipate possible procedural challenges and prepare to engage in creative and quiet diplomacy should the need arise.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Jon Temin
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: With Southern Sudan's referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede approaching, it is vital that the international community encourage and support negotiations on postreferendum arrangements, which include issues ranging from wealth sharing to citizenship rights to security arrangements. Good coordination among the international community will be essential. A single mediator with a clear and strong mandate should lead negotiations on postreferendum arrangements, supported by a contact group or group of friends that can insert targeted pressures and incentives into the process. The mediator needs to be strong enough to prevent “forum shopping” and contain or co-opt spoilers. States and non-state actors that wish to play a central role in negotiations on post-referendum arrangements should demonstrate a long term commitment to Sudan and to overseeing implementation of any agreement. Negotiations on post-referendum arrangements and the ongoing negotiations on Darfur should be kept separate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Studies indicate that violence in Africa's elections affects between 19 and 25 percent of elections. In many countries where electoral violence is a risk, it tends to recur and may consequently lead to an unfavorable view of democratization. The regularity with which electoral violence occurs suggests that underlying grievances or structural characteristics may be tied to the elections and fuel the violence. Electoral violence, especially recurrent, seems indicative of more widespread systemic grievances and tensions. Tensions over land rights, employment and ethnic marginalization are three dominant characteristics of recurring electoral violence. These areas intersect and are frequently manipulated by politicians. Some recent actions taken by the government and civil society may offer insights into reversing the trends of recurring violence. These actions warrant further analysis in order to improve strategies to reduce violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anna Theofilopoulou
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The ongoing effort to use negotiations without preconditions to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara has not produced results. The April 6, 2010 report of the United Nations secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council admits that there has been no movement on the core substantive issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Diplomacy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Jon Temin
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: African leaders have recently expressed concern that the possible division of Sudan may lead to a domino effect of other secessions on the continent—but closer analysis questions how likely this may be.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Territorial Disputes, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Erin A. Weir
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Chad hosts over 249,000 refugees from the Darfur conflict and 168,000 internally displaced persons who were relocated after instability caused by Chadian rebel groups. The U.N. Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad has been reduced to 1,900 as of October 15, 2010. It will withdraw completely by December 31, 2010. There are concerns about the capacity of the Chadian security forces to adequately protect the population.The government of Chad and the international community must work to ensure the security of the population and humanitarian workers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Delphine Djiraibe
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Political crises and armed opposition movements have plagued Chad for several years. After several failed peace initiatives, the August 13 Agreement was reached in 2007. The agreement is the most viable framework for bringing peace to Chad. It calls on the Chadian government to reform critical electoral institutions, undertake a credible electoral census and demilitarize politics in order to ensure fair and transparent elections. To date, the agreement has been poorly implemented. It jeopardizes the credibility of the upcoming legislative elections, currently scheduled for February 2011. Only comprehensive reform that addresses the development and governance challenges facing Chad will definitively end its political crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Judith Burdin Asuni
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The trade in stolen oil, or “blood oil,” poses an immense challenge to the Nigerian state, harming its economy and fueling a long-running insurgency in the Niger Delta. It also undermines security in the Gulf of Guinea and adds to instability on world energy markets. The exact amount of oil stolen per day in the Niger Delta is unknown, but it is somewhere between 30,000 and 300,000 barrels. The loss to the Nigerian economy from illegal oil bunkering between 2003 and 2008 totals approximately US$100 billion. It is time for the international community to become more proactive in helping Nigeria address this complex issue. Efforts to control blood oil must be accompanied by actions against corruption, illegal arms importation, and money laundering. The enabling environment for illegal oil bunkering includes high levels of unemployed youth, armed ethnic militias, ineffective and corrupt law enforcement officials, protective government officials and politicians, corrupt oil company staff, established international markets for stolen oil, and the overall context of endemic corruption. The three types of illegal oil bunkering include small-scale pilfering for the local market, large-scale tapping of pipelines to fill large tankers for export, and excess lifting of crude oil beyond the licensed amount. The complexity of players in the illegal oil bunkering business, including local youth, members of the Nigerian military and political class, and foreign ship owners, makes it difficult to tackle the problem unilaterally. Previous attempts by the Nigerian government and international community to address illegal oil bunkering have had limited success in reducing the flow of blood oil. The problem of blood oil needs to be addressed multilaterally. Within the international community, the United States is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in helping to dry up blood oil and address other issues in the Niger Delta.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Markets, Oil, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Nigeria, Guinea
  • Author: Alan Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Absent a change in current trends, further political violence in Sudan will be hard to avoid. Lack of governance capacity in the South and failure to resolve key issues between the North and South are important factors that can lead to political violence surrounding the referendum, slated for 2011, on whether the South secedes or remains part of a united Sudan. The parties need a shared sense of confidence about post-2011 futures. The North should be encouraged to cooperate in the referendum process and accept the outcome. The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) should devote more energy and resources to governance and service delivery rather than building military capability. The international community needs an assistance strategy focused on enhancing the GOSS's capacity to deliver services through local governments. The United States and the international community should pressure and assist the parties to promptly pass referendum legislation and address fundamental issues (e.g., oil and boundaries) before the referendum.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Genocide, Human Rights, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Sudan, Arabia
  • Author: Raymond Gilpin, Richard Downie
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has enormous economic potential thanks to its rich mineral deposits and vast tracts of arable land. Historically, these resources have been exploited by predatory leaders and a host of subregional actors. The time is now ripe for the DRC to put years of war and economic underdevelopment behind it. The business community has an important part to play in promoting sustainable peace in the DRC. Business communities in Bukavu and Lubumbashi have managed to remain profitable in the very trying years following the signing of the 1999 Lusaka peace accord by showing great resilience and versatility, primarily outside formal channels. Congolese businesses face serious obstacles, including poor infrastructure, high taxes, extortion, and market distortions. However, respondents expressed relatively little concern about insecurity and violence, suggesting that these costs have been internalized or that other obstacles impose much greater costs. DRC businesses neither want nor expect handouts. Respondents would prefer assistance in removing barriers to trade, improving infrastructure, and reducing corruption. Respondents are broadly optimistic about the future and their economic prospects, and have a strong sense of being stakeholders in shaping society. This bodes well for the future of the DRC, provided public policy can harness this energy and not impede it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Donald C. F. Daniel
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Much progress has been achieved over the last decade and a half in the development and use of peace operations as a tool to quell conflicts, but there are limits to how much more progress can be expected. The number of troop contributors and troops deployed to peace operations has recently reached unprecedented highs, but the bulk of troops came from a limited number of states. The relationship between the United Nations and non-UN peacekeepers seems for the most part complementary. Nonetheless, the rise in non-UN peace operations has probably led to the United Nations becoming too dependent on too small a base of lesser-developed states. The characteristics of most troop contributors (e.g., type of governance, national quality of life, ground-force size) correlate with their level of contribution, but even politically willing nations with the “right” characteristics can likely deploy only a small percentage of their troops to operations at any one time. While Europe and Africa have achieved the most progress in developing institutional capacities, each continent confronts problems of interinstitutional relations and resource shortages. Russia's hegemonic role in Eurasia and the United States' historical legacy in Latin America have hindered development of comprehensive institutional capacities for peace operations in each region. East Asia may slowly be moving beyond ideational strictures that crippled efforts to develop regional capacities. Institutional progress is not expected in South Asia and the Middle East, and states of each region should not be expected to send military units to intraregional operations. Nearly all South Asian countries, however, will be major players in UN operations. A few exceptions aside, Mideast states will remain bit players on the world scene. Demand for easy or moderately challenging operations will generally be met, but the hazardous missions most apt to occur will be called for by states possessing the wherewithal to take them on and bring others along.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Europe, South Asia, Eurasia, Middle East, East Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The botched results from the December 27, 2007 presidential elections in Kenya sparked a wave of violence across the country that left more than 1,000 dead and 600,000 displaced. Incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, representing the ruling Party of National Unity (PNU), was declared the winner of the presidential polls over Raila Odinga, of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Supporters of the ODM, which had won 99 parliamentary seats against PNU's 43 (out of 210 elected seats), charged that the election had been rigged. The chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya has since stated that the PNU and the ODM-K (an allied party) forced him to call the election, even with irregularities in the tallying.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Politics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Kelly Campbell
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The conflict in the Niger Delta has posed a fundamental domestic challenge to Nigerian security for more than a decade. Despite pledges to address continued instability in the Delta, the administration of Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has not yet initiated a process to resolve the political, economic and security problems in the region. Oil production continues to diminish as a result of militant attacks, and is currently 20 to 25 percent below capacity. Meanwhile, militia members in the Niger Delta continue to engage in criminal activities such as kidnapping and oil bunkering1 to maximize profits for themselves and their political patrons.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Sheila Mwiandi
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Kenya's post-election violence has displaced more than 600,000 persons within the country since December 2007. Although violence-induced displacement is not a new phenomenon in Kenya, the magnitude, speed and intensity of this displacement were unprecedented. Clashes in the 1990s, also around general elections, displaced hundreds of thousands of Kenyans, many of whom remain displaced today. The new coalition government has made the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) a top priority, launching "Operation Return Home" in May.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Scott Worden
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On February 18, 2008 the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) reached agreement on an accountability and reconciliation accord that would provide for prosecution in Uganda of senior LRA leaders most responsible for atrocities committed over the course of the country's 20-year long civil conflict. The agreement also provides that lower level perpetrators will be held accountable by traditional justice mechanisms indigenous to Northern Uganda, where much of the violence occurred.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In partnership with Concordis International and the Preparatory Committee for the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC), USIP held a consultation with approximately30 members of the North American Darfur diaspora community from February 12-14, 2008.Representative of Darfur's constituencies, this group of Darfurians traveled to Washington, D.C. from throughout the U.S. and Canada in order to address a broad range of issues related to the conflict in their homeland. Through small-group brainstorming and plenary ession debates, the group developed a set of consensus recommendations aimed at creating the conditions necessary for a sustainable safe and secure environment to prevail in the troubled region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Canada
  • Author: Kelly Campbell
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: As the planned deployment of the joint UN and African Union (AU) hybrid peacekeeping force to Darfur begins, these institutions are placing more emphasis on finding a lasting political solution to the conflict in Darfur. After the failure of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), the international community realized the importance of involving all the key rebel movements in peace negotiations. Planned peace talks in Sirte, Libya have been delayed in an effort to convince key rebel leaders to participate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Catherine Morris, Go Funai
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This USIPeace Briefing discusses a recent event that focused on human security implications of resurgent violence which left hundreds dead, thousands displaced and millions destitute in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The conclusions and recommendations from this event highlight the importance of going beyond traditional short-term humanitarian interventions to adopt more comprehensive and sustainable solutions that effectively balance security and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Lahra Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Assistant professor at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on African politics, civil society and democracy in Africa, and peace and conflict in East Africa. The pardon and release of thirty-eight political detainees, mostly from the leadership of the main opposition party, may give impetus to political negotiations in Ethiopia after more than two years' crisis and stalemate. Contentious and previously unresolved national issues, such as land and economic development; the institutional and constitutional structure of the Ethiopian state; and the best way to ensure equality of ethnic and religious communities, were brought to the fore during the past election cycle. However, after the election, much- needed national dialogue on these matters ended. It must be reinvigorated now that the political opposition's leaders have been freed. Citizen discontent has grown with the caretaker administration in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa and repressive local administrations. Elections for city and local government must be held. Further delays will undermine any democratic progress. The current Parliament includes members of several opposition political parties, though not the leaders who were imprisoned. Both the ruling party and the main opposition parties should make as many visible and meaningful concessions as possible to their political opponents. Ethiopia's military intervention in Somalia in December 2006, its ongoing military presence in that conflict, and its unchanged, tense border stalemate with Eritrea have contributed to growing violence in the Horn of Africa and stymied domestic democratization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, East Africa
  • Author: Timothy Carney
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Regional mediators and international facilitators helped the two main opposing forces in Sudan's fifty-year civil war, the National Congress Party (NCP) of the North and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) of the South, to reach a detailed Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) after two-and-a-half years of negotiation, from 2002 to 2005. The United States served as the catalyst for the peace process and then became part of a group of facilitators including the United Kingdom, Norway, and Italy. At different points during negotiations, each of these countries exerted influence on the Sudanese parties. Kenya took the lead in mediating the negotiations under General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. Sudan Vice President Ali Osman Taha, representing the North, and Dr. John Garang, representing the South, spent fifteen months negotiating the final agreement in Naivasha, Kenya. Implementation of the CPA requires continuing good security with minimal fighting, agreement on the boundaries of North and South that affect the distribution of Sudan's oil wealth, completion of midterm elections, and a referendum in the South. Slow implementation of key provisions of the CPA is causing Sudanese to question the political will and even the good faith of the northern government. Failure to provide an immediate peace dividend, lack of competence in managing southern expectations, and corruption have led to public criticism of the southern authorities. Hope is waning that the CPA will pave the way to a modern, united Sudan with a government responsive to all its peoples. The SPLM/A leadership is focusing on developing the South rather than creating a national political movement. The crisis in Darfur has diverted the international community's attention. Implementing the CPA will require sustained international pressure and imagination to help resolve numerous political, economic, and social problems.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Sudan, Norway, Italy
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The March 2007 Ouagadougou Political Accord (OPA), signed by Laurent Gbagbo, president of Côte d'Ivoire, and Guillaume Soro, leader of the Forces Nouvelles (FN) rebel movement, holds great promise for ending the current political stalemate and reuniting the country. The political crisis began in September 2002 with an attack by military officers protesting the government's decision to demobilize them; according to some, it was also, an attempted coup d'état. The uprising generated other rebel groups, which took control over the northern part of the country and ignited a civil war. Even after the brunt of the fighting ceased, the country remained divided, with northern Côte d'Ivoire devoid of public services and the state's administration. The OPA is the sixth peace agreement directed at ending the political crisis; the previous five were never fully implemented due to, among other factors, disagreements about the selection of the mediator, the absence of political will among the signatories, and the tense relationship between the government of Côte d'Ivoire and the United Nations. Blaise Compaoré, president of Burkina Faso, mediated the negotiations leading to the signing of the OPA. Burkina Faso remains the facilitator of the agreement's implementation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Eastern Sudan, comprising the three states of Kassala, Red Sea, and Gedarif, is, according to many accounts, among the most marginalized regions in Sudan. There are few international humanitarian agencies in the region, and information on social and economic conditions is scarce. The extent of eastern Sudan's marginalization led to the creation of the Beja Congress, an armed and political movement, in 1958 and the development of a low-intensity conflict in 1997. In 2005, the Beja Congress joined forces with the Rashaida Free Lions, a rebel group, and other small groups to form the Eastern Front.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • 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: 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: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Women were crucial in bringing peace to Liberia and are also a critical part of the rebuilding process. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made it a priority to include women in Liberia's reconstruction: women head the ministries of commerce, justice, finance, youth and sports, and gender and development. They also comprise five of the 15 county superintendents. Still, more must be done to increase the capacity of women to take part in Liberia's peacebuilding. On April 23, 2007, the United States Institute of Peace and the Initiative for Inclusive Security co-organized a meeting of the Liberia Working Group to discuss the role that women have played in achieving and maintaining peace in Liberia and the challenges and opportunities of participating in the reconstruction of the country. Panelists included Leymah Roberta Gbowee, executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa and founder of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), Juanita Jarrett, founding member of the Mano River Women's Peace Network (MARWOPNET), and Waafas Ofosu-Amaah, senior gender specialist at the World Bank. This USIPeace Briefing highlights the meeting's central points and recommendations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Liberia
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Child soldiers and women are among the most vulnerable victims of Congo's war. Attending to their needs for reintegration, counseling, and medical attention are critical components for consolidating peace. The two groups face somewhat different problems. Whereas women often do not have sufficient resources to heal the social and physical wounds they have endured, child soldiers face greater difficulties in reintegrating with their families and communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Scott Worden
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Against a backdrop of halting progress by many international courts, the Special Court of Sierra Leone (SCSL) has quietly had significant success in accomplishing its mission to provide justice for the perpetrators most responsible for the horrific crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone. Three years into the Court's operation, it has achieved guilty verdicts in cases against five defendants—with two verdicts in the past two months—that have set several important precedents in international law. The SCSL has just begun its last and most prominent case with the trial in The Hague of Charles Taylor for his role in fueling the violence in Sierra Leone while he was President of neighboring Liberia. The Taylor trial is expected to end in the fall of 2008, and with that, the Court will begin its wrap-up phase.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Pierre Hazan
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Facing the Atlantic and Mediterranean, just nine miles from the Spanish coast, Morocco is essential for stability in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and American interests in these regions. The United States and the European Union fully recognize its strategic importance. Its proximity, large diaspora, and extensive trade with Europe place it at the top of the EU's Mediterranean strategy agenda. The United States has designated Morocco a major non-NATO ally; it also was one of the first Arab countries to sign a free-trade agreement with the United States. The Kingdom of Morocco is facing four challenges: weak economic growth; a social crisis resulting from social inequalities, with 20 percent of the population in absolute poverty and 57 percent illiterate; lack of trust in the governing institutions because of the high level of corruption; and an unstable regional and international environment. These factors strengthen the appeal of various Islamist movements, from moderate to more radical groups such as the authors of the deadly bombings in Casablanca in 2003 and Madrid in 2004. Moreover, the conflict over the Western Sahara places Morocco's and Algeria's armies, the two most powerful in North Africa, toe to toe. Unlike Tunisia and Algeria, since the end of the Cold War Morocco has taken steps toward political liberalization, and its pace has accelerated since Mohammed VI came to the throne in 1999. As part of the process of liberalization, the king established a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in January 2004. This is one of very few cases in which a TRC was created without a regime change. Thousands of victims tortured during the reign of King Mohammed's father, King Hassan II, have been given the opportunity to voice their sufferings publicly and have been promised financial compensation. Such outcomes are unprecedented in a region known for its culture of impunity. Morocco is the first Arab Islamic society to establish a TRC. Its experience shows that political factors play a primary role in the functioning of such a body, while religious and cultural factors are of secondary importance. Although the Moroccan TRC is not an exportable model, it could inspire other majority Muslim societies, such as Afghanistan and Lebanon, which are envisaging or might set up TRCs to confront crimes of past regimes. Some security experts hoped the TRC would be effective in the “soft war” against terrorism by winning the hearts and minds of the population. The actual experience in Morocco shows the limits of this approach. The tension is too strong between the perceived requirements of the antiterrorist struggle and a process to establish accountability for past crimes and advance democratization. In the final analysis, the “war against terrorism” has limited the TRC's impact in Morocco. The report of the Moroccan TRC, published in early 2006, recommended diminution of executive powers, strengthening of parliament, and real independence for the judicial branch. The king and the political parties must decide in the coming years if they will permit the transformation of the “executive monarchy” of Morocco into a parliamentary monarchy. This decision will affect the stability of the kingdom, North Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Europe and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia, Algeria, Spain, North Africa, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Anna Theofilopoulou
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This study examines the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara from August 1988, when Secretary-general Pérez de Cuellar submitted the settlement proposals to the two parties—the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario—until June 2004, when James A. Baker III, the secretary-general's personal envoy on Western Sahara, resigned. The settlement proposals were to lead to the holding of a referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, offering a choice between integration with Morocco or independence. A crucial element in the implementation of the plan was the identification of voters for the referendum, which both sides considered the key to producing an outcome in their favor. The Polisario had a restricted view, expecting the 1974 Spanish census of the territory to be the framework for the identification, while Morocco took an expansive view by trying to include tens of thousands of applicants of Saharan origin now living in Morocco. Both parties found reasons to interrupt the identification process. Throughout the process, the UN tried to break the impasses created by the parties through technical solutions that addressed the problem at hand without addressing the underlying political problem, which was the determination by both sides to win the referendum. After six years of trying to move forward the identification process, Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked James Baker to become his personal envoy in order to steer the parties toward a political solution and away from the “winner-take-all” approach of the referendum. However, because both parties insisted that they wanted to proceed with the plan, Baker helped them negotiate the Houston Agreements, which allowed for the completion of the identification process. In September 2000, seeing that the referendum was not likely to work in its favor, Morocco offered to discuss a political solution aiming at autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, which until the conclusion of the identification had been interested in meeting directly with Morocco, now believed that it could win the referendum and therefore said it would talk only about the settlement plan. After two more years of trying to get the parties to agree to a political solution, Baker informed the Security Council that a consensual approach would not work and requested that the Council ask the parties to choose one of four options, none of which would require the parties' consent, to resolve the conflict. The Security Council was unable to agree on any of the four options and asked Baker to prepare another political proposal that would include self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. Baker's final attempt was the Peace Plan for Self- Determination of the People of Western Sahara, which provided for a period of autonomy followed by a referendum on self-determination. Morocco rejected the plan and refused to accept a referendum in which the independence of Western Sahara would even appear as an option. The Security Council, while having expressed support for Baker's efforts in its resolutions, proved unwilling to ask the parties to make the difficult decisions required to solve the conflict. When Morocco rejected the peace plan, the Council, despite having unanimously supported it, did nothing. The study concludes that Western Sahara will remain on the UN agenda for many years to come and offers a number of lessons learned from this failed mediation effort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Paul Wee
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nigeria currently faces a three-pronged crisis involving Muslim-Christian relations, the Niger Delta region, and presidential term limits. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held a public workshop in March 2006 for the purpose of assessing the situation in Nigeria and considering ways in which the international community might respond.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Nigeria