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  • Author: Maryline Njoroge
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Since International Youth Day was celebrated on 12 August 2020, it is a good time to take stock of the youth and their role in peacebuilding and peace processes in Africa. With the youth, peace and security agenda gaining ground in recent years, this is an opportune time for youth-focused organisations to strengthen their work on youth and peacebuilding, while contributing to the ongoing discourse. The youth, peace and security agenda is currently backed by three United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted between 2015 and 2020, namely UNSC Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020). Among other priorities, the resolutions emphasise the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security;[1] reiterate the need for stakeholders to take young people’s views into account and facilitate their equal and full participation in peace and decision-making processes at all levels; and recognise the positive role young people can play in negotiating and implementing peace agreements and in preventing and resolving conflict.[2] The third resolution, adopted in July 2020, also establishes a regular biennial reporting requirement on youth, peace and security by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, which is a great step forward in mainstreaming the youth, peace and security agenda into the work of the UN – especially since youth engagement in peacebuilding and peace processes is ad hoc and intermittent. The reporting requirement will therefore provide a snapshot of ongoing processes and how engagement can be enhanced and deepened in future processes.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Youth, Peace, Participation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ramtane Lamamra
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: To translate the vision of the 2013 Solemn Declaration into action, the Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by Year 2020 (AUMR) was adopted by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in 2016. The AUMR was to be executed by the AU Commission in collaboration with key stakeholders, including regional economic communities; economic, social and cultural communities; organs of the AU; the United Nations (UN) and civil society organisations. Speaking to this endeavour, the 33rd AU Ordinary Summit took stock of achievements and challenges encountered in implementing this flagship project of Silencing the Guns by 2020. It further sought to devise a more robust action plan, informed by the Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism of the AUMR, for a peaceful and prosperous Africa. Conflicts have robbed Africa of over US$100 billion since the end of the Cold War in 1991. The continent has unfortunately witnessed some of the world’s biggest fatalities, food and humanitarian crises and the erosion of social cohesion, coupled with the total breakdown of economies and decimation of the environmental and political landscape. It is worrisome to see countries such as South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Mali and Libya continuing to witness persistent levels of armed conflict, and the decolonisation conflict in Western Sahara is remaining unresolved for so long. The threat posed by COVID-19 has considerably slowed the momentum of the silencing the guns agenda and has abruptly added to the existing challenges, slowing down the attainment of peace and development
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, International Cooperation, Peace, African Union, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic
  • Author: Daniel Forti, Priyal Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The strategic partnership between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), the two principal international organisations tasked with addressing peace and security challenges on the African continent, remains a priority for both organisations. The organisations and their member states have worked in tandem since the AU’s creation in 2002 and the subsequent establishment of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). During this time, the partnership has focused primarily on joint conflict resolution and crisis management efforts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Eddy Maloka
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Seven years ago, the African Union (AU) set the target of silencing the guns in Africa by 2020. We are already within the target year, but there are no signs that conflict is about to retreat completely from our continent. Instead, Africa still has battlefields in the Great Lakes region, and the menace of terrorism remains a challenge over vast swathes of land in East Africa, North Africa and West Africa. In some African countries, we have seen tempers running high in the streets, among other things due to disputes over elections and the Constitution. All these experiences, as well as ongoing flames in countries such as Libya, are a call to action to find an African solution to these African problems.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Terrorism, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ayanda Ntsaluba
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Recognition of the nexus between foreign policy and public health is not new; it has found episodic expression that tended to dissipate, only to re-emerge with time. This has been the case because traditional notions of advancing national interests through foreign policy have tended to be anchored around the fields of trade and defence, with health seen as part of so-called “low politics”. This has tended to underplay the foreign policy dimensions of health.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, International Cooperation, Ebola, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Andreas Velthuizen
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: An appropriate response in situations such as the Lake Chad Basin and Rovuma Basin is to defend and promote African aspirations in a multinational response involving the AU, RECS and international partners.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Democracy, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Babatunde F. Obamamoye
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Some developments in Africa during the first decade of this century ushered in a shared viewpoint within the African Union’s (AU) institutional space that one of the ways to propel sustainable peace within the African continent is through the forceful implementation of post-conflict reconstruction and development projects. This was a period when it became evident, both regionally and globally, that Africa would not achieve its desired prosperity and development unless sustainable stability was restored in a number of post-conflict states. In activating a coordinated effort to pursue a conflict-free Africa,2 AU policymakers placed priority on post-conflict peacebuilding activities.3 The first prominent action carried in this regard was the development of the AU’s Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) policy in 2006. Six years later, it became apparent to African regional actors that the visionary ideas embedded in the PCRD framework were utopian and unrealistic unless there was a clear demonstration of African self-reliance, leadership and ownership in the area of resource mobilisation for such a complex enterprise. This consensual acknowledgement invariably culminated in the launch of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) in 2012 as a flagship continental mechanism for mobilising resources within the African continent to build the institutional capacity of African states that were, and are, emerging from conflict.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Conflict, Peace, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Innocent Mangwiro
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Human rights violations continue to dominate Zimbabwe’s social and political spaces. Despite being a signatory to continental and global human rights conventions, Zimbabwe’s commitment to human rights remains questionable. As there remains a rift between the African Union (AU), some member states and the International Criminal Court (ICC), the South African government tabled a motion in parliament to withdraw from the Rome Statute in October 2019. This followed an earlier attempt in October 2016 to withdraw, one year after the then AU chairperson, Robert Mugabe, insisted that its members must not cooperate with the ICC, as it was accused of being anti-African.1 South Africa initially rejected the call for non-cooperation but, in 2015, refused to arrest Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, with the ICC’s powers of universal jurisdiction, signalling contempt of court.2 Given this context, this article contends that it will not be South Africans who will bear the consequences if the country eventually succeeds and withdraws from the ICC, but other African people living under regimes without good human rights records, such as Zimbabwe. While the dimension of South Africa’s geopolitical interests in Africa has sufficiently been analysed by Isike and Ogunnubi,3 I argue that the implications for human rights of the country’s withdrawal have not been exhausted.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Criminal Court (ICC), African Union, Human Rights Violations
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Onyinye Nkechi Onwuka, Kingsley Chigozie Udegbunam
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: At the African Union’s (AU) 18th Ordinary Session in January 2012, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the heads of state and government of African countries agreed to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).1 This free trade area is outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 AU member states currently. The AfCFTA is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization,2 as it translates to a market potential for goods and services of 1.2 billion people, and an aggregate gross domestic product of about US$2.5 trillion.3 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52% by 2022.4 The AfCFTA treaty, one of the flagship projects of the AU Agenda 2063 and a landmark continental agreement, is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspeople and investment. The agreement was brokered by the AU and was signed by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on 21 March 2018.5 The agreement went into force on 30 May 2019 and entered its operational phase following the AU Summit on 7 July 2019.6 This article examines the key provisions of the AfCFTA with the aim of identifying its prospects, and the challenges that may impede the exploitation of its full potential.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Free Trade, Industrialization , African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa