Conflict Prevention or Mitigation

  • Arms Flows to Sub-Saharan Africa

    Local man walking on the street with russian machine gunBy Pieter D. Wezeman, Siemon T. Wezeman and Lucie Béraud-Sudreau. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, December 2011. The arms trade to Africa is small by global standards, but it has outsized impacts on security. Even older or small arms shipments have exacerbated or tipped the balance toward one group in unstable contexts such as Darfur, Chad, or Madagascar. However, arms flows are also necessary for governments to manage legitimate security challenges, including those participating in peace operations in the Congo or Somalia. African states should more aggressively uphold international transparency and reporting standards on arms purchases, flows, and inventory to ensure they reinforce rather than undermine security on the continent. Download the article: [PDF]
  • Preventing Conflicts in Africa: Early Warning and Response

    By Mireille Affa’a-Mindzie, International Peace Institute | August 2012 Surveying the cityThe sudden and largely unexpected outbreaks of crises and conflicts in Mali and Guinea-Bissau in 2012 suggest that the African Union’s decade-old Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) requires further improvements and adjustments. Specifically, the CEWS has not kept pace with changing information technologies on the continent and lacks sufficient cooperation with Africa’s regional economic communities and growing number of think tanks and civil society organizations to capture insights and information from the ground level.

    Download the brief [PDF]

    [photo credit: UN Photo/Milton Grant]
  • Mediating to Governments of National Unity - A Conflict Transformative Approach

    By Grace Maina, ACCORD | February 2011

    Kenyan Refugees - Tribal Unrest Post Election

    Outbreaks of violence following disputed national elections in Zimbabwe and Kenya resulted in power-sharing arrangements mediated by African and international actors. Increasingly, such Governments of National Unity (GNUs) are viewed as valuable tools to quell violence by establishing an inclusive solution for disputing parties. However, though potentially useful in the short-term, GNUs offer only limited options for transforming root conflict drivers. Other reforms to legal frameworks, political freedoms, and electoral management should not be overlooked as crucial components of preventing violent disputes.

    Download the article [PDF]

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution in Africa: Preventing Conflict and Enhancing Stability

    By Ernest Uwazie, Africa Center for Strategic Studies | November 2011 AlternativeDisputeResolutionInAfrica2 Low-level disputes in Africa can spiral into violence and conflict due to the lack of effective judicial systems that can provide a credible and timely process for resolving differences. Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques can strengthen dispute settlement systems and bridge the gap between formal legal systems and traditional modes of African justice. They may have particular value in stabilization and statebuilding efforts when judicial institutions are weak and social tensions are high.

    Download the Brief [PDF]: ENGLISH | FRANÇAIS | PORTUGUÊS

  • Conflict-Sensitive Land Policy and Land Governance in Africa

    farmers_kivuBy Joost Van Der Zwan. International Alert, April 2011.

    Competing claims, inequitable access, and mismanagement of land and natural resources is a source of conflict in many African states. Prevention is critical since disputes are often entangled with complex factors such as demographic pressures and food insecurity and are therefore difficult to resolve. Identifying incremental reforms can quickly reduce conflict drivers, but should be supported by thorough analysis for unobservable flashpoints and dispute mediation mechanisms. Download the Article: [PDF]


  • Burundi’s Transition: Training Leaders for Peace

    By Howard Wolpe and Steve McDonald. Journal of Democracy, 2006. An account of the Burundi Leadership Training Program that the Woodrow Wilson Center has led since late 2002. The piece focuses on explaining the relative merits of the so-called Ngozi process, whereby representatives from various groups in conflict are brought together to engage in cooperation-building interactive exercises. Their experience may offer useful lessons for others engaged in conflict mitigation work.  Download the Article: [PDF]

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