“Compatriots, fellow country men and women, Congratulations. With this agreement we have ended the longest war in Africa, 50 years of war out of 55 years of independence. Today, we bring this half a century of war to a dignified end.” The date is January 9, 2005, and the place is Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi,... Continue Reading
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Community-based security groups are emerging in African cities in response to rising crime and overstretched police forces. Experience from Abidjan shows that collaboration with the police, avoiding coercive tactics, and retaining citizen oversight councils are key to the effectiveness of these groups.
The rise of farmer-herder violence in Africa is more pernicious than fatality figures alone since it is often amplified by the emotionally potent issues of ethnicity, religion, culture, and land.
The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.
Unlike militant groups, violent criminal groups are understood to have a single agenda: to pursue profit. Typically, law enforcement is the preferred response to their activities. However, well-designed and managed negotiation can be one tool for reducing the violence. In 20 case studies across the globe, including two in South Africa, truces, negotiated prison sentences, and legalization worked to varying degrees. Careful preparation including identifying the goal, the stakes involved, and ripeness were key, as was using lessons from peace mediation and transitional justice.
After leading a coup against a democratically elected government, junta leader Colonel Assimi Goïta has attempted to rehabilitate the image of military government in Mali.
John Magufuli and the ruling CCM’s increased reliance on authoritarian tactics mark a sharp drop in legitimacy from Tanzania’s once proud democratic norms.
ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.
Although Nkurunziza has suppressed external reporting on Burundi, the country’s 4-year-old political and humanitarian crisis shows no signs of abating.
A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.
Burkina Faso’s first militant Islamist group, Ansaroul Islam, has faced setbacks, pointing to the weaknesses of violent extremist organizations lacking deep local support and facing sustained pressure.
The African Union will need to overcome a lack of political will and address structural challenges if it is to be effective in responding to security crises on the continent, consistent with its founding mission.