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Mediation: Undervalued, Yet Vital to African Security

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on December 21, 2015

“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

Africa’s Complex 2022 Elections: Restoring Democratic Processes

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle and Candace Cook on January 11, 2022

Responding to the coups, conflicts, and other derailments of democratic processes in recent years, Africa’s 2022 elections are, in large part, an effort to right the democratic ship of state on the continent.

Collaborative Policing and Negotiating Urban Order in Abidjan

Africa Security Brief No. 40   published by Maxime Ricard and Kouamé Félix Grodji on November 9, 2021

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.

Justice and Rule of Law Key to African Security

Spotlight   published by Catherine Lena Kelly on May 25, 2021

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.

Negotiating With Violent Criminal Groups

Recommended research   published by Mark Freeman and Vanda Felbab-Brown, Institute for Integrated Transitions on March 31, 2021

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.