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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

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.

The Legacy of Military Governance in Mali

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on September 25, 2020

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.

ECOWAS Risks Its Hard-Won Reputation

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 6, 2020

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.

Burundi, the Forgotten Crisis, Still Burns

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 24, 2019

Although Nkurunziza has suppressed external reporting on Burundi, the country’s 4-year-old political and humanitarian crisis shows no signs of abating.

ECOWAS’s Efforts at Resolving Guinea-Bissau’s Protracted Political Crisis, 2015-2019

Recommended research   published by ACCORD on September 2, 2019

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.

The African Union Wavers between Reform and More of the Same

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on April 19, 2019

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.