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To overcome some of apartheid’s effects, African leaders sought to diminish artificial identities by forming new groups that comingled language & heritage.
Ethnic conflicts in Africa are often portrayed as having ages-old origins with little prospects for resolution. This Security Brief challenges that notion arguing that a re-diagnosis of the underlying drivers to ethnic violence can lead to more effective and sustainable responses.
While much of East Africa suffers from food shortages due to drought, in South Sudan, it is conflict, rather than lack of rain, that has been the cause of a widespread humanitarian disaster.
Although the vast majority of conflicts in Africa today involve non-state actors, there has been a significant increase in state-based violence since 2010. While there is now a better understanding of the need to engage at multiple levels of society, leveraging the political will and resources to facilitate these deeper connections has remained a challenge.
African institutional efforts at conflict prevention and mediation have proved instrumental at realizing negotiated settlements.
Domestic institutional mechanisms of accountability are more directly relevant for managing conflict than constitutional design.
The Africa Center’s Director of Research, Joseph Siegle, participated in a symposium at the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas on October 16 examining the role of constitutions on conflict management in Africa. Responding to the recently released book, Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa: Preventing Civil War through Institutional Design edited by... Continue Reading
Demonstrators took to the streets of Bujumbura following a decision by the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) to nominate incumbent president, Pierre Nkurunziza, as its sole presidential candidate for the upcoming polls scheduled for June 26. The attempt to stay on for a third... Continue Reading
State capacity is not the same as state legitimacy. Though it is essential to build and strengthen the institutions of governance in post-conflict societies to provide for its citizens, the people of a country must feel that the government is endeavoring to protect and provide for all constituents—all races, religions, and ethnicities. To demonstrate this, a government must decentralize to the level where the impact of the conflict was mostly felt. It must create policy informed by the needs of actual citizens its civil service has met. Until it does this, it has not earned legitimacy among its people.
Speaking at the start of a four-day seminar titled, “Africa’s Contemporary Security Challenges” hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Paul Williams, an Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Security Policy Studies Program at George Washington University delivered a far-reaching overview of key drivers of violent conflict in Africa. The... Continue Reading
Nigeria’s long-running “indigene-settler” conflict in and around Jos, Plateau State has escalated in recent years and may spread to other ethnically mixed regions of the country, heightening instability. Navigating such inter-communal fault lines is a common challenge for many African societies that requires looking past symptoms to address systemic drivers. In Nigeria, this will entail... Continue Reading
Evidence-based analysis of Africa’s conflict trends over the past 60 years. Captures overall decline and shifts in types of conflict facing Africa over this time. Highlights the challenges of state formation instability and the politics of ethnic exclusion. Read “Conflict Trends in Africa, 1946–2004” (PDF)