The crisis in Burundi took a dangerous turn when, after weeks of popular protests, a group of senior army officers launched a failed coup against President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. Protestors have since returned to the streets and insist that demonstrations will continue until the question of the third term is resolved. One... Continue Reading
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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 Building and Peacebuilding in Contexts of Identity-related Conflicts: A Necessary Collaboration
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.
Policymakers should address the youth bulge by mainstreaming youth concerns more intentionally in all security and development initiatives in Africa.
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
Nearly half of all uniformed peacekeepers are African and countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa have provided troops to UN and AU missions almost continuously over the past decade. Despite such vast experience, African peacekeepers are often reliant on international partners for training before they can deploy on these missions. Institutionalizing a capacity-building model within African defense forces is a more sustainable approach that maintains a higher level of readiness to respond to emerging crises and contingencies on the continent.
The achievements and shortcomings of peacekeeping operations offer vital lessons for optimizing this increasingly central but still evolving tool.
DDR nitiatives are often under-prioritized and -conceptualized, contributing to the high rates of conflict relapse observed in Africa.
Airlift assets provide vital capabilities and multiply the effectiveness of Africa’s resource-limited militaries and collective peace operations.
Despite numerous peace agreements, Africa’s Great Lakes region has been in a persistent state of conflict for the past two decades. The contributions and shortcomings of some of the most significant previous peace initiatives, however, offer vital lessons as to how to mitigate the local level tensions, national political dynamics, and competing regional interests that have led to recurring outbreaks of violence.
Institutionalization of democratic norms in Africa’s militaries often lags behind advances made in civilian institutions and civil society.
"Big-man” politics, efforts to circumvent term limits, and the broader debate about legitimacy reflect Africa's ongoing struggle for governance norms.