“As insecurity persists, the conflict complexes continue to feed contending networks on the CAR stage, which will add to the intractability of the current conflict. If peacebuilding initiatives are to be developed that give equal importance to statebuilding, everyday politics, and human security, a more thorough analysis of the conflict is needed that clearly distinguishes its form from its substance.”
Essays present critical analysis and debate on a pressing issue in African peacebuilding.
“The struggle for power between factions at the center depends on building and undermining state institutions simultaneously—a process international assistance has not been able to rein in. The international technical support for state building appears overwhelmed by the dynamics of state formation, which is inherently political and often violent. Meanwhile, peacebuilding interventions are increasingly overshadowed by the urgency to build the state.”
"If the Boko Haram insurgency is to be tackled effectively, a combination of well-thought-out development plans and security strategies is needed .... Bringing the State back into the lives of the people could make a significant difference in addressing youth unemployment and alienation and contribute toward institutionalizing new forms of democratic leadership, accountability, and social harmony."
"With regime changes by coups d’états as the rule, the political reality in the CAR has been characterized by regimes lacking in legitimacy, a dysfunctional public sector and institutions, and weak state power .... In this regard, it can be said that the crisis has in fact been brewing for long and conditions for an open conflict to emerge were given."
Nelson Mandela inspired our entire continent and its people, and had an immense influence on the changing face of Africa as a whole. Hamba kahle, Madiba. We will never forget you.
With the embers of the Westgate Mall attack slowly cooling off, the Kenyan government’s policies have faced heavy scrutiny. As the global security environment changes and instances of terrorism increase throughout the East African region, countries within this region should progressively invest more resources into enhancing their capacities for security, both domestically and regionally, while encouraging greater cooperation and joint security efforts.
The 9/21 Attack on Westgate Mall: Understanding the Youth Factor in Violent Radicalization in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africaby Alfred Ndumo Muteru
Al-Shabaab has begun to mobilize support by taking advantage of political and socio-economic vulnerabilities of the youth in Somalia's neighboring countries. After two and a half decades of counterproductive military interventions, peacebuilding processes may need to be reconsidered and instead focus on inclusive ideas that do not overlook the importance of the youth.
Mapping Reconciliation Processes in Africa: A Project Set to Fail or A Possible Gateway to Further Research?by Cori Wielenga
Reconciliation has become an important term in the national discourse, particularly within Africa. Yet what reconciliation actually refers to, how it should be implemented, and how to assess its level of effectiveness remains a challenge for many States. This piece explores the creation of a database to map reconciliation processes across the African continent, questioning whether such a project would be destined to fail, or a gateway to further research.
A great political problem on the African continent is the scourge of coups have taken place over the past half century, one being in Madagascar in 2009. To combat these coups, the African Union has put in place a firm policy commitment to reject coups and other unconstitutional changes of government. While at first glance, the AU's ban on coup legitimization is a decisive rejection of the military overthrow of governments and, thus, a compelling deterrent to future coups, it becomes clear upon further investigation that the ban itself is incompatible with mediation, which the AU invariably undertakes to restore constitutional order.
Why is building peace in a context such as the Congolese conflicts so hard? Despite many efforts, including the presence of the largest United Nations peacekeeping mission, international treaties, and peace talks, peacebuilding in eastern Congo has become a difficult task with a myriad of complexities. Havenith and Vogel seek to understand these challenges.