Mr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director (Left) with Ms M Dlomo, DDG: Training, Research and Development in DIRCO, South Africa.
ACCORD’s Executive Director presents findings from recent research on insurgency trends to SACOIR.
One of ACCORD’s strategic pillars is to support government institutions in their responsibilities to promote peace and pursue the constructive resolution of disputes. It is in this light that Mr Vasu Gounden, ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, presented to the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation on 19 August 2015. This briefing marked the second time that Mr Gounden has appeared before the Portfolio Committee in 2015, with his first appearance taking place on 03 June.
Mr Gounden, a newly-appointed member of the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR), presented an analysis of current conflict and insurgent trends on the African continent, as well as an evaluation of the process used to resolve such challenges. During his presentation, Mr Gounden first provided an overview of conflict dynamics on the African continent, examining their root causes and the different ways in which these challenges manifest. He then considered specific issues pertaining to the growing threat of insurgencies on the African continent and thoroughly examined the dynamics that fuel and perpetuate these complex security threats. This analysis was strengthened through a consideration of specific case studies of insurgent threats in Libya, Mali and the Sahel belt, Somalia and Kenya, and Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin region. Mr Gounden then considered the different ways in which such insurgencies threaten the socio-economic development of South Africa and the African continent more broadly.
For the second half of his presentation, Mr Gounden provided an update of on-going peace initiatives in Burundi, Lesotho, and South Sudan and assessed the South African government’s role in these respective processes. For each case study, Mr Gounden discussed recent developments and outstanding negotiation issues, and appraised how the South African government has contributed to the achievement of peaceful and constructive resolutions to these disputes. The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee was interested in ascertaining the effectiveness of the South African government’s interventions to date, and understanding what role the South African Parliament can play in supporting such initiatives.
Details on Mr Gounden’s presentation can be accessed through the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) website.