Conflict Trends 2003/1

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Focus on Democratisation

"The twentieth century was not kind to Africa... regional conflicts wreaking havoc across the continent cast a deep shadow over the prospects of success of the vision of the African Renaissance … it is wrong to think that all conflicts should be resolved through the barrel of the gun. Political solutions should be explored at all times."

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Conflict Trends 2002/4

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Focus on Democratisation

"The dawn of the twenty-first century has witnessed Africa's leadership respond more vigorously to crisis on the continent. There has also been a general acceptance of the fact that the post-colonial African state must return to a more democratic order... it is our firm belief that by providing avenues through which to air grievances (such as the courts), democratisation - as it relates to good governance - is an effective tool for transforming violent trajectories to non-violent ones. In this sense, democratisation becomes an effective tool for conflict prevention and mitigation."

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Conflict Trends 2002/3

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Focus on Peacekeeping

"This special issue on peacekeeping comes two years, almost to the month, after the release of a report from the panel of experts on United Nations peace operations – the so-called Brahimi Report. In this issue, we look at what progress has been made since this landmark report was released. We also take a snapshot of the current missions in Africa, and ask what major trends and issues could shape the future of peacekeeping in Africa during the next decade."

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Conflict Trends 2002/2

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Focus on Refugees

"The challenges that we face, both individually and collectively, to make this twenty-first century an African century are immense... This special issue of Conflict Trends represents such a strategic partnership between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the African Union, and ACCORD. We hope that in igniting a constructive debate it contributes in some small way to help alleviate the plight of refugees generally, and the African refugee in particular."

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Conflict Trends 2002/1

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African Renewal

"To the jubilating crowds in Luanda, Savimbi's death signaled the end of one of the world's longest-running civil wars... It is hoped that with the end of the war, resources that were directed towards the purchase of arms could be spent on the socio-economic upliftment of Angola's long-suffering people. However, given the scale of the crisis, this may not be enough. Consequently, it is imperative that the international community assist Angola in fighting the real war on poverty, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy and want. In so doing, we all assert our collective humanity."

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Conflict Trends 2001/4

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Focus on Constitutionalism

"(The constitution making process is) inevitably influenced by the prevailing conflict dynamics on the ground, which in turn cannot be separated from the wider socio-economic and political milieu within which the different political, social and other interest groups and formations manoeuvre for power, influence and reform."

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Conflict Trends 2001/3

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Focus on Human Rights

"Human rights is the idea of our time. Through the centuries, we have learnt that certain core interests need to be protected if people are to flourish; if they are to avoid withering away or, eventually, taking the law into their own hands to protect their interests. History has taught us that certain interests - such as the rights to freedom of conscience and basic education - are to be considered as 'inalienable' rights, beyond manipulation by any government, irrespective of whether it is democratically elected or not."

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Conflict Trends 2001/2

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Focus on Somalia

"On Monday, 28 May 2001, heavy mortar and gunfire broke the stillness of the night in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The commotion began when a rebellious army unit attacked the home of President Ange-Felix Patasse. Within two days, it became clear that forces loyal to the elected government had suppressed the coup attempt. The attempted coup in the CAR holds important lessons, for both policy-makers and academics, which go far beyond a simplistic analysis that points to poor civil-military relations on the African continent."

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Conflict Trends 2001/1

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Children at War

"During the First World War, only 5% of casualties were civilian. In the wars currently being fought on the African continent, more than 90% of casualties are civilian. The most vulnerable in society suffer the most. This is an untenable state of affairs. If war cannot be prevented, then something must be done to protect the most vulnerable sectors of society. The lesson is clear: legislation, without effective monitoring and enforcement, is useless!"

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Conflict Trends 2000/4

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Focus on Elections

"The year 2000 is behind us... it would be good to reflect on some of the lessons this first year of the twenty-first century has taught us in our endeavours to resolve Africa's many conflicts... These events of 2000, and more, have important lessons for efforts towards conflict transformation on our continent."

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