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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Conflict Trends 2000/3

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Focus on Nigeria

"Feature on Nigeria, recipients of the 2000 Africa Peace Award. A vast, populous country, Africa needs a stable, properous Nigeria. It's problems are not uniquely Nigerian, but a microcosm, albeit a large one, of the problems facing the entire continent: ethnic chauvinism, religious fundamentalism, tensions between central and national government. How Nigeria deals with these problems could set the tone for how other African states could successfully manage similar situations..."

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Conflict Trends 2000/2

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Water Wars

"As populations grow, finite water resources are being stretched to their limit... these population growth levels are fundamentally uneven: little of the projected population growth will take place in the North. The ramification of this is the possibility of conflict over scarce water resources in the developing world."

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Conflict Trends 2000/1

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Focus on Renaissance

"This is a very special edition of Conflict Trends one that is quite contradictory in tone... On the one hand, we celebrate Africa's most popular state, Nigeria, being awarded the Africa Peace Award as it celebrates its first year under civilian rule in almost two decades. On the other, we lay special focus on mercenaries and/or private security companies and analyse their impact on Africa's on-going conflicts."

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Conflict Trends 1999/4

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"On 14 October 1999, Mwalimu Nyerere succumbed to chronic leukaemia at the age of 77. On a continent acclaimed for its self-serving leadership, Nyerere stood out as the embodiment of the spirit of ubuntu - I am, because you are... we too join our brothers and sisters across the continent in mourning one of Africa's great sons - Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, a visionary and statesman who reflected the ideals of the African Renaissance."

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Conflict Trends 1999/3

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Focus on Renaissance

"Southern Africa constitutes a sad anomaly. The region is vast, and rich with natural resources and could well be the engine that drives Africa's economic Renaissance. Despite these positive indicators, the region's people continue to experience unemployment, poverty and malnourishment... To break the cycle of war and suffering, and to secure the development of the region, it is imperative for a solution to be found for the current wave of political instability besetting several countries in the region."

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Conflict Trends 1999/2

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"There is an old Yoruba proverb which states, 'Not even God is wise enough...' Often proper interpretation of data, such that is available, is jettisoned in favour of the sound-bite effect. The need to eschew such simplistic notions and embrace more holistic understandings of African conflicts is essential if we are to effectively eradicate, or at least minimise, the conflicts afflicting our continent."

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