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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Conflict Trends 1999/1

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"Conflict Trends has matured with the first full edition of 'Conflict Watch' and 'Renaissance Barometer' where we chart the developments across the continent for the last quarter. Drawn from thousands of source documents including established news sources, published research and our own sources, we hope that these analyses will serve to give one of the most comprehensive overviews of what is happening in the conflict and reconstruction fields for the continent."

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Conflict Trends 1998/1

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"The 1990s have proved to be exciting and challenging times. Far-reaching developments in technology and phenomenal changes in the global political and economic environment have brought with them new challenges, many not foreseen at the turn of the decade. It is in this context that we launch our magazine. We hope to give the interested observer deeper insight into the many challenges that confront us in Africa. To the many other Africans who share this drama with us, we hope to provide a balanced and objective understanding of our challenges and our numerous yet unrecorded successes at meeting these challenges."

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Perpetuation of instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

When the Kivus sneeze, Kinshasa catches a cold

By Joyce Muraya and John Ahere

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2014

The current instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can be traced back to late former President Mobutu Sese Seko’s rule during the late 1980s. The country’s economic depression was exacerbated by the end of the Cold War in 1991, leading to disengagement with the international economic and political system. The DRC has been the source of numerous conflicts over many years. The 1990s saw the country’s peace and security degenerate further, creating challenges that continue to preoccupy the world today. In recent times, the epicentre of the violence in the DRC has been North and South Kivu (the Kivus). The dynamics in the two provinces are complex, causing the Great Lakes region to be characterised by huge human security challenges. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the linkage between the conflicts in the Kivus and persistent periodic instability in the DRC. It delves into and critiques post-crisis recovery efforts implemented in the country since the end of the Second Congo War. The paper concludes that, among other strategies, resolving the various conflicts in the DRC depends on understanding the causes of specific clashes, such as those in the Kivus, as this can contribute to the uncovering of sustainable solutions to armed confrontation. The paper offers proposals which, if implemented, could contribute to moving the Kivus, and by extension the DRC, beyond intractability.

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Mediating a convoluted conflict

South Africa’s approach to the inter-party negotiations in Zimbabwe

By Lawrence Mhandara and Andrew Pooe

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2013

In the late 1990s, Zimbabwe became trapped in a ditch of multifaceted crises that were pronounced in the contest for political power between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). This conflict revolved around the legitimacy of electoral processes, related institutions and the credibility of electoral outcomes. By 2007, the conflict had escalated to the extent that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and countries neighbouring Zimbabwe decided to mediate between the two parties to end the standoff, which had begun to negatively affect the entire southern Africa region. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa (1999–2008), was then mandated by SADC to facilitate dialogue between the parties. Mediation efforts led to relatively credible harmonised parliamentary and presidential elections held on 29 March 2008. These elections, however, did not come up with a clear winner, forcing the country to call for a run-off. This second round of elections, held on 27 June 2008, was tainted by allegations of electoral flaws and widespread institutionalised violence. The result was a predictable regression into the pre-29 March era, prompting SADC to mandate South Africa to facilitate negotiations for a political solution among the key political players. In the face of varying interests converging on the Zimbabwe situation, South Africa’s role became even more difficult.

Justice and peacebuilding in post-conflict situations

An argument for including gender analysis in a new post-conflict model

By Lesley Connolly

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2012

After the 1991–2001 civil war, Sierra Leone employed a new model of transitional justice, concurrently utilising a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a Special Court. Encouragingly, this process incorporated special gender considerations, by expanding the mandate of both the TRC and Special Court to address sexual violence and encourage women to come forward and testify without fear of retribution. Both these institutions have been praised for successfully fulfilling their specific mandates and for aiding the country's transition to peace. However, some parts of Sierra Leone's society were left largely untouched by the process, as evidenced by widespread discrimination and gender inequalities which still occur today. It is proposed that this is not just a fault of Sierra Leone's approach, but that it is an inherent flaw of the transitional justice process as a whole as the process is not suitable for use in addressing the root causes of conflict. For this reason, it is argued that a new mechanism of transitional justice, one which incorporates a peacebuilding process, would better address the needs of a post-conflict society. This would be done by focusing on transformation and promoting a long-term sustainable peace.

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