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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Being similar, different and coexistent

By Jannie Malan

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 3, 2011

Remarkably meaningful sayings that have emerged out of real life in Africa highlight our inherent interrelatedness as fellow human beings. In the life situations where we happen to find ourselves, there are similarities that bind us together, but also differences that tend to drive us apart. When a group of us becomes concerned about who we are, and who others are, such an 'identity' search may tempt us to think that our own group is better than other groups. Various pressures from our cultures, groups and personalities can create and strengthen feelings and habits of being against other groups. It is possible, however, to be liberated from such polarisation and to become turned towards others. The valid belongingness to one's own group can be retained and promoted, but dominating and discriminating own-groupishness should be rejected.

A Pocket of Stability

Understanding Somaliland - By Daniel R. Forti

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2011

This paper provides a comprehensive examination of Somaliland's unusual development and current standing as a self-declared sovereign nation. Unlike Somalia, a state devastated by a perpetual twenty-year conflict, Somaliland boasts a growing civil society along with a relatively vibrant democracy and accountability to the Rule of Law. Since 1991, the region has become a pocket of security and stability, in absence of formal recognition, by creating government and societal institutions that strongly suit the values and needs of its people.

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The Complexity of Applying UN Resolution 1325 in Post Conflict Reintegration Processes

The Case of Northern Uganda - by Dr Grace Maina

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2011

The United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 calls on all actors involved to address the special needs of women and girls during rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. This study endeavors to analyse the reintegration experience of women and girls in post-conflict Uganda. In this country, the recruitment of combatants by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been characterised by the forcible abduction of young boys and girls, and the eventual deployment of child soldiers. The government of Uganda, in its attempt to defeat the LRA and in recognition of the fact that the LRA forcibly conscripted children to wage their cause, offered amnesties to all individuals who returned or were rescued from the LRA. This process has had consequences for the general female population of the Acholi community in northern Uganda.

Dangers of Splitting a Fragile Rentier State

Getting it Right in Southern Sudan - by Kenneth Omeje

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2010

The anticipated January 2011 independence referendum in Southern Sudan with its possibility of inaugurating a new state in Africa has engaged and excited local, regional and international attention in recent time. It is not surprising that most commentators and direct stakeholders have tended to focus more on the immediate mundane issues of whether or not the referendum should be held as scheduled; whether or not President Omar Bashir’s government is likely to honour the outcome of the referendum; who gets what in the post-referendum asset-sharing; and issues of boundary demarcation.

Security Sector Reform in Africa

The Promise and the Practice of a New Donor Approach - by Daniel Bendix and Ruth Stanley

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2008

When the concept of security sector reform (SSR) was introduced some 10 years ago, it aimed to offer an innovative approach to the reform of security governance. Within the SSR paradigm, such reform was seen as an essential precondition of sustainable development and was envisaged as encompassing the entire spectrum of security institutions, including the military, police, intelligence services and the penal system.

Peacebuilding Coordination in African Countries

Transitioning from Conflict Case Studies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and South Sudan - by Walter Lotze, Gustavo Barros de Carvalho and Yvonne Kasumba

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2008

This Occasional Paper, Peacebuilding Coordination in African Countries: Transitioning from Conflict, addresses some strategic, operational and tactical elements of peacebuilding experiences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia and South Sudan. ACCORD’s African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme carried out a study on this subject between July 2007 and February 2008. The study consisted of desktop research, field visits and interviews with peacebuilding actors, agents and stakeholders in these countries. Peacebuilding was defined as a holistic concept that encompasses simultaneous short-, medium- and long-term programmes designed to prevent disputes from escalating, to avoid a relapse into violent conflict and to consolidate sustainable peace.

Women Transforming Conflicts in Africa

Descriptive Studies from Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Sudan - A Project Report compiled by Kemi Ogunsanya

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 3, 2007

There is evidence of successful efforts to constructively respond to conflict and to undertake transformation, reconstruction and reconciliation in Africa. The inclusion of women as a strategic constituency is central to sustaining and consolidating peace efforts. The involvement of women in post-conflict reconstruction is also critical to the transformation of conflict. The successes of women in conflict transformation efforts in Africa are varied and have not been mirrored in all conflict situations. For example, the gains made by South African women were more pronounced during both the conflict and the immediate post-conflict phase. Sierra Leonean women, on the other hand, were most effective during conflict. In Burundi, women noted gains during conflict and are currently strengthening networks to address the post-conflict challenges. Sudanese women continue to work across ethnic, political and religious lines towards the common goal of peace, while in Côte d’Ivoire women are not recognised in the transitional processes.

South Africa’s Peacekeeping Role in Burundi

Challenges and Opportunities for Future Peace Missions - An ACCORD Research Project

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2007

  1. The objective of this study is to provide an analysis of South Africa’s role in peacekeeping in Burundi and to identify the opportunities and challenges that confronted South Africa’s peacekeeping mission.
  2. The peaceful resolution of Africa’s conflicts is one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s foreign policy. It is intended to create a better South Africa, Africa, and world.

Political Leaders in Africa

Presidents, Patrons or Profiteers? - by Jo-Ansie van Wyk

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2007

It is easy to experience a sense of déjà vu when analysing political leadership in Africa. The perception is that African leaders rule failed states that have acquired tags such as “corruptocracies”, “chaosocracies” or “terrorocracies”. Perspectives on political leadership in Africa vary from the “criminalisation” of the state to political leadership as “dispensing patrimony”, the “recycling” of elites and the use of state power and resources to consolidate political and economic power. Whereas African states enjoy external sovereignty, internal sovereignty has taken on a new meaning as political leaders outside the so-called formal Westphalia arena compete for power, provide state-like services and have monopoly of and over organised violence. Against this background, some states that were once “wholesalers” of security are now mere “retailers” of security, authority, resources and power.