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.

The Nativist Revolution and Development Conundrums in Zimbabwe

by Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 4, 2006

The neo-liberal perspective wrongly reduces the crisis in Zimbabwe to a mere problem of governance and traces the genesis of that crisis to the year 2000, ignoring earlier antecedents that are equally significant. The fatal flaw in this neo-liberal definition of the Zimbabwe crisis is its focus on the symptoms of the problem, such as increased militarisation of domestic politics, party violence, shrinking democratic spaces, executive lawlessness, questionable electoral conduct and overall economic collapse. There is a need for a deeper analysis going beyond these symptoms of the Zimbabwean crisis. Indeed, the Zimbabwean crisis is a reflection of the risks involved in any African attempt to defy the ‘disciplining’ forces of globalisation and neo-liberalism and is located within the broader context of African responses to globalisation, neo-liberalism and cosmopolitanism.

The Next Gulf?

Oil Politics, Environmental Apocalypse and Rising Tension in the Niger Delta - by Shola Omotola

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 3, 2006

The study is divided into five sections. The first substantive part of the paper attempts a theoretical exposition on the Nigerian state upon which the paper’s analyses are anchored. The second reflects on Nigeria’s political economy of oil, underscoring how oil has, since the 1970s, become the mainstay of the economy and led to the mishandling of its proceeds.

Privatisation of Security and Military Functions and the Demise of the Modern Nation-State in Africa

by Michelle Small

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2006

The world today is characterised by the increasing commodification and privatisation of public goods, a decline in law and order, a demise in state centrality, and more worryingly, the fracturing of state military and security apparatuses. The state has lost its monopoly of and over organised violence. Beset by a plethora of threats, processes, and actors, the state has found itself increasingly incapable of monopolising violence emanating from above, below, and across the state. At the same time, the state has surrendered its role as the sole legitimate provider and guarantor of security to private security and military providing agents.

Media Graduation from Potential to Actual Power in Africa’s Conflict Resolution

Experience from the East and Horn of Africa - by Absalom Mutere

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2006

The media has for a long time been recognised as a catalyst in the many intra- and inter-state conflicts that have afflicted the African continent. This paper analyses the pre-testing results of a regional media conflict transformation project that was recently carried out in East Africa and the Horn of Africa regions. The paper premises the analysis on three media theories: gatekeeping, agenda setting and socialisation.