The 2009 Kwazulu-Natal Election

Based on its mandate from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, ACCORD, in collaboration with its African Alliance for Peace (AfAP) partners, the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa (NPI-Africa) and the West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), undertook to contribute towards creating a climate for peaceful, free and fair elections. This report examines electoral related intimidation and violence during the 2009 provincial election and is based on the findings of the AfAP observer teams.

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Building Peace and Democracy in Angola: Challenges and Opportunities

The Angola Country Program Lessons Identified Seminar (LIS) took place in Luanda, Angola, on 01 and 02 October 2008. The overall goal of the seminar was to create a forum for sharing of experiences, analysis, and reflections by various stakeholders working in different sectors of peacebuilding in Angola. The seminar also aimed to evaluate peacebuilding and reconciliation processes that have been implemented in Angola since the end of the civil war in 2002

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Edificação da Paz e Democracia em Angola: Desafios e Oportunidades

O Seminário sobre as Lições Identificadas no Programa Nacional para Angola (LIS) teve lugar em Luanda, Angola, de 1 a 2 de Outubro de 2008. O objetivo geral do seminário era criar um foro para a troca de experiências, análise e reflexões pelos vários intervenientes trabalhando em sectores diferentes da edificação da paz em Angola. O seminário destinava-se igualmente a avaliar os processos de edificação da paz e reconciliação que foram implementados em Angola desde o fim da guerra civil em 2002.

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Mediating Peace in Africa: Securing Conflict Prevention

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland held a seminar in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 4 March 2009 on the theme of Mediating Peace in Africa: Securing Conflict Prevention. The seminar brought together policymakers, mediation experts and civil society actors to assist the African Union (AU) to strengthen its mediation and conflict prevention mechanisms within the African peace and security architecture.

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Guarding the guardians: Civil-military relations and democratic governance in Africa

Houngnikpo, Mathurin C.
Farnham (Surrey, UK) and Burlington (VT, USA), Ashgate 218 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781409404149

 According to the author, the thrust of this book is to explore the question 'whether African militaries can ever accept civilian control' (p. vi). The fact that he phrases the essence of this publication in the form of a question – on the first page of the preface – reveals the probing way in which he approached his crucially important topic. His orientation towards searching for understanding is underlined by the first part of the title, which is based on a Roman satirical poet's ever-relevant question of twenty centuries ago: 'Who will guard the guardians?'

Promoting the African Union

Kassim Mohammed Khamis
Lillian barber Press, 2010, 421 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0-936508-33-7

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."1 George Santayana's famous maxim could be one of the best ways to describe the approach used for Promoting the African Union, an insightful book by Dr Kassim Mohammed Khamis, a Tanzanian diplomat currently at the African Union (AU) and with many years of experience within the former Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Khamis stresses that his intention with this book is "to help readers understand why the African unity project has proceeded so slowly as against the intended establishment of the African Union" (p. xiv). In addition, he identifies the gaps and opportunities that Africa has in strengthening the African unity initiative.

Towards an African Peace and Security regime: Continental embeddedness, transnational linkages, strategic relevance

Ulf Engel and João Gomes Porto eds.
Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2011, 257 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780754676041

The anticipated establishment of an African Standby Force (ASF) in 2015 and the interim African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), in the midst of new and continuing conflicts, have sparked renewed interest in the underpinnings of, and prospects for, the African Peace and Security Architecture. The unique African security environment, consisting of a revived continental organisation working to implement its policies through the capacities of eight recognised Regional Economic Communities (RECs), in the context of extensive external security sector involvement, presents questions for the sustainability and efficiency of this network of actors and their continued engagement. Answering these questions is the subject of this book.

Polarization and transformation in Zimbabwe: Social movements, strategy dilemmas and change

Polarization_and_transformation_in_Zimbabwe.jpg Erin McCandless 
Lexington Books, 2011, 270 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0739125953

Polarization and transformation in Zimbabwe: Social movements, strategy dilemmas and change, written by Erin McCandless, attempts to illustrate how social movements and civic organisations face significant strategy dilemmas which can hamper their effectiveness and prevent such organisations from contributing to transformative peace and change. The book investigates Zimbabwe and two particular dilemmas which have caused political polarisation in the country.

Back from the brink: The 2008 mediation process and reforms in Kenya

back-from-the-brink-2008_copy_copy.jpg Graça Machel and Benjamin Mkapa 
African Union Commission, 2014, 310 pp.
ISBN 978-9966-065-73-5

 Although much has been written about triggers of post-electoral violence, and what needs to be done to prevent their resurgence in Kenya and Africa, insights into the architecture on which Kenya's post-2007 electoral institutions were built have not benefitted from the same amount of scholarly and policy attention. With early warning signs suggesting that growing elitism and the gap between the rich and the poor are set to widen, interest in democratic processes is also set to increase.

The new South Africa at twenty: Critical perspectives

Peter Vale and Estelle H. Prinsloo eds. 
Pietermaritzburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014, 271 pp.
ISBN-13: 978 1 86914 289 6

South Africa's democratic transition in 1994 remains one of the most analysed, lauded and respected political transitions, for numerous reasons, in modern times. The definitive character of the transition, with respect to a number of international and domestic factors, elevated the significance of the process, and ultimately assigned the country a status that was nothing less than the de facto poster-child of the emergent post-Cold War international system.