Pride, conflict and complexity

Applying dynamical systems theory to understand local conflict in South Sudan

By Stephen Gray and Josefine Roos

South Sudan has experienced deadly conflict for much of the last five decades. While most attention has focused on South Sudan’s civil war with the now Republic of Sudan to the north, in reality, inter- related conflicts persist in multiple layers of society. Paradoxically, the termination of the war of nationhood activated ‘local conflicts’, which have led to the killing of thousands of people since peace was brokered with the north in 2005. This paper presents an assessment of a ‘typical local conflict’ between two Dinka clans, based on field research in Jonglei State, using a systemic approach to conflict assessment adapted from dynamical systems theory...

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Localising Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone

What Does it Mean?

By Dr Tony Karbo

Contemporary peacebuilding processes increasingly propose and adopt local ownership as a fundamental prerequisite in sustainable peacebuilding. Local ownership presupposes the application of an organic and context-specific approach to peacebuilding. Localisation also assumes the active participation of local actors, including national governments, civil society groups, community organisations and the private sector, in achieving a common purpose in peacebuilding processes.

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Think Global, Transfer Local

The Perils and Opportunities of a Locally Owned Peace Process in Post-War Sierra Leone

By Dr Vandy Kanyako

The transition from international to local ownership provides the perfect barometer to gauge the health and general well-being of a country’s peacebuilding process. It offers the opportunity to assess the past, plan for the future and, in the process, nurture the environment that fosters and cultivates opportunities for broader participation in issues of national interest. Peacebuilding, with its emphasis on decentralised empowerment is, in many ways, an exercise in social engineering. It offers one of the few opportunities for marginalised groups to engage with the power structures in ways that enhance the boundaries of power. Without doubt, a vocal and vibrant grassroots citizenry improves governance at various layers of society and contributes to our understanding of the peace-development continuum. But what exactly is local ownership of a peace process, and what is its relationship to sustainable peacebuilding in the context of Sierra Leone? This paper attempts to address these questions.

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An Overview of the Situation of Women in Conflict and Post-Conflict Africa

By Dr Grace Maina

Conflict and post-conflict environments in Africa present unique challenges and opportunities for women. While violence and war periods have negative effects on women, it is suggested that ‘peace time’ has implications for women as well. For most women, the end of war and conflict is marked by the excessive effects of trauma and shame. There are still numerous accounts of rape and forced marriages that undermine the social position of these women in society. Due to these circumstances, many women struggle to participate effectively in the affairs of their societies. The lack of skills or education among many of these women means that their access to economic opportunities is greatly challenged. It is critical that the implications of conflict on these women be clearly understood. Furthermore, the post-conflict environment must also be interrogated, as there are concerning social, psychological, physical and economic implications that continue to challenge women.

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COP17: Statement of Outcomes

Climate Change Adaptation, Conflict and Cooperation: A Diplomatic Approach for Africa?

Internationally, scientific and policy debates on the potential security implications of climate change have recently gained great momentum. It is now clear that climate change poses one of the key challenges for global economic development and human well- being and may put peace and security at risk, as natural resources such as water, food, and energy become scarce. Alongside these scarcities, slower onset changes in weather, and extreme weather events such as floods and storms, are predicted to lead to an increase in migration movements. Africa is projected to experience some of the worst climate-related impacts and security threats.

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