The OAU/AU and an Africa at peace with itself

Time for serious business

Policy & Practice Brief 26

This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) is a postscript to the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the 21st African Union (AU) Summit which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 19 to 27 May 2013. It reviews the successes and triumphs of Africa's peace and security architecture, set against the constraints and challenges of making peace in difficult times.

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Mediating peace in Africa

Enhancing the role of southern African women in mediation

Policy & Practice Brief 25

Although the need to engage women in peace processes is widely acknowledged, most mediation teams do not include or encourage the voices and representation of women. Promoting women’s capacities to participate in peace processes is crucial for their advancement and ability to contribute to peace, development and security. This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) mainly bases its discussions and recommendations on debates which took place during the Southern African Women Mediators Seminar (SAWMS), hosted by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women): Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands from 20 to 21 November 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa.

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The never-ending pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army

An analysis of the Regional Cooperative Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA

Policy & Practice Brief 24

There has recently been heightened concern regarding the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of the most deadly insurgent movements in Africa. The LRA can best be described as a quasi- religious-rebel armed group that began operating in the Acholi region of northern Uganda in 1986, but has now grown into a regional concern due to its expanded activities in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.....

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Enhancing security and justice in Liberia

The regional hub model

Policy & Practice Brief 23

Justice and security are core components of healthy and functional societies. The security sector comprises, government structures with authority to execute force, detain and arrest to protect the state, its citizens and those civil bodies responsible for security sector management and oversight....

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Navigating post-peace agreement plebiscites

Zimbabwe and Kenya’s 2013 elections

Policy & Practice Brief 22

This Policy & Practice Brief is informed by the persistent problem of contested electoral processes and results in a number of African countries. These are often accompanied by violence, with devastating effects not only on human security, but also on the prospects of democratic consolidation in these countries. Paying attention to the reality that in 2013, both Kenya and Zimbabwe will undergo their first post-transition elections...

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The troubled road to peace

Reflections on the complexities of resolving the political impasse in Madagascar

Policy & Practice Brief 21

Madagascar was thrown into political crisis in 2009 by an unconstitutional change in leadership which replaced Marc Ravalomanana with Andry Rajoelina as head of state. Over the past four years this crisis deteriorated into a firmly-imbedded political impasse. This stalemate seemed to have eased slightly when both Ravalomanana and Rajoelina declared, in December 2012 and January 2013 respectively, that they would not stand in the May 2013 elections...

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The peace process in the DRC

A transformation quagmire

Policy & Practice Brief 20

Since the 1990s the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued to be mired in intractable conflicts. Despite the establishment of an elected government in 2006 following the implementation of a series of peace agreements, the country still faces challenges in consolidating peace throughout its territory. The eastern regions of the DRC have consistently experienced high insecurity and repeated incidences of violence, often as a result of interference of neighbouring countries. The recurring episodes of violence in both the eastern and other regions of the DRC indicate that the process of conflict transformation is impeded by deep structural issues in society. These issues must be addressed if peace in the country, and the Great Lakes region, is to be achieved.

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Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia

An intricate process

Policy & Practice Brief 19

In the midst of Somalia’s decades of conflict, al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist group with al-Qaeda links, has become particularly noticeable not only nationally but also regionally. Foreign intervention, therefore, is no new phenomenon in Somalia. Yet, when on 16 October 2011, Kenyan troops entered Somalia to launch a military offensive against al-Shabaab, called Operation Linda Nchi (Protect the Country), the reality of the al-shabaab menace in the region was highlighted. The Kenyan intervention in the Somalia conflict is, however, fraught with its own challenges for Kenya, Somalia and the entire region a year into the operation.

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Ghana: A Beacon of Hope in Africa

Policy & Practice Brief 18

Located in West Africa, a generally tumultuous region characterised by political instability of varying magnitude, ranging from coups, political turmoil, violent sectarian conflicts, to simmering political tension even in some seemingly ‘stable’ countries, Ghana stands out as an encouraging success story. Besides being the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence from a colonial power, the country has become the epitome of democracy and good governance in Africa following years of political upheavals.

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Preventing and Punishing Sexual Violence

The Work of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region

Policy & Practice Brief 17

Efforts to build lasting peace at regional level involve multiple strata of actors, institutions and processes. Regional organisations that are in search of shared peace and security must take cognisance of the various layers of political and social history of many sovereign states. These bodies must accommodate different economies, legal systems and security capacities, cultures and conflicting interests. Challenges such as these are particuraly acute for new regional institutions, especially when they ambitiously set out to solve newly-defined problems. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is an example of this new terrain.

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