Nigeria’s 2015 general elections

Challenges and opportunities

Policy & Practice Brief 33

Concerns about Nigeria's ability to hold a peaceful general election in 2015 have characterised the work of governance, peace and security sector practitioners and policymakers for some time now. The prevailing discourse emanating from Nigerian and international actors alike predominantly focuses on the actions (and inaction) of major stakeholders, including Nigeria's ruling and opposition political parties, mass media and civil society, and the international community...

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On the future Africa wants

The Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Policy & Practice Brief 32

In many ways, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (2000–15) focused the world’s attention on the global challenge of development. While progress produced prosperity in the West and, more recently, parts of the East, it caused underdevelopment and poverty for the rest of the world. However, as 2015 – when the MDGs will lapse – approaches, there is growing realisation of how poorly MDG interventions were implemented, and the negative ramifications of this on Africa.

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Getting coherence and coordination right

Principles for the peacebuilding policy community

Policy & Practice Brief 31

In the aftermath of conflicts, countries need to identify new ways in which to (re)build societies, infrastructure and institutions. This process is determined by several different approaches and mechanisms that aim to support countries to achieve long-term and sustainable peace. International conflict management documents continue to highlight the complexity of peacebuilding and its coherency with other national development and statebuilding processes. Peacebuilding is therefore any action taken by international or local actors which aims to consolidate peace in transition, stabilisation and post-conflict situations. It is a complex and interdependent conflict management system.

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The road to reconciliation

A case study of Liberia’s reconciliation roadmap

Policy & Practice Brief 30

Years after the August 2003 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which brought to an end Liberia’s bloody civil war, there was realisation by the Government of Liberia that the reconciliation process had stalled. To correct this, and keep the country on the path of peace, the government embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at reigniting the reconciliation process...

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Nigeria’s Boko Haram

Beyond the rhetoric

Policy & Practice Brief 29

As the world remains focused on the fate of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by members of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram from the town of Chibok, Borno State in mid-April, it is clear that this terrorist organisation is rapidly reinforcing its position as a regional menace. In late May, the group staged an attack in northern Cameroon where a Chinese worker was killed and 10 others kidnapped.2 Remaining unmoved by the opprobrium levelled against them via social media Boko Haram's leader, Abubaker Shekau, and his followers staged more violent attacks across northern Nigeria that stretched into June 2014.

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Creating an enabling peacebuilding environment

How can external actors contribute to resilience?

Policy & Practice Brief 28

Peacebuilding theory and practice has evolved over 20 years in response to highly complex and fluid factors and contexts. Over this period, peacebuilding has developed several salient features, including its reliance on implementation in the long term, the interdependence of various actors and the multidimensional nature of processes. Current post-conflict situations indicate that in practice, peacebuilding needs to become even more innovative, flexible and responsive to the requirements of local actors and contexts, while remaining sensitive to the potential for unintended consequences and doing harm.

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Reconciliation without regret

National healing and reconciliation in South Sudan

Policy & Practice Brief 27

In 2011, southern Sudan witnessed a successful and peaceful referendum, culminating in its secession from the Republic of Sudan and the birth of an independent Republic of South Sudan on 9 July. Despite the relative peace brought by independence, true peace in South Sudan is threatened by armed groups, rebellions and local conflicts; these have led to the deaths of thousands of people since 2005. Incidences of internal violence among local communities are also on the increase in many parts of the country. Against this backdrop, the Government of South Sudan has launched, and taken the lead, in preparations for national reconciliation and healing initiatives in the country.

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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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