Conflict Trends 1999/2

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"There is an old Yoruba proverb which states, 'Not even God is wise enough...' Often proper interpretation of data, such that is available, is jettisoned in favour of the sound-bite effect. The need to eschew such simplistic notions and embrace more holistic understandings of African conflicts is essential if we are to effectively eradicate, or at least minimise, the conflicts afflicting our continent."

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Conflict Trends 1999/1

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"Conflict Trends has matured with the first full edition of 'Conflict Watch' and 'Renaissance Barometer' where we chart the developments across the continent for the last quarter. Drawn from thousands of source documents including established news sources, published research and our own sources, we hope that these analyses will serve to give one of the most comprehensive overviews of what is happening in the conflict and reconstruction fields for the continent."

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Conflict Trends 1998/1

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"The 1990s have proved to be exciting and challenging times. Far-reaching developments in technology and phenomenal changes in the global political and economic environment have brought with them new challenges, many not foreseen at the turn of the decade. It is in this context that we launch our magazine. We hope to give the interested observer deeper insight into the many challenges that confront us in Africa. To the many other Africans who share this drama with us, we hope to provide a balanced and objective understanding of our challenges and our numerous yet unrecorded successes at meeting these challenges."

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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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The question of youth participation in peacebuilding processes in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

By Timothy Aduojo Obaje and Nwabufo Okeke-Uzodike

The available body of literature addressing the roles of young people in armed conflict provides evidence of extensive child and youth involvement in warfare. For instance, Ukiwo (2003) draws attention to the role of young people as key actors in the escalation of violent conflicts in Nigeria’s Plateau State city of Jos, while other scholars emphasise the notorious use of violence by youths during Europe’s political crises and conflicts of the 1930s.

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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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Peace processes in Côte d’Ivoire

Democracy and challenges of consolidating peace after the post-electoral crisis

By Dr Doudou Sidibé

The attainment of full democracy remains elusive to even some of the greatest nations in the world. The West African country of Côte d’Ivoire, which experienced a violent post-electoral crisis (November 2010 to April 2011) within the midst of 19 years of political instability which started in 1993, also seeks to consolidate democratisation. The goal is not impossible to realise, but is dependent on the reconciliation of all stakeholders in the conflict and all sectors of society...

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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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