Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation In Divided Societies

alt John Paul Lederach
Published by: United States Institute of Peace (USIP), USA, 1997
ISBN: 10: 1878379739 13: 978-1878379733

Reviewed by: Venashri Pillay
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 2006

John Paul Lederach, a seminal figure in the academic and practical field of conflict resolution, provides foundational and important ideas and strategies for peace-building and reconciliation in his book, Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. The innovative ideas and practical suggestions for building peace in deeply divided societies are timeless and applicable across various conflict contexts and cultures. The book emphasizes the need to move beyond traditional diplomacy with top-level leaders and short-term objectives to holistic and integrated approaches emphasising multiple levels of actors, long-term objectives, and the healing of relationships and people. An integrated framework for sustained peace-building and reconciliation is thus provided.

Between Democracy And Terror: The Sierra Leone Civil War

alt Edited by Ibrahim Abdullah, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.
Published by: UNISA Press, 2004
ISBN: 10: 2869781237 13: 978-2869781238

Reviewed by: Kemi Ogunsanya, Conflict Prevention, Mitigation, and Response Advisor at ACCORD.
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 2005

The new conflict paradigm has challenged conventional conceptions of modern warfare, characterised by an increase in the number and complexity of violent conflicts. What defines these conflicts is their intra-state nature and the most striking feature of these conflicts has been their impact on civilians, who have been both perpetrators and victims. In the background one is faced with the break- down of the state with vast human rights abuses, abject poverty and other social ills. This was the classic case scenario in Sierra Leone.

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.

Aspects of Peacekeeping

alt Edited by D.S. Gordon and F.H. Toase
Published by: London: Frank Cass, 2001
ISBN: 10: 0714650404 13: 978-0714650401

Reviewed by: C. De Coning
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 2004

One of the defining characteristics of complex peace operations is their multi-dimensional nature. They combine conflict prevention; peace making; security operations; humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities; transitional justice and rule of law programmes; human rights monitoring and education; political transition support and institution building, in a complex and multi-layered peacebuilding response matrix that is intended to build momentum towards peace across the whole conflict spectrum.

Africa in the New Millennium: Challenges and Prospects


Eddy Maloka and Elizabeth le Roux
Published by: Africa Institute: Pretoria, 2001
ISBN: 9780798301459

Reviewed by: By Senzo Ngubane
In Conflict Trends Issue 1 of 2002

African development has become the subject of much debate and discourse since the dawn of the new millennium. Much of the discourse has focused on establishing what the critical issues are that face Africa in this new era - what needs to be done to rid Africa of most (if not all) her problems in order to change the status that this continent acquired during the previous century. These seem to be appropriate questions, particularly since the new epoch has been declared an African century! The new millennium is viewed as an opportunity for Africa to enjoy a new lease of life; to advance like all the other continents. This, how- ever, will only be possible once appropriate programmes are put in place. In addition, such programmes could not be conceived without an accurate diagnosis of Africa’s challenges, and its prospects to overcome such challenges.

A Peace of Timbuktu, Democratic Governance and African Peacemaking

Robin-Edward Poulton And Ibrahim AG Youssouf
Published by: United Nations Institute For Disarmament Research, New York And Geneva, 1998
ISBN: 10: 9290451254 13: 978-9290451259

Reviewed by: Senzo Ngubane, Research Assistant in ACCORD’s Research Unit
In Conflict Trends Issue 2 of 1999

The statement that something ‘new’ always comes out of Africa, as depicted in Pliny the Elder’s story centuries ago, is clearly reflected in this book. This something ‘new’ contrary to the ugly picture painted by Pliny of Africa, happens to be positive.

Africa was not unaffected by the turbulent years of the Post Cold War era. Since the end of global bipolarity, the winds of change have blown strongly across the African continent. This is most graphically evidenced in the process of democratisation, which witnessed the ousting of ‘Big Men’ like Kenneth Kaunda and Hastings Banda from the corridors of power. A peace of Timbuktu reflects on the processes of change resulting from the replacement of an oppressive regime by a democratically elected government.

AJCR Volume 15 No. 1, 2015

AJCR Volume 14 No. 2, 2014