Being similar, different and coexistent

By Jannie Malan

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 3, 2011

Remarkably meaningful sayings that have emerged out of real life in Africa highlight our inherent interrelatedness as fellow human beings. In the life situations where we happen to find ourselves, there are similarities that bind us together, but also differences that tend to drive us apart. When a group of us becomes concerned about who we are, and who others are, such an 'identity' search may tempt us to think that our own group is better than other groups. Various pressures from our cultures, groups and personalities can create and strengthen feelings and habits of being against other groups. It is possible, however, to be liberated from such polarisation and to become turned towards others. The valid belongingness to one's own group can be retained and promoted, but dominating and discriminating own-groupishness should be rejected.

A Pocket of Stability

Understanding Somaliland - By Daniel R. Forti

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2011

This paper provides a comprehensive examination of Somaliland's unusual development and current standing as a self-declared sovereign nation. Unlike Somalia, a state devastated by a perpetual twenty-year conflict, Somaliland boasts a growing civil society along with a relatively vibrant democracy and accountability to the Rule of Law. Since 1991, the region has become a pocket of security and stability, in absence of formal recognition, by creating government and societal institutions that strongly suit the values and needs of its people.

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2014/4

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2014/3

"The year 2014 has been challenging for peace and security on the African continent. Asymmetric warfare and armed insurgency pervades northern Nigeria, northern Mali and the Kenya-Somalia border region. Failure to swiftly resolve South Sudan’s internal armed conflict, approaching a full year in December, has sent destabilising reverberations throughout the Horn of Africa. The continued breakdown of civic, political and economic institutions in the Central African Republic and Libya heightens the potential for long-term social fragmentation in these resource-rich countries. The Ebola outbreak, which has now killed over 5600 people and cost millions of dollars in lost gross domestic product (GDP), threatens to unravel decades of progress in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction across West Africa....

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2014/3

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2014/3

"The abduction of over 250 young schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State in Nigeria this past April, and the killing of Yazidi men and the abduction of their women and children in August this year, sent shockwaves throughout the world. Viewed in isolation, these reprehensible acts stand out for their symbolism and magnitude, as well as for the swift and universal condemnation towards previously barely known groups, such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Viewed within the context of current conflict dynamics throughout Africa, the Middle East and south-west Asia, however, the Chibok abductions and Yazidi killings and kidnappings constitute perhaps the most glaring evidence that we are once again transitioning to asymmetrical conflict and warfare....

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2014/2

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2014/2

"The holistic approach to managing conflict in post- conflict environments, as reflected in the contribution of multidimensional peacekeeping operations, ensures that peace and security activities are aligned with political, governance, democratisation and socio-economic development objectives to address the larger development agenda, and thus also the root causes of conflict. The holistic approach also involves a myriad of actors in the mission (military, police and civilians), and besides the peacekeeping operation, includes state and non-state actors, both local and international – such as non-governmental organisations and the humanitarian community...

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2014/1

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2014/1

"Last year, the African Union (AU) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding as the Organisation of African Unity, at the 2013 AU Summit. Our continent’s leaders took a crucial decision that Africa and her people must write their own narratives. True to form, the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has taken the lead and written an ‘email from the future’, highlighting her vision of a united, prosperous and peaceful continent in 2063. This vision, buttressed by continent-wide economic integration, large-scale infrastructure development and an ‘African Renaissance’ in areas of education, energy, health and trade, paints an optimistic and tangible expression of our continent’s future...

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2013/4

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2013/4

"The United Nations (UN) Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013 was held in New York on 19–20 September, as a precursor to the UN General Assembly meetings. The summit reinforced two important truisms about peace in the 21st century: first, there is a crucial peace– development nexus; and second, the triad of government, civil society and the private sector working with each other, or to complement each other, are positioned as the key actors for securing peace and development...

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2013/3

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2013/2

"Syria has become the great tragedy of the century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history." These words were spoken by António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Guterres stated this following the release of a UNHCR report indicating that the number of refugees in Syria has passed the two million mark, with almost one million of these refugees being children. Alarmingly, this statistic of two million represents a rise of 1.8 million refugees in 12 months, up from 230 671 refugees reported in the preceding 12 months.

Download PDF