Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat

Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 23 June 2022

The Conflict and Resilience Monitor offers monthly blog-size commentary and analysis on the latest conflict-related trends in Africa.

We begin this month’s Monitor with a piece from Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Verissmo, the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).  His piece focuses on the  flow of refugees caused by persistent instability in the Central Africa region.  Ambassador Verissmo discusses the legal frameworks that deal with the plight of refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and the efforts that states and ECCAS are putting place to assist displaced people.

We then move across to Ethiopia, where Patrick Wight discusses the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and the prospects for peace in the state.  His article covers both the conflict between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government’s ongoing clashes with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), and the obstacles that exist in any peace negotiations.

Our final two pieces focus on Southern Africa.  The first piece, from Hoolo ‘Nyane, Head of the Public and Environmental Law Department at the University of Limpopo, discusses the lessons in electoral reform that South Africa and Eswatini can learn from Lesotho.  As both South Africa and Eswatini face  challenges to their electoral systems, Lesotho’s experience may be helpful in guiding South Africa and Eswatini’s future actions.

Our final monitor piece, is from Adam Joshua Randera, who is a programme officer at ACCORD.  Adam writes about the local structures for justice that exist in South Africa and the role that they  play in resolving conflict and carrying out justice in local South African societies.

Chief Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Managing Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Assistant Editor: Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Photo: UNHCR/ B. Heger
Photo: UNHCR/ B. Heger
Human Rights

Solutions to forced displacements in the Central African region

  • Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo

At the recent ECCAS Conference in Yaoundé on 27 April, the focus was on the protection and well-being of forcibly displaced persons in the Central Africa Region. ECCAS Member States are committed to the shared values of the African Union (AU), whose legal instruments relating to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in particular the “OAU/AU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa” of September 1969 and the “Kampala Convention of the African Union for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa” of October 2009, form an integral part of the body.

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Photo: Paul Sableman
Photo: Paul Sableman
Peace and Security

Lasting peace remains elusive in Ethiopia despite progress towards peace talks to end the armed conflict

  • Patrick Wight

Peace talks are finally on the horizon between Ethiopia’s federal government and leaders of the northern Tigray region, but lasting peace in the country remains a distant hope. Last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told parliament that he is forming a committee to study how talks with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) should proceed. This was the first public confirmation of steps taken towards negotiations since the armed conflict broke out 19  months ago.

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Photo: GCIS
Photo: GCIS
Elections

What Lesotho can teach Eswatini and South Africa about key political reforms

  • Hoolo ‘Nyane

Two southern African countries, South Africa and Eswatini, are undergoing important reforms. South Africa is reviewing its electoral system while Eswatini is revisiting the powers of the monarch through a national dialogue. South Africa and Eswatini can look to Lesotho for lessons. It’s a fellow member of the Southern African Development Community and has grappled with these issues for decades. The three countries share geographic, historical and economic ties. The kingdom of Lesotho returned to electoral politics in 1993, after a long haul of dictatorship capped by a military junta. Since then, it has experienced mutinies, coups and electoral violence.

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Photo: Elisa Finocchiaro
Photo: Elisa Finocchiaro
Justice

Indigenous local structures for post-conflict justice in Southern Africa

  • Adam Joshua Randera

Local structures for justice are integral for societies emerging from conflict. Of particular relevance to post-conflict societies are the institutions set up to address past wrongdoings and to respond to victims and perpetrators. Examples of such institutions include international tribunals, the International Criminal Court, the Rwandan gacaca courts, and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In post-conflict societies, these institutions have a dual function in that they aim to fulfil their justice mandate while, simultaneously, their good functioning entrenches the normative shift of a transforming society.

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