Stefano Montesi - Corbis/ Getty Images

Issue No: 33/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 2 December 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict and resilience in Africa.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

This week’s Monitor features Ambassador RamtaneLamamra, the AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa, who calls for – and emphasises the fact that – the vision to silence the guns in Africa requires a holistic and multi-pronged approach that involves all key sectors, in particular women and youth. Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif reflects on the human toll of COVID-19 in North Africa, including the measures taken to strengthen societal and economic resilience in the face of the pandemic. 

The overall context and implications of the ongoing tensions in Ethiopia, which originated with the decision to postpone the elections due to COVID-19, is analysed by Patrick Wight. The Monitor ends with an analysis by Dr Andrea Prah and Keenan Govender on the extent to which various groups have responded to the call by the UN – and subsequently the AU – for the cessation of hostilities in order for states to focus on combating COVID-19. 

Special Guest Editor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
UN Photo/Albert González Farran
UN Photo/Albert González Farran
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions, Features

Silencing the Guns requires a multi-pronged approach

  • Ramtane Lamamra

The African Union Heads of State and Government had marked the year 2020 with the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. As a flagship project of Agenda 2063, Silencing the Guns by 2020 was adopted in 2013 during the Organisation of African Unity/African Union 50th Commemorative Anniversary Summit of African Heads of State. The vision of the 2013 Solemn Declaration was to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa, to make peace a reality for all our people and to rid the continent of wars and civil conflicts. 

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Ziad Fhema
Ziad Fhema
Livelihood Insecurity & Economic Impact

COVID-19 and North Africa: impact and resilience

  • Ahmed Abdel-Latif

The human toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has been more limited in Africa than elsewhere. At the same time, the pandemic has exacerbated existing threats, fragilities and vulnerabilities – including in North Africa, the second-worst affected region of the continent – hindering international efforts to sustain peace, especially in conflict-affected settings such as Libya. The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 has also been significant, leading countries in the region to adopt a range of response measures with a view towards strengthening the resilience of societies and economies in the face of the pandemic.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: Worldometers, UNHCR and Trading Economics
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions

Ethiopia’s civil war: competing visions on the nature of the state

  • Patrick Wight

Tensions between the Ethiopian government and regional government of Tigray came to a head on 3–4 November, after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a federal government position in Mekelle, Tigray’s capital. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responded immediately with air strikes and ground attacks. While the underlying causes of the conflict relate to competing visions over the nature of the Ethiopian state, the immediate cause of the fighting was the National Election Board of Ethiopia’s (NEBE) decision in March to indefinitely postpone the elections that were scheduled for August 2020, due to COVID-19.

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UN Photo by Violaine Martin
UN Photo by Violaine Martin
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

COVID-19-related ceasefires in Africa: an opportunity to Silence the Guns?

  • Keenan Govender
  • Andrea Prah

COVID-19 has significantly impacted peace processes in Africa, but it has also offered opportunities, however small, for peace. On 23 March 2020, United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres made an appeal, echoed by African Union (AU) Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, for a global ceasefire in an effort to redirect attention and resources to fighting COVID-19. In the context of the AU’s campaign to “Silence the Guns”, the UNSG explained that ceasefires would create more space for humanitarian services and diplomatic intervention in conflict areas. While experiences of conflict on the African continent may have presented conditions that are highly unlikely to result in any immediate ceasefires, some African cases have presented significant and interesting responses to the UNSG’s call. This piece briefly examines the trajectory of the seven African cases of ceasefires in relation to COVID-19, and looks at the implications for silencing of the guns.

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ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.