Photo: Flore de Preneuf/World Bank

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 20 December 2021

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

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor

For the final Monitor for 2021 we feature a piece by ACCORD’s Founder and Executive Director, Advocate Vasu Gounden.  In his article, Adv Gounden reflects on the violent protests that took place in South Africa in July, the local government elections in November, and links this to the spate of recent coups and other developments in Africa, to ask what the implications of these trends are for the future of democracy for Africa and South Africa.  

This is followed by an article from the Monitor’s chief editor, Prof Cedric de Coning who writes about several landmark decisions the African Union’s Peace and Security Council took in 2021 about the integration of the climate-peace nexus.  Prof De Coning argues that Africa has become a global leader in highlighting the impact that climate related events are having on conflict, and he outlines the agenda that is emerging around these issues at the African Union.

We follow this with a piece from Ayan Hassan Nuriye, a Program Officer of the Mediation Support Unit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Ayan writes about the importance of strengthening the role of local and community peacebuilding, as well as the value of linking these local initiatives with those at the national and multinational level, in order to create and sustain strategic peacebuilding partnerships.

Finally, we end this week’s Monitor with an article from ACCORD’s Katharine Bebington and Halima Ahmed who have written a piece reflecting on the progress made with efforts to silence the guns in Africa this year.

Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Assistant Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Vasu Gounden
Political Unrest or Violence

Democracy is increasingly under pressure in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa

  • Vasu Gounden

On 7 July 2021, former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma turned himself over to prison authorities to begin a fifteen-month jail sentence, handed down by the Constitutional Court , for failing to obey an order of court to appear before an official inquiry investigating corruption allegations he faced. His incarceration set off an unprecedented wave of protests, looting, and rioting unseen in South Africa for the entire period of its young democracy established in 1994.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Photo: ILRI/Samuel Mungai
Cedric de Coning
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

African Union shows global leadership on the climate-peace nexus

  • Cedric de Coning

On 13 December 2021, a resolution on climate security was vetoed in the UN Security Council on the grounds that the Council should not address the security implications of climate change as that would duplicate and interfere with the work of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In comparison, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council communique of its 26 November 2021 meeting on the same topic shows that the AU sees no contradiction in having an integrated position that addresses both wider climate change issues and its effects on peace and security, nor with dealing with the issue both via the AU and UN climate change negotiation processes as well as at the AU’s Peace and Security Council.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Photo: OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP via Getty Images
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

Bottom-up approaches to peace: a holistic approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding

  • Ayan Hassan Nuriye

There are hundreds of thousands of local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs) and international organisations involved in various peace and security initiatives in Africa. Even with these numbers and concerted efforts, peace is still elusive. Across the different regions in Africa, there are countries which are either experiencing recurring violent conflicts or are at the brink of violent conflicts with one “tension’ away from civil war. 

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
AMISOM Photo/Ilyas Ahmed
Political Unrest or Violence

African Coups and Silencing the Guns Agenda in 2021

  • Katharine Bebington
  • Halima Ahmed

The goal of Silencing the Guns (STG) was to achieve a conflict-free Africa and rid the continent of all wars and conflicts.  The STG agenda was given greater emphasis for the year 2020, when the AU declared the theme of the year as Silencing the Guns – Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development. Despite the initiative and roadmaps that have been produced by the AU to realise this goal, conflicts have persisted, resulting in the STG agenda being extended to 2030, in the hope that by then Africa will have cured itself of the plague of conflict.

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