Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID

Issue No: 29/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 4 November 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

Our feature article in this week’s issue is by Betty Bigombe, who highlights the importance of working towards a global ceasefire – a cessation of hostilities across all conflicts – as called for by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, so that all countries and communities can focus on their common enemy: COVID-19.

Dr Philani Mthembu calls to attention the continued resilience shown by many countries in Africa, including in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, thus defying earlier forecasts that had suggested that the continent would be overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The efforts by young people in the SADC region to respond to some of the sociopolitical challenges that emerged or were exacerbated by COVID-19 in different countries are discussed by Luanda Mpungose and Karabo Mokgonyana.

This edition’s last article is by Professor Martin Rupiya and Marisha Ramdeen, and focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous peoples in Cameroon. It calls for the AU and the more than 42 African countries with indigenous communities to pay attention to the special needs of these communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo: UN Photo/Laura Jarriel
Photo: UN Photo/Laura Jarriel

During events to commemorate 75 years since the formation of the UN, Secretary-General António Guterres repeated his earlier call to world leaders to achieve a global ceasefire. In this call, the UNSG correctly stated that it is “time for a stepped-up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire”, because we are all confronted by “one common enemy: COVID-19”. Indeed, in a year that is so significant in many ways, there has never been such a crucial moment in our lifetime to build, consolidate and sustain peace.

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Philani Mthembu
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

The impact of COVID-19 in the SADC region: building resilience for future pandemics

  • Philani Mthembu

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought multiple challenges to SADC as a region and to its member states. Some of these challenges include the unavailability of medicines and health equipment, food insecurity, gender-based violence and a negative impact on the economies of member states. Whilst the pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges, the region has continued to defy some of the early forecasting that Africa would be hardest hit by COVID-19, following what happened in developed countries with better-resourced health systems. The region has thus shown a great degree of resilience, demonstrating that lessons are not only learnt from developed countries.

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Photo: DW/U. Wagner
Photo: DW/U. Wagner
Karabo Mokgonyana
Luanda Mpungose
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

The agency of southern African youth during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Karabo Mokgonyana
  • Luanda Mpungose

In a year dedicated to Silencing the Guns (STG) in Africa, the world has been plunged into a global pandemic that risks reversing the gains made on the peace and security front on the continent, either by creating new forms of conflicts or exacerbating already-existing ones. While the AU and regional economic communities (RECs) – such as SADC – concurrently seek to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while attending to rising conflicts, this piece spotlights the agency of youth in the region and why it matters in emerging conflicts.

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NABILA EL HADAD/AFP via Getty Images
NABILA EL HADAD/AFP via Getty Images
Martin Rupiya
Stigmatisation and discrimination

COVID-19 and African indigenous peoples: Cameroon’s Pygmies, Mbororo and Kirdii

  • Martin Revayi Rupiya
  • Marisha Ramdeen

Absent from the dominant narrative about the societal impact of COVID-19 has been the plight of indigenous peoples, who tend to disproportionately experience higher rates of infection, particularly women when confronted with health crises emerging from modern pandemics. This is linked to cultural factors, as well as weakened access to healthcare and linguistic differences that contribute to higher rates of infection.

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