Photo: GCIS

Issue No: 16/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 5 August 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 El-Ghassim Wane, professor of international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, former chief of staff and chief advisor to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and former assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations at the United Nations, who reflects on the way African diplomacy has adapted to the COVID-19 situation and how it reveals a deep-seated conviction that multilateral action is the best way to address Africa’s challenges effectively. 

Martin Rupiya considers the initiatives taken by African governments aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Africa’s overcrowded prisons. He calls for an urgent focus on finding workable solutions, due to the serious threat posed by the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. 

In a number of African countries, the measures introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19 appear to be linked to a rise in organised crime and illegal migration, among others. Marisha Ramdeen assesses the connection and its impact. 

Lastly, Claude Bizimana considers the impact that COVID-19 has had on the effective implementation of peace support operations (PSOs) in Africa.

Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo: GCIS
Photo: GCIS

Africa’s diplomatic system has adjusted swiftly to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) realities of conducting business. This is visible in the flurry of virtual consultations among decision-makers to chart common ways forward. The high number of African Union-led consultations over the past few months reflect a deep-seated conviction that collective action is the best way to address Africa’s challenges effectively.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Sources: Prison Insider; Prison Studies [accessed 30 July 2020].

The era of COVID-19 is unprecedented and offers an opportunity to manage prison populations on the continent in a different but innovative manner. It is imperative that governments consider the need to decongest prisons through a number of measures to ensure the human rights of prisoners and to further limit the spread of COVID-19 to the outside population.

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Photo: Vfutscher/Massimo Sestini/Polaris
Photo: Vfutscher/Massimo Sestini/Polaris
Criminal-related Incidents

Organised crime: a growing sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Marisha Ramdeen

Some of the measures put in place by governments to contain COVID-19 appear to be linked to an increase in organised crime that profits from, among others, smuggling people and goods such as alcohol and cigarettes (that have been banned as part of the COVID-19 measures).

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MONUSCO/Michael Ali
MONUSCO/Michael Ali
Claude Bizimana
Stigmatisation and discrimination

Impact of COVID-19 on peace support operations in Africa

  • Claude Bizimana

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an impact on peace support operations (PSOs) in many ways. Not only has the increase and spread of the pandemic affected PSO personnel inside their respective field missions in terms of stress, morale, command and control of forces, but it has also disrupted their routine activities, including confidence-building activities and the rotation of troops after completing their tours of duty.

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