Donald Trump’s first foreign trip has been most notable—photo-shoots with dictators around strange glowing orbs aside—for the signing of the largest arms deal in history, worth $110 billion, with Saudi Arabia. Some reports suggest that the total value of arms deals could rise to $350 billion over 10 years. The package certainly includes […]
Lasting peace in Somalia remains elusive. Since the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in 1991, Somalia has been the site of both failed interventions and policies of neglect. In 2007, the entry of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) promised a new opportunity to: 1) reduce the threats posed by al-Shabaab; and 2) create an enabling environment in which to consolidate state institutions and promote dialogue and reconciliation among the protagonists. However, the profound obstacles that have bogged down every previous mission remain – AMISOM operates in a fluid political landscape marked by the absence of stable political agreement amongst the main parties to the conflict. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is still new and fragile, and disputes within the Somali polity continue to vex state-building and stabilisation efforts. At the same time, terrorist and insurgent groups including (but not limited to) al-Shabaab have proved pernicious, resolute, and adaptable in their efforts to undermine any progress toward the FGS’s consolidation.
Promoting security sector reform (SSR) in countries emerging from war is one of the critical missions that the African Union (AU) – following the path laid out by the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and others – has increasingly assumed in recent years. However, despite two decades of implementation experience, as of 2016 there has been no increase in the tiny number of post-conflict SSR efforts generally considered successful. In another field of endeavour, the approach might have been discarded as unworkable in practice. However, in the absence of any alternative path to the same critical ends, i.e. stable, self-governing states in which citizens enjoy basic security and justice services, do not export security problems (refugees, militants, drug-traffickers, etc.), and do not require continual aid and periodic intervention, SSR remains indispensable.Continue Reading →
The Ethiopian disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme (1991–1997) is an understudied example of success. The scholarly literature that does address this topic tends to focus solely on technical aspects and impact assessment. The present paper offers a comprehensive review of the rationale, principles, design, implementation and outcomes of the programme in the context of the transition from war to peace. While the paper references some secondary studies, it draws heavily on my own memories and experiences of serving as the head of the programme from its design through to its conclusion.Continue Reading →
The current issue of African Security Review includes several papers that developed out of research from the World Peace Foundation’s African Peace Missions research program, directed by Mulugeta Gebehiwot Berhe. The articles in this issue are open access, and we will be posting key excerpts from each on this blog. Below is an excerpt from […]Continue Reading →
There is an international norm of inclusion in peace processes and political settlements. This is recent. Twenty years ago, the participation of unarmed political parties, civil society actors and women, was only a moral principle and an aspiration, disputed by political elites and questioned by conflict mediators. Today it has become a norm of international political practice, in the sense that people in conflict-affected countries demand inclusion, the international sponsors of peace processes seek it, and protagonists in conflicts tactically call upon it, occasionally to good effect. Inclusion is not law. It is still contested, but its challengers are in retreat. This paper examines what has occurred.Continue Reading →
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