Our partners at Justice Africa have recently published a report of the In-Country Consultations 2013-2014. Below is the executive summary and foreword, by Chair of the Interim Board of the AUHRM, Andreas Ensheté. The full text of the report, as well as individual country consultation reports can be found on Justice Africa’s website. [...]

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This past May, returning to the Plaza de Mayo in central Buenos Aires after several years, I see that few things have changed. The “madres” and “abuelas”—mothers and grandmothers of those disappeared or murdered under Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-1983)—still meet each Thursday afternoon in protest. The groups have splintered over the years, but by [...]

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Fifteen years ago, when African leaders set up their own peace and security system within what later became the African Union, they tried to balance diplomacy and armed enforcement. In case of a conflict, they would hold negotiations with all parties; sending in peacekeeping troops would only be a fallback option. But Western countries like the United States and France have tended to favor military approaches instead. During the civil war in Libya in 2011, a panel of five African presidents, established by the African Union and chaired by Jacob Zuma of South Africa, proposed letting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi go into exile in an African country and then setting up an interim government. But the plan was spurned by NATO, which preferred regime change by way of foreign intervention.

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Existing models for peace-making, state-building and stabilization, which assume that “fragile states” can move, under international tutelage and sponsorship, towards capable and legitimate states, are wrong. Peace agreements that consist primarily in allocating rents to belligerents only reinforce the logic of a rent-based political marketplace. Indeed, international efforts to achieve stabilization and state-building by channeling effort and resources through governments are more often counterproductive than not.

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