Posts by: Alex DeWaal

Enough Foolishness

On May 2, 2014 By

Earlier this week, the Enough Project and Humanity United wrote to leading members of the U.S. Administration with recommendations for how the U.S. should respond to the current crises in South Sudan and Sudan. They began their substantive recommendations with perhaps a little more candor than they intended: “the U.S. must invest much more [...]

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My main points are that peace needs money. More particularly, the way in which peace is financed determines the nature of that peace. Sustainable peace requires the right kind of money. I am not talking about financing peace processes—which are invariably good value for money, even if the day-to-day expenses of hosting delegates in hotels might appear to be extravagant—but rather the financing of the post-peace dispensation.

There has been much attention to how natural resources can be a curse rather than a blessing, and can drive conflict. There is less attention on how rental revenues, including natural resources along with aid and security cooperation rents, shape the prospects for peace. Nonetheless, there is a certain model for peacemaking that has become dominant in Africa, and that model has built-in assumptions about the nature of how peace will be financed.

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Below is an excerpt from Alex de Waal’s essay, “Violence and peacemaking in the political marketplace” in Legitimacy and Peace Processes: from Coercion to Consent (Accord 25); pgs. 17 – 21. Full text available online.

The implication is the starting point for a legitimate process, leading to a legitimate agreement, is enabling the affected [...]

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The unique structure of the SPLA means that the same kleptocratic principle applies to local leaders and army commanders in rural areas. This generates the “rent-seeking rebellion” cycle:

The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer.

This in turn [...]

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In 1968, the Polish political scientist Stanislav Andreski wrote, “The essence of kleptocracy is that the functioning of the organs of authority is determined by the mechanisms of supply and demand rather than the laws and regulations.”

Corruption in an institutionalized system of governance is the abuse of public office for private gain. In a [...]

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In January 2012, as a response to a dispute with the Government of Sudan on the terms in which South Sudanese oil was to be transported to market—and as a reaction to the Sudanese authorities diverting its oil to their own refineries and ships—the Government of the Republic of South Sudan decided to shut down [...]

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