Currently viewing the tag: "new wars"

The Darfur conflict arguably become more chaotic and less-intense since the initial outbreak of violence in 2003 and its height in 2003 and 2004. Even over the course of Jan 2008- July 2009, we see considerably decreases in the amount of lethal violence. Some one-time alliances had collapsed, raising serious concerns about the credibility of any agreement reached at the negotiating table.

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In these circumstances, the Darfur Peace Agreement became several overlapping bargains in an integrated political marketplace. It was a bargain between the GoS and the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (the sole rebel signatory), whereby they jointly sought to impose their authority on those who didn’t sign, by force of arms. It was a series of local bargains with individual rebels. It was a deal between the GoS and the U.S., in which neither trusted the other, and which didn’t last long.

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I argue that our mediation paradigms are still framed by the “old” war ideal type, in that mediators seek to achieve compromise between two adversaries with political objectives, each of which has decided it cannot fully defeat the other. In both “joint enterprise” wars and “political marketplace” conflicts, a third party mediation process is liable to become subsumed within that system of governance itself.

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This memo was prepared for a WPF seminar on “New Wars, New Peace” held at the Fletcher School, January 12-13 2012.

In a recent discussion I was challenged on the first part of this title. The challenge asserted that it was clear that conflicts were complex and the role of analysts was to simplify the [...]

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In all of these cities, the levels of organized violence have precipitated mass displacement, military and police engagements, the deployment of high caliber weaponry, and threatened the metropolitan political order. There has been considerable heterogeneity in the duration of incursions ranging from hours and in some cases days, and have been spread out over decades. Moreover, the organizational features of armed groups are also wide-ranging

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How a setting is classified has tremendous policy and programming relevance internationally and most obviously in the settings concerned. On the one hand, describing a situation of intense violence as residing below the armed conflict threshold can satisfy foreign and domestic state interests who wish to keep a low profile. For some multilateral and bilateral aid departments, it means that assistance can continue unfettered and political relations maintained. Likewise, for affected states, denying the existence of armed conflict facilitates unrestricted application of criminal law and police engagement which can persist uncomplicated by international humanitarian norms. In other words, it allows for a wide range of repressive activities to reduce “crime” to persist unabated.

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