Currently viewing the tag: "peace"

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 […]

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This paper examines how contests over military control were played out during peace negotiations and in the implementation of agreements (including the manipulation or violation of the terms of agreements) in Sudan between 2002 and 2011. The cases examined are the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, the Darfur peace talks which took place from 2003 to 2011, and the post-referendum arrangements talks of 2011. The central arguments presented are as follows: the principal political players consistently sought control over the military as a main component of their political strategies; senior military officers posed a threat to the power of nominally civilian leaders; security arrangements were determined by a combination of the leaders’ calculations over their internal power base along with their expectations of ongoing or anticipated armed conflicts; and external programmes and policies for security sector reform were manipulated and instrumentalised in pursuit of these power goals

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In its 106 years of existence, the World Peace Foundation has committed to understanding and promoting peaceful relations among and within nations, as well as analyzing the causes of war. Today, based on our expertise and given the statements and actions of the current President of the United States, we are obliged to take a step without precedent, which is to name U.S. President Donald Trump as a major threat to global peace.

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In this posting, we present a voice from the African American community, from a slightly later period, but which we think speaks strongly to today. Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was an American author of poetry, plays, novels, short stories and essay—one of the brilliant writers to emerge as part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1936, he published “Let America Be America Again,” a poem that articulates a vision of a country that excluded his own community of African-Americans among others–the Native population and the poor–and that transforms an illusion of past greatness into a call to action to forge the country we would yet want to see.

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Those who are interested in the outlawry of war are not interested in it as a panacea, but as a supplement to all other means of obtaining peaceful settlement of disputes, and we all know that there is going to be no one way out, but we must put war outside the sanction of law. We have built up this human institution and we can tear it down much more quickly than we have built it up. By the nation saying that we have come to the conclusion that this human institution is futile and stupid, and therefore we will not sanction it legally, then we can proceed unhampered toward organization to take care of the problems that confront us as a nation in our international relations.

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As we near the end of 2016, we turn to voices from the past who inspire us in our work. As a toast for the new year, we are launching a short series of excerpts from writing authored by those who worked for peace and social justice in the early twentieth century, broadly around the time of the founding of the World Peace Foundation (1910). Their work is not necessarily a blueprint for ours today, not only in how the problems were defined but also in its membership and the articulation of solutions. For instance, the movement was dominated by voices of people of European descent, whether resident in Europe or North America, a limitation in the imagination and scope of the movement. Nonetheless, their eloquence, even as they struggled for a cause that at times seemed hopeless, remind us that we are part of larger community historically and today committed to building more just and less violent world.

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