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09 Oct 2018 description

Africa needs inclusive health and educational systems that eliminate the stigma around mental illness.

By Stellah Kwasi

The negative impact of armed conflict on the mental health of combatants is well documented. But it wasn’t until about two decades ago that literature on the effect of conflict on civilians began emerging.

05 Oct 2018 description

Elections on 7 October could extend the status quo in a country that desperately needs stability.

By Mohamed M Diatta

Cameroonians will be voting for a new president this Sunday 7 October. The election comes at a critical time for the central African nation which until quite recently was a stable country in a turbulent region.

04 Oct 2018 description

This study of 133 projects shows how policy is being translated into practice and the need for evidence-based interventions.


Efforts aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) have emerged onto the global stage with unprecedented speed and attracted substantial financial investment. This is unsurprising – the idea that action can be taken to eliminate the potential for devastating violence before it is perpetrated brings great hope and inspiration.

01 Oct 2018 description

The obstacles preventing the deployment of the African Standby Force (ASF) is on the agenda of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) for October 2018. This is after an earlier meeting, planned for 19 September, was postponed. Indications are that an overhaul of the ASF concept will include some elements of the now almost defunct African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), notably its flexibility.

01 Oct 2018 description

The AU has helped reduced coups, but steers clear of other tactics used to subvert democracy.


Most African countries now hold regular elections, albeit often flawed and contested. Fewer coups on the continent are largely the result of the African Union’s (AU) rejection of unlawful take-overs. And yet democracy continues to be subverted in other ways, like constitutional coups.

27 Sep 2018 description

Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo

Liberia and South Sudan represent important case studies for what sustaining peace means in practice. They provide an opportunity to interrogate how the United Nations (UN) can ensure greater inclusivity in activities carried out across the sustaining peace spectrum, including mediation, security sector reform and institution building. With the current UN focus on sustaining peace, this report provides practical recommendations for more inclusive processes.

Key findings

27 Sep 2018 description

In this issue:

Is the African Charter on democracy strong enough?

The AU’s African initiative vs. Russian/Sudanese mediation in the CAR

Looting could make South Sudan’s peace efforts impossible

Political infighting endangers SADC’s hard work in Lesotho

Discussions around the African Standby Force gain momentum

27 Sep 2018 description

Forecasting for peace

Modelling the risk of political instability can identify opportunities for investing in development and peace.

By Julia Bello-Schünemann and Jonathan D Moyer

Sub-Saharan Africa has made important peace and security gains over the past two decades. Large-scale political violence has declined and fewer people are dying in wars. But other forms of political violence have increased, and the region’s future will still be turbulent.

19 Sep 2018 description

Despite the latest agreements, foreign interests and a continued elite wealth race are still a threat.

By Duncan E Omondi Gumba and Akol Miyen Kuol

South Sudan’s government, opposition and rebel groups have signed an agreement that lays the foundation for a transition government. But many doubt that the current peace will hold.

03 Sep 2018 description

From mediation to institution building, peace processes must reflect the needs of all sectors of society.

By Lizelle Kumalo

Peace is not just about restoring stability after violence. It is also about investing in the structures and institutions that will ensure peaceful, inclusive and just societies, as new ISS research shows.

31 Aug 2018 description

In this issue:

How the latest AU decision on Western Sahara could affect other crises

The African Union and the question of LGBTI-rights

The AU will have to do more to convince SADC

Helping those affected by Boko Haram to get back on their feet

Interview with Nicholas Haysom, UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

30 Aug 2018 description

Key findings

  • The launch in 2013 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 coincided with a strong upward trend in armed conflict to peak in 2015. The subsequent trend has been downward, with violence involving militant Islamist groups (and state responses) remaining the most resilient.

  • It is unlikely that Africa will be able to ‘silence the guns by 2020’, or indeed by 2023. Yet progress in advancing peace, stability and growth is evident across the continent.

29 Aug 2018 description

Although Libya’s drop in migrants isn’t related to Tunisia’s increase, policy is needed on the issue.


The nature of migration from Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean is changing. Some sub-Saharan African migrants are adjusting their routes due to dangers in Libya, and Tunisian migrants are leaving their country in greater numbers than before. These trends are however unconnected.

28 Aug 2018 description

Tomorrow’s Security Council debate on mediation is a good opportunity to bolster joint UN-AU efforts

Africa’s peace and security challenges are too complex for either the United Nations (UN) or the African Union (AU) to tackle on their own. Over the years, the two have partnered to prevent, manage and resolve conflict.

24 Aug 2018 description

Countries in the Lake Chad basin have come together to fight Boko Haram through joint military operations. However, there is a growing realisation that non-military strategies are needed to make sure these areas do not remain at the mercy of violent extremism. The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), with the support of the African Union (AU), is in the process of developing such a regional stabilisation strategy. Its success depends on closer cooperation between affected member states and their willingness to bring government services to peripheral communities.

22 Aug 2018 description

At its 31st summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania the African Union (AU) decided to limit its own peace efforts in the Western Sahara in order to support the process led by the United Nations (UN). This support will be through a troika of heads of state, together with the AU Commission (AUC) chairperson. The move is a big win for Morocco, which believes the AU-led efforts are biased. However, it could set a precedent for other AU member states that disapprove of AU interventions.

20 Aug 2018 description

Parties to the South Sudan conflict signed a power-sharing deal on 5 August 2018 in Khartoum. The latest governance arrangement is part of several deals concluded recently. However, the numerous broken peace deals in South Sudan in the past raise concerns about implementation.

PSC Report spoke to Nicholas Haysom, United Nations Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan about building sustainable peace in South Sudan.

14 Aug 2018 description

Although unpopular, pressure from Security Council sanctions has led to progress and must now be sustained.

By Meressa K Dessu and Selam Tadesse

Cautious optimism surrounds efforts to end the brutal five-year civil war in South Sudan. Recent progress in the peace process has led to a permanent ceasefire and power-sharing agreements among parties to the conflict, including the two main rivals – President Salva Kiir’s government and Riek Machar’s rebel group.

01 Aug 2018 description

In this issue:

Focus on the 31st AU summit:

  • Scrutiny of its budget a first for the AU
  • Who will oversee Africa’s new free trade area?
  • The African Union reform: much still to be decided

PSC Interview: ‘The role of Cameroon’s friends could be decisive’

Decisions of the PSC from April to June 2018

25 Jul 2018 description

Can the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region help deliver stability and good governance?

25 Jul 2018 / By Chido Mutangadura and Priyal Singh

The extension of presidential terms through ‘constitutional coups’ in Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda and Uganda has eroded regional stability by fuelling politically motivated violence and unrest. It also undermines the development of a shared and robust democratic culture across the region.