In the Mopti region of Mali, the livelihoods of most people depend on agriculture and pastoralism. Here, a variety of socio-professional groups – such as herders, farmers and fishers – coexist amidst the great natural richness of the inner Delta of the river Niger. Over recent years, poor resource management and subsequent conflict over access to these resources has threatened the livelihoods of virtually every community in central Mali.
Jaïr van der Lijn
Bas van Mierlo
Clingendael Report November 2017
The main aim of this report is to identify policy options for the future of Syria, using four potential scenarios in 2019. These scenarios are based on an extensive scenariobuilding process with a wide variety of stakeholders in order to contribute to policy and strategy planning.
The scenarios are built on the basis of two key uncertainties:
This study finds that progress on a number of important issues discussed in the HIPPO report varies across different areas:
Working methods of the Security Council: Here progress is limited as its permanent members, particularly, show little willingness to seek meaningful cooperation with other important stakeholders;
By Jaïr van der Lijn
1 The context
The full-blown crisis that hit Mali in 2012 illustrated the failure of local mechanisms and international programmes that were supposed to tackle the security and development problems in the north of the Sahel region. Huge amounts of foreign assistance have been provided, but with no guarantee of ensuring future stability.
Policy Brief Summary
After the momentous events of 2011, Yemen sadly has become a kind of backwater of the Arab Spring in the international media. What rare news headlines surface usually include the word “drone,” “al-Qaeda,” or “terrorism.” Beyond the headlines, Yemen is characterized by the same ambiguity as many fragile environments: a unique process of national dialogue concluded on an upbeat note while violence intensifies.
Groping in the dark?
In this Clingendael Report author Jaïr van der Lijn presents six scenarios for Afghanistan’s uncertain future after 2014, when ISAF will have left and the responsibility for the country’s security will be in the hands of the ANSF.
The scenarios are built on the basis of three key uncertainties:
Will Governance in Afghanistan become relatively strong or relatively weak (effective and legitimate)?
The UN Mission in South Sudan's new civilian protection strategy perpetuates expectations it will never be able to meet. However, notwithstanding existing challenges, improvements to the mission's current performance in this area seem feasible, according to a new CRU Policy Brief.
This CRU Report presents some of the main challenges for adequate engagement with non-state actors in fragile and conflict-affected situations, and concludes that its success will rest or fall on donors engaging with a full range of non-state actors based on their assets and how their activities are relevant to the overall transitional goal rather than on their formal structure.
Ivan Briscoe, Floor Janssen and Rosan Smits
The end-point of Syria’s escalating conflict is impossible to foretell, but this does not mean that the international community cannot prepare for the outcome. Should the current regime headed by Bashar al-Assad eventually collapse, crumble or withdraw, the celebrations of the opposition, both peaceful and armed, will quickly be followed by a series of daunting challenges. In fact, Syria is likely to face the greatest transitional dilemmas of the Arab Spring.
Under the influence of the Arab Spring, Yemen last year embarked on a political transition after decades of autocratic rule under President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The extreme fragility of the Yemeni state, however, stems from numerous sources of instability and discontent, which the upheavals in palace politics in the capital seem unable to resolve.
Monday July 9th 2012 marked South Sudan’s first anniversary as an independent state. But one year down the road, what is there to celebrate for this newborn polity? Faced with political stability and enduring external and domestic threats to its security, the nascent state of South Sudan has evolved into a patronage and crisis management tool for the ruling elite, putting the benefits of governance well beyond the reach of the majority of the population.
Blanca Antonini , 5 September 2012
The earthquake of 2010 brutally exposed the vulnerabilities of Haiti’s people, as well as confronting an already weakly governed country with massive humanitarian and logistical dilemmas. While progress has been made towards reconstruction, the underlying fragility of the country remains. Even as certain donors reconsider their aid to the country, Haiti continues to suffer from economic dependence, environmental risk, an institutional vacuum, a heavily fragmented political landscape, and a continuing cycle of poverty and violence.
George Joffé , 5 September 2012
The debate surrounding early warning (EW) and early response (ER) on conflict prevention is understood differently by different people, at different points in time. However, at its core, EW-ER is a mechanism for the prevention, or reduction of the impact, of conflicts. Too often EW has been treated in isolation from ER, which has contributed to confusion about what early warning exactly is, and what it is for.
"To be effective across the crisis management spectrum, we will enhance integrated civilian-military planning throughout the crisis spectrum, [...] identify and train civilian specialists from member states [...] able to work alongside our military personnel and civilian specialists from partner countries and institutions."
Policymakers and practitioners working on Rule of Law (RoL) Reform and Security Sector Reform (SSR) have a tendency to demarcate strict areas of competence between the two fields of programming. This is both counterproductive and unnecessary. To provide a different perspective, this Policy Brief presents the justice and security spectrum, a continuum running from the more 'kinetic' types of security to issues such as transitional justice and reconciliation.
As the winds of change sweep through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Western governments need to reconsider their public diplomacy strategies in order to jump through this window of opportunity and improve their relationships with the people, not just with governing elites and their associates. This Clingendael Paper aims to contribute to this goal by addressing the challenges and opportunities for Western countries in the light of current fundamental shifts.
Teije Hidde Donker