Remittances act as a crucial safety net for many Somalis, but there are significant variations in the amounts and frequency of transfers and who receives them. Surveys indicate that a majority of Somali households do not benefit directly from remittances.
Variations are marked in the locations where remittances are more commonly found, between urban and rural households and geographically. Northern areas appear to receive more on average than those in the south.
South Sudan’s civil war has spread across the country, fueling economic collapse and food shortages, and sending millions of residents fleeing across its borders. Although the former Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State has escaped the worst excesses of the current conflict—in part because it is a supposed heartland of South Sudan’s ruling political military elites—it is also deeply affected by, and embedded in, the current war.
Depuis les années 1990, le concept de Réforme du secteur de la sécurité (RSS) fait partie intégrante des programmes de reconstruction post-conflit, de rétablissement de l’autorité de l’État et de développement. En République démocratique du Congo (RDC), la réforme de la police a joué un rôle essentiel dans les efforts d’édification de l’État et de renforcement de la gouvernance.
South Sudan’s political culture, including its current civil war, is international. This is due to the country’s history of mass migration and displacement, particularly during the last two civil wars from the early 1960s. By the end of the last century, approximately four million of its roughly ten million estimated residents had fled across South Sudan’s borders.
This report is a record of a Forum event held on 5 November, before the 13 November 2017 election day. Election day itself was largely peaceful, and the international observer mission reported only minor irregularities on election day, including vote buying and violation of secrecy during voting. However, inflammatory and divisive rhetoric, and allegations of rigging by the opposition, led to violent protests both before and after the elections. The incumbent Kulmiye party was declared victorious on 21 November, followed by the opposition’s concession the following day.
After decades of being at the frontline of the humanitarian aid agenda in Somalia, the international community acknowledges that it is time for a Somali-led approach and is committed to work with local NGOs to realize this.
Although increased humanitarian funding from various actors have enhanced humanitarian response in Somalia, local actors still experience challenges in accessing funds, staff retention and capacity development.
In April 2015, protests erupted in Burundi when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s sought a third term in office. Protestors claimed this was contrary to the country’s constitution, but the constitutional court sided with Nkurunziza. After an attempted coup in May 2015, the government started arresting those it thought responsible. The political conflict that followed has spiralled into a protracted crisis marked by allegations of numerous human rights violations including killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests, disappearances and abductions.
In April 2016, seventeen chiefs from different parts of South Sudan gathered in Kuron Holy Trinity Peace Village, in Eastern Equatoria, to discuss the role of customary authority in governance—past and present—and their own contribution to peacemaking and a future political transition. The Chiefs’ meeting at Kuron was the first time that traditional leaders from areas on opposing sides of the conflict had met in South Sudan since 2013.
Findings from the inception study on the impact of war on Somali men
by JUDITH GARDNER and JUDY EL-BUSHRA
The Rift Valley Institute’s study on the impact of war on Somali men looks into a previously under-researched set of questions: What are the enduring effects of more than two decades of war and violent conflict on Somali men and male youth, and what are the consequences of this for peace, stability and Somali society in general?
In early 2011, the scale of famine affecting the Horn of Africa was only just beginning to receive international attention, despite early warnings in the previous year. It was not until July that famine was formally declared. The famine killed 250,000 people in southern Somalia alone, and displaced and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of others. Many sought refuge in Kenya, which was also coping with a nation-wide drought and food shortages. Six years after the 2011 famine, the region is facing a disaster of a similar scale.
Kenya, along with the rest of the world, has struggled to craft a response to tackling violent extremism, especially since militarist groups have been quick to adjust their recruitment methods to adapt to such responses. Widespread narratives seem to suggest that violent extremism has international origins and is inherently a non- Kenyan problem. Yet one of al-Shabaab’s leaders is from Kenya, Kenyan nationals have been recruited into the organization, and extremist attacks continue to take place throughout the country.
With the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and the subsequent outbreak of violence in Juba in July 2016, the role of civil society in South Sudan is more vital than ever. Can a civil society, confident and well resourced, contribute to the political discourse, engage in nation building, hold public institutions to account and improve the transparency of public life? What can civil society do, and what role can it play in the political transition?
• Les interventions menées actuellement dans le domaine des conflits fonciers mettent l’accent sur la gestion des conflits plutôt que sur la résolution de ces conflits.
• Les conflits fonciers, qui s’inscrivent dans le cadre d’un problème de gouvernance plus général, requièrent des stratégies politiques et non pas techniques.
On Wednesday 19 October 2016, the Rift Valley Forum and the University of Hargeysa’s Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) hosted a public forum to discuss the key findings of the book, Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures, 2011-12. The book, written by Dan Maxwell and Nisar Majid, is based on extensive research on the 2011–2012 drought that affected Somalia and the region.
In September 2014, a conflict erupted between South Sudanese and Ugandans in the borderlands of Kajokeji County, South Sudan and Moyo District, Uganda. Several people were killed, many more injured and thousands displaced. In Dividing Communities in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, the authors argue that the boundary dispute is not simply the result of a failure of governments to demarcate this stretch of the international border, but needs to be understood in the context of changing land values, patterns of decentralisation and local hybrid systems of land governance.
Even though women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are undoubtedly marginalized in formal political life, they are not completely absent from the political arena.
Congolese women are involved in the exercise of local public authority in a variety of ways.
While women’s organizations are important for promoting peace, the effects of women’s involvement in governance have not been unequivocally positive in terms of peace and stability.
This blog post was written by Jason Stearns and Yolande Bouka, the Co-Directors of Studies for the Rift Valley Institute’s Great Lakes Field Course, which will be taking place in Entebbe, Uganda from 11–17 June 2016. Jason and Yolande will be joined by a team of regional and international specialists to explore the contemporary complexities of the region as well as the gamut of social, economic, political and security trends, drawing on deep history and local knowledge to inform debate and discussion.
Why is Somalia still far from achieving a lasting political settlement, after decades of international military, diplomatic and aid interventions to stabilize the war- torn country? This study argues that international aid and the interplay between local and foreign elites in policies and practices has frequently undermined state-building efforts in Somalia.