Peace is not just the absence of conflict. The self-interest lying behind external ‘support’ can take many shapes. The pursuit of justice can sometimes thwart peace efforts. And, last but not least, simply adding more women to peace negotiations will not break male-centric norms.
Victor Adetula, Tim Murithi and Stephen Buchanan-Clarke
The benefits of winning elections, and the disadvantages of losing them, must be reduced to avoid the violence that a winner-takes-all situation can trigger. Election observers should pay more attention to subtle forms of violence, intra-party tensions and incumbents playing the security card to justify increased use of force. This policy note considers how to curb the increase of violence in African elections.
The dependence of many African economies on a few mineral commodities exposes them to a number of risks, including economic instability, conflict and damaging environmental effects.
Structural, institutional and regulatory reforms are needed to break the mineral dependence and promote economic diversification.
George Adu and John Bosco Dramani, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
The G5 Sahel initiative goes some way to make up for the lack of cross-border coordination in the troubled Sahel region. But if the foreign powers and interests involved place a one-sided emphasis on fighting terror and stopping migration, it risks becoming yet another excuse to get more ‘boots on the ground’, says peace and conflict researcher Morten Bøås.
Armed insurgencies, social cleavages and governance deficits relating to authoritarian rule and abuse of state resources all imperil peace and stability in Southern Africa. The Southern African Development Community’s institutional framework for regional peace and security is proving ineffective because its leaders are unwilling to enforce democratic principles.
Michael Aeby, Researcher, Graduate Institute Geneva
Lack of resources makes the African Union dependent on external funding for military support and peacebuilding. Policy makers who want to support the AU and its members in their efforts to avoid becoming pieces in external powers’ geopolitical puzzle, should promote non-military solutions to security challenges.