March 7, 2013 Stability: International Journal of Security and Development
This article reviews the literature on ‘new wars’. It argues that ‘new wars’ should be understood not as an empirical category but rather as a way of elucidating the logic of contemporary war that can offer both a research strategy and a guide to policy. It addresses four components of the debate: whether new wars are ‘new’; whether new wars are war or crime; whether the data supports the claims about new wars; and whether new wars are ‘post-Clausewitzean’. It argues that the obsession with the ‘newness’ of wars misses the point about the logic of new wars; that there is a blurring of war and crime but it is important to address the political elements of new wars; that, although the data should be used with caution, it does seem to offer support for some elements of the new war thesis; and that the argument is indeed post-Clausewitzean because new wars are not ‘contests of wills’ but more similar to a mutual enterprise. It concludes that the debate has greatly enriched the overall argument....
Following decades of conflict, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. Prolonged conflict, which included gender-based violence (GBV), exacerbated gender disparities. This study aimed to assess attitudes towards gender inequitable norms related to GBV and to estimate the frequency of GBV in sampled communities of South Sudan.
Applying a community-based participatory research approach, 680 adult male and female household respondents were interviewed in seven sites within South Sudan in 2009--2011. Sites were selected based on program catchment area for a non-governmental organization and respondents were selected by quota sampling. The verbally-administered survey assessed attitudes using the Gender Equitable Men scale. Results were stratified by gender, age, and education.
Of 680 respondents, 352 were female, 326 were male, and 2 did not provide gender data. Among respondents, 82% of females and 81% of males agreed that 'a woman should tolerate violence in order to keep her family together'. The majority, 68% of females and 63% of males, also agreed that 'there are times when a woman deserves to be beaten.' Women (47%) were more likely than men (37%) to agree that 'it is okay for a man to hit his wife if she won't have sex with him' (p=0.005). Agreement with gender inequitable norms decreased with education. Across sites, 69% of respondents knew at least one woman who was beaten by her husband in the past month and 42% of respondents knew at least one man who forced his wife or partner to have sex.
The study reveals an acceptance of violence against women among sampled communities in South Sudan. Both women and men agreed with gender inequitable norms, further supporting that GBV programming should address the attitudes of both women and men. The results support promotion of education as a strategy for addressing gender inequality and GBV. The findings reveal a high frequency of GBV across all assessment sites; however, population-based studies are needed to determine the prevalence of GBV in South Sudan. South Sudan, the world's newest nation, has the unique opportunity to implement policies that promote gender equality and the protection of women....
February 25, 2013 Stability: International Journal of Security and Development
This commentary examines how Mali entered its current crisis, tracing the fall of the
regime of President Amadou Toumani Touré and the rise of armed Islamist groups in
northern Mali, as well as the events that led to an armed intervention by France. The
piece then discusses some of the conceptual frameworks that could impede effective
policy formation in post-conflict Mali. The piece argues that Somalia does not offer a
compelling model for Mali. The commentary closes by recommending that the Malian
government and its partners should prioritize addressing humanitarian and security
concerns in northern Mali over staging elections....
Concepts of 'what constitutes mental illness', the presumed aetiology and preferred treatment options, vary considerably from one cultural context to another. Knowledge and understanding of these local conceptualisations is essential to inform public mental health programming and policy.
Participants from four locations in Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were invited to describe 'problems they knew of that related to thinking, feeling and behaviour?' Data were collected over 31 focus groups discussions (251 participants) and key informant interviews with traditional healers and health workers.
While remarkable similarities occurred across all settings, there were also striking differences. In all areas, participants were able to describe localized syndromes characterized by severe behavioural and cognitive disturbances with considerable resemblance to psychotic disorders. Additionally, respondents throughout all settings described local syndromes that included sadness and social withdrawal as core features. These syndromes had some similarities with nonpsychotic mental disorders, such as major depression or anxiety disorders, but also differed significantly. Aetiological concepts varied a great deal within each setting, and attributed causes varied from supernatural to psychosocial and natural. Local syndromes resembling psychotic disorders were seen as an abnormality in need of treatment, although people did not really know where to go. Local syndromes resembling nonpsychotic mental disorders were not regarded as a 'medical' disorder, and were therefore also not seen as a condition for which help should be sought within the biomedical health-care system. Rather, such conditions were expected to improve through social and emotional support from relatives, traditional healers and community members.
Local conceptualizations have significant implications for the planning of mental-health interventions in resource-poor settings recovering from conflict. Treatment options for people suffering from severe mental disorders should be made available to people, preferably within general health care facilities. For people suffering from local syndromes characterized by loss or sadness, the primary aim for public mental health interventions would be to empower existing social support systems already in place at local levels, and to strengthen social cohesion and self-help within communities....
January 2, 2013 BMC International Health and Human Rights
Adolescent girls are an overlooked group within conflict-affected populations and their
sexual health needs are often neglected. Girls are disproportionately at risk of HIV and other
STIs in times of conflict, however the lack of recognition of their unique sexual health needs
has resulted in a dearth of distinctive HIV protection and prevention responses. Departing
from the recognition of a paucity of literature on the distinct vulnerabilities of girls in time of
conflict, this study sought to deepen the knowledge base on this issue by qualitatively
exploring the sexual vulnerabilities of adolescent girls surviving abduction and displacement
in Northern Uganda.
Over a ten-month period between 2004–2005, at the height of the Lord’s Resistance Army
insurgency in Northern Uganda, 116 in-depth interviews and 16 focus group discussions were
held with adolescent girls and adult women living in three displacement camps in Gulu
district, Northern Uganda. The data was transcribed and key themes and common issues were
identified. Once all data was coded the ethnographic software programme ATLAS was used
to compare and contrast themes and categories generated in the in-depth interviews and focus
Our results demonstrated the erosion of traditional Acholi mentoring and belief systems that
had previously served to protect adolescent girls’ sexuality. This disintegration combined
with: the collapse of livelihoods; being left in camps unsupervised and idle during the day;
commuting within camp perimeters at night away from the family hut to sleep in more central
locations due to privacy and insecurity issues, and; inadequate access to appropriate sexual
health information and services, all contribute to adolescent girls’ heightened sexual
vulnerability and subsequent enhanced risk for HIV/AIDS in times of conflict.
Conflict prevention planners, resettlement programme developers, and policy-makers need to
recognize adolescent girls affected by armed conflict as having distinctive needs, which
require distinctive responses. More adaptive and sustainable gender-sensitive reproductive
health strategies and HIV prevention initiatives for displaced adolescent girls in conflict
settings must be developed....
From a spark ignited during the Arab Spring, a violent conflict erupted in Syria in March 2011, resulting in more than 600,000 Syrians fleeing their country, the displacement within the country of nearly 2 million others, and an estimated 60,000 deaths. On January 14, Amber French, editor of the Migration Information Source, spoke with Dr. Fadi Al Khankan of the Syrian Expatriates Organization and MPI's Kathleen Newland, both panelists at an MPI event to discuss the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) new report, Syria: A Regional Crisis. Dr. Al Khankan, a native of Homs, Syria and pulmonologist now living and practicing medicine in the United States, is Chairman of the Humanitarian Committee of the Syrian Expatriates Organization, a nonprofit organization of Syrian Americans and Syrian Canadians that provides humanitarian relief. Kathleen Newland is Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute and Director of its Migrants, Migration, and Development, and Refugee Policy Programs. Ms. Newland, who is also an IRC Overseer, was recently part of IRC delegation that visited Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey to assess conditions for Syrian refugees.
What follows is the conversation between Ms. French, Dr. Al Khankan, and Ms. Newland....
The civil war tearing through Syria is worsened by a growing tide of refugees and displaced persons along with an escalating humanitarian crisis. Food shortages, a lack of housing and adequate health care are additional burdens that many Syrians now face. Senior Fellow and Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Dispacement Co-Director Elizabeth Ferris examines the cost of war in Syria in this episode of @ Brookings.
November 8, 2012 Project on Middle East Political Science
A discussion exploring the Arab uprising since 2011, with
Eva Bellin – Brandeis University;
Tamara Wittes – Brookings Institution: Saban Center for Middle East Policy;
Daniel Brumberg – United States Institute of Peace; Georgetown University;
Marc Lynch – George Washington University
In conflicts around the world, schools, students, and teachers are under attack. When schools are destroyed or students and teachers are threatened, children often drop out of school and don't come back. Other continue amid violence and fear. Sometimes lives are lost; education is always a casualty.
This audio-visual resource contains an India case study, a Thailand case study, and a list of written resources on education during conflict.
On October 10, 2012 IPI held the inaugural event of IPI’s Women, Peace & Security event series, which featured the Principals for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the new Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura of Sierra Leone.
This new event series, entitled Women, Peace & Security, focuses on the role of women in moving forward peace processes and contributing to sustainable outcomes, and the relationship between conflict, peace, and gender. It will highlight women’s roles as peacemakers and peacebuilders.
The event was moderated by IPI Senior Adviser, Ambassador Maureen Quinn.
Speakers: Ms. Shireen Avis Fisher, Justice and President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone Ms. Brenda Hollis, Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone Ms. Claire Carlton-Hanciles, Principal Defender, Special Court for Sierra Leone Ms. Binta Mansaray, Registrar, Special Court for Sierra Leone H.E. Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura,Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict...
January 24, 2011 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre
This report provides an overview of some of the recent academic, policy and practitioner literature on conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It focuses on literature produced since mid-2007, when the DFID Strategic Conflict Assessment was published. It is also limited to an assessment of the English language literature. The report highlights a number of key issues and emerging trends relating to each of the four main categories of conflict-related issues (security, political, economic, social).
There have been a number of important trends in the literature. First, the period since 2007 has seen the emergence of high quality, in-depth scholarly analysis of the recent conflict, which has provided a better understanding of the dynamics of violence as well as peace and peacebuilding (Auteserre comments). Second, there has been a greater focus in the literature on the micro-level dynamics of conflict (Auteserre 2009, Turner 2009, Marriage 2010). Third, there has been a more sustained focus on the regional dimensions of conflict (Lemarchand 2009, Reyntjens 2010). Fourth, an emerging body of literature has been critical of existing donor peacebuilding and statebuilding interventions. The main criticisms include a neglect of local conflicts (Marriage 2007, Turner 2009, Auteserre 2010), a failure to understand the dynamics of local conflict (Baaz & Stern 2008, Marriage 2010) and a failure to examine the role of warlords and their international supporters (Beswick 2010)....
March 31, 2010 Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue // Institute of Bangsamoro Studies
This review contains description from a non-exhaustive selection of material relevant
to militias in Mindanao. It aims to provide the reader with a broad overview of key
points and is not intended to be a strict academic literature review.
September 23, 2008 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty
This extensive bibliography - originally containing over 2,000 references - was compiled by the ICISS Research Directorate to reflect the best writing of the range of material published on all aspects of humanitarian intervention through the middle of 2001. In order to continue to provide a foundation for future research and policy development, the research team has since updated this bibliography four times to cover new publications through early 2008. There are now roughly 3,500 key-worded references. Among the new entries are host analyses that make specific reference to the ICISS report "The Responsibility to Protect", or to the surrounding debate. While a bibliography of this size is significantly broad in scope, it is also necessarily selective; the selection of titles was informed by several principles, with the overarching objective being to include as wide a range of differing views as possible. A special effort was made to cover not only the academic literature, but also materials produced by governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, including in some cases official documents. Given the overwhelmingly trans-Atlantic nature of the debate on humanitarian intervention, priority was also given to seeking out non-Western national and regional perspectives....
The library staff of the African Studies Centre Leiden has compiled this web dossier to coincide with a public meeting on xe2x80x98Darfur and the international community' organized on 9 February 2007 by the ASC in cooperation with the Interfaculty Ethnological Student Debating Club WDO. Speakers: Jan Pronk, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sudan, and Alex de Waal, Programme Director of the Social Science Research Council in New York and Director of Justice Africa. The dossier begins with an introduction by Prof. Jan Abbink, ASC researcher, outlining the broad contours of the ongoing conflict in Darfur. This is followed by a selection of titles dealing with Darfur and the wider conflict in Sudan published since 2003 which are available in the ASC library. Each title links directly to the corresponding record in the library's online catalogue, which provides further details and, in many cases, an abstract. The dossier concludes with a selection of web resources....
July 25, 2012 London School of Economics and Political Science
The events of the Arab Spring were an inevitable surprise. In a region where political oppression and economic under-development were most keenly felt among a demographic bubble of well-educated youth, the classic conditions for revolution were met. However, few could have predicted the spark that would ignite a wave of protest across the region, the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor who felt humiliated by his treatment at the hands of petty local officials. The final outcome of the protests across the region is still uncertain, but more than a year on, events have settled into patterns sufficiently to allow an interim assessment of their success.
Toby Dodge concludes this report by noting that ‘successful revolutions are very rare indeed’. Behind the headlines, this report’s conclusions are pessimistic. The authors here find little evidence to suggest that future historians will rank the events of 2011 with those of 1848, or 1989. Simply too few of the fundamentals of social, economic and political organisation in the Arab world have been successfully contested by the protests. As 2011’s Spring turns into 2012’s summer, the answer to the question of whether there has been a power shift in the Middle East, is a decisive ‘not yet’....
July 20, 2012 Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Provides background on populations
at risk of mass atrocity crimes, with
particular emphasis on key events and
actors and their connection to the
threat, or commission, of genocide,
war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes
Offers analysis of the country’s past
history in relation to mass atrocity
crimes; the factors that have enabled
their possible commission, or that
prevent their resolution; and the
receptivity of the situation to positive
influences that would assist in
preventing further crimes....
July 18, 2012 African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes
Contemporary Africa is faced with the reality of numerous evolving states that have to grapple with the inevitability of conflict. On their own, the fledgling institutions in these states cannot cope with the huge demands unleashed by everyday conflict. It is within this context that the complementarity between traditional institutions and the modern state becomes not only observable but also imperative.
Includes: "Conflict resolution under the Ekika system of the Baganda in Uganda" by Ashad Sentongo and Andrea Bartoli "Local conflict resolution in Rwanda: The case of abunzi mediators" br Martha Mutisi "Traditional authority and modern hegemony: Peacemaking in the Afar region of Ethiopia" by Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenidge and Demessie Fantaye "From war to peace and reconciliation in Darfur, Sudan: Prospects for the Judiyya" by Abdullahi Osman El-Tom "Customary mediation in resource scarcities and conflicts in Sudan: Making a case for the Judiyya" by Salomé Bronkhorst...
July 18, 2012 African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes
The unemployment crisis in Africa is a critical challenge to a majority of youth. This situation demands a clear policy framework, accompanied by clear budgetary allocations. It is sad that even as some of our African countries have celebrated 50 years of independence, little has been done to introduce employment policies to address youth unemployment. For the continent to realise the opportunity that comes with the numbers of youth, this population must have the opportunity to find gainful employment and the promise of a livelihood. Throughout the history of conflict in some African states, youth have been at the frontline in waging wars that have hindered development. A mechanism to engage them is thus important for durable peace, stability and development. At this moment, the youth of the continent should be involved in planning for their future. Due to the increased challenges of the continent's development, new dynamic energy needs to be harnessed from the youth.
Ignoring the youth is putting oneself and the continent in danger. This is the population that will change the face of Africa. This is the generation that will be held accountable for all the challenges that face the continent. The youth are our greatest asset, it is critical that we engage this youthful energy to create meaningful productivity for the development of the African continent.
Includes: "Political youth: Finding alternatives to violence in Sierra Leone" by Christine Cubitt "The danger of marginalisation: An analysis of Kenyan youth and their integration into political, socio-economic life" by Daniel Forti and Grace Maina "Interrogating traditional youth theory: Youth peacebuilding and engagement in post-conflict Liberia" by Martha Mutisi "‘When the choice is either to kill or be killed’: Rethinking youth and violent conflict in post-conflict South Sudan" by William Tsuma...
July 16, 2012 London School of Economics and Political Science
As this Arab Spring of revolution becomes a long summer of transitions, we take the opportunity to review some of the historic developments in the region over the last few months. In doing so we throw the spotlight on the drivers of these popular uprisings, and the difficulties they present for the rest of the world in dealing with this strategically crucial region.
Kicking us off, Gilles Kepel brings his considerable experience to bear in discussing the revolutions in macro-context, before in our feature article Luca Tardelli analyses the inherent difficulties in Western intervention that are now once again playing out in Libya, a point picked up by Felix Berenskoetter in his discussion of how Western division on Libya played out at the Security Council. Turning to Yemen, Tobias Thiel considers how the particular politics of coalition in that country may allow it to move beyond the surely-now-terminal Presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh.
International politics doesn’t stop when crises occur, and the world faces a great many challenges at this time. China’s rise seems perpetually on the agenda, and Marco Wyss provides a new take on the drivers of that power transition in his analysis of US arms sales to China. Meanwhile, as American hegemony in Latin America seems increasingly up for question, Carlos Solis-Tejada assesses the prospects for Cuba, that most dysfunctional of American relationships, in the wake of the sixth party congress....
This week severe monsoon rains caused major flooding in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, affecting 250,000 people and displacing 18,000.
According to UNAMID, the tribal clashes which erupted on 9 January in North Darfur, Sudan, led to the displacement of a total of 70,000 people.
In Syria the conflict continues to affect large parts of the country with escalating tensions in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus provinces.
The ground offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali continued on 21 January with French forces entering the central Malian town of Diabaly.
The Government of Myanmar declared a ceasefire in the conflict with Kachin rebels on Friday 18 January; however Kachin rebels reported on 21 January that fighting continues. At least 2,000 people are newly displaced due to latest fighting....
After 21 months, the conflict in Syria has spread to all 14 Governorates and an estimated four million people have been affected by the crisis, either directly or indirectly. Fighting between Government forces and armed opposition groups continues to escalate, with both sides increasingly making use of heavy weaponry in populated areas. The rapid deterioration of the situation since June is reflected in the number of people fleeing Syria: in June 2012, 77,000 people were registered with UNHCR, while the number currently stands at 450,000. The actual size of the refugee population is believed to be much higher, as an unknown number of refugees are unable or unwilling to register....
In the Central African Republic a new rebel alliance seized key towns in the north and east, including Sibut, only 185 kilometers from capital Bangui, and currently controls about a third of the country. Chadian troops arrived mid-month to help contain the rebels, and regional leaders later announced the deployment of additional troops. The UN has begun evacuating staff, and the U.S. government has called for its citizens to leave. The security situation is precarious as the rebels warned they may enter Bangui, despite agreeing late month to talks with the government.
Violence escalated in Syria's civil conflict, with reports of spiralling civilian death tolls and displacement. Fighting reached new levels of intensity in Damascus, particularly in southern suburbs where regime airstrikes and clashes between regime and opposition forces in Palestinian-dominated Yarmouk left scores dead and prompted tens of thousands to flee. Violence also increased in Hama province as rebels launched a new offensive. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria warned that the conflict was escalating and becoming increasingly sectarian.
The dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands escalated as China sent surveillance aircraft into airspace over the disputed islands. Japan responded by sending eight fighter jets, and made a formal diplomatic protest. Its defence minister said this was the first intrusion of Japanese airspace by China since 1958. Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to take a tough line and said there is "no room for negotiation".
North Korea launched the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 satellite into orbit on 12 December, violating UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit it from using ballistic missile technology. The U.S., the UN Security Council and Russia condemned the launch. China expressed regret and called on North Korea to abide by UN Security Council resolutions....
The following questions and answers address issues relating to international humanitarian law (the laws of war) governing the current conflict between Israel and Hamas and armed groups in Gaza. The purpose here is to provide analytic guidance for those who are examining the fighting, as well as for the parties to the conflict and those with the capacity to influence them.
This Q & A focuses on international law governing the conduct of hostilities by each party to the conflict and allied forces. It does not address whether Hamas or Israel was justified in using armed force, or other matters concerning the legitimacy of resorting to war. In accordance with our institutional mandate, Human Rights Watch maintains a position of neutrality on issues of jus ad bellum (law concerning acceptable justifications to use armed force), because we believe maintaining such neutrality is the best way to promote our primary goal of encouraging all sides in armed conflicts to respect international humanitarian law, or jus in bello (law concerning acceptable conduct in war)....
This edition of Politorbis is published at the occasion
of the 10-‐‑year anniversary of the International Criminal Court
The Task Force for Dealing with the Past and
Prevention of Atrocities wanted to celebrate this
anniversary, by delivering a reflection on the
progress made to date under the Rome Statute and
by the International Criminal Court, as well as an
interdisciplinary conversation on the exercise and
impact of international justice. This latter requires
an ‘on the ground’ treatment, as this is where, in
complement to the efforts of international justice,
national justice is struggling to become reality.
This collection of articles is therefore simultaneously a tribute to the work accomplished so far, a reflection upon the practical issues and a testimony to the complexity of the exercise. The creation of
the International Criminal Court launched a new era in the fight for jusstice and against impunity; it indeed marked a point of no return. The first part of this Politorbis refers first and foremost to issues specific to this development of the ICC
which is responsible for judging crimes of genocide,
war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of
aggression, and to the issues of complementarity
and universal jurisdiction....
October 24, 2011 University for Peace // UPEACE Africa Program
The ongoing debate about the need for social, economic and political reforms in Africa centres on issues of peace, security and development. Peace. Security and development are viewed as necessary conditions for social stability and the promotion of human security.
Conflict in a significant number of African countries has often resulted in severe disruption of social and economic development. Consequently, efforts to reduce poverty and sustain basic human rights have been severely constrained, leading to recurrence of violence where peace agreements have been sealed and the escalation of violence where conflicts have hitherto been latent.
Understanding of the fundamental causes and conditions of violence and approaches to peace in Africa with all its peculiarities can only be achieved when Africans and others engage in the critical exploration of the African realities. It is in view of this, that the University for Peace, Africa Programme has launched a peer reviewed journal, Africa Peace and Conflict Journal.
The aim of the APCJ peer review process is to be rigorous and free of bias, ensuring that only high-quality, innovative work is published. The interdisciplinary emphasis of APCJ seeks to encourage the building of the field, combining the disciplines of peace and conflict studies, development, and human and social security in Africa. Gender is viewed as a cross-cutting research strategy and tool, consistent with the UPEACE policy of mainstreaming gender. Diverse regional, gender, experience and interest representation on the peer review panel is given high priority, to ensure article contents and methods are at the forefront of new thinking and practices. APCJ uses a double-blind review process, where the writer does not know his or her reviewer, and the reviewer does not know the author. This method seeks to prevent both positive and negative bias stemming from name recognition....
January 23, 2009 African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes
In the very human life that all of us are living, there are dynamic factors which tend to drive us apart and even incite separated groups to fight each other. Some of these factors, such as ethnicity or religion, may not appear to be divisive. Often, however, the same factors can also harbour tolerant and cooperative possibilities. Very much depends therefore on how we allow ourselves to be influenced by experiences and messages of discord or of concord. In most situations it is probably true that the public is oversupplied with the former by media that thrive on news about disputes and disunity. A fairly large proportion of such news is usually generated by politicians who are bent on strengthening their own constituencies and their own positions – to the detriment of opposition parties and leaders. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to counteract such sensationalism and divisiveness by focusing on viable options of living together and working together.
This is precisely the point that this issue of the African Journal on Conflict Resolution seeks to convey as far and wide as possible. Three of the articles in this issue address some of the dynamic factors referred to above: ethnicity and religious commitment. In the first article, Jude Cocodia shows how conflicts ‘revolving around ethnic or religious identities’ do not only belong to the history of the past, but also to the reality of the present. Unless we as human beings undertake a radical ‘rethinking’ of ethnicity and change our mindsets, attitudes and behaviours, violent ethnic conflicts will remain with us and mar our future. The second article, by Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, gives us a penetrating insight into a deep inter-ethnic divide in Zimbabwe. The beginnings and persistence of the particularism of the Ndebele are traced historically from pre-colonial times to the post-colonial present. In the last article, Cedric de Coning takes the topic of cooperation a step further than the convergence of parties who had been in conflict. He argues convincingly for an integrated approach – as adopted by the United Nations (UN) – in all peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction programmes....
The Stanford Journal of International Relations is a print and online journal published semi-annually by staff and students of Stanford University. It includes examples of scholarly articles on global affairs, international politics, economics, history, and public policy. Users may access free of charge many articles from the website from approximately vol.7, 2006 onwards.
April 26, 2012 Uppsala Conflict Data Program // Department of Peace and Conflict Research // Uppsala Universitet
This dataset covers 'conflict polygons', i.e. geographical areas that have been affected by each of the three types of organized violence per UCDPs definition. These geographical areas are built in a standardized fashion, using the methodology described in the codebook, with the explicit aim of providing a coherent, easily-comparable and standardized dataset.
August 9, 2011 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Yemen has suffered from internal conflicts and clashes for several years, resulting in severe disruptions of services, lack of security for the population and a large number of internally displaced people. The internal security threats include three distinct elements: a conflict in the north; a secessionist movement in the south; and the threat posed by terrorist elements.
March 7, 2013 Foreign Affairs // Council on Foreign Relations
This month marks the two-year anniversary of the antigovernment protests that kicked off the Syrian uprising. So far, the conflict has claimed roughly 70,000 lives, made refugees of one million people, and displaced an additional three million. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged food, medicine, and non-lethal military aid to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), along with $60 million directed to the rebels' political wing to help with the provision of public goods and services in the rebel-controlled areas.
This is a good start, but in order to prevent further human catastrophe and the spread of Islamist extremism in Syria, Washington needs to do more. Specifically, the United States should aid opposition women's organizations. This strategy would help address the current humanitarian crisis and ensure that aid reaches its intended receipts, in addition to elevating the status of women in Syria.
Syrian women have been active in the fight against Bashar al-Assad's regime from the start, dating back to the peaceful demonstrations in early 2011 in the southern city of Dara'a. They have remained actively involved even as the fight has become bloody. I met several of these women revolutionaries during my recent trip to the rebel-controlled countryside of Idlib province and to towns on the Turkish-Syrian border. These women smuggle guns to the opposition and make improvised explosive devices in their kitchens. They work in field hospitals saving the lives of FSA fighters. They document incidents of torture and sexual violence, in the hope that such information will be useful in a future war-crimes tribunal. Whether Sunni, Kurdish, Christian, or Alawite, with hijab or without, these women are fighting for a common objective: a free Syria....
February 7, 2013 Foreign Affairs // Council on Foreign Relations
In a recent piece on ForeignAffairs.com, Bilal Saab and Andrew Tabler resurrected a marginal debate from the 1990s about the dangers of negotiated settlements to civil wars. After making a general case against negotiated settlements, they applied their logic to Syria. The historian Edward Luttwak made the same basic argument 15 years ago. Negotiated agreements, he explained, preserve actors' war-making capacities, which leads to security dilemmas and, inevitably, renewed bloodshed. The policy prescription: Let the two sides fight it out until one wins. Either way, a more durable, longer-lasting peace should follow. The argument was wrong 15 years ago and, as recent data show, continues to be wrong today.
Saab and Tabler's central claim is that "[n]egotiated settlements have, in fact, proved weak in terms of promoting mutual disarmament, military integration, and political powersharing." That claim runs contrary to existing data. For example, Anna Jarstad and Desirée Nilsson, researchers in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, in Sweden, have found that, between 1989 and 2004, 75 percent of political powersharing provisions were implemented after an accord was reached -- most within a period of seven months. Jarstad and Nilsson also found that 90 percent of military integration provisions were at least partially implemented. Their statistical analysis revealed that, where military integration is implemented, a relapse of armed conflict is very unlikely. Our own research, meanwhile, has shown that disarmament provisions in peace agreements are implemented over 70 percent of the time....
The unraveling of the al Assad regime in Syria will produce many geopolitical consequences. One potential consequence has garnered a great deal of media attention in recent days: the possibility of the regime losing control of its chemical weapons stockpile. In an interview aired July 30 on CNN, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said it would be a "disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands -- hands of Hezbollah or other extremists in that area." When he mentioned other extremists, Panetta was referring to local and transnational jihadists, such as members of the group Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been fighting with other opposition forces against the Syrian regime. He was also referring to the many Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which have long had a presence in Syria and until recently have been supported by the al Assad regime.
The fear is that the jihadists will obtain chemical weapons to use in terrorist attacks against the West. Israel is also concerned that Palestinian groups could use them in terrorist attacks inside Israel or that Hezbollah could use such weapons against the Israelis in a conventional military battle. However, while the security of these weapons is a legitimate concern, it is important to recognize that there are a number of technical and practical considerations that will limit the impact of these weapons even if a militant group were able to obtain them....
Between April and June of 2012 three Jihadist organisations have managed to jointly impose their rigorist Islamist control over some 1.5 million inhabitants in northern Mali, a vast desert area of around 850,000 square kilometres between Mauritania, Algeria and Niger. These three organisations are al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unicity and Jihad in Western Africa (MUJWA) and Ansar al Din (AD).
AQIM is the result of the merger in September 2006 of al-Qaeda and the Algerian-based Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (SGPC). It has continued and expanded the process of penetration into Mali begun by the SGPC in 2003. Its splinter group MUJWA made itself known in late 2011 and has a more multinational membership, while it has adopted the same Sahelian territories as its main operational scenario. Ansar al Din, which emerged at about the same time, is mainly though not exclusively made up of Tuareg militants and uses the flag of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, which has now become a common symbol for Jihadists throughout the region....
What if Syrian President Bashar al Assad really goes? There is an assumption in the West that the way to win a strategic victory over Iran and improve the human rights situation inside Syria is to remove the Syrian leader. It is true that Iran's prospects of keeping Syria as its own Mediterranean outpost are probably linked with the survivability of al Assad's regime. But his removal might well hasten the slide into chaos within Syria and in adjacent Lebanon, rather than slow it. Al Assad's departure could even ignite a disintegration of the Syrian power structure into various gangs and militias.
After all, we are talking less of the removal of one man than of the end of a 42-year dynasty. The president's father, Hafez al Assad, came to power in 1970 after 21 changes of government -- mostly through coups -- in Syria's first 24 years of independence. Moreover, the new Syrian state held free and fair elections in 1947, 1949 and 1954 that all broke down according to tribal, regional and sectarian interests. Hafez finally ended the chaos by becoming the Leonid Brezhnev of the Arab world: He staved off the future by institutionalizing fear, even as he did nothing to nurture a civil society out of the country's inherent divisions. Alas, the collapse of such a state is messy business. Sectarian awareness may be less deeply etched in Syria than in Iraq, but once the killing starts people have a tendency to revert to these default identities....
Insecurity Insight is a team of experts who apply an innovative method for generating data on the impact of insecurity on people's lives and wellbeing. This method, based on the 'Taback-Coupland model' of armed violence, has been used to study:
- the nature and patterns of people's insecurity during armed conflict
- insecurity associated with sexual, criminal and insurgent violence
- insecurity arising from particular categories of weapon (e.g. bombs, small arms)
- insecurity among particular groups of victims, such as journalists and humanitarian workers
The method helps with:
- the planning and monitoring of programmes to protect people in danger
- research into the causes and consequences of people's insecurities and its connection with other social phenomena, such as elections, poverty, and health care
Insecurity Insight runs independent projects and assists partners in gathering data or making better use of existing data....
August 16, 2011 OneResponse // Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OneResponse is a collaborative inter-agency website designed to enhance humanitarian coordination within the cluster approach, and support the predictable exchange of information in emergencies at the country level. The website will support Clusters and OCHA fulfill their information management responsibilities as per existing IASC guidance. Key characteristics of the site include:
- A global entry page, where all global cluster guidance materials located on www.humanitarianreform.org is currently being migrated.
- Country or emergency specific content will be hosted on the field level site.
- A specific disaster site will be created within 24 hours, during the onset of a new emergency.
- A low-bandwidth version of the site is available, to enable access and exchange of information in poor connectivity environments.
- Information can be categorized as either public or private. This allows sensitive information to be made accessible only to cluster specific working groups.
- Clusters will directly manage their own content on the site.
- OCHA owns the website and is responsible for its management....
Waging Peace (WP) is a non-governmental organisation that campaigns against genocide and systematic human rights abuses, with a particular focus on Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic. As a UK-based NGO, they lobby the British government to use its influence to ensure the protection of civilians in countries where their rights are ignored or, indeed, their lives and homes in danger due to repressive rulers and regimes. We carry out frequent fact finding-missions on the ground – gathering first-hand evidence of humanitarian, human rights and political conditions. We use the facts and testimonies we uncover to support the call for urgent, effective and measurable action from the UK government and the international community. We offer reports and briefings based on these missions....
Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, human rights, democracy and developing a Muslim identity at home in, and with, the West. Extremism, a prelude to terrorism, cannot be contained by Muslims alone. Not least because religious rigidity and extremism are products of the failures of wider society to foster a shared sense of belonging and to advance liberal democratic values among all sections of society. That said, we believe a more self-critical approach must be adopted by Muslim leaders to free communities from Westophobic ideological influences, escape social insularity and facilitate the organic growth of Western Islam. Quilliam seeks to challenge what we think, and the way we think. It aims to generate creative thought paradigms through informed and inclusive discussion to counter the Islamist ideology behind terrorism, whilst simultaneously providing evidence-based recommendations to governments for related policy measures....
August 24, 2010 Global Consortium on Security Transformation
As the world becomes more interdependent and unequal, there is a crucial need for cross-regional dialogues to foster new thinking and policy solutions to contentious security challenges.
Through the Global Consortium on Security Transformation (GCST) we aim to encourage existing south-south and south-north security and develop debates in order to promote a change of the existing understanding of security as well as open spaces for new voices. Our dialogue network takes the form of a partnership among six partner institutions located in different regions of the world.
The GCST will build upon and forge relationships between regional networks, linking researchers and practitioners, which have emerged in the developing world. It differs from existing networks by focusing on south-south as well as south-north links; by sharing research findings and policy lessons among regional networks; by promoting cross-regional research; by fostering evidence-based policy dialogue; and by reaching out to a broad range of policy constituencies not normally considered in security analysis and policy-making....
April 29, 2011 Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Updates International Military Intervention (IMI), 1946-1988. This newer study documents 447 intervention events from 1989 to 2005. To ensure consistency across the full 1946-2005 time span, the original coding procedures were followed. The data collection thus "documents all cases of military intervention across international boundaries by regular armed forces of independent states" in the international system). "Military interventions are defined operationally in this collection as the movement of regular troops or forces of one country inside another, in the context of some political issue or dispute". As with the original IMI (OIMI) collection, the 1989-2005 dataset includes information on actor and target states, as well as starting and ending dates. It also includes a categorical variable describing the direction of the intervention, i.e., whether it was launched in support of the target government, in opposition to the target government, or against some third party actor within the target state's borders. The intensity of the military intervention is captured in ordinal variables that document the scale of the actor's involvement, "ranging from minor engagement such as evacuation, to patrols, act of intimidation, and actual firing, shelling or bombing". Casualties that are a direct result of the military intervention are coded as well. A novel aspect of IMI is the inclusion of a series of variables designed to ascertain the motivations or issues that prompted the actor to intervene, including to take sides in a domestic dispute in the target state, to affect target state policy, to protect a socio-ethnic or minority group, to attack rebels in sanctuaries in the target state, to protect economic or resource interests, to intervene for strategic purposes, to lend humanitarian aid, to acquire territory or to dispute its ownership, and to protect its own military/diplomatic interests. The variable, civilian casualties, which complements IMI's information on the casualties suffered by actor and target military personnel has been added. OIMI variables on colonial history, previous intervention, alliance partners, alignment of the target, power size of the intervener, and power size of the target have been deleted....
April 28, 2011 Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
This data collection focuses on political regimes and regime transitions in 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The first part of the dataset contains information on the characteristics of post-colonial political regimes from independence to December 31, 1989 (63 variables). Economic variables include GNP per capita, inflation, structural adjustment programs, overseas development assistance, and external debt, while social indicators concern ethnic and religious fragmentation. Political variables provide a listing of every national election in Africa from independence to 1989, for totals of 106 presidential and 185 parliamentary contests, the number of political parties, association groups, and media outlets in each country in 1975 and 1989, and type of political regime, including the duration of each regime in years and the total number and mode of previous regime transitions up to 1989. The second part of the dataset covers the political dynamics of regime transitions for the five-year period from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 1994 (36 variables). The researchers created a standardized framework to identify and categorize the key events and features of political transitions, concentrating on landmark events such as political protests, liberalization reforms, elections, and changes of government in each country. In addition, the researchers assembled a complete set of standard election results for every multiparty contest in Africa between 1990 and 1994, along with information on whether observers ruled the vote as free and fair, whether incumbents were ousted, and whether losers accepted the results....
April 28, 2011 Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
This study contains data on over 13,000 foreign conflict acts of 113 nations in the period 1950-1968. Data are provided for actor and object, either of which may refer to nations, colonies, international organizations, or groups in rebellion against national authority and involved in international relations. Data are also provided for official and unofficial acts, which are categorized into violent and nonviolent acts. Violent acts are further categorized into planned and unplanned acts, as well as unclassified acts. These include warning or defensive acts related to a developing conflict situation, threat, war, clash, or negative behavior such as blockade, embargo, or diplomatic rebuff of one nation by another. Nonviolent acts include boycott and anti-foreign demonstrations. The source of the data as well as measures of its reliability is also coded....
April 16, 2009 International Political Science Association
IPSAportal is the portal of the International Political Science Association and an official online IPSA publication. Hundreds of useful, rich and qualitatively outstanding websites for political science are selected, rewieved and evaluated by IPSA in order to provide scholars and students of the discipline worldwide an useful tool for online research. Among others, crucial information about the nature, quantity and retrievability of the content, the easiness of access and use and the fee policy of each site are provided.
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy joined with the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War in June 2012 to host a one-day crisis simulation that explored the implications of spillover from the ongoing violence in Syria. The simulation examined how the United States and its allies might address worsening instability in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, and elsewhere in the Middle East as a result of the internecine conflict in Syria.
The Saban Center’s Middle East Memo, “Unraveling the Syria Mess: A Crisis Simulation of Spillover from the Syrian Civil War,” authored by simulation conveners Kenneth M. Pollack, Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, and Marisa C. Sullivan, presents key lessons and observations from the exercise....
January 24, 2012 Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Justice in Perspective presents an overview of the transitional justice processes that have been, and are currently being, undertaken or explored by various countries. Developed and maintained by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, this online resource provides summaries of the different institutions and processes, with details of mandates and outcomes, as well as easy access to key resources and sites for further study. The database is updated at least twice a year.
Project Ploughshares has been monitoring armed conflicts worldwide since 1987 and publishing an Armed Conflicts Report annually.
The Armed Conflicts Report consists of:
1. A 22” x 34” poster, which includes a map and accompanying graphs, that provides a visual representation of the impact of armed conflict worldwide.
2. Expanded conflict descriptions published on the Ploughshares website
November 8, 2011 NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
Since 2008 the Afghanistan Team at the NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC) has produced weekly newsletters and thematic monthly reports pertaining to Afghanistan and the broader Central and South Asian regions. These reports revolve around the following sectors of intervention: economic development, governance and rule of law, humanitarian affairs, infrastructure, security, force protection and social and cultural development. In addition to more than 60 in-depth reports and 100 weekly updates on Afghanistan, the CFC’s Afghanistan Team also provides a range of online tools, including the Afghanistan Provincial Indicators. For further information on the CFC and its Afghanistan Team, go to: https://www.cimicweb.org. Our publicly available reports can be located at: https://www.cimicweb.org/Pages/CFCAfghanistanReports.aspx. If you wish to automatically receive the CFC’s Afghanistan reports in your in-box each week, sign up for our distribution list by going to https://www.cimicweb.org and clicking on “Request An Account”....
The LRA Crisis Tracker is a real-time mapping platform and data collection system created to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Using information sourced from Invisible Children’s Early Warning Radio Network, UN agencies, and local NGOs, this tool allows for better response from governments, policy-makers, and humanitarian organizations.This joint project, developed by Invisible Children and Resolve, marks the first time data surrounding the crisis has been comprehensively aggregated and made publicly available....
March 25, 2013 Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
This policy brief examines the steps needed to improve women’s participation in peacekeeping, highlights the problem inherent in commonly cited arguments for increasing women peacekeepers and proposes key recommendations.
In recent years some UN member states have attempted to increase the number of women in peacekeeping operations (PKOs) (including introducing all-female units) as part of an effort to mainstream gender in UN institutions, but also to challenge and transform the predominantly masculine PKO culture. However, these efforts are largely isolated and ad hoc. While all these efforts aim at increasing the number of women participants in PKOs, achieving gender balance does not automatically translate into gender equality or gender mainstreaming.
To increase the meaningful participation of women in PKOs, women need to be integrated into senior, decision-making and leadership posts; all-female contingents should be trained and deployed in, and integrated into mixed-gender environments; and deploy women who are ready to substantively change the PKO environment. Numerical targets, women’s “feminine qualities” and quick fixes for addressing sexual violence in PKOs aside, policymakers should deploy women to assist in gender mainstreaming in PKOs and in changing local women’s lives....
This document provides an overview of the origins and current challenges of displacement flows by refugees and IDPs in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it presents, based on an open-source research, the potential flows that could occur in Afghanistan post 2014. Related information is available at www.cimicweb.org. Hyperlinks to source material are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text.
March 21, 2013 Feinstein International Center // Assessment Capacities Project
This paper reports the results of a study undertaken during 2012 by Tufts University for the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS), as part of the latter’s “Operational Learning” strand of work. This study is designed to complement the work of ACAPS on strengthening needs assessment by addressing the question of how assessments and other sources of information and analysis are used by humanitarian decision makers. The study is based on a combination of literature review, case studies, and key informant interviews.
The pressure to demonstrate that responses and claims about impact are grounded in evidence has been growing over recent years. Humanitarian donors are increasingly under similar pressures to demonstrate effectiveness and account for impact. This is partly a matter of showing that their decisions regarding policies and programs are well-founded and evidence-based. But, humanitarian contexts are almost by definition ‘‘non-ideal” for gathering data. Decisions often have to be made quickly, sometimes with relatively little access to current information or accurate data. The question about informed decision making may therefore come down to what constitutes a “well enough” informed decision in the circumstances; or what constitutes “good enough” information and analysis on which to base a response. Whatever the quality of information, no assumption can be made that the increased availability of good information and analysis will in itself result in better informed decisions. In reviewing the way decisions are made in practice, the study considers the ways in which such information is used (or not) at different points in the process, which varies across different kinds of decisions in different contexts.
The study is based around three main questions. First, how do decision makers in the humanitarian sector currently use information and analysis? Second, what factors, other than information and analysis, are influential in making decisions? Third, what would enable better-informed response decisions? In order to address these overarching questions, the study looks first at some of the main processes of decision-making in the humanitarian sector and the factors that appear to have most influence on decisions of different kinds. It goes on to look at the way information and analysis is currently generated in the humanitarian sector—both through formal and informal means—and related questions of relevance and credibility. These two topics are then brought together in addressing the question of the use of information by decision makers, and what might enable more informed and evidence-based response decisions....
March 20, 2013 International Organization for Migration
The International Dialogue on Migration 2012 aims to enhance synergies between humanitarian and migration perspectives in the search for appropriate responses to migration crises. The second workshop in the series focuses on the plight of migrants who are caught up in crises in their countries of transit or destination. When countries of destination or transit experience political turmoil, conflict or natural disasters, their migrant populations often have few means to escape and ensure their own safety. Risks and vulnerabilities are exacerbated when migrants are in an irregular situation, or when countries of origin lack the resources, capacity and access to protect and assist their nationals abroad. Some migrants may be unable or unwilling to leave the crisis zone, while others may be forced to cross borders into neighbouring countries. As a result, repercussions may be felt regionally and beyond. Ultimately, migrants may escape crises by returning or being evacuated to their countries of origin, but challenges do not end there: countries of origin may struggle to receive and reintegrate large numbers of returnees, while the sudden loss of remittances may leave their families and home communities without income. The departure of migrant workers may also leave gaps in the labour markets of countries of destination which may in fact depend on migrant labour for post-crisis recovery and reconstruction.
The overall objective of the workshop is to support States in devising a framework of policies and actions to address the situation of migrants in crisis situations. Consistent with IOM's mandate and Strategy Document (activity 7), the IDM provides a forum for IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations and other partners, to share experiences and perspectives on migration matters with a view to identifying practical solutions and fostering greater cooperation....
July 24, 2012 The University of Texas at Austin // The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law // Climate Change and African Political Stability Program
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED) tracks the actions of opposition groups, governments, and militias across Africa, specifying the exact location and date of battle events, transfers of military control, headquarter establishment, civilian violence, and rioting. ACLED data are disaggregated by type of violence—including battles between armed actors, violence against civilians, and rioting—and a wide variety of actors—including government forces, rebel groups, militias, and civilians. ACLED includes data from 1997-2012, with real-time conflict data updated monthly....
July 24, 2012 Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset
ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset) is designed for disaggregated conflict analysis and crisis mapping. This dataset codes the dates and locations of all reported political violence events in over 50 developing countries. Political violence includes events that occur within civil wars or periods of instability. Although civil war occurrence is decreasing across African countries, new forms of political violence are becoming more common. ACLED is directed by Prof. Clionadh Raleigh (Trinity College Dublin). It is operated by senior research managers Andrew Linke (University of Colorado) and Caitriona Dowd (Trinity College Dublin). Senior research analysts Annie Ngwira, Charles Vannice and Olivia Russell oversee regional coding.
ACLED tracks these movements to present a dynamic and comprehensive assessment of political violence in developing states.
These data contain information on:
Specific types of events including battles, civilian killings, riots, protests and recruitment activities
Events by a range of actors, including rebels, governments, militias, armed groups, protesters and civilians;
Changes in territorial control
Event data are derived from a variety of sources including reports from developing countries and local media, humanitarian agencies, and research publications. Please review the codebook and user guide for additional information: the codebook is for coders and users of ACLED, whereas the brief guide for users reviews important information for downloading, reviewing and using ACLED data.
ACLED is associated with the International Peace Research Institute and has received funding from the World Bank, the CCAPS Minerva project and the European Research Council....
May 2, 2012 The University of Texas at Austin // The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law // Climate Change and African Political Stability Program // AidData
CCAPS climate security vulnerability data provides information on four sources of vulnerability: physical exposure to climate-related hazards, population density, household and community resilience, and governance and political violence. Chronic climate security vulnerability is located where these four sources of vulnerability conjoin. View the data sources for the CCAPS climate security vulnerability model on the website. The climate security vulnerability model includes ACLED conflict events; an alternative model without these events is used when displayed with an overlay of ACLED events....
The LRA Crisis Tracker is a real-time mapping platform and data collection system created to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Using information sourced from Invisible Children’s Early Warning Radio Network, UN agencies, and local NGOs, this tool allows for better response from governments, policy-makers, and humanitarian organizations.This joint project, developed by Invisible Children and Resolve, marks the first time data surrounding the crisis has been comprehensively aggregated and made publicly available.
To download LRA Crisis Tracker's data, click "Get Reports" and select "Full Data Export."...
Later this month, the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group will submit its recommendations to Secretary Hillary Clinton after a year of work. With subgroups on development, religious freedom and democracy, and conflict mitigation and prevention, the Working Group facilitated engagement with religious leaders, civil society groups, and experts on religion. One impetus for the Working Group was a 2010 report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which called for strengthening U.S. foreign policymaking by strengthening the capacity to engage religion.
The Working Group is long overdue. Religion is a key factor, for good and ill, in the national security “headliners” from Iraq and Iran to Pakistan and Israel-Palestine, but also in other conflicts festering beneath the radar, such as those in Congo, Sudan, and Colombia. U.S. policy on these and other areas has suffered from a lack of literacy about religion and a failure to effectively engage religious actors. The notable exception is religious freedom, after 1998 legislation established a new State Department office and an independent commission on the issue....
The war being waged in mineral-rich Mindanao, the southernmost island region of the Philippines, is a perfect storm of contemporary violent conflict. It is about land and resources, religion and clan, sovereignty, governance, and corruption in high and low places. Over a span of four decades, the fighting has resulted in more than 120,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, and more than $2 billion in damages to homes and businesses.
The latest news from Mindanao is big. On October 7, 2012, the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) reached an historic Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro People of Mindanao. The parties agreed that the status quo is unacceptable and that Bangsamoro, a new autonomous political entity representing the Muslim people in the region, will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
If implemented successfully, this new political arrangement would entail a major re-mapping of competing Catholic and Muslim sovereignties over certain areas and cities that have long been the subject of contention between Muslim and Christian communities....
In 1907, while touring Africa, Britain’s future Prime Minister Winston Churchill, described Uganda as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Churchill was moved by Uganda’s exquisite landscapes and people. He wrote in My African Journey that, “For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa.” Advising his countrymen, Churchill added that, “The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate on Uganda.”
Churchill was right. Uganda then encompassed all the gifts of nature and diversity. The question now as we celebrate 50 years of political independence is: What are we today? For all the celebration and jubilation, would Churchill, if he were alive today, come to the same conclusion? What happened to the diversity, the stunning green vegetation, the beautiful climate? Are we still a fairy tale country or a horror story? For all its endowment in people and culture, scenery and resources, Uganda today is far from that Pearl, leading some observers to describe Uganda today as the “tarnished Pearl of Africa.”. So what went wrong?...
The U.S. is set to withdraw the bulk of its forces from Afghanistan by 2014. This transition period is fraught with risk for Afghan women, many of whom have benefited during 10 years of improved access to education, health care, and political participation.
International aid programs have funded schools, trained health care workers, and supported development projects. There are now more than 3 million girls in school and 50,000 female teachers. Infant and maternal mortality rates have dropped significantly.
Life expectancy has risen, and hundreds of thousands of women participate in local development decision-making councils. The Afghan Constitution includes a gender equality clause and guarantees a 25 percent quota of women — one of the highest in the world — in the lower house of Parliament....
esterday, after 9 years and nearly $250 million dollars spent, the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Hague sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison after convicting him on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor’s trial has been an important milestone in the struggle to end impunity for tyrants and mass murderers. But the international community’s guilt-ridden obsession with pursuing the Charles Taylors of the world is skewing the allocation of resources in war-torn countries toward celebrity trials and away from poor people with limited access to justice....
Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
In this issue:
NATURAL DISASTERS AND CONFLICT: When Disasters and Conflicts Collide: Improving Links Between Disaster Resilience and Conflict Prevention
SYRIA: Preliminary Statistical Analysis of Documentation of Killings in the Syrian Arab Republic
KENYA: Kenya’s 2013 Elections
COLLECTIVE VIOLENCE: It’s Who You Know: Social Networks, Interpersonal Connections, and Participation in Collective Violence
MEXICO: Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2012
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME: Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: A Threat Assessment
FAITH COMMUNITIES AND RESILIENCY: Local Faith Communities and the Promotion of Resilience in Humanitarian Situations: A Scoping Study
YEMEN: A Lasting Peace? Yemen's Long Journey to National Reconciliation
DISPLACEMENT: Displacement, Disharmony and Disillusion. Understanding Host-Refugee Tensions in Maban County, South Sudan
MENTAL HEALTH AND CONFLICT: Madness or Sadness? Local Concepts of Mental Illness in Four Conflict-affected African Communities
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action
JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION: Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges in the Fight Against Impunity...
Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
HUMANITARIAN AID: Aid Worker Security Report 2012: Host States and Their Impact on Security for Humanitarian Operations
MEXICO: The Impact of President Felipe Calderón’s War on Drugs on the Armed Forces: The Prospects for Mexico’s “Militarization” and Bilateral Relations
POLITICAL MISSIONS: Political Missions 2012
RADICALIZATION: Countering Radicalization in Europe
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND CONFLICT: In the Face of War: Examining Sexual Vulnerabilities of Acholi Adolescent Girls Living in Displacement Camps in Conflict-affected Northern Uganda
GENDER: From Clause to Effect: Including Women's Rights and Gender in Peace Agreements
KYRGYZSTAN: Averting Violence in Kyrgyzstan: Understanding and Responding to Nationalism
LRA: Getting Back on Track: Implementing the UN Regional Strategy on the Lord's Resistance Army
TERRORISM: Global Terrorism Index 2012: Capturing the Impact of Terrorism from 2002-2011
WEAPONRY: Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots
MEDIA: Working in Concert: Coordination and Collaboration in International Media Development
PAKISTAN: Pakistan on the Edge...
Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
Articles in this issue:
SEXUAL VIOLENCE, EDUCATION, AND WAR: Human Security Report 2012: Sexual Violence, Education, and War: Beyond the Mainstream Narrative
MILITARY INTERVENTIONS: The Uses and Limits of Small-Scale Military Interventions
CONFLICT RISK: Does Uranium Mining Increase Civil Conflict Risk? Evidence from a Spatiotemporal Analysis of Africa from 1945 to 2010
DISPLACEMENT: Returning Home after Civil War: The Consequences of Forced Displacement for Food Security, Nutrition and Poverty among Burundese Households
ORGANIZED CRIMINAL VIOLENCE: Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean
DDR AND SSR: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform: Insights from UN Experience in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic
ENGAGING ARMED GROUPS: Reasoning with Rebels: International NGOs' Approaches to Engaging Armed Groups
WOMEN: From the Ground Up: Women's Roles in Local Peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sierra Leone
CRISIS DIPLOMACY: Inter-cultural Dialogue in International Crises
CHILD SOLDIERS: Louder than Words: An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers
SMALL ARMS: Security Provision and Small Arms in Karamoja: A Survey of Perceptions
YEMEN: Moving Beyond Promises: Perceptions, Priorities and Participation of Youth in Yemen's Transition...
The Human Security Report 2012 challenges a number of widely held assumptions about the nature of sexual violence during war and the effect of conflict on education systems. Both analyses are part of the Human Security Report Project’s ongoing investigation of the human costs of war.
Part I: Sexual Violence, Education, and War first reviews the fragmentary data on sexual violence against adults and children in wartime. It finds, among other things, that the mainstream narrative exaggerates the prevalence of combatant-perpetrated sexual violence, while largely ignoring the far more pervasive domestic sexual violence perpetrated in wartime by family members and acquaintances. This bias has unfortunate implications for policy.
Turning to the impact of war on education, the Report shows that—surprisingly—education outcomes actually improve on average during wartime. It confirms that conflict-affected countries generally have substantially lower educational outcomes than nonconflict countries, but it challenges the widely held notion that this is because of war. It points out that educational outcomes were also low—or lower— during the prior periods of peace. They could not, therefore, have been caused by warfare. The Report offers the first explanation for the apparent paradox of education outcomes that improve in wartime.
Part II of the Report reviews global and regional trends in the incidence and severity of organized violence. It highlights new research on the deadliness of external military intervention in civil wars, challenges the notion that conflicts are becoming more persistent, and shows that even “failed” peace agreements save lives....
HAITI: The Social Bond, Conflict and Violence in Haiti
CHILDREN'S HEALTH: Armed Conflict and Children’s Health: Exploring New Directions: The Case of Kashmir
POST-CONFLICT REINTEGRATION: A Framework Document for Evidence-Based Programme Design on Reintegration
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE DRC: A Congolese Community-based Health Program for Survivors of Sexual Violence
HUMAN RIGHTS IN BURMA: Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams: Human Rights under Assault in Karen State, Burma
NATURAL RESOURCES: Resources, Risk and Resilience: Scarcity and Climate Change in Ethiopia
PEACEBUILDING: Peace Held Hostage in Sri Lanka
JUSTICE: Soldering the Link: The UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice, and Correction
CRIMINAL NETWORKS & CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Security Management in Northern Mali: Criminal Networks and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
INSECURITY IN SOMALIA: Mogadishu Rising? Conflict and Governance Dynamics in the Somali Capital
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION: Briefing Note: Winning Hearts and Minds in Uruzgan Province ...