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Abstract: This report documents numerous abuses during renewed fighting in the past year by parties to the 20-year-long conflict in Somalia. These include the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab, the Somali Transitional Federal Government, the African Union peacekeeping forces, and Kenya- and Ethiopia-backed Somali militias. The report also examines abuses by the Kenyan police and crimes committed by bandits in neighboring Kenya against Somali refugees.
Abstract: This Policy Brief examines the real and imagined influence of al-Qa‘ida in North Africa and the Sahel. Despite a perception of the transnationalization of terrorist movements in North Africa under al-Qa‘ida’s banner, robust evidence of an effective al-Qa‘ida’s expansion in the Maghreb and the Sahara/Sahel region remains elusive at best. Rather, doubts about al-Qa‘ida’s actual threat and the efficacy of international response in the context of pervasive state failure in the Sahel raise questions regarding the policy objectives of US-led counter-terrorism in the region.
Abstract: It would be hard to conceive of two States that offer greater contrasts than
Somalia and Eritrea: the former, a collapsed State for over two decades, with no
functional national institutions; the latter, possessing the most highly centralized,
militarized and authoritarian system of government on the African continent. From a
sanctions monitoring perspective, however, the two countries present very similar
challenges: in both cases, power is concentrated in the hands of individuals rather
than institutions and is exercised through largely informal and often illicit networks
of political and financial control. Leaders in both countries often depend more
heavily on political and economic support from foreign Governments and diaspora
networks than from the populations within their own borders. And both countries —
in very different ways — serve as platforms for foreign armed groups that represent a
grave and increasingly urgent threat to peace and security in the Horn and East
More than half of Somali territory is controlled by responsible, comparatively
stable authorities that have demonstrated, to varying degrees, their capacity to
provide relative peace and security to their populations. Without exception, the
administrations of Somaliland, Puntland, Gaalmudug, and “Himan iyo Heeb”
evolved independently of centralized State-building initiatives, from painstaking,
organic local political processes. Much of Galguduud region is controlled by anti-Al-
Shabaab clan militias loosely unified under the umbrella of Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a
(ASWJ), but lacks a functional authority. Consolidation of and cooperation between
such entities represents the single most effective strategy for countering threats like
extremism and piracy, while expanding peace and security in Somalia.
Abstract: East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, and basic sanitation. Loss of life on a massive scale is a very real risk, and the crisis is set to worsen over the coming months, particularly for pastoralist communities.
The overall international donor response to this humanitarian crisis has been slow and inadequate. According to UN figures, $1bn is required to meet immediate needs. So far donors have committed less than $200m, leaving an $800m black hole.
While severe drought has undoubtedly led to the huge scale of the disaster, this crisis has been caused by people and policies, as much as by weather patterns. If more action had been taken earlier it could have helped mitigate the severity of the current crisis. It is no coincidence that the worst affected areas are those suffering from entrenched poverty due to marginalisation and lack of investment.
A rapid increase in emergency aid is needed right now to save lives and protect livelihoods, so that people can rebuild once the crisis is over. National governments and donors must prioritise addressing the issues that make people vulnerable in the first place.
There’s no time to waste. We must not stand by and watch this tragedy unfold.
Abstract: This report provides an overview of the CSIS study series examining the risks of instability in 10 African countries over the next decade. The 10 papers are designed to be complementary but can also be read individually as self-standing country studies. The overview draws on common themes and explains the methodology underpinning the research. The project was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The papers in this series are not meant to offer hard and fast predictions about the future. While they sketch out some potential scenarios for the next 10 years, these efforts should be treated as thought experiments that look at how different dynamics might converge to create the conditions for instability. The intention is not to single out countries believed to be at risk of impending disaster and make judgments about how they will collapse. Few, if any, of the countries in this series are at imminent risk of breakdown. All of them have coping mechanisms that militate against conflict, and discussions of potential “worst-case scenarios” have to be viewed with this qualification in mind.
Abstract: This report, Ethiopia: Assessing Risks to Stability, is part of a series examining the risks of instability in 10 African countries over the next decade. The 10 papers are designed to be complementary but can also be read individually as self-standing country studies. An overview paper draws on common themes and explains the methodology underpinning the research. The project was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The papers in this study are not meant to offer hard and fast predictions about the future. While they sketch out some potential scenarios for the next 10 years, these efforts should be treated as thought experiments that look at how different dynamics might converge to create the conditions for instability. The intention is not to single out countries believed to be at risk of impending disaster and make judgments about how they will collapse. Few, if any, of the countries in this series are at imminent risk of breakdown. All of them have coping mechanisms that militate against conflict, and discussions of potential “worst-case scenarios” have to be viewed with this qualification in mind.
Abstract: The level of women’s participation in armed violence in Africa is determined by the nature and
typology of conflict. Using prior research as a data source, the article examines the nature of
women’s participation in on-going and recently-concluded armed conflicts in 15 countries in Africa.
Based upon data that show variations, and similarities in the contextual conditions under which
women become war participants, this article presents three kinds of wars, and the conditions that
distinguish them from one another, as a theoretical framework in analysing women’s involvement in
Africa’s armed conflicts. The findings show that in ‘resources/opportunistic’ driven wars, women’s
participation is higher and more complex when compared to ‘ethno-religious’ and
‘secessionist/autonomy’ driven wars. Moreover, this paper finds that women’s participation can be
active and passive; coerced and voluntary.
Abstract: This Policy Note focuses on the gendered consequences of the militarisation of the Horn of Africa. Despite being in different ‘moments’ of conflict, the countries of this region share features of extreme social, economic and political violence, which impact negatively on their citizens. Protracted refugee and refugee-like conditions, extreme disinvestment in social programmes, increasing militarisation and political repression adversely affect women, thereby further entrenching gender disparities. Concerted national and international efforts and resources should support local democratic initiatives to find political solutions to these protracted conflicts and advance the struggle against sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination.
Abstract: The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression.
In reporting news from the world’s most troubled nations, journalists have made a seismic shift this year in their reliance on the Internet and other digital tools. Blogging, video sharing, text messaging, and live-streaming from cellphones brought images of popular unrest from the central square of Cairo and the main boulevard of Tunis to the rest of the world. Yet the technology used to report the news has been matched in many ways by the tools used to suppress information. Many of the oppressors’ tactics show an increasing sophistication, from the state-supported email in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyber-attacks on news websites in Belarus. Still other tools in the oppressor’s kit are as old as the press itself, including imprisonment of online writers in Syria, and the use of violence against bloggers in Russia.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists is examining the 10 prevailing tactics of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. What is most surprising about these Online Oppressors is not who they are—they are all nations with long records of repression—but how swiftly they adapted old strategies to the online world.
In two nations we cite, Egypt and Tunisia, the regimes have changed, but their successors have not categorically broken with past repressive practices. The tactics of other nations—such as Iran, which employs sophisticated tools to destroy anti-censorship technology, and Ethiopia, which exerts monopolistic control over the Internet—are being watched, and emulated, by repressive regimes worldwide.
Here are the 10 prevalent tools for online oppression.
Abstract: Climate change is said to lead to conflict, as available resources dwindle and the competition for resources increases. From this perspective, the report “Climate to Conflict? Lessons from Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya” attempts to explain the relationship between environmental/climatic factors and the conflict dynamics in the Horn of Africa. Through its analysis and conclusion, it has shown that deterioration in the climate and environment alone may not lead to conflict, as local populations have learned to adapt to their environments. It is when it becomes connected with other social, political and economic factors that exacerbate scarcity that conflicts become more likely.
Abstract: Somalia has engendered the policy debate on the extent of the spread of transnational Islamist Jihadist groups in the Horn of Africa (HOA) and their consequences for peace and security across the region. These concerns are justified given the emergence since the late 1980s of extremist groups such as the Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement and the Somali Jihadist Islamist groups of the likes of Al-Ittihad, the Islamic Courts Union and currently Al Shabab. The leaders and fighters of these groups relocated to the HOA after the defeat of the Taliban following the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. The operations of these transnational Islamist groups within and across the countries of the Horn pose serious challenges to the region and beyond.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also includes American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen. Casualty data of U.S. military forces are compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), as tallied from the agency's press releases. Also included are statistics on those wounded but not killed.
Because the estimates of Afghan casualties contained in this report are based on varying time periods and have been created using different methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using them and should look to them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact. This report will be updated as needed.
Abstract: Despite the religious diversity in sub‐Saharan Africa and the religious overtones in a number
of African conflicts, social science research has inadequately addressed the question of how
and to what extent religion matters for conflict in Africa. This paper presents an innovative
data inventory on religion and violent conflict in all sub‐Saharan countries for the period
1990–2008 that seeks to contribute to filling the gap. The data underscore that religion has to
be accounted for in conflict in Africa. Moreover, results show the multidimensionality (e.g.
armed conflicts with religious incompatibilities, several forms of non‐state religious violence)
and ambivalence (inter‐religious networks, religious peace initiatives) of religion vis‐à‐vis violence.
In 22 of the 48 sub‐Saharan countries, religion plays a substantial role in violence, and
six countries in particular—Chad, Congo‐Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda—
are heavily affected by different religious aspects of violence.
Abstract: This is the first paper using household survey data from two countries involved in an international war (Eritrea and Ethiopia) to measure the conflict’s impact on children’s health in both nations. The identification strategy uses event data to exploit exogenous variation in the conflict’s geographic extent and timing and the exposure of different children’s birth cohorts to the fighting. The paper uniquely incorporates GPS information on the distance between survey villages and conflict sites to more accurately measure a child’s war exposure. War-exposed children in both countries have lower height-for-age Z-scores, with the children in the war instigating and losing country (Eritrea) suffering more than the winning nation (Ethiopia). Negative impacts on boys and girls of being born during the conflict are comparable to impacts for children alive at the time of the war. Effects are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and an instrumental variables strategy.
Abstract: An estimated 300,000 to 350,000 people remained internally displaced within Ethiopia in
late 2010. There were reported displacements related to violence and human rights violations
in Gambella and Somali Regions in 2010.
Armed conflicts and localised episodes of violence have continued to cause displacement
in various areas. In particular, government forces have continued to fight insurgency
groups including the Ogaden National Liberation Front in Somali Region and the
Oromo Liberation Front in the south of the country. In Somali region, the government
has made peacemaking efforts in recent months, but fighting has continued.
In areas affected by displacement such as Somali, southern Oromiya and Gambella, food
security, health, nutrition, and access to water were all of major concern to the humanitarian
community in 2010.
Despite the serious humanitarian need in areas of displacement, the government has
restricted the access to conflict areas of international humanitarian agencies and the
media. The government has also introduced draconian laws that restrict activities of human
rights organisations and humanitarian agencies, making it difficult for independent
bodies to monitor and document violations of rights.
Abstract: Refugees and asylum seekers escaping conflict, genocide, famine, and torture face an extremely difficult journey. Thousands set out from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, and other African countries in search of safety and protection, passing through Egypt, where their situation remains hostile and insecure. Once arriving in Israel, they are immediately detained, often for several weeks, months, and sometimes even years. As a first stop after detention, they find their way to the Open Clinic at Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) in Tel Aviv-Jaffa to receive treatment for trauma or illness experienced along the way. PHR-Israel's Open Clinic is an open medical center operated by volunteer Israeli physicians who provide medical treatment to uninsured persons and engage in advocacy to the government to ensure better protection for refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrant groups.
In recent months, clinic staff began noticing a growing trend of women, recently freed from detention, seeking abortions. In conversations with our doctors, many women confessed to being raped prior to entering Israel. Of a total of 165 abortions facilitated by the clinic between January- November 2010, PHR-Israel suspects that half were requested by women who were sexually assaulted in the Sinai. During the same period, 1,303 women have been referred for gynecological treatment, here too, a large percentage as a result of the trauma endured in Sinai. Harsh experiences in the Sinai have also translated into an increased number of patients seeking rehabilitative services from our Open Clinic. In the first 11 months of 2010, 367 people required orthopedic treatment; 225 were referred for physiotherapy.
To make sense of the growing accounts of torture, hostages, ransom, rape, physical and sexual abuse, PHR-Israel initiated a questionnaire posed to new patients arriving to Israel through the Sinai desert. Between October 12 and December 7, 2010, PHR-Israel interviewed a total of 167 individuals from Eritrea and Ethiopia, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Somalia, Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, and Sierra Leone, including 108 men and 59 women, ranging in age from 19 to 66.
Abstract: The contemporary challenge facing the Nile basin countries is that of how to establish a legal framework for the utilization of its waters that is acceptable to all.
This issue brief provides a sketch of the major issues under discussion and summarizes the current state of the negotiations over the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).
Negotiations for a CFA started in 1997 and have not yet been concluded. The CFA seeks to establish a permanent Nile River Basin Commission through which member countries would act together to manage and develop the resources of the river. The countries constituting the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) are Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
There has been noticeable tension among the NBI countries due to disagreements over what constitutes the equitable utilization of water. Potential conflicts over the waters of the Nile River stem from the increased need for water for irrigation, as well as from the rise in the hydropower needs of the riparian countries.
Abstract: For the past 60 years, the United Nations has been keeping foes apart in strife-torn parts
of the world, and rebuilding countries and communities afterwards. In the UN’s peace
operations in Africa, India has been an active partner since its peacekeeping mission in the
Congo in 1960. In this paper, all references to ‘the Congo’ denote the Democratic Republic
of Congo (formerly Zaire), and not the Republic of Congo (or Congo–Brazzaville).
This paper explores India’s peacekeeping efforts in Africa over the last five decades.
It analyses the reasons for India’s engagement in African peace missions, and finds that
different motives and incentives appear to be driving India’s peacekeeping. Some of these
can be explained along Cold War fault lines.
A chronological account of India’s peacekeeping actions in Africa illustrates that country’s
commitment to securing peace, the depth of involvement, the fatalities bravely borne and
the hardships endured. Even more important, the record shows that India continues to use
the experience that has been gained to refine its approach to peacekeeping.
In conclusion, the paper offers a forecast of what form India’s commitments to Africa’s
peacekeeping requirements are likely to take in the future. India may well develop criteria
that require a greater return on investment than has been the case over the last halfcentury.
A more tempered approach — particularly in view of India’s global aspirations
— seems likely.
Abstract: International responses to the protracted instability and violence in Somalia
have included both general restrictions on arms supplies to the country and
arming specific actors. A United Nations embargo imposed in 1992 bans arms
supplies to non-state actors. Since late 2006, the UN has supported the use of
military force by and in support of the Somali Transitional Federal Government
(TFG) and did not hinder or formally protest at a military intervention
by Ethiopian forces in late 2006 intended to bolster the TFG.
This Background Paper discusses recent arms supplies to Somalia and to
African external actors involved in the conflict, along with the risks associated
with supplying arms to the TFG and its supporters. Section II gives
brief background information on the conflict, armed actors in Somalia and
the arms embargo. Section III discusses arms flows to Somali opposition
groups and section IV to Eritrea, considered one of the main adversaries of
the TFG. Section V examines arms supplies to the TFG.1 Supplies to Ethiopia
and participants in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are
discussed in section VI. Section VII offers conclusions.
Abstract: This report describes a rapid, combined
livelihoods and conflict analysis in Shinile Zone,
Somali Region of Ethiopia, conducted in March
and April 2010. An underlying question for the
analysis was the extent to which aid actors should
integrate peace-building and livelihoods
programming as part of long-term development
strategies for the Zone. A strategic framework
with explanation is presented in section 4 of the
report and includes the following issues: The Issa pastoralist system extends beyond
Shinile Zone, so that changes to the system have
impacts in Afar and Oromiya Regions; peace-building and economic integration across
regions are mutually supportive approaches,
and are the core part of the framework; rationalization of land tenure and land use
policies is central to both economic integration
and peace-building; More supportive land tenure arrangements will
contribute to livestock development and
marketing, and so mainly assist those people
who stay in the pastoralist system; education and health are fundamental to
economic and social development; service delivery strategies need to examine
possible cross-regional state border
arrangements that might help to overcome
some of the practical difficulties of service
delivery through government alone; long-term development strategies need to
anticipate natural disasters such as drought.
Government guidelines and policy support
livelihoods-based responses to drought such as
commercial destocking, targeted livestock feed
supplementation, and veterinary voucher
Although commissioned by Mercy Corps, the
study did not examine or evaluate Mercy Corps
programmes. Mercy Corps’ own strategies could
draw on this report, but also might use
independent evaluation of their current
programmes, analysis of core organisational
strengths and technical experiences, and dialogue
with donors to assess funding opportunities.
Abstract: Traditional institutions of conflict resolution play a very significant role in
the day-to-day lives of Africans in general and Ethiopians in particular. In
Ethiopia, a country that has adopted ethnic federalism as its policy, such
traditional institutions help to blur political boundaries and bring people from
different ethnic and regional backgrounds together. Furthermore, they serve as
alternative institutions of conflict resolution in a country where the state legal
system is failing to fully provide the judiciary needs of the nation. For instance,
in Jille Dhmugaa district, where the research was conducted, there are only two
judges for a total population of 102 936. Apart from the lack of capacity under
which it suffers, the state legal system can also be criticised for a high degree of
preferential treatment due to corruption, so that justice is provided only to a
few. Furthermore, the ideology of the state legal system is drawn mainly from
the western legal philosophy which is highly influenced by an individualistic
orientation and does not fit the strong social orientation on the ground where
it is being implemented. These reasons and more are raised by many as main drawbacks of the state legal system in Ethiopia. There were times in Ethiopian
history when the state legal system officially incorporated elements from the
traditional institutions of conflict resolution in the state courts (Carmichael
2003:122; Walker 1933:153–156). The Ethiopian constitution has, however,
limited the mandate of the customary and religious institutions to private and
family matters. Nevertheless, these institutions are playing a very significant role
in other domains – such as criminal matters. The strong social tie existing in the
community makes the significance of reconciliation, the key role of traditional
The main questions this paper attempts to answer, on the bases of ethnographic
data, are: What are the pull factors towards traditional institutions? And why do
people prefer the traditional institutions vis-à-vis the state legal system?
Abstract: This article tries to show the impacts of conflict on women, the role of
women in conflict and indigenous conflict resolution, and the participation
of women in social institutions and ceremonies among the Issa and Gurgura
clans of the Somali ethnic group. It explores the system of conflict resolution
in these clans, and women’s representation in the system. The primary role
of women in the formation of social capital through marriage and blood
relations between different clans or ethnic groups is assessed. The paper
focuses on some of the important elements of the socio-cultural settings
of the study community that are in one way or another related to conflict
and indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms. It also examines the positive
aspects of marriage practices in the formation of social capital which
strengthens friendship and unity instead of enmity.
Abstract: Tens of thousands of Somali refugees have sought asylum in cities in neighboring countries but have long been overlooked by humanitarian actors. Many of these refugees have found ways to survive in Nairobi, Djibouti, Aden, and Sana’a and have become self-reliant, but others suffer from police harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and forced return. Registration and documentation should be the foundation of refugee protection in cities. Partnerships with community-based organizations and ongoing refugee profiling is essential to identify and serve the most vulnerable. Promoting the protection of refugees in cities helps them live with greater independence and dignity. Due to ongoing violence, human rights violations, and conflict in Somalia, today there are some 580,000 Somali refugees in four main asylum countries—Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen.
Abstract: At just over 77 million, ethiopia is the third-most
populous country in Africa. since 1991, ethiopia has been
implementing an ethno-linguistic federal politico-legal
arrangement. As per Articles 1 and 47 of the Constitution
of the Federal Democratic republic of ethiopia, the
country is a federation of nine ethno-linguistically divided
regional states. These can be classified into three groups,
based on (i) their population numbers, as minority or
majority in the federation; (ii) ethno-linguistic diversity, as multi-ethnic or homogeneous; and (iii) way of life, as
settled or pastoralist. The Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia and
somali regional states (taking the name of their majority inhabitants) are more or less ethnically homogeneous,
with a dominant ethno-linguistic community at regional
level. Percentages of the population that are from their
respective dominant ethno-linguistic communities in these
states are as follows: Tigray 94.98%, Afar 91.8%, Amhara
91.2%, Oromia 85%, and somali 95.6%. The remaining
four regional states (southern Nations, Nationalities and
People’s region or sNNP; Gambella; Benshangul/Gumuz
and Harari) are multi-ethnic, without a de jure dominant
ethno-linguistic community. This does not mean there is no ethno-cultural dominant community in power, even if that
community could be a minority in number. In an ethnic
federal arrangement, a minority ethno-cultural community
could have dominant power as a result of economic or/and
political domination it exercises.