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Abstract: This policy brief offers eight targeted policy recommendations for combating the convergence of terrorism, crime, and politics. Rather than simply warning about the potential for interaction and synergy among terrorist, criminal, and political actors, this policy brief aims to explore possibilities for exploiting their divergences. In particular, it emphasizes the need to grapple with the economic, political, and combat power that some terrorist groups enjoy through their involvement in crime and conflict.
Abstract: Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
The situation in Somalia continued to deteriorate as al-Shabaab stepped up its attacks and fighting intensified in Mogadishu.
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government was further weakened in August. The month began with an attempted coup and culminated with the mayor of the southern city of Osh – the epicenter of June’s pogroms – defying the President’s orders to resign.
In Kashmir, anti-Indian protests that began in June worsened in August with at least 40 demonstrators killed in clashes with the police, bringing the total death toll to over 60.
In Northern Ireland dissident Republicans launched a spate of bomb attacks throughout the month in an attempt to derail the peace process. Meanwhile, in Bahrain over 200 people, including high-level Shiite political leaders, have been reported arrested in a government crackdown ahead of October’s parliamentary elections, fueling almost daily clashes between security forces and Shiite opposition supporters.
CrisisWatch identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Kosovo in September, as the EU makes intensive diplomatic efforts to produce a UN General Assembly resolution acceptable to both Serbia and Kosovo that could serve as a basis for a comprehensive settlement.
CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict resolution opportunity for Israel, as direct peace talks between Israel and Palestine – the first in almost two years – are due to restart in Washington on 2 September.
Abstract: Do sanctions, incentives and conditionality support or undermine the peace process?
This edition of Accord assesses whether these instruments can persuade conflict
parties to engage in peacemaking. Used effectively, these tools can tip the balance
towards a settlement by increasing the costs of fighting and rewarding peace. But
unless developed as part of a coherent and strategic approach to peacemaking they
can be ineffective and have sometimes exacerbated tensions and fuelled conflict.
Sanctions, incentives and conditionality must be responsive to parties’ own
motivations and support pre-existing conditions for conflict resolution. Four overriding conclusions can be drawn from this
study for how to enhance the effectiveness of external
influence in support of peacemaking. (1) External actors
need to prioritize support for sustainable peace as their
primary goal in a conflict situation and craft their
strategy to help achieve it – recognizing that this may, in
turn, create the enabling conditions for achieving other
foreign policy goals. (2) Sanctions, incentives and
conditionality are most likely to be effective when they
are responsive to the parties’ own motivational
structures and support a pre-existing societal dynamic
for conflict resolution. (3) They need to be designed and
implemented in ways that help to create momentum in
the resolution process, which (4) typically requires a degree of strategic coherence amongst external actors,
necessitating mechanisms for coordination.
Abstract: Northern Ireland has in recent years become less violent and contested, more peaceful and stable, though by no means perfectly peaceful and just. How did this happen, and what can be learned from it? Based on interviews with a wide range of actors in Northern Ireland --- political, paramilitary, civil society, and government figures --- this study summarises what people on the spot think brought about change. This study focuses particularly on the four initiatives which were cited twice as often as any other by the interviewees: The Hume-Adams talks; work with prisoners; the Anglo-Irish Agreement; and Fair Employment legislation. These four were initiated respectively by a NI politician, by civil society, by the two governments together, and by the British government. They led to structural and systemic change, as well as changes in attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours.
Abstract: Insight on Conflict provides information on local peacebuilding organisations in areas of conflict. Local peacebuilders already make a real impact in conflict areas. They work to prevent violent conflicts before they start, to reduce the impact of violence, and to bring divided communities together in the aftermath of violence. However, their work is often ignored – either because people aren’t aware of the existence and importance of local peacebuilders in general, or because they simply haven’t had access to information and contacts for local peacebuilders. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance by drawing attention to important work of local peacebuilders. On this site, you’ll be able to find out who the local peacebuilders are, what they do, and how you might get in touch with them. Over half the organisations featured on Insight on Conflict do not have their own website. Insight on Conflict is a project launched by Peace Direct, the UK-based charity that finds, funds and promotes local peacebuilders in conflict areas around the world. Peace Direct wants to change the balance of power and resources between local people and outsiders so that local peacebuilding is central to all strategies for managing conflict.
Abstract: As leaders in civil society, particularly during and following violent conflict, women are critical players in peace negotiations. In formal negotiations, they raise often-ignored political and social issues, ensure that the voices of victims and civilians are consistently heard, and build bridges among negotiating parties. They also have a solid record of successfully bringing together representatives of opposing factions in unofficial talks. Yet women remain the largest group of stakeholders regularly excluded from official negotiation processes.
In October 2000, the UN Security Council acknowledged in Resolution 1325 the importance of inclusion, mandating women’s full participation in peace building; few policymakers, however, know how to fulfill this obligation. This guide provides the international community with concrete strategies to successfully bring women into peace negotiations.
Abstract: Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, nor is it likely to disappear anytime soon. It is not the exclusive domain of any single religion or ideology, nor do all terrorists come from the same socioeconomic class or share the same mental pathologies.1 In part, the diversity within contemporary terrorism is what makes it so great a challenge. This report describes, in great detail, the state of terrorism in Western countries over the course of 2008.
Before turning to terrorism events in the West during 2008 and key developments within Western countries’ legal systems, we are going to pinpoint a few broad trends—a few currents that run through the various incidents and cases that follow. As this report will show, concerns about the contemporary connection between criminal activities and terrorism are clear in Bulgaria, a country rife with organized crime. An April 2008 parliamentary report charged that profits from the country’s drug trade were channeled to Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
Abstract: Current understanding of the motivations of young people who engage in paramilitary activity is poor.
The youth bulge literature has made important advances in understanding determinants of political violence
at population level; however, the psychological processes that underpin engagement with political
violence among young people are less clearly understood. Further, the pathologization of terrorist activity
has hampered deeper understanding of the motivations of those who seek to effect change using violence.
This article explores the explanations offered by 14–16-year-olds regarding possible motivations
of young people who engage in paramilitary activities in Ireland. Seventy-four Protestant and Catholic
young people residing in the border regions of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic completed an
essay-writing task which elicited explanations for paramilitary involvement. Young people’s explanations
were multi-levelled and varied, reflecting the breadth and diversity of their personal circumstances and
experiences. The essays were analysed using a Grounded Theory approach, which generated four categories
of explanations for paramilitary involvement, namely, social identification explanations, family
and socialization explanations, developmental explanations and pathological explanations. Though not
asked to express a personal judgement regarding such activity, a substantial proportion of respondents
did, with females being more likely than males to openly condone or condemn such activity. Discussion
and interpretation of these findings centre on understanding of paramilitary involvement in areas
affected by political violence.
Abstract: This third edition of the Peace Process Yearbook analyses the conflicts in which negotiations
are being held to reach a peace agreement, regardless of whether these negotiations are
formalised, are in the exploratory phases, are bearing fruit or, to the contrary, are stalled or
enmeshed in crisis. It also analyses certain cases in which the negotiations or explorations are
partial, that is, they do not encompass all the armed groups present in the country (as is the
case of Afghanistan and Iraq, for example). The majority of the negotiations are linked to armed
conflicts, but other situations are also analysed in which despite the fact that there are currently
no armed clashes taking place, the parties have yet to reach a permanent agreement to put an
end to the hostilities and disputes still pending. Thus, the negotiations are relevant for
preventing the beginning or resurgence of new armed confrontations.
The yearbook also examines certain processes that have theoretically come to a close through
a peace agreement, but that in our opinion are worth monitoring for at least another year with
the purpose of revealing whether or not implementation of the agreements takes place as
planned and whether the armed conflict can truly be regarded as over (such as in the cases of
the Congo, Indonesia [GAM], Northern Ireland, Nepal [CPN], East Sudan and South Sudan), as
there is a plethora of examples of peace agreements that for different reasons, have lasted a
short time and hostilities have resumed.
The way of organising the analysis of almost every case follows a standard pattern, namely: 1)
a brief synopsis of the background of the conflict, with a short description of the armed groups
and the main players participating in the conflict; 2) the lead-up to the peace process; 3) the
events that took place throughout 2007; 4) a table displaying the most noteworthy events in the
year in summarised form; 5) a list of websites where the conflict can be monitored; and 6) an
illustration that helps to exemplify the relationship between the primary and secondary actors in
each conflict, showing the spaces of intermediation that exist in each case. At the start of each
country there is a small insert with basic information on the conflict in question; in the section
entitled “Armed Actors” in this insert, the governmental armed forces are not included.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: The phrase ‘gender sensitivity’ is perhaps an unfortunate piece of jargon, but it is a convenient
shorthand since a better, simpler and less loaded phrase does not yet present itself. As
most people know, but many still do not fully grasp, ‘sex’ refers to biological differences,
while ‘gender’ describes the characteristics that a society or culture defines as masculine or
feminine. So in one sense, being sensitive to gender is not a matter of nicety or manners, but
very much correlated with being sensitive to culture. It will help an analyst to understand where
power lies and how it is operated, how things get done, or indeed prevented, in particular
cultures. Gender relations may not be intuitive but need to be learned by observation of and interaction
with a culture. Further to that, women and gender are not synonymous any more than women
are naturally more gender sensitive than men. The agenda of gender issues (across subjects
and sectors) is still so largely driven by women because their participation in most arenas
has been so unequal for so long that they are simply more motivated to be gender sensitive.
However, this is changing as more men recognise both the value of paying attention to gender
and equality, and the fact that this is not an exercise that exacts unbearable costs.
Abstract: Thousands of international troops remain in Afghanistan, but some members of this coalition are more willing than others. FP looks at whose militaries are pulling their weight—and who could do far more.
Abstract: On May 9, 2007, a power-sharing arrangement for governing Northern Ireland was formalized, ending more than thirty years of violence. This followed by nine years the historic Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, signed in April 1998, which was the culmination of formal negotiations to end “the troubles.” The process of negotiating an end to the violence was a long process and not an easy one. One of the issues surrounding the negotiations was who would be invited to sit at the table and to take part in the actual discussions. It was important to many women who had not only been directly affected by the violence but who also wanted to have input into the discussions about what the country would look like after the period of violence
officially ended, that they be represented at the talks so that women’s perspectives and issues (i.e., social justice issues, including gender equality) could become part of the conversation. The Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC) was created specifically to give women a seat at the table and a voice in the negotiations. Yet, the NIWC was formally disbanded in May 2006, following a number of years in which the party could no longer get representatives elected to office.
Abstract: The partition of Ireland in 1920 replaced one embattled minority with another. Unionists, descendents of settlers from Britain, became a majority in the newly formed Northern Ireland which remained part of the United Kingdom, while a new minority of Irish nationalists was left on the 'wrong' side of the border. Misrule on the part of the one-party unionist government eventually spawned both a non-violent civil rights campaign that sought equality for nationalists within Northern Ireland and an armed campaign utilizing terrorist tactics that sought to force the reunification of the island. Through the bitter 'Troubles' that ensued, British security forces contained, but could not defeat, the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Towards the end of the 1980s, a 'peace process' crystallized under the sponsorship of the British and Irish governments. This was a dual project of both ending the violence and attaining the widest possible consensus on a new mode of governance for Northern Ireland. Multi-party negotiations produced the Belfast Agreement, finalized on the appropriately redemptive date of Belfast, 10 April 1998. However, in the years that followed, a number of outstanding issues, principally the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons, perpetually destabilized the fledgling institutions and poisoned relationships, until stable power-sharing was at last established in May 2007.
Abstract: La présente évaluation de la politique des vingt-sept pays membres de l’Union
européenne en faveur des droits de l’Homme répond au développement récent des
« investissements éthiques », constitués pour une grand part d’actions d’entreprises privées, mais également d’obligations d’Etat. C’est cette partie « obligataire » dont il s’agit ici d’éclairer les fondements dans une perspective « éthique », dans l’optique de favoriser les investissements dans les Etats menant une politique plus active de promotion des droits de l’homme. Cette étude s’inscrit dans la continuité des études élaborées en 2001, 2003 et 2005.
Abstract: Since 1969 the United Kingdom (U.K.) has attempted to resolve conflict in northern ireland through amnesty, reconciliation, and reintegration (AR2). Conflict resolution in Northern Ireland presents valuable lessons
for any student of AR2 because it is a rare example of such processes in the context of a Western liberal democracy. This discussion surveys British AR2 efforts, framing them as a case study to help with understanding how these three concepts functioned in leading to peaceful resolution.
Abstract: The international assistance to Afghanistan following the ousting of the Talibanregime
at the end of 001 has in many ways been unique. First, it has sought to
combine the immediate humanitarian and rehabilitation efforts with a longer-term
post-conflict reconstruction and development perspective. Secondly, the donor
countries at a very early stage attempted to coordinate a joint strategic approach of
harmonised efforts, including prioritisation of a limited number of selected sector
interventions by each donor. Finally, by focusing on capacity building of the new
Afghan government align#ing the donor assistance mainly through the governmentadministered
programmes, a new agenda of post-conflict assistance has been set.
The evaluation of the assistance to Afghanistan has also set new standards of collaboration.
Even before the new government had been elected, representatives of
the evaluation departments of the five donor organisations, the Danish and Dutch
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Development Cooperation of Ireland (DCI), the
Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and the United Kingdom's
Department for International Development (DfID), in 003 agreed to undertake
a joint evaluation of the Afghanistan humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.
The evaluation aimed at assessing the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact,
coherence and connectedness of the assistance identifying lessons for improving the
response by donor organisations in future complex security, humanitarian, rehabilitation
and development situations. In addition, the evaluation was also to assess the
degree to which the assistance responded to the needs of internally displaced persons
(IDPs) within Afghanistan. This report is a short version, intended for a wider audience, of the findings and
recommendations of the evaluation.
Attitudes Towards a Truth Commission for Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey // University of Ulster // Edge Hill University // Community Relations Council // European Union // European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland
Abstract: Truth commissions have become one of the most common mechanisms internationally
for societies emerging from violent division, conflict and/or a legacy of large scale human
rights abuses to deal with its past. As part of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey
(2004) we asked 1,800 people, a representative cross-section of Northern Irish society,
a series of questions designed to find out people's attitudes towards the idea of a truth
commission for Northern Ireland. Their responses constitute the basis for this report.
There has been a long-term debate in Northern Ireland, particularly within civil society,
as to the best way to deal with the legacy of the past. However, this is the first largescale
survey to focus specifically and in-depth upon the question of a possible truth
commission.1 Indeed, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first time a survey of this kind
has been undertaken anywhere in the world prior to the creation of such a body. The aim
of the research is to provide an indication of attitudes within Northern Ireland and
particular sections of the community toward issues associated with a potential truth
commission and/or other possible past-focused post-conflict mechanisms in order to
stimulate debate and inform policy in this area. The responses have been analysed in
terms of the total sample (which was chosen by an independent body to be fully
representative of the Northern Ireland population) and in relation to two key variables;
by self-declared support for Northern Ireland's five main political parties (Ulster Unionist
Party, Democratic Unionist Party, Alliance Party, Social Democratic and Labour Party
and Sinn Fein) and by self-declared religious group affiliation (Catholic, Protestant and
xe2x80x98No Religion'). These variables were chosen as a means to analyse community attitudes
toward post-conflict truth-telling processes. The main findings of the research are
Abstract: By almost any measure, the Irish peace process has been a resounding success in ending decades of violence that claimed over 3,600 lives in Northern Ireland. Car bombings, political assassinations, and sectarian murders, along with the heartbreaking stream of funerals that followed, are no longer regular occurrences in the Connecticut-sized province of 1.7 million people. Violence perpetuated by the most bigoted hardliners still occurs, but the frequency and severity have also dropped sharply in recent years. However, more than eight years after the forging of the landmark Good Friday peace agreement, which initiated a raft of comprehensive political and security reforms affecting republicans and nationalists as well as unionists and loyalists, the peace deal is again facing turbulent times. The North's politicians are jetting off this week to St. Andrews, Scotland for another "last-ditch" effort to resurrect the vexed power-sharing government that the agreement created.
Abstract: Between May 2002 and January 2003, four joint study visits to the United Kingdom and Ireland for politicians, officials and civic activists from the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict were organized by the London-based non-governmental organization Conciliation Resources. The rationale behind these visits was two-fold: to provide the participants with an opportunity to see how the United Kingdom is managing issues of ethnic diversity and conflict; and to provide an informal space for analysis and dialogue. Particular focus was placed on Northern Ireland because of the depth of the inter-communal tension that has existed there. It was felt that the participants would find it instructive to look at the ways the communities in Northern Ireland have been handling the conflict including the arrangements devised in the Belfast Agreement. It was felt that the Agreement itself provided an instructive case of how a framework can widen the parameters for finding a solution rather than narrow them. One group also made a visit to Wales to gain a different perspective on the question of devising policy to deal with ethnic diversity. In total 48 Georgians and Abkhaz, including representatives of different national communities, participated in these visits. Each of the four visits explored a different set of issues - economic matters, security matters, cultural issues such as education and language, and political and constitutional arrangements - as they related to the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland and the nature of governance between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, as well as cross border relations with the Republic of Ireland.
Abstract: The human rights situation deteriorated in numerous former Soviet republics. Independent
human rights monitoring groups, including several affiliates of the IHF, came under
attack. The Russian Federation, Belarus, and the Central Asian regimes promulgated
new legislation or changed their practices to allow these states arbitrarily to restrict the activities
of nongovernmental organizations. The leaders of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee
faced fabricated criminal charges, and in January 2006, state-controlled Russian media
falsely implicated the Moscow Helsinki Group in espionage.
Abstract: The United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers - spun with the collaboration or tolerance of Council of Europe member states, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today. In a draft resolution adopted at a meeting in Paris, based on a report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), the committee said hundreds of persons had become entrapped in this web - in some cases when they were merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation. The parliamentarians said this knowing collusion of member states took several different forms, including secretly detaining a person on European territory, capturing a person and handing them over to the US or permitting unlawful "renditions" through their airspace or across their territory. "It# has now been demonstrated incontestably, by numerous well-documented and convergent facts, that secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving European countries have taken place, such as to require in-depth inquiries and urgent responses by the executive and legislative branches of all the countries concerned," the committee said. The committee called on Council of Europe member states to review bilateral agreements signed with the United States, particularly those on the status of US forces stationed in Europe, to ensure they conformed fully to international human rights norms. The report is due for debate by the plenary Assembly - which brings together 630 parliamentarians from the 46 Council of Europe member states - in Strasbourg on 27 June 2006.
Abstract: The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation.