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Abstract: Nearly three generations of Angolans have been at war for 41 years. Together with the destruction of most of the country’s infrastructure, the social capital of Angola’s communities was damaged during one of the longest wars in Africa, a war that was preceded by 500 years of slavery and colonialisation. The war resulted in 500,000 to 1 million war-related deaths; hundreds of thousands of people were directly affected by the armed conflict; there were major internal population displacements of approximately 4.5 million people throughout the country, and approximately 400,000 thousand people fled to neighbouring countries as refugees. Throughout this process, people suffered enormous physical and emotional damage, families were separated; communities were repeatedly fragmented and dispersed. The institutional capacity to design and implement projects of collective interest was crippled. The infrastructure to deliver social services such as health and education was largely destroyed. There are an estimated 2-7 million landmines scattered across Angola; the road network is in tatters, and food production remains below minimum levels of food security.
The level of vulnerability among the general population in Angola is one of the highest in the world. A greater percentage of Angolan people are at risk of disease and destitution than in virtually any other African country. In January 2004, more than 20 percent of the entire population (4 million) was still displaced and at least 10 percent dependent on external assistance to survive. Of the displaced peoples, 65 percent were under the age of 15, with women and children making up more than 80 percent of the total. Displaced and refugee/returnee women and girls are particularly vulnerable to the effects of violence and poverty. Amongst the most vulnerable in this group, are the girls who were separated from their families during the armed conflict. In this group, the formerly abducted girl soldiers are the most excluded and most vulnerable.
Abstract: This paper identifies the factors linked to cross-country differentials in growth performance in the aftermath of social conflict for 30 sub-Saharan African countries using panel data techniques. Our results show that changes in the terms of trade are the most important correlate of economic performance in post-conflict environments. This variable is typically associated with an increase in the marginal probability of positive economic performance by about 30 percent. Institutional quality emerges as the second most important factor. Foreign aid is shown to have very limited ability to explain differentials in growth performance, and other policy variables such as trade openness are not found to have a statistically significant effect. The results suggest that exogenous factors ("luck") are an important factor in post-conflict recovery. They also highlight the importance in post-conflict settings of policies to mitigate the macroeconomic impact of terms of trade volatility (including countercyclical macroeconomic policies and innovative financing instruments) and of policies to promote export diversification.
Abstract: This report, Angola: 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: 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: 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: 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: The Angolan government carried out an intimidation campaign in connection with an announced anti-government demonstration that was inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia, Human Rights Watch said today.
The government warned in the weeks leading up to the protest, which was announced for March 7, 2011, that anyone who joined would be punished for inciting violence and attempting to return the country to civil war. Police arrested several demonstrators and journalists the night before the event. The announced demonstration did not take place.
Human Rights Watch also expressed concern at anonymous death threats against opposition politicians and human rights lawyers, arbitrary arrests of journalists and activists, and misuse of the state media for partisan political purposes. The government and ruling party officials used baseless claims of possible violence, including an imminent outbreak of civil war, to deter people from participating in the demonstration, Human Rights Watch said.
Abstract: Poor conflict-affected countries tend to have large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, in at least some cases, large numbers of refugees. But the figures should be treated with caution; in some cases, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, governments simply decided that there are no longer IDPs, even if in fact many of those displaced by the conflicts have yet to find durable solutions. It is important to note that displacement is not confined to poor conflict affected states, but it is also a characteristic of some middle income countries, some of which have stable governments, such as Georgia, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.
This report was prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011. It explores patterns of displacement and the linkages between armed conflict and education. Some recommendations include:
• That UN agencies and civil society organizations provide necessary technical support to governments to adopt the necessary laws and policies to ensure that IDPs and refugees have access to education.
• That UN agencies, NGOs and bilateral donors ensure that programs developed to provide education to IDPs and refugees take into consideration the broader context of DACs, for example in ensuring that host and return communities are supported in their efforts to provide educational opportunities to the displaced or returnees.
• That GMR highlight the importance of humanitarian and development actors working together to develop ways to re-establish educational systems in post-conflict settings.
Abstract: Violence and everyday insecurity are amongst the root causes of poverty: a simple and true statement that has at last been
acknowledged in several international agreements, including the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence (2008) and Dili Declaration
(2010). Several new funding mechanisms have even been established to support efforts to reduce violence, including
those that address the special security needs of excluded groups, women, youth and children. What recent policies have failed
to adequately consider, however, is that poor and dispossessed people often perceive the state as a perpetrator or accomplice -
whether by active complicity or passive omission – in the violence visited upon them. For policymakers and practitioners eager
to move beyond top-down approaches to reducing insecurity and violence, this policy briefing offers insights into how local
residents can be directly involved in finding solutions for their security and livelihood needs. Research from a range of contexts
characterised by violence and everyday insecurity suggests that external actors can help to broaden spaces where citizens can
take action in non-violent, socially legitimate ways, but that success depends on gaining a locally nuanced understanding of the
complex relationship between violent and non-violent actors, and between forms of everyday violence and political violence.
Abstract: This policy brief describes the important linkages between land rights and landmines in conflict-affected
contexts. Its purpose is to deepen awareness within the broader mine action and development communities
about these linkages, and provide guidance on how to effectively mainstream land rights issues into
mine action operations.
Land rights in conflict-affected situations are a topic
of increasing concern for the humanitarian and
development community. The recovery of households,
communities and countries following war depend to
a large degree on re-establishing clear rights over
land resources which are the basis of livelihoods.
The land rights situation becomes particularly critical
in mine-affected countries, where land access can
be denied for years or decades. Mine action organisations
(i.e. National Mine Action Authorities, National
Mine Action Centres, mine/ERW operators
and mine action donors) typically avoid land rights
issues in their activities, due to considerations of
neutrality, mandate, complexity, awareness and
political sensitivity. However the decision to survey
and clear (or not) particular areas inevitably involves
land rights issues.
This policy brief is based on a series of country case
studies (Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Cambodia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and Yemen)
commissioned by the Geneva International Centre
for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), as well as
presentations and discussions that took place at an
international workshop organised by the GICHD
in October 2010. It also draws on the extensive
land and conflict related research and policy work
carried out by the Overseas Development Institute,
UN-HABITAT, academics and others.
Abstract: This report presents the analysis and recommendations
of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa
Center in cooperation with the On the Horizon Project
to advance U.S. strategic interests in West Africa. Unaddressed problems of poor governance, severe poverty,
widespread public corruption, and growing insecurity from the
presence of criminal and militant enterprises engaged in theft,
terrorism, trafficking, piracy, poaching, and pollution will
continue to punish local populations and create conditions
of instability that undermine public order from greater levels
of armed confl ict and mass migration and threaten the
reliable flow of oil from the region. As noted in a recent United
Nations report, the “combination of coups from the top and
insurgencies from below render West Africa in the opinion of
the UN the least politically stable region in the world.” While this report focuses on the maritime
domain, the Atlantic Council approaches the regional
security challenges from a broad perspective. Security
issues are holistic and must be addressed as such. The
dynamics and consequences of insecurity in the maritime
domain are part of a wider, more complex political and
security dynamic encompassing rule of law, governance,
public capacities, and economic and human development
across geographic, societal, and national domains. Just
as the causes, manifestations, and consequences
of insecurity are comprehensive, so too must be the
preventatives and remedies.
This document provides a broad strategic-level analysis
and corresponding recommendations for action that can,
and we believe should, be supported and implemented
by U.S. and allied policymakers, African leaders, and key
Abstract: Militias, rebels and Islamist militants: human insecurity and state crises in Africa explores how armed non-state groups have emerged as key players in African politics and armed conflicts since the 1990s. The book is a critical, multidisciplinary and comprehensive study of the threats that militias, rebels and Islamist militants pose to human security and the state in Africa. Through case studies utilising multidisciplinary approaches and concepts, analytical frameworks and perspectives cutting across the social sciences and humanities, the book conceptualises armed non-state groups in Africa through their links to the state. After contextualising these groups in history, culture, economics, politics, law and other factors, a systematic effort is made to locate their roots in group identity, social deprivation, resource competition, elite manipulations, the youth problématique, economic decline, poor political leadership and governance crisis. Differentiating militias from insurgents, rebel groups and extremist religious movements, the book illustrates how some of the groups have sustained themselves, undermining both human security and the state capacity to provide it. The responses to their threats by local communities, states, regional mechanisms and initiatives, and the international communities are analysed. The findings provide a conceptual reference for scholars and practical recommendations for policymakers.
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: Pillage means theft during war. Although the prohibition against pillage dates to the Roman Empire, pillaging is a modern war crime that can be enforced before international and domestic criminal courts. Following World War II, several businessmen were convicted for commercial pillage of natural resources. And although pillage has been prosecuted in recent years, commercial actors are seldom held accountable for their role in fuelling conflict.
Reviving corporate liability for pillaging natural resources is not simply about protecting property rights during conflict—it can also play a significant role in preventing atrocity. Since the end of the Cold War, the illegal exploitation of natural resources has become a prevalent means of financing conflict. In countries including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, and Sierra Leone, the illicit trade in natural resources has not only created incentives for violence, but has also furnished warring parties with the finances necessary to sustain some of the most brutal hostilities in recent history.
Abstract: In the wake of the discovery of three mass graves in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in late 2005, the United Nations first announced its intention to send a human rights team to conduct a mapping exercise in DRC in a June 2006 report to the Security Council. The mapping exercise began in July 2008. Between October 2008 and May 2009, a total of 33 staff worked on the project in the DRC (including Congolese and international human rights experts). Of these, some 20 human rights officers were deployed across the country, operating out of five field offices, to gather documents and information from witnesses to meet the three objectives defined in the terms of reference. The report was submitted to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in June 2009 for review, comments and finalisation.
The mapping team's 550-page report contains descriptions of 617 alleged violent incidents occurring in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003. Each of these incidents points to the possible commission of gross violations of human rights and/or international humanitarian law. Each of the incidents listed is backed up by at least two independent sources identified in the report. As serious as they may be, uncorroborated incidents claimed by one single source are not included. Over 1,500 documents relating to human rights violations committed during this period were gathered and analysed with a view to establishing an initial chronology by region of the main violent incidents reported. Only incidents meeting a 'gravity threshold' set out in the methodology were considered. Field mapping teams met with over 1,280 witnesses to corroborate or invalidate the violations listed in the chronology. Information was also collected on previously undocumented crimes.
Abstract: Le Secrétaire général, dans son rapport du 13 juin 2006 au Conseil de sécurité sur
la situation en RDC, a exprimé son intention d’« envoyer une équipe de spécialistes des
droits de l’homme en République démocratique du Congo pour y dresser l’inventaire des
violations graves qui y ont été commises entre 1993 et 2003 ». Le rapport du Projet Mapping comprend une description de plus de 600 incidents
violents survenus sur le territoire de la RDC entre mars 1993 et juin 2003. Chacun de ces
incidents suggère la possibilité que de graves violations des droits de l’homme ou du
droit international humanitaire aient été commises. Chacun des incidents répertoriés
s’appuie sur au moins deux sources indépendantes identifiées dans le rapport. Un incident
non corroboré – s’appuyant sur une seule source - aussi grave soit-il, ne fait pas partie du
présent rapport. Plus de 1 500 documents relatifs aux violations des droits de l’homme
commises durant cette période ont été rassemblés et analysés en vue d’établir une
première chronologie par province des principaux incidents violents rapportés. Seuls les
incidents dont le niveau de gravité était suffisamment élevé selon l’échelle de gravité
développée dans la méthodologie ont été retenus. Par la suite, les Équipes Mapping sur le
terrain ont rencontré plus de 1 280 témoins en vue de corroborer ou d’infirmer les
violations répertoriées dans la chronologie. Au cours de ces entretiens, des informations
ont également été recueillies sur des crimes jamais documentés auparavant.
Abstract: The present document is part of the second phase of the Democratisation and Transitional Justice Cluster of
the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP) project. The paper focuses on the case study of Angola and aims to analyse
whether the international community’s engagement in Angola is transforming, or rather reinforcing, the current
status quo of state-society relations.
The study is based on the results of the first phase of research on the situation of state-society relations in Angola.
The objective is to analyse the international community’s contribution, with particular attention to the EU, to
improving (or reinforcing the existing) state-society relations in Angola; taking into account official development
cooperation, especially projects aiming to promote good governance, as well as economic engagement and
The paper argues that the impact of international donors’ engagement in the field of governance and state-society
relations appears to be quite limited and driven by the Angolan elite’s interests, rather than being supportive of
concrete governance reforms or improving the political and economic participation of the population and more
fluent state-society relations. Furthermore, the economic interests of foreign actors in Angola seem to override the
commitment to achieve good governance and transparency. In particular, the international community’s diplomatic
and economic engagement appears to reinforce, rather than doing anything to improve, the current state-society
relations in the de-facto authoritarian system. Although there are important entry points for international actors
to exert a positive influence, what is crucial but still absent is a deeper level of donor commitment; from global
powers and diplomatic representations as well as private and public companies and financial entities, in order
to overcome the huge gap between state elite and population and bring about real democratic change and
consolidation in Angola.
Abstract: The Angolan peace process was far from typical, and the country’s road to reconstruction is also unlike that of other African conflicts and post-conflict scenarios. The government has had a firm grasp on the process, exerting leadership from the very start, and no formal reconciliation process was required for two primary reasons: firstly, the war ended with a clear military victory by one side, and, secondly, the population was exhausted after decades of conflict, creating a widespread desire for peace. Although the context of “energy realpolitik” undermines the capacity of foreign actors to influence state-society relations, another factor needs to be taken into account: Angola’s internal will to improve the country’s international image and to become a regional power.
Abstract: The will and the capacity of the United Nations (UN)
and Member States to deal with natural resource fuelled
conflicts is weak. In eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), civilians die on a daily
basis because of a war that is stoked by the
international trade in minerals. The conflict’s
economic dimension and the identity of those
fuelling it have been known for many years; yet
increased awareness of the problem has not triggered
effective action. When the UN Security Council
passes resolutions concerning DRC – on targeted
sanctions for example – Council members and other
governments decline to implement them.
Global Witness believes that these failings on the
DRC reflect the lack of a coherent and committed
international approach to tackling natural resourcefuelled
conflicts. For two decades, the UN, other
intergovernmental bodies and individual
governments have been forced to respond to these
kinds of self-financing wars in countries such as
Angola, Cambodia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte
d’Ivoire. Different policies have been tried, with
varying degrees of success, but no serious attempt
has been made to distil from these experiences a
common understanding of the problem and a
strategy for dealing with it.
Reviewing these cases, we find that the international
peace and security system is poorly equipped to deal
with the challenges they pose. When considered
together, the four key entry points for international
action – sanctions, peacemaking, peacekeeping and
peacebuilding – should offer the basis for effective
action. However, despite progress in some areas, the
overall picture is one of ad hoc decision making
and yawning gaps in institutional capacity and
Global Witness is calling on the UN to establish
a High Level Panel to draw up a comprehensive
strategy for tackling self-financing wars. This
High Level Panel should review existing
international experience of responding to such
conflicts. It should also examine potential threats
in countries such as Guinea, Somalia and Central
Abstract: In order for fragile states and the concept of state weakness to be properly understood, they need to be considered in the contexts of political economy and world history.
Four apparently disparate cases – Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo and Angola – show surprising similarities, and highlight common lessons for international state-building efforts. In all four cases, behind a façade of ‘normal’ state institutions, public life and development are increasingly subject to shadow economies and shadow forces with strong international linkages.
There are unfortunately no existing remedies for state weakness. However, methods of improvement should include autonomous non-state actors, sustained efforts to build state capacities and restore the fabric of society, and significantly improved governance of global flows.
Abstract: By all indications, and from the evidence gathered
for this year’s Diamonds and Human
Security Annual Review, the Kimberley Process
(KP), designed to halt and prevent the return
of “conflict diamonds”, is failing. The cost of a
collapse would be disastrous for an industry
that benefits so many countries, and for the
millions of people in developing countries who
depend, directly and indirectly on it. A criminalized
diamond economy would re-emerge
and conflict diamonds could soon follow. The
problems can and must be fixed.
Accountability is the primary issue. There is no
KP central authority. The “chair” rotates annually
and has virtually no responsibility beyond a
convening function. Problems are shifted from
one “working group” to another; debates on
vital issues extend for years. “Consensus” in
the KP means that everyone must agree; a single
dissenter can block forward movement.
Nobody takes responsibility for action or inaction,
failure or success; the Kimberley Process
has no core body apart from its annual “plenary
meeting” and thus nobody is held responsible
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
(KPCS) has a peer review mechanism which
reviews each member’s compliance roughly
once every three years. Some reviews are thorough
and recommendations are heeded. In
many cases, however, recommendations are
ignored, and there is little or no follow-up —
this has been the case in the past with DRC
and Angola. And, as this Annual Review notes,
some reviews are completely bogus. In 2008, a
bloated, nine-member team visited Guinea, a
country beset by corruption, weak diamond
controls, and almost certain smuggling. The
team spent less than two hours outside the
capital and its report remained unfinished for
almost 11 months. A team visited Venezuela in
2008 but its makeup, agenda and itinerary
were dictated entirely by the Venezuelan government.
NGOs were barred and there were no visits to mining areas or border towns.
Zimbabwe, rife with smuggling and gross diamond-
related human rights abuse, consumed
months of ineffectual internal KP debate. In the
end, the KP agreed on a review mission, but only
after being publicly shamed into action by NGO
and media reports. The result is a lowest-common-
denominator “consensus” and continuing
Abstract: This project argues that the current model of state-building is deeply flawed and
that an alternative model may work better. It hews to a middle ground between the critics:
successful state-building may be possible, but only if the international community adopts
a different framework. Key to successful state-building, I argue, is restoring the
legitimacy of the state’s monopoly of violence. The current model implicitly rests on a
formal-legal conception of legitimacy in which law or institutions confer authority on
officials, who then employ that authority to create a social order. But a formal-legal
approach, however well suited to established states governed by a rule of law, is
inappropriate in the anarchy of a failed state. Precisely because the prior regime has lost
its legitimacy, there is no accepted legal or institutional framework that can confer
authority on a nascent government, no matter how democratic. I develop an alternative,
relational conception of legitimacy drawn from social contract theories of the state.2 In
this approach, authority derives from a mutually-beneficial contract in which the ruler
provides a social order of benefit to the ruled, and the ruled in turn comply with the
extractions (e.g., taxes) and constraints on their behavior (e.g., law) that are necessary to
the production of that order. The contract becomes self-enforcing – or legitimate – when individuals and groups become “vested” in that social order by undertaking investments
specific to the particular contract. In this way, legitimacy follows from social order, not
the other way around as in the current model. This implies that providing security,
protecting property rights, and adjudicating disputes within society should be the first
step in any state-building process. This paper proceeds in five principal sections. The first examines the concepts of
state failure and state-building, arguing for a new focus on rebuilding state legitimacy.
Section II probes and criticizes the intellectual foundations of the current model and
practice of state-building. I then develop an alternative analytic foundation and model that rests of a relational conception of authority in Section III. I develop the role of
international trustees in the state-building process and examine further the tensions
identified above in Section IV. The final section examines the case of Somalia. Other
cases are planned for future research.
Abstract: For many decades, war and other kinds of violence brought
wretchedness and early death to millions of Angolans. What
difference has Western action or inaction made for the war affected?
Have donors helped or hindered their empowerment?
This short paper explores these questions. Its findings should
be read as approximate and provisional, however, given the low
and uneven quality of available information. Some findings are
valid only for specific historical moments. In recent decades,
Angola has passed through several ‘post-conflict’ situations.
Donors responded differently to each one, as their political
purposes changed and their leverage grew weaker.The terrain
of victimisation shifted as tides of overt and structural violence
left sedimentary layers of disadvantage and privilege. This
paper, therefore, offers an analysis of today’s post-war trends
in empowerment and disempowerment against a backdrop of
earlier waves of conflict in Angola’s troubled history.
Abstract: For years, as a former Cold War battleground, Angola has stood out on world league tables of ‘failed’ or ‘failing’ states. Yet its army has a formidable record of domestic and foreign combat. Its national oil company is of world class. In recent years its economy has grown at a feverish annual rate of 18 percent. Its government has successfully ended 40 years of violent conflict, consolidated its political base and negotiated profitable deals with major public and private bodies of the United States, Europe and China. For such a country, how valid is the label ‘failed state’?
In light of this seeming paradox, this paper addresses several critical questions. What are the historical roots of conflict in Angola, and of its weak and uneven state and political institutions? How deeply is Angola’s political economy integrated into international systems, and what aspects of that integration help explain both the weaknesses and strengths of state and political institutions? What formal and informal forces and incentives are at work in Angola’s territorial political economy that affect state and political resilience and weakness?
It concludes by suggesting ways European and other international decision-makers might look afresh at notions of state weakness in general, and their relevance to the case of Angola in particular.
Abstract: This fourth edition of the Yearbook on Peace Processes 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 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; and 5) a list of websites where the conflict can be monitored. 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.