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Abstract: National security is normally seen in terms of military strength and internal security operations against extremists and insurgents. The upheavals that began in Tunis, and now play out from Pakistan to Morocco,. have highlighted the fact that national security is measured in terms of the politics, economics, and social tensions that shape national stability as well. It is all too clear that the wrong kind of internal security efforts, and national security spending that limits the ability to meet popular needs and expectations can do as much to undermine national security over time as outside and extremist threats.
It is equally clear that calls for democracy are at best only the prelude to dealing with critical underlying problems, pressures, and expectations. It is far from certain that even successful regime change can evolve into functional democracies and governance. Countries with no political parties and experienced leaders, with no history of checks and balances in government, with weak structure of governance led by new political figures with no administrative experience, will often descend into chaos, extremism, or a new round of authoritarianism. Even the best governments, however, are unlikely to change an economy and national infrastructure in less than half a decade, and existing demographic pressures will inevitably go on for at least the next decade.
Abstract: The Towards Enhancing the Capacity of the African Union in Mediation report is based on a seminar organised by the African Union Commission on 15 and 16 October 2009. Armed conflict is one of the greatest threats to Africa’s development. Today, many African countries are in the throes of civil conflict, several more face a heightened risk of experiencing armed violence, while others are recently emerging from protracted wars. The challenges ahead are sobering. The African Union (AU) organised a seminar entitled ‘Towards Enhancing the Capacity of the African Union in Mediation’, which was held at the Commission of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 15 and 16 October 2009. The seminar was the culmination of a series of consultations launched in late 2008, in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) and other stakeholders, to reflect on lessons learned from mediation experiences in Africa. The Addis Ababa seminar brought together policymakers, mediation experts and civil society actors to develop a more strategic approach in enhancing the AU’s mediation capacity. In so doing the participants addressed the following themes: improving the AU’s performance in mediation, consolidating and integrating the approaches of the AU and the RECs in mediation, and discussing collaboration with partners including the UN. This report provides a succinct contextual framework to capture the essence of the discussions and subsequent recommendations presented at the seminar.
Abstract: Power-sharing mechanisms play an increasingly important role in peace agreements. However, there is profound divergence over the positive effects of the inclusion of political power-sharing provisions in peace accords. Proposing power-sharing solutions may be useful for mediators to get conflict parties to the negotiating table. At the same time those mechanisms imply a number of challenges for academics and practitioners. Many critics argue that power-sharing as specific political model has only worked in particular circumstances, such as in Switzerland. Before formulating general guidelines and recommendations on powersharing in peace agreements, one has to address this critique. To this end the working paper analyses four contested favourable conditions in the power-sharing model: a small population size, a balance of population size between divided groups, territorial isolation of population groups and a common perceived security threat. Eight case studies are carried out in order to test these four favourable conditions that might influence the durability of power-sharing peace agreements. As a result, this working paper provides evidence that the durability of power-sharing peace agreements does probably not depend on these favourable conditions. It is therefore argued that power-sharing solutions in peace agreements do not seem to require particular favourable conditions to be successful and are not doomed to fail from the outset in a range of different contexts.
Abstract: The present report addresses the progress made in the implementation of the
recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report on the causes of
conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa
(A/52/871-S/1998/318). It is submitted in compliance with General Assembly
resolution 63/304, which was adopted following the Assembly’s consideration at its
sixty-third session of the Secretary-General’s progress report dated 4 August 2008
(A/63/212). The recommendations addressing economic and social factors
underlying the promotion of sustainable development are covered in the
Secretary-General’s companion report on the Implementation of the New Partnership
for Africa’s Development (A/64/204). Following introductory remarks, section II of the report provides an overview of major peace and security developments in Africa during the past year, including
the serious concerns being addressed by Africa and the international community in
order to restore, maintain and promote peace and rebuild post-conflict countries. In
section III, the report reviews progress in relation to the capacity-building needs and
increased cooperation with the African Union and subregional organizations and
provides an assessment of the United Nations support for the defence and promotion
of human rights in Africa. The report concludes that, pending the General Assemblymandated
comprehensive review of the recommendations contained in the 1998
report and of the new challenges to achieving long-term peace and sustainable
development, the international community must, more than ever, redouble its efforts
in Africa and ensure that the commitments made are effectively implemented.
Abstract: PORT-LOUIS, 25 août 2008 (IRIN) - En raison des prix élevés des vivres et des carburants, les Comores risquent d’être bientôt le théâtre de « troubles sociaux », selon un haut responsable des Nations Unies.
Le renversement du dirigeant rebelle Mohammed Bacar par le gouvernement au cours d’une opération militaire menée en mars 2008 pour reprendre le contrôle de l’île d’Anjouan avait redonné une lueur d’espoir aux [populations des] Comores, et les autorités avaient promis que cette opération permettrait d’établir la stabilité tant attendue dans les trois îles de cet archipel de l’océan Indien.
Mais au lieu de voir la fin de la série de coups d’Etats, de chamailleries politiques et de la pauvreté qui caractérisent son histoire douloureuse, l’archipel, dont la population est en colère, déçue et toujours extrêmement pauvre, se trouve de nouveau plongé dans la crise.
Abstract: Ce rapport contient des résumés sur les régions suivants: Afrique australe, Afrique de l’Est, Afrique de l’Ouest et Afrique centrale, et Afrique centrale, et aussi sur les thèmes suivantes: le double défi de la tuberculose et du VIH, circonsion masculine et préventions du VIH, epidémies latentes parmi les hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec des hommes, la consommation de drogues injectables: un facteur croissant dans plusiers épidémies de VIH de L'Afrique Subsaharienne, et signes de changements vers des comportements à moindre risque.
Abstract: The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) is the court of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), one of the most successful regional legal harmonization efforts on the Continent. Unlike the other continental regional integration groups, OHADA does not seek to conform national law to an overarching treaty and successive regulations and directives, which allow national legislature some leeway. Instead, OHADA uses the integration method of issuing binding uniform acts that automatically supercede all prior and future inconsistent national laws. With the goal of creating a secure, simple and modern legal framework for the conduct of business in Africa, OHADA has issued eight uniform acts on general commercial law, commercial companies and economic interest groups, securities, arbitration, simplified recovery procedures and measures of execution, collective insolvency and accounting.
Abstract: WE, the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African
Unity, meeting at the Thirty-sixth Ordinary Session of our Assembly and the
4th Ordinary Session of the African Economic Community in Lome, Togo
from 10 to 12 July 2000, have undertaken a critical review of the socioeconomic
situation of the 33 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa.
WE NOTE with concern that the socio-economic situation in these countries
has continued to deteriorate, and that this situation has been exacerbated by
external debt, inadequate infrastructure facilities#, as well as by conflicts in
some regions and natural disasters like cyclones, floods, and drought in
others, leading to a rising level of poverty.
Abstract: To oversee the implementation and interpretation of the COMESA agreement, the Treaty established a Court of Justice, modeled on the European Court of Justice. Like the European Court of Justice, the COMESA Court of Justice can be seized of a matter by one of several ways. First, a member State may bring another member State or the Council before the Court for breach of the Treaty or failure to fulfill an obligation thereunder. Providing the Common Market with independent monitoring and enforcement power, the Treaty permits the Secretary General (with the agreement of the Council) also to bring a member State before the Court for failure to fulfill its Treaty obligations. Like the European Court of Justice, the COMESA Courtxc3xads decisions have precedence over any decisions of national courts.
Abstract: On 11 October 2005, I received a letter from the President of the Union of the
Comoros, Azali Asoumani, relating to the reconciliation process in his country. He
particularly underscored the need to take the necessary steps to ensure the proper
conduct of the presidential elections scheduled for April-May 2006. These elections
fall in line with the rotating presidency of the archipelago. President Azali stated that
the political context prevailing in Anjouan, where the presidential primaries will be
held, is still unsettled and vigilance is required. Although Anjouan is institutionally
part of the Union of the Comoros, the Union has no civil or military administration on
that island, and therefore does not exert control over it. Indeed, the Union cannot
guarantee the safety of elections in Anjouan. Accordingly, President Azali requested
the AU, in conjunction with the UN and the international community, to take full
charge of the electoral process in his country.
Abstract: The Union of Comoros is an emerging democracy ruled by President Azali Assoumani, who took power in a coup in 1999 and subsequently was elected in 2002 presidential elections described by international observers as free and fair. The country consists of three islands (Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli) and claims a fourth, Mayotte, which is governed by France. There were several active political parties, which were divided roughly into two groups: Those affiliated with the Union Government, and those affiliated with the governments of the individual islands. Legislative elections took place in March to elect island government assemblies on each of the three islands and, in April, to elect members of the National Assembly. International observers considered these elections to be free and fair. Work on the law to determine the power sharing structure between the island governments and Union Government had not been completed by year's end. The judiciary was independent.
There are four separate security forces that reported to three different authorities: The Gendarmerie and Comorian Defense Force, which reported directly to Union President Azali and had responsibility for internal and external security on the islands of Grande Comore and Moheli; a police force in and around the capital Moroni that reported to Union President Azali and was responsible for law enforcement and immigration; a local police force on Grande Comore that reported to Grande Comore President Abdou Soule Elbak; and a combined Gendarmerie and police force on the island of Anjouan that reported to Anjouan island president Colonel Mohamed Bacar. The Union Government does not have a police or military presence on Anjouan. The civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. Some members of the security forces committed human rights abuses.
Abstract: Politics in the 1960s were dominated by a social and economic elite--largely descendants of the precolonial sultanate ruling families--which was conservative and pro-French. During Comoros' period of self-government as an overseas department, there were two main conservative political groupings: the Parti Vert (Green Party), which later became known as the Comoros Democratic Union (Union Démocratique des Comores--UDC), and the Parti Blanc (White Party), later reconstituted as the Democratic Assembly of the Comoran People (Rassemblement Démocratique du Peuple Comorien-- RDPC). Dr. Said Mohamed Cheikh, president of the Parti Vert and of the Governing Council, was, until his death in 1970, the most important political leader in the islands. The Parti Blanc, under Prince Said Ibrahim, provided the opposition, endorsing a progressive program that included land reform and a loosening of the monopoly on Comoran cash crops enjoyed by the foreign-owned plantation sociétés. The second most powerful member of the Parti Vert, Ahmed Abdallah, a wealthy plantation owner and representative to the French National Assembly, succeeded Cheikh as president of the Governing Council soon after Cheikh died.
Abstract: In February 1982, Comoros became a one-party state. The government designated Abdallah's newly formed Comoran Union for Progress (Union Comorienne pour le Progrxc3xa8s--UCP) as the republic's sole political party. Although unaffiliated individuals could run for local and national office, the only party that could organize on behalf of candidates henceforth would be the UCP. In March 1982 elections, all but one of Abdallah's handpicked UCP candidates won. UCP candidates likewise dominated the May 1983 National Assembly elections, and opposition candidates attempting to stand for election in balloting for the three islands' legislative councils in July were removed from the lists by the Ministry of Interior. Abdallah himself was elected to a second six-year term as head of state in September 1984, winning more than 99 percent of the vote as the sole candidate. During the National Assembly elections of March 22, 1987, the Abdallah regime arrested 400 poll watchers from opposition groups. A state radio announcement that one non-UCP delegate had been elected was retracted the next day.