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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: Why do some armed groups commit wartime rape on a large scale, while others never turn to sexual violence? Although scholars and policymakers have made many claims about the rates, severity and locations of wartime sexual violence, there have been few systematic efforts to gather data on sexual violence during conflict. Using an original dataset, I examine the incidence of sexual violence by both insurgent groups and state actors during civil wars between 1980-2009. I first establish that there is substantial variation in the severity of wartime sexual violence, both across and within conflicts. I then use the data in a statistical analysis to test a series of competing hypotheses about the causes of wartime sexual violence. I find strong evidence that the choice of recruitment mechanism—namely, whether the armed group abducted or press-ganged its members—predicts the use of sexual violence. I maintain that this finding supports an argument about the use of rape as a method of combatant socialization, in which members of armed groups who are recruited by force use rape to create and to maintain unit cohesion. I also find that contraband funding and genocide predict sexual violence by insurgents. Notably, there is no support for several common explanations for wartime sexual violence, including ethnic war and gender inequality. Drawing on data from the Sierra Leone civil war, I examine the observable implications of the proposed mechanism on the micro level in a brief case study. The results undermine conventional wisdom on the causes of sexual violence and suggest that multiple mechanisms may be at work in understanding wartime sexual violence.
Abstract: L’arrivée au pouvoir du président élu Ouattara ne doit pas masquer la réalité. La Côte d’Ivoire reste un pays fragile et instable. Les atrocités commises après le second tour de l’élection présidentielle du 28 novembre 2010 et la tentative de confiscation par tous les moyens du pouvoir perdu dans les urnes par Laurent Gbagbo ont renforcé les tensions communautaires déjà très vives. Les prochains mois seront cruciaux. Il appartient au nouveau gouvernement de ne pas sous-estimer les menaces qui pèseront pendant longtemps sur la paix et de rompre avec la légèreté et l’ivresse du pouvoir qui ont conduit le pays à des choix désastreux au cours des deux dernières décennies. La communauté internationale doit maintenir un regard attentif sur la période actuelle de transition et jouer sa partition dans les domaines de la sécurité, de l’économie et de la coordination de la réponse humanitaire. Le président doit prendre des décisions courageuses dans les registres de la sécurité, de la justice, du dialogue politique, du redémarrage économique et intégrer un élément de réconciliation dans chacun de ces domaines.
Abstract: Africa’s Great Lakes region has known conflict for a considerable period of time, and this has been met with several initiatives aimed at managing the situation in a sustainable way. One such initiative was the Multi-country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (MDRP), led by the World Bank, from 2002 to 2009. The initiative, which looked at selected countries in the Great Lakes, focussed on the demobilisation and reintegration of former fighters, with the main objective being to improve the livelihoods of affected communities. Despite the challenges that the MDRP encountered, the programme realised a number of successes and brought to the fore numerous lessons learned. It is these lessons that this monograph has sought to document, with the hope of contributing to the better planning of similar programmes in future. The monograph uses case studies of the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo to illustrate how the MDRP was implemented, while Liberia is included as a control case.
Abstract: People become refugees for many
reasons, not least because of violent
civil conflicts in which ordinary citizens
are the greatest victims. This has
led to large numbers of women,
men and children being forced to
seek sanctuary in their neighbouring
countries and further afield. These
people can remain displaced for years,
or even decades. Some may fear that
the prolonged presence of refugees
will have a negative impact on their
community or country.
In reality, if given the opportunity to
integrate and belong, former refugees
are able to be self-reliant and to
contribute socially and economically,
in many cases becoming an asset to
their host States.
Local integration is one of the
three ‘durable solutions’ for refugees
developed by the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), in partnership
with host and origin countries. The
other durable solutions are voluntary
repatriation to the refugees’ country
of origin, and resettlement in a third
country. Local integration is particularly relevant
when people cannot return to their
country of origin in a foreseeable
future, or have developed strong
ties with their host communities
through business or marriage. It
is based on the assumption that
refugees will remain in their country
of asylum permanently and find
a solution to their plight in that
State, possibly but not necessarily
though acquiring citizenship.
Local integration is all about
partnerships and collaboration
between agencies and countries in
the pursuit of collective solutions.
Ultimately, however, both the vision
and leadership of host governments
and the support of the international
community are critical to the
ongoing success of local integration
Abstract: What role do women play in statebuilding? How do statebuilding processes affect women's participation? Support for statebuilding has become the dominant model for international engagement in post-conflict contexts, yet donor approaches lack substantial gender analysis and are missing opportunities to promote gender equality. This paper presents findings from a research project on the impact of post-conflict statebuilding on women's citizenship. It argues that gender inequalities are linked to the underlying political settlement, and that donors must therefore address gender as a fundamentally political issue.
Abstract: Côte d'Ivoire security forces and a state-backed militia are creating a climate of fear that is preventing hundreds of thousands of people displaced by post-election violence from returning to their homes, Amnesty International said in a report released today.
"We want to go home, but we can't" Côte d'Ivoire's continuing crisis of displacement and insecurity describes how ethnically targeted killings and attacks by the government security forces and a militia composed of Dozos - traditional hunters - have left the population unable to leave the relative safety of temporary camps.
"The stalemate that is keeping more than half a million people from their homes cannot be allowed to continue," said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International's West Africa researcher.
"The authorities must act to establish a clear chain of command and disband militia groups who, despite the end of the conflict, continue to spread fear among the population."
Amnesty International's report details how government security forces and the Dozo continued to kill and otherwise target people solely because of their ethnic group even after the inauguration of President Alassane Ouattara.
Abstract: Following allegations of human rights violations against Gambian human rights defenders
and a public statement made by President Jammeh in 2009 threatening to kill anyone who
sought to sabotage and destabilise his Government, in particular human rights defenders
and those who support them, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International
Federation for Human Rights, in the framework of their joint programme,
the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, decided to send a fact-finding
mission to The Gambia.
The objective of the mission, which took place from May 2 to 11, 2010, was to assess the situation of human rights defenders, by drawing a panorama of the main actors of the civil society
operating in the country - both defenders of civil and political rights and economic social
and cultural rights - and the risks they face in carrying out their activities.
To that end, the mission was mandated to collect first hand information and testimonies on
the working environment of Gambian human rights defenders including NGO members,
trade-unionists and journalists as well as the effective enjoyment of their rights and notably
their freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, their rights to a fair trial and
to an effective remedy.
Abstract: The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has witnessed
unprecedented civil unrest since 16 February
2011. As the security situation deteriorated and
casualties mounted, many countries called on
their citizens to leave the country.
Before the crisis, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
reportedly hosted over 2.5 million migrant workers
from neighbouring countries, as well as Africa and
Asia. Thousands of these workers have fled the
country since the outbreak of violence, and many
governments have requested assistance from the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) to
ensure the safe and timely return home of their
nationals. As of 28 May, over 885,600 persons,
including Libyans, have crossed the Libyan border,
with thousands more waiting to cross the border
or stranded at sea and in airports.
The purpose of this report is to provide a cumulative
overview of the evacuation operations of IOM and
its partners over the past three months through
28 May, supplemented with graphs and photos to
provide more detail. In addition to the macro-level
information, highlights of activities and caseload at
the country level are also presented in subsequent
sections. The report’s final section gives a human
face to the crisis through the personal accounts
of migrants and TCNs who benefited from IOM
Abstract: The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.
Abstract: Countries emerging from protracted and devastating conflicts are often seen as needing significant external intervention in their financial markets to rebuild their private sector and promote quick and effective economic recovery. Despite enormous challenges, the provision of credit or the implementation of various lending schemes often dominate efforts to promote domestic private-sector recovery in the immediate aftermath of conflict. This approach raises a number of questions: First, how effective are loan programs in the development of domestic enterprises in the immediate aftermath of conflicts? Second, can loan programs work without significant improvements in the business climate? How sensitive is the design of lending programs to the success of domestic enterprise development projects following devastating conflicts? This paper explores the experience of the Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company, which was established in 2007 to provide medium-and long0term credit to small and medium domestic enterprises. In addition to shedding light on the challenges such an enterprise faces in a post conflict environment, the paper explores whether the strategies employed are effective and if there are opportunities for effecting remedial changes that could improve the outcomes of such a program in post-conflict environments generally.
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 is Security Council Report’s fourth Cross-Cutting Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Nine months have passed since our third report came out in late October 2010, but much has happened in the area of protection of civilians during this period. The crisis in Libya and the post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire stand out as two of the most important protection challenges for the Security Council. But there were also continuing protection concerns in other situations such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Somalia and Sudan. Most recently, the situations in Syria and Yemen have caused growing concern among many Council members.
The present report involves a change to our cycle of reporting. Our previous cross-cutting reports were published every 12 months towards the end of the year. The rationale for changing the cycle flows from the fact that our statistical analysis compares calendar years, so it seemed that an earlier publication date each year would make more sense and be more useful to our readers. Our intention had also been to publish this report in time for the Security Council’s open debate on protection of civilians in May. But unfortunately this became impossible when the date of the debate was moved forward at the last minute. The result of this change in timing is that the present report covers less ground than our previous ones on this issue, although the statistical analysis still covers one full calendar year. In the future, we will be publishing a report every 12 months. Our next cross-cutting report on protection of civilians can therefore be expected in the first half of 2012.
Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has warned that Guinea Bissau is being undermined
by prolific drug trafficking, making the situation in that country a threat to West
Africa’s stability. Cocaine consignments are carried by ships and planes from South America to West Africa where they are unloaded at abandoned airstrips in the islands off Guinea Bissau or dropped at sea and picked up by small boats en route to Guinea Bissau. The trafficking of cocaine through the West African region indicates a new pivot point in the trafficking route to Europe, marking a shift from using traditional routes such as the Iberian Peninsula, extreme south west of Europe that includes Spain, Portugal, and a small part of France, and the Caribbean, to Europe and America.
Abstract: This report, Senegal: 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, Ghana: 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: I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples.
Abstract: Following the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Côte d’Ivoire, on 11 April
2011, dozens of individuals have been arrested and are detained arbitrarily, without charge
or trial, in circumstances that contravene international fair trial standards.
An Amnesty International delegation that has just come back from a two week visit in Côte
d’Ivoire has interviewed on 15 June 2011 20 of 38 individuals who were held under a
restrictive form of house arrest at the Hotel Nouvelle Pergola (the Pergola) in Abidjan for
some two months. On 18 June 2011, 17 of them were released without charge. In the north
of the country, Laurent Gbagbo, his wife Simone Gbagbo, and Pascal Affi N’guessan, the
president of Laurent Gbagbo’s political party, the Ivoirian Popular Front (FPI), are being held
under house arrest in detention centres in Korhogo, Odienné and Bouna, respectively. A
number of military and police personnel are also being held in a military camp Korhogo, in
conditions that may be life-threatening. Unfortunately, despite several requests, the
organization was not given permission to visit individuals imprisoned or subject to house
arrest in Korhogo, Odienné and Bouna.
On 16 June 2011 Amnesty International has been able to discuss these cases in meetings
with the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General (Procureur de la République) and with
Young Jin Choi, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte
d’Ivoire and officials of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) at their
headquarters in Abidjan. Amnesty International remains concerned, however, that the
detentions do not meet international fair trial standards.
Abstract: Faced with vast post-war challenges, the government has made great strides in
rebuilding institutions and infrastructure, promoting development, providing basic
health and education, and respecting its citizens’ rights, as seen most recently in
the second poverty reduction strategy in the Agenda for Change.
However, despite important progress on many fronts, Sierra Leone is plagued by
corruption; poverty-related socio-economic rights violations; violence against
women; violations of children’s rights; impunity for past crimes against humanity;
justice system weaknesses; non-implementation of crucial Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC) recommendations; and the looming threat of ethnic violence.
The absence of a clear land policy, appropriate demarcation of land, proper
registration of land and record keeping has caused disputes and violent attacks,
fuelling tensions between returned refugees and resettled IDPs over land.
In this submission, prepared for the UN Universal Periodic Review of Sierra Leone
in May 2011, Amnesty International expresses concerns in relation to the overall
human rights situation, in particular challenges within the justice sector and the
police, violations of children’s rights, gender based violence, and maternal mortality
and morbidity. Amnesty International is also concerned about impunity for past
human rights violations, and political-ethnic violence.
Abstract: Liberia is a country in transition from war to peace. The end of the 14-year war (1989-2003) and the journey towards post-conflict recovery were enabled by the concerted efforts of a myriad of actors operating from different tracks but with a common goal to end the war. The actions of these actors and stakeholders (both indigenous and foreign) broadly involved a variety of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities that were implemented at local, national, sub-regional, continental and/or international levels. Among these many actors and actions, the active and visible engagement of one group in a structured and targeted initiative immensely contributed to the cessation of hostilities and initiation of the post-conflict recovery process. This group was comprised of the „Women of Liberia‟ and their „Mass Action for Peace Campaign‟ was the “straw that broke the camel‟s back” and ushered in Liberia‟s post-war era.
The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace Campaign has been immortalized by the film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a documentary account of the peace movement kick started by Liberian women in 2003, with a three-pronged agenda that aimed to bring about a cessation of hostilities, accelerate the peace talks by ensuring that negotiating parties remained at the peace table until a negotiated settlement was reached and achieve a peace agreement, namely the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Their action also resulted in the deployment of a regional (ECOWAS) and United Nations peacekeeping intervention.
Abstract: It is frequently asserted that effective disarmament demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) in conflict-afflicted states can help reduce the chances of conflicts resuming and act as a platform for economic, political and social development. This follows the steadily growing importance attached to DDR as an instrument of conflict management and human development. Given the fact that many of these programmes take place in some of the world’s poorest countries, it thus makes sense to ask whether such programmes have arrested human insecurity through related programming, or, duly, established a receptive environment in which development can flourish. The literature is full of ‘lessons-learned’ assessments which attempt to chart the factors that account for the success (or failure) of a given DDR programme. Few assessments have in fact been made of these broader dimensions. This paper seeks to fill that gap.
Abstract: In his books The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries
Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It and Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (cited henceforth
as BB and WGV, respectively), Paul Collier attempts to
bring African and other poor countries with problems of
“stuck” development back into the conversation of economists,
policymakers, and an educated nonspecialist readership. Book cover testimonials from The Economist, Larry
Summers, Larry Diamond, and New York Times columnist
Nicholas Krist of give a sense of the readership Collier
has targeted. Using analysis based on econometric studies
he has conducted with his research colleagues at Oxford
and the World Bank, he first tries to make sense of the
world’s “basket cases,” and then to propose policy interventions
that may help them to set themselves right.