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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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
Abstract: The international refugee regime presents repatriation as the most optimal, most feasible
of the three durable solutions. Nevertheless, the number of studies which have followed
up the process of the reintegration of returnees to their country of origin is scant. This
paper will therefore investigate the repatriation of Liberian refugees from Ghana and their
economic adjustments upon return using detailed case studies.
In early 2008, Liberian refugees in Ghana were in a state of transition from almost two
decades of relatively stable conditions to a post-refugee situation. This change was due to
refugees’ protests between February and April 2008 against the promotion of local
integration by UNHCR for the remaining Liberian refugees in Ghana. In response to a
series of demonstrations, the host government took strong actions against Liberian
refugees, including deportations and the threat of invoking the cessation clause of refugee
After this turmoil, UNHCR launched a large-scale repatriation programme for the
residual Liberian refugees in Ghana. Under the repatriation pressure from the host
government and UNHCR, about 10,000 Liberian refugees repatriated to Liberia between
April 2008 and March 2009.
The results of their return were mixed. Upon their arrival in Liberia, some settled in with
relatively little stress whilst others confronted a series of daunting hardships. The process
of integration experienced by these Liberian returnees, including the construction of new
livelihoods in their country of origin, was largely influenced by their asset conditions. In
particular, their levels of access to social networks in Liberia played a principal
determinant role in their integration.
Abstract: The links between conflict and the extraction of a given resource
are not always so clear-cut, however, and a country's resource
wealth does not necessarily lead to violent conflict, as the
examples of Norway and Canada, but also Botswana and Chile
show. Yet resource-rich countries do appear to be more
susceptible to conflict than the resource-poor. This risk seems to
be greatest when resource extraction accounts for a substantial
proportion (around 30%) of GDP1: in other words, in countries
which are largely dependent on the export of primary commodities
such as metal ores, oil and gas. This does not apply to
countries with major oil fields and a small population, such as
Brunei, Dubai and Kuwait, which can use the substantial revenues
generated by their oil exports to purchase social peace.
Yet in most resource dependent economically poor countries in
Africa, Latin America and Asia, resource extraction is linked to
conflict. So the question is this: which role do natural resources
play in conflicts?
Abstract: In early 2008, International Alert and its partner organisations in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
launched a new sub-regional initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and
intended to empower citizens to challenge actual and perceived threats to human security and
personal safety experienced by vulnerable groups, especially women and girls, in the war-affected
area where the original three member states of the Mano River Union (MRU) converge.1
Between 1989 and 2003, these three countries experienced a catastrophic series of interlinked
wars that straddled the boundaries of the MRU, killing up to 300,000 people and displacing
several million, hundreds of thousands of them fleeing as refugees to neighbouring MRU states.
One of the legacies of these sub-regional wars and displacements has been a culture of impunity
surrounding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Untold, thousands of women and girls, but
also many men and boys, live with the psychological and sometimes physical or human legacy of
SGBV across the sub-region.
Such behaviour has not existed in isolation. In parallel to sexual violence, there is a legacy of
domestic violence and disempowerment of women that is embedded in many patriarchal cultures,
not just in West Africa.
In response to these post-war challenges, International Alert and its partners designed a tricountry
initiative to reduce threats to personal security, especially threats to women and girls, and
to challenge the culture of impunity around SGBV. The aim has been to empower communities
to lobby for more comprehensive and gender-sensitive reporting of SGBV, for more inclusive
and gender-sensitive security and justice responses, and for a coherent sub-regional response to
violence in border communities. The project has developed culturally- and linguistically-specific
programming for a network of community radio stations along the borders of the three countries
in order to promote a transformative dialogue that challenges local knowledge, attitudes and
practices around SGBV to reduce perpetration and the stigmatisation of survivors. It has also
developed a network of “animators” in nine war-affected communities who provide information,
counselling and advocacy to men and women in order to guide them through prevention and
redress actions, including access to statutory security and justice systems.
This report aims to capture the experiences of the project over two and a half years in the context
of work in three interlinked but quite specific country contexts. It looks at the extent of SGBV and domestic violence as experienced in the target communities, details the challenges and best
practices of project staff in their attempts to raise awareness and change attitudes and practices,
and analyses the particular challenges of providing security and accessing justice (statutory or
customary) in the various target communities. It concludes with a series of recommendations
for the improved provision of security and justice for women, girls and other vulnerable groups
within the MRU.
Abstract: Transnational criminal organizations, networks, and terrorist groups are increasingly helping each other move products, money, weapons, personnel, and goods. They accomplish this through an informal network or series of overlapping pipelines. These pipelines can be best understood as recombinant chains with links that can couple and decouple as necessary to meet the interests of the networks involved. Many operate in “alternatively governed” spaces outside of direct state control or within criminal state enterprises. A criminal state counts on the integration of the state's leadership into the criminal enterprise and the use of public services—such as licensing, issuance of official documents, regulatory regimes, border control—for illicit purposes. A further variation of the criminal state occurs when a state franchises part of its territory to nonstate groups, with the protection of the central government or a regional power sharing the profits. The author shows that understanding and addressing these threats requires capacity-building in human intelligence collection and prosecuting transnational criminal organizations.
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: Liberia is on the difficult path of recovery after 14 years of conflict. The conflict in Liberia
has created havoc, misery and trauma. But people are filled with hope, busy reconstructing a
peaceful society. Successful demobilization of combatants from various fighting factions,
including those of Government, is key to create, but even more, to sustain peace.
Thousands of youth take up arms during violent conflict, in many cases a key motive is the
lack of job opportunities. Lessons from the past teach us that the process of disarmament and
demobilization can only be successful if strong reintegration support follows immediately
after the first 2 steps are completed.
Although women generally comprise between 10 and 30 percent of armed forces and groups,
surprisingly little research has been done to on the lives of girl combatants in armed conflict.
How does it affect their personalities? How do gender relations affect their choices? How do
they cope after the conflict is ended? Are they able to use their experience to increase gender
equality? Or do they go back to their earlier status of inequality? Do they have different
needs then men? And if so, how well do DDR processes and programmes address these?
The ILO’s Crisis Recovery and Reconstruction Programme recognizes gender equality as a
central element in equitable, effective reconstruction and development, and for “universal
and lasting peace”, a major precept of ILO’s Constitution. It has a special work item on crisis
and gender, aiming at creating a “new environment” with less structural imbalances between
men and women, primarily in the world of work, but also in other spheres.
The present study on the experiences of female ex-combatants in Liberia was coordinated by
Irma Specht, a former ILO Official and experienced consultant on matters related to DDR,
through her consultancy firm Transparency International. The study aims to gain insights in
the motives of Liberian girls for taking up arms and their reintegration needs. It also aims to
highlight the key issues for improving gender sensitive prevention and reintegration policies.
The study was facilitated and financed as a joint initiative by UNDP, UNICEF and the ILO.
Abstract: The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.
The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:
• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender
Individual examples can also be downloaded individually, in English or in French, at: http://gssrtraining.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=4&Itemid;=131〈=en
Abstract: This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics.
Abstract: Since 29th November 2010, UNHCR, in collaboration with partners, has individually registered 45,178 Ivorian refugees in UNHCR's proGres database. Meanwhile, in response to a mass-influx of refugees into Liberia, an additional 112,800 refugees have been registered through rapid-response emergency registration. The rapid-response registration figures are currently undergoing a verification process and are gradually being consolidated into UNHCRs proGres database, thereby being reflected as indivdually registered refugees.
Abstract: This UNHCR visual overview specifies refugee camps and international aid organizations located in Liberia as well as their efforts to improve the physical protection, health, nutrition, water supply, education and shelter of the Liberian population.
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: The phenomenon of the use of child soldiers, particularly in violent conflicts in the developing world, is widely recognized as a problem deserving serious world attention. Indeed, given the number of gala events and international conferences held to discuss the issue and the elaborate structure of international agreements to halt the recruitment of children already in place, one might think that the problems should all have been solved some years ago. They have not.
This paper is grounded on the belief that the child soldier problematique might benefit from a more detached analysis than it usually receives. While the authors share the emotional horror at conditions faced by many helpless children forced into violent conflict by unscrupulous adults, we also think that it is not useful to try to separate the problem from its political, security, economic or social contexts. Contemporary dialogue seldom goes deeper beneath the surface of the problem to look at underlying issues associated with basic assumptions about the nature of states or the ways in which political power can be harnessed or challenged by non-state actors. Fundamental notions about the relationships between obligations, agency and human rights under conditions of conflict need also to be considered as part of any serious attempt to intervene on behalf of children. Children are part of larger contexts and thus the attempt to carve out a protected space for them must take into account the social, economic and political factors affecting the communities in which they live.
This study will devote a good deal of effort to the discussion of what we feel are core concepts of the child soldier context: governance and Agency. We use the term ‘governance’ in the neutral sense relating to the capacity of polities5 to govern themselves. The term ‘Agency’, when capitalized, we associate strictly with the notion of collective action. We hope the discussion of the relationship between these concepts will both clarify the ways in which we use the terms and illustrate the difficulties of trying to apply abstract notions of human rights to contexts characterized by political and moral complexity.
Abstract: This briefing note seeks to contribute to the knowledge on Resolution 1325, building on
International Alert’s work in the MRU region during the last few years. The first section briefly
discusses the need to adjust the approach to implementing Resolution 1325 in challenging
contexts such as post-conflict Sierra Leone and Liberia and conflict-prone Guinea.2 Based on a
brief discussion of salient issues and thematic priorities across the three countries, the subsequent
section sketches the contours of a comprehensive agenda for implementing Resolution 1325 in
the MRU region. The three components of this agenda are addressing women’s security needs,
enhancing their political participation, and implementing gender equality legislation and policies.
The briefing note ends with the following four broad recommendations to sustain and enhance
work on Resolution 1325 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone:
1. Working (better) with what exists: Engage custodians of the customary justice system.
2. Address sexual and gender-based violence: Mobilise communities through change agents.
3. Economics matters: Address the economic dimension of gender, peace and security.
4. From plans to action: Make smart investments in civil society.
Abstract: The period after a conflict provides a unique opportunity to reform political institutions and
processes in a way that will increase the opportunities for women to participate in decisionmaking.
Much of the international peacebuilding effort to build sustainable and peaceful societies
has focused on seizing this opportunity. Elections, for example, offer women the chance to translate
the new roles they assumed out of necessity during conflict into formal political representation.
However, elections also expose women to lingering discriminatory mindsets and cultural practices
that are considerable barriers to their greater political participation.
Despite notable positive developments in many post-conflict countries in Africa, women’s
representation in the parliaments of Liberia and Sierra Leone remains low and elections are still
a considerable source of tension. This paper draws on local views to provide a largely qualitative
assessment of the current state of women’s political participation in the two countries ahead of
their forthcoming elections. It initially identifies the expanding opportunities for women that have
emerged since conflict ended and shows how accompanying trends affect their greater participation.
The paper then highlights the key issues on women’s minds ahead of the forthcoming elections,
before proposing a set of recommended actions to advance women’s political participation further
in the two countries.
Abstract: Collection of short articles.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is unfortunately
synonymous with its dreadful past and its terrible
present, despite its beauty, complex history and unachieved
potential. Locked not only into its own internal troubles
but also into those of the African Great Lakes region, it has
provided more than enough material on forced migration,
violence and political quagmires to fill this issue of FMR.The historical and immediate causes of displacement
are covered here. Also discussed – perhaps more
importantly – are the ways in which displaced people
experience those causes and their effects: the loss of
livelihood and community, of stability and security. The
possibilities for return, also covered here, are heavily
constrained by the immediate forces that caused the
displacements, as well as by longer-term and more deeprooted
political and historical factors. The widespread
and brutal sexual violence found amidst the general
violence in DRC is particularly shocking, eliciting
outrage as well as attempts to find ways to curb it and to
protect girls and women, and boys and men, from it.
While the articles contained in this issue of FMR make
grim reading, they also offer glimmers of hope for better
outcomes, at least potentially, alongside analysis of
how and why these things have been happening.
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation.
Abstract: Liberia holds its second post-war presidential and legislative elections in October
2011. The first, held in 2005, was a landmark: it was the first free and fair
elections in the country’s long history (Liberia became a republic in 1847), and
it ushered in Africa’s first elected female president. Since then Liberia, previously
wracked by bloody petty wars, has been largely stable, though very fragile.
The 2011 elections will probably be just as important as the one in 2005. Their
successful conduct will determine when the UN, which still maintains about 8 000
troops in the country, will finally withdraw. No doubt, the outcome of the polls
will also determine whether the country maintains the promising trajectory it
has had since 2006. And success will be measured from both the conduct of the
elections and the results of the polls: the polls will have to be conducted in a free
and fair atmosphere for the results to be broadly acceptable; but who emerges as
president will be just as important. The current president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
has been progressive and reform-minded, and she commands wide support from
donors and international investors: in less than a year of her election, Liberia’s
image as a failed and almost criminal state exporting violence to its neighbours
changed dramatically. Whatever the outcome of the elections, however, it is
important that international players – primarily ECOWAS, AU and UN – maintain
a steady focus on the three areas that the Liberian government has identified as
critical to sustained peace building: security sector rebuilding, the administration
of justice, and national reconciliation and healing.
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.