July 28, 2009 Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is currently involved in peacebuilding operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands; Australian government agencies remain engaged in reconstruction in post-conflict Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). Peacebuilding has been and will remain a major task for the ADF in the Pacific, as part of a larger governmental and aid response. The wider context for these commitments is the view that state incapacity or even failure is in prospect in parts of Australia’s immediate Pacific region. The causes of state failure include lack of a diversified economy, a dependence on exports of natural resources, a rapidly growing population, and poor education levels; a number of Pacific countries exhibit these characteristics. The conflict on Bougainville has been the most intractable in which Australian forces have been involved. The formation of Peace Monitoring Groups (largely composed of ADF personnel, but unarmed) engaged in weapons destruction, building trust and encouraging the eventual realisation of local autonomy was a major contribution to the peace process. The ADF experience of Timor-Leste dates from INTERFET. The need to redeploy peacekeeping troops in 2006 demonstrated that the existing peacebuilding program focused especially on security sector reform, while positive was still too narrow to address governance incapacity problems. From 2003 ADF elements have been central to the RAMSI reconstruction program in Solomon Islands. Though violence has largely been eradicated, the political crisis of 2006 demonstrated the need for the closest cooperation with the host government. These regional case studies show that peacebuilding is a complex task which requires engagement across all of the institutions of order and governance as well as with the wider society. Security sector reform remains a crucial area of peacebuilding in which military forces are inextricably involved. However, effective security reform depends ultimately upon the existence of governments that welcome, support, and own such reform....
A 25th, or silver, anniversary tends to be an occasion for both
celebration and reflection. Both activities are apt when, as on
the occasion of Papua New Guinea’s 25th anniversary of
independence, silver itself has contributed significantly both to
national revenue, as the third most valuable metal export, and
to one of our greatest national tragedies, the violent conflict in
Bougainville between 1989 and 1997.
The broad scope of this book on state and society in Papua
New Guinea enables the author, Dr R.J. (Ron) May, to draw
attention both to some of Papua New Guinea’s greatest strengths
and achievements and to some of our shortcomings since
independence. It also provides an opportunity to explore some
of the links between them – a vibrant constitutional democracy
and enormous economic potential, especially in agriculture and
the resources sector. The accuracy and pertinence of the author’s
observations are made all the greater because of the way that they
draw on his two academic specialties, economics and politics....
In recent years, the Pacific has not been an ocean of peace. After a generally harmonious transition from European colonialism to independence, a number of the small Pacific island states have been plagued by internal conflict.
The largest of the Pacific island states, Papua New Guinea, having withstood the challenge of regional separatist groups in Papua and in Bougainville on the eve of independence, faced a rebellion on Bougainville from 1988 to 1997 (and is still in the process of implementing a peace agreement) and has seen an escalation of local-level inter-group fighting in the central highlands over the past two decades. Fiji became the first Pacific island state to have a military coup, in 1987, and continues to suffer the effects of racially-based tensions. In the Solomon Islands, ethnic divisions contributed to an outbreak of violence on the island of Guadalcanal in 1998, which culminated in the effective collapse of government two years later. Vanuatu’s transition to independence was marred by a separatist rebellion on the island of Santo, and although it has enjoyed a relatively peaceful history since 1980 it has had to survive more than one constitutional crisis. In New Caledonia, independence demands by the indigenous kanak people resulted in violent confrontation between pro- and anti-independence groups in the 1980s, and New Caledonia remains a French dependency.
While each of these cases is, to some extent, a unique reflection of particular historical and other circumstances, there are some recurring features of the internal conflicts, which largely derive from the fragmented nature of the pre-colonial societies and/or ethnic divisions created by the influx of settler populations during the colonial period, and the absence, in all these cases, of a developed sense of national (as opposed to local) identity.
This paper will briefly describe the nature of the conflicts in each of the four states and one territory listed above, and the processes of conflict resolution in each. It will then attempt to identify what features are common and what are unique in the five cases, and to suggest some lessons from their experience, which might be relevant to conflict and peace-making elsewhere....
Internal conflict has become the predominant threat to the security and stability of many of the small island nations of the Southwest Pacific and particularly in the countries of Melanesia.
Since the late 1980s, conflicts of varying causes and degrees of intensity have occurred in Papua New Guinea (Bougainville secession attempt)i, Fiji (coups and attempted coups), Vanuatu (police rebellion) and Solomon Islands (ethnic conflict and coup).
These events have seriously debilitated the already fragile national economies and polities of all countries, so much so in the Solomon Islands that that country is now being described by many analysts as a “failing”, if not “failed”, state.ii
While most of these countries have so far been able (not without difficulty) to maintain a measure of state integrity, the situation in Solomon Islands has become so precarious that Australia and New Zealand (with the support of most Pacific Island governments and anticipating a request from the Solomons’ parliament) are preparing to intervene in an attempt to restore the rule of law and rebuild administrative institutions. The form of that intervention is not yet clear - it is thought likely to include up to 2,000 armed military and police with a large team of civilian technical personnel – nor has a mandate been determined.
In this context a host of questions arises as to how best to resolve, contain, manage and/or transform these internal conflicts in the interest of the security, stability and well-being of the peoples of the countries concerned and of the region as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to consider one form of conflict management undertaken recently in the region; that is, the peace monitoring interventions by Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in Bougainville and Solomon Islands. How useful have these exercises been in assisting peace processes and in conflict management/peace construction, and what lessons can be drawn from them for any future such operations - including perhaps for the more vigorous “co-operative intervention” currently in prospect?...
May 24, 2006 Australian National University // State, Society And Governance In Melanesia Project
The decade since the early 1990s has witnessed the growth of a field of research and practice aimed at resolving and preventing violent conflict. Research on violent conflict has led to a number of different theories on causes of violent conflict, many of them based on the study of large-scale, protracted conflicts in Africa and the Balkans. Advocates of conflict prevention have linked longer-term root causes of violent conflict to aspects of underdevelopment, and tensions inherent in development processes....
The Pacific island of Bougainville is voting for its first ever autonomous government. The poll is being seen as a test for a UN-brokered peace deal, which ended over a decade of separatist fighting. The final day of polling is on 2 June.
March 16, 2005 International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Ante Gotovina, a former French Legionnaire of the rank of Chief Corporal, returned to Croatia in June 1991, whereupon he was appointed Chief of Operations and Training of the 1st Brigade of the Zbor Narodne Garde ("ZNG") (National Guard Corps). From February to April 1992, he was Deputy to the Commander of the Special Unit of the Main Staff of the Croatian army, the Hrvatska Vojska (the "HV"), and from April to October 1992, he was assigned to the Croatian Defence Council, the Hrvatsko Vijece Obrane (the "HVO"). On 9 October 1992, Ante Gotovina, holding the rank of Brigadier, was appointed the Commander of the Split Operative Zone of the HV (which in 1993 was re-named the Split Military District), and held that command until March 1996. On 30 May 1994, he was promoted to the rank of Major General. By early August 1995, he had been promoted to the rank of Colonel General. On 4 August 1995, the Republic of Croatia launched a military offensive known as "Oluja" or "Storm" ("Operation Storm"), with the objective of re-taking the Krajina region. Ante Gotovina was the overall operational commander of the Croatian forces that were deployed as part of Operation Storm in the southern portion of the Krajina region, including the municipalities, in whole or in part, of Benkovac, Gracac, Knin, Obrovac, Sibenik, Sinj and Zadar. On 7 August 1995, the Croatian government announced that the Operation had been successfully completed. Follow-up actions continued until about 15 November 1995. Between 4 August 1995 and 15 November 1995, the accused Ante Gotovina, acting individually and/or in concert with other members of the joint criminal enterprise, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of persecutions of the Krajina Serb population in the southern portion of the Krajina region. The crime of persecutions was perpetrated through the following: plunder of public or private property, destruction of property, deportation and forced displacement, murder and other inhumane acts...
December 17, 2004 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // University of Maryland
Group members have resided on the island of Bougainville in eastern Papua New Guinea for hundreds of years. Papua New Guinea hosts around one thousand tribes which speak more than eight hundred languages. There are nineteen different language groups represented on Bougainville. The island's residents are Melanesians whose ethnic kin populate the neighboring Solomon Islands. They are darker-skinned peoples in comparison to the lighter-skinned Papuans. The Bougainvilleans have four of the factors that increase the chances of future rebellion: persistent past protest; territorial concentration; high levels of group cohesion; and recent government repression. Factors that could inhibit future rebellion include Papua New Guinea's history of democratic rule, despite frequent changes in government, and transnational efforts by New Zealand, Australia, and the Solomon Islands to promote and implement a settlement.
More than 20,000 people have died since the outbreak of the rebellion in December of 1988. How the implementation of the peace accord proceeds along with efforts to draw in the small armed faction that has resisted will also be vital in determining whether there will be further violence in Bougainville....
The 94-page report, "Gold's Costly Dividend: Human Rights Impacts of Papua New Guinea's Porgera Gold Mine," identifies systemic failures on the part of Toronto-based Barrick Gold that kept the company from recognizing the risk of abuses, and responding to allegations that abuses had occurred. The report examines the impact of Canada's failure to regulate the overseas activities of its companies and also calls on Barrick to address environmental and health concerns around the mine with greater transparency.
"We interviewed women who described brutal gang rapes by security guards at Barrick's mine," said Chris Albin-Lackey, senior business and human rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The company should have acted long before Human Rights Watch conducted its research and prompted them into action"....
This case study examines contemporary experiences of conflict in four contexts: Papua New Guinea, with particular reference to the island of Bougainville and the Highlands region; Solomon Islands; and Vanuatu. We find common themes in these experiences, despite the region’s famous socio-linguistic diversity, fragmented geography and varied experience of globalisation. Melanesia offers distinctive lessons about how conflict may be understood, promoted and avoided. The paper is organized in two broad parts.
The first part is contextual. It provides a brief account of conflict and violence in social life before and after colonization. It then tracks, largely chronologically, through the local, national and transnational dimensions of contemporary conflict, how it was avoided, how it has changed, and how it has been managed in different contexts. Particular attention is given to global and regional influences, and to how governments, local people, and external security, development and commercial actors, have worked to mitigate and, at times, exacerbate conflict.
The second part of the case study is more analytical. It steps back from the particulars to address themes and propositions in the overall conceptual framing of WDR 2011 about the nature of conflict, and the underlying stresses and interests that may render it more likely. Part II draws lessons from the histories and contexts discussed in Part 1. We organize these around three themes thatreflect views shared with us by people during consultations. The first highlights the need to recognize conflict as an inherent part of social change and thus the need to distinguish between socially generative social contest, and forms of conflict that are corrosive and destructive. The second examines how the way people ‘see’ and understand the world directly shapes systems of regulation and ‘the rules of the game’ and thus directly affect responses to conflict. The third theme argues that capable and legitimate institutions to regulate social contest requires not just capable state institutions, but as much, relationships with local and international agents and organizations operating below and above the state....
October 18, 2010 Bonn International Center for Conversion
This brief presents the progress to date in developing
a typology of wartime rape as a first step toward
understanding the different consequences of this form
of violence in war. This publication focuses solely on
wartime rape perpetrated by armed groups against
civilians, though this form of violence is perpetrated
more widely by, and against, different actors during
war. The wider perpetration of rape against other
actors is not presented in this brief, but is nevertheless
included in the Typology. The Typology is a product of
two phases of research: a) an initial phase (November
2008–May 2009) where a preliminary typology was
created based on an examination of two country
cases of wartime rape: Bosnia and Herzegovina,
and El Salvador; and b) a second phase (September
2009–May 2010) where the typology was refined
according to data collected from a review of the
literature on ten additional country cases of wartime
rape (Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea/
Bougainville, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste).
The Typology was designed on the basis of a definition
of wartime, which includes a myriad of war dynamics
that surround and influence the perpetration of
rape, and which can be organized into the following
type of conflict in which wartime rape occurs;
characteristics of the armed group;
motivations for the rape;
characteristics of the rapist;
characteristics of the raped person; and
characteristics of the rape....
March 23, 2010 Accord International Review of Peace Processes // Conciliation Resources
Do sanctions, incentives and conditionality support or undermine the peace process?
This edition of Accord assesses whether these instruments can persuade conflict
parties to engage in peacemaking. Used effectively, these tools can tip the balance
towards a settlement by increasing the costs of fighting and rewarding peace. But
unless developed as part of a coherent and strategic approach to peacemaking they
can be ineffective and have sometimes exacerbated tensions and fuelled conflict.
Sanctions, incentives and conditionality must be responsive to parties’ own
motivations and support pre-existing conditions for conflict resolution. Four overriding conclusions can be drawn from this
study for how to enhance the effectiveness of external
influence in support of peacemaking. (1) External actors
need to prioritize support for sustainable peace as their
primary goal in a conflict situation and craft their
strategy to help achieve it – recognizing that this may, in
turn, create the enabling conditions for achieving other
foreign policy goals. (2) Sanctions, incentives and
conditionality are most likely to be effective when they
are responsive to the parties’ own motivational
structures and support a pre-existing societal dynamic
for conflict resolution. (3) They need to be designed and
implemented in ways that help to create momentum in
the resolution process, which (4) typically requires a degree of strategic coherence amongst external actors,
necessitating mechanisms for coordination....
February 24, 2010 United Nations Development Programme Pacific Centre // Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
In the last couple of decades, debate within the international community and the Pacific has centred on the challenges posed to socio-economic and political development by insecurity and conflict. This focus has also resulted in a shifting understanding of security, which now includes the safety and well-being of people and communities as well as the security of the state.
The Pacific, like other regions, is dealing with a difficult and diverse set of law enforcement, governance and security challenges. The region has witnessed violent conflict, civil unrest and political crises. This has led to a growing recognition of the critical role of law enforcement agencies and security institutions. However, in recent years, there have been concerns that these institutions lack capacity to meet the challenge of providing security to the general public; that governments do not have the necessary civilian security expertise to manage them; that legislatures are not empowered to oversee them; and that security forces are not held accountable under the law for their actions. Effective governance of security institutions is vital for the Pacific region. In the context of conflict and violence, it supports the efforts of state institutions to stabilize the security situation, begin the road to recovery and reduce the potential of relapse. In non-conflict contexts, it ensures security institutions fulfil their mandate to combat insecurity. This creates an enabling environment for poverty reduction and sustainable development....