TOPICS: African Conflicts, Nigeria, Peace-building, Land conflicts, War and Peace Journalism
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Issue 17 – October 2016:
Nigeria: Between Governance and (under)Development. Analysing the Root of the Fractured Security
Olajide O. AKANJI
This paper analyses the problem of recurring threats to human and state security in Nigeria. It situates the problem within the context of the nexus between governance and (under)development. It notes that threats to human and state security predate Nigeria’s contemporary political history, as there were cases of security challenges in the colonial era (1914-1960). However, after independence in 1960, and especially after the return to democratic governance in 1999, security challenges in the country multiplied and deepened. The paper argues that the root of the problem lies primarily in the country’s prolonged crisis of development, engendered and sustained by political governance systems (colonial, military/autocratic and civilian/democratic) that offer opportunities for predatory accumulation by the elite and compromise the core elements and essence of government.
Governance, Development Crisis, Insecurity, Security Threats.
Peacebuilding in Africa: A Review of the First Ladies Peace Mission
This paper is a review of the efforts of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, an organization of the wives of African Heads of State on peacebuilding activities in the continent. It relies on documents and reports from the Mission as well as observations made on the field activities. While the paper recognizes the bold initiatives of the First Ladies in advocating for gender equality in peacebuilding processes and in decision making, yet, it is discovered that the organization is being confronted with various challenges such as; internal dynamics of African states, lack of understanding of its purpose, problem of visibility, its legal status, and commitment among the First Ladies and professional staff to effectively deliver on its mandates. The paper concludes that the organization remains a model that can be replicated in other continents of the world.
First Ladies, Peacebuilding, Mainstreaming, Conflict Resolution, Gender Equality, Action Plan.
Cameroon: Power Politics, Land Conflicts and Controversy over Redistribution in Bafut History
Divine Fuhnwi NGWA & Henry Kam KAH
Conflict is a broad term and scholars have advanced different definitions for specific types of conflict. In the Bafut kingdom of North West Cameroon, conflicts have been caused by wanton grabbing and irrational redistribution of land. Within the kingdom’s traditional political system, there is a complex network of relations between the leaders and with members of the community. This paper establishes that problems of land and redistribution have bred conflicts in Bafut and deterred cordial relations and coexistence within communities. It has also resulted in collusions, political crisis and strenuous relations between different segments of the society. Through colonial and post-independence administrative documents, assessment reports, local government reports, petitions, government decrees and laws and other published works we conclude that the controversies over land distribution that led to conflicts in Bafut history were a result of interplay of power politics.
Power Politics, Conflict, Cameroon, Redistribution.
Nigeria: The Challanges of Reintegrating Niger Delta Militants
Hussain Taofik OYEWO
The Federal Government of Nigeria granted amnesty to all persons involved in militant activities in the Niger Delta as a last ditch effort to save the region from continued havoc and devastation. The amnesty led to Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of ex-militants in order to bring peace and development to the area by transforming ex-militants to meaningful and productive citizens. This study assesses the reintegration part of the DDR process. Analysis of the reintegration of ex-militants in the Niger Delta of Nigeria highlights its uniqueness, slightly different from other reintegration practices in Africa. While the Niger Delta reintegration program targets ex-militants,
most practices in Africa are planned towards ex-combatants and other associated with fighting groups including communities. The limited participation of others stakeholders, the absence of a commission on DDR, the training of militants beyond the shores of Nigeria, as well as the exclusive funding of the reintegration program by the Nigerian government without donor support, are special features of the reintegration program in
the Niger Delta of Nigeria. It is recommended that community participation and collaboration with the private sector would promote job creation for ex-militants and the committee should as well establish a post-reintegration program.
Nigeria, Niger Delta Militants, Amnesty, Reintegration.
Waziristan: Escalation and De-escalation Orientation of War and Peace Journalism Op-eds in Pakistani Newspapers
Najma SADIQ & Waqas NAEEM
Understanding the manifest and latent content of conflict news coverage provides an insight into dynamics of conflict representation. This study analysed four op-ed articles, written by four prominent experts of the subject, during the 2007 Waziristan conflict. The analysis was based on Wilhelm Kempf’s model of conflict escalation and de-escalation focus of media coverage. These articles were selected from 24 op-eds, published in two high-circulation English-language Pakistani newspapers, on the basis of their high levels of war and peace journalism orientation. These articles addressed, separately, two events in which an internal rift within the militant groups (Waziri-Uzbek fight, March 18 – April 12, 2007) was followed by a military operation launched by the Pakistan Army against the militants (War in Waziristan, July 24 – August 24, 2007). The analysis showed that war journalism op-eds typically had more escalation themes and peace journalism op-eds
had more de-escalation themes. However, the de-escalation themes were not exclusive to peace journalism op-eds and vice-versa. Overall, op-eds presented diverse and extreme views, especially about conflict resolution. It was also found that abstract language and attribution of previously published reports apparently contributed towards escalation themes in the four articles, and concrete language and original reporting mostly added to de-escalation themes.
Waziristan, FATA, Pakistani newspapers, War & Peace Journalism, Conflict, Escalation and De-escalation, Op-eds.