TOPICS: Managing Violent Conflicts, ECOWAS, Comparative ADR, Conflict Transformation, Extremism, Traditional Conflict Resolution
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Issue 22 – January 2018:
Africa: Understanding and Managing Violent Conflicts
Taiwo Oladeji ADEFISOYE & Oluwaseun BAMIDELE
In 2011, the World Bank reported that an estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide live in conflict-affected countries where repeated cycles of political and organized violence hinder development, reduce human security and result in massive humanitarian suffering. Out of this figure, the African continent is host to a significant number. Since the 1960s, the continent has been laden with varied dimensions of conflicts, orchestrated by, but not limited to, border disputes, communal/ethnic differences and political agitations caused by her colonial origin and other internal trajectories. Using document analysis conducted through systematic review, this work identifies causes and consequences of conflicts in Africa and prospects for peaceful and enduring conflict resolution mechanism. It was also identified that the response of African Union and other sub-regional organizations to the intense and chronic nature of conflict situations in the region has, over the years, ranged from apathy to reliance on short-term security measures, which has otherwise not able to proffer lasting solutions to the conflict situations. It was posited that rather than rely on heavy military operations and response-centric approaches to conflict management, there is a dire need for a robust effort at good governance and people-centred policy reforms where socioeconomic development is accorded high priority to mitigate the perception of alienation and marginalization among various groups in African countries. Besides, appropriate institutional responses by African states are critical and necessary to transforming the volatile environment to peaceful havens, conducive for development and progress.
Africa, Violent conflicts, peaceful resolution, good governance.
West Africa: From Peacekeeping to Peace Enforcement. ECOWAS and the Regulations of Regional Security
Uchechukwu Johnson AGBO, Nsemba Edward LENSHIE & Raji Rafiu BOYE
The ECOWAS principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states included in its Charter was in line with the sovereignty of states in the international system. This principle, ECOWAS, has to some extent been kept, but the growing insecurity arising from internal conflicts in West Africa states motivated the adoption of ECOMOG as a mechanism for peace and security. The ECOMOG, in the effort to securitize the region to enable economic integration and development as major goals of ECOWAS, has engaged in several peacekeeping operations. However, the nature of the conflict from these states rendered peacekeeping operations inadequate, leading to the adoption of peace enforcement as a new mechanism for mitigating intractable conflicts in West Africa. It is in this context that this article investigates the role of ECOWAS in peacekeeping operations and its transformation to peace enforcement in the West African security complexes.
peacekeeping, peace enforcement, conflict, peace and security, West Africa.
Africa: Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Comparative Perspective
In many African countries, attempts to address poor access to justice, have led to the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), in the form of mediation, negotiation and arbitration. The popularisation and promotion of ADR is done using “international best practices and standards” developed in countries such as the USA, Australia and UK. Yet, a closer examination of some of the challenges with access to justice in Africa, which ADR is attempting to address, reveal, among other things, that the use of foreign procedures, principles and languages, in the formal justice systems, alienate many people and have contributed in creating a real barrier to the accessibility of justice. By using a comparative approach, the purpose of this article is to raise caution that although ADR may have useful components to improve access to justice in Africa, it cannot be viewed or introduced as a new concept coming from developed countries. Doing so, it perpetuates imperialistic attitudes, disempowers millions of people by disregarding their cultural practices and invalidates systems which have been in use for centuries.
ADR, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, traditional conflict resolution.
Nigeria: Oil Exploitation and Conflict Transformation in Edo State
Samuel Osagie ODOBO
The article is an extract from a broader empirical study conducted in 2015. It examined the dynamics of oil exploitation and conflict transformation in Edo State, Nigeria – an area often erroneously viewed as one of the zones of peace in Nigeria’s turbulent Niger Delta region. The mixed method research was adopted. Using content analysis and descriptive statistics, the paper argued that oil-induced conflicts in Edo State are embedded in the narrative of grievances, poverty, absence of development, suppression and perceived neglect by government and oil companies. These issues have been addressed largely through the use of force, selective dialogue, suppression and infiltration of activism. Conflict transformation requires addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and building long-standing relationship through a process of change in perception and attitude of stakeholders. Beyond remediation of the environment, resource-rich communities in Nigeria yearn for infrastructural and human capital development both of which have remained elusive. Addressing community demands require confidence building, robust engagement and active local participation in community development and peacebuilding initiatives.
Oil exploitation, conflicts, conflict transformation, EDO State, Nigeria.
Philippines: Factors of Century-Old Conflict and Current Violent Extremism in the South
Primitivo Cabanes RAGANDANG III
The perpetual struggle for separatism among Moros in Mindanao is produced on a background of historical and cultural injustices and by the presence of Moro liberation fronts, along with the government responses to this issue. This article endeavors to trace and interweave the roots of historical and cultural factors of Muslim separatism in Mindanao, along with its implication to the present Marawi crisis as fueled by the ISIS-linked groups who attacked the Philippines’ Islamic city on May 23, 2017. It looks into the history of the arrival of Islam and the subsequent islamization of Mindanao. It then discusses the Muslim resistance movement against two foreign regimes, Spanish and American, which is followed by its resistance against the Philippine government. Factors that trigger Muslims’ desire for separatism include at least three notorious massacres: Jabidah, Manili, and the Tacub Massacre. Such historical factors of injustices have fuelled the century-old struggle for separatism and self-determination. With the government’s and non-government forces’ failure to pacify the island, such struggle resulted into continuing war in the region killing over 120,000 Mindanaoans. Recently, this conflict in the region was reignited when an ISIS-linked group attacked the Philippines’ Islamic city of Marawi, affecting over 84,000 internally displaced persons from over 18,000 families who are now seeking refuge in 70 different evacuation centers, in a state of discomfort, missing home and psychologically distress.
Marawi, Mindanao, Muslim, Philippines, separatism, violent extremism
Romania: Traditional Conflict Resolution Mechanism Used by the Roma Communities
Even though there have been numerous studies on the quality of life of the Romani (Roma) communities, their role in society, marginalization or poverty, at this time, there are few studies that show how these communities understand and regard conflict and the methods (especially the traditional ones) that they use to solve these problems. Previous research has provided evidence to show that Romani people have developed their own indigenous system of justice, rather than relying on official agents of social control to deal with disputes in their communities. Through the use of the ethnographic approach, using participatory observation and the interview as methods of data collection, the present study aims to present how Roma people use and impose justice in their communities through a better understanding of their moral codes.
Romani, Roma people, traditional conflict resolution, Stabor, Divan, shame, Gorger,