TOPICS: Climate and conflict, federalism and conflicts, militancy, conflict in the Caprivi Strip
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Issue 42 – January 2023:
Nigeria: Decolonial Climate Adaptation and Conflict. Evidence From Coastal Communities of the Niger Delta
The paper proceeds on the assumption that decoloniality matters in tackling the global climate crisis, conflict, and development at the community level across countries with high vulnerabilities. Africa remains one of the most vulnerable regions in the world. By examining what decolonisation means in climate adaptation and the experience of six communities in three states in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, this article contributes to the conceptualization of the decolonial discourse of climate adaptation, development and conflict understood as conditions favourable to the crisis. I analysed qualitative data obtained from the coastal communities through observation, focus group discussions, and interviews. The results showed a reinforcement of positions in a segment of the literature on decolonial climate adaptation in communities in some parts of the world. Migration, alternative sources of livelihood, embarkment of shorelines, skills development, vocations, and infrastructure development are among legitimate adaptive measures local communities are adopting. At the same time, maladaptive measures such as piracy, kidnapping, illegal oil refining, and gangsterism are common. These antisocial behaviours lead to conflict and contribute to making climate change a very complex problem. Decolonial climate adaptation requires collaborative interventions at the level of the community, sub-national, national, and multilateral fronts. The fact that climate change is a global problem with unequal impact means that the capacity to respond well to it at the community, sub-national, national, regional, continental, and international levels is crucial in addressing the crisis. The role of decoloniality in the handling of the effects of climate change in the community may take the form of integration of local and western knowledge. The decolonial framework would appear to be elastic with a potential conceptual role of critical assessment of existing frameworks, outcomes, impact, and power relations. One of the striking messages in this analysis is the likely role of local knowledge in reducing the risk of social tension and criminal conflict, and the need to strengthen it to increase the resilience and well-being of people.
Decolonisation, climate, adaptation, development, Africa, Nigeria, coastal communities.
Ethiopia: Federalism, Party Merger and Conflicts
This article has a twin mission: examining the impact of party merger on the federal arrangement and its association with the current conflicts in Ethiopia. The 1995 federal constitution of Ethiopia devolves powers to regional states. Since then, each regional state was fused with its distinct ruling party that created a coalition at the federal level. This state-party fused federal arrangement faced serious challenges with the rise of intra coalition disagreements since 2016 following the protest movements in the country, which further plunged Ethiopia into a devastating civil war since November 2020. This article asks what caused the conflicts. While recognizing the multidimensional roots of the conflicts, this article uses a political party-driven theory of federalism in order to identify the political processes that led to the conflicts. It argues that in a multiethnic federation such as Ethiopia where there is state-party fusion, a ruling party’s metamorphosis from a coalition to a union may not only centralize power but could also result in both de facto merger of that fragile federation and conflicts. Delinking the state from the party through inclusive national negotiations and democratic elections within a federal arrangement might help transition Ethiopia to a stable country.
Civil war, conflicts, political parties, Ethiopian federalism, Prosperity Party, power
centralization, Abiy Ahmed.
Pakistan: Axing the Roots. Political and Economic Marginalization and Rise of Militancy in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas
Solomon I. IFEJIKA
Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, a region lying on the boundary between Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province and southern Afghanistan, controlled by the Federal Government of Pakistan, has been in the public eye following the event of the United States invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The spate of the rise of militancy and insurgencies in FATA currently poses a serious threat to the political stability of Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively. Relying on the documentary methods of data collection and analysis, therefore, this study argues that the major factor underlying the prevailing militancy in FATA is the deep-seated political and socio-economic marginalization of the region. The study thus recommends, among other measures, that the Government of Pakistan needs to expedite actions to initiate and implement deliberate and well articulated holistic reforms to bring the region into the mainstream of Pakistan’s socio economic and political developmental agenda. The study concludes that the intentional and proper adoption and application of these measures would be a realistic way of ending the militancy and insurgency in FATA and achieving lasting peace in the region and Pakistan as a whole.
Governance/Politics, Economy, Marginalization, FATA, Militancy, Religion.
Namibia: Forgotten Conflict in the Caprivi Strip
The article focuses on the Caprivi conflict that took place in Namibia in 1999. This conflict was a short and low-intensity conflict. Besides, it meets the criteria to be described as a forgotten conflict. This study aims to explain and describe this conflict, to clarify the reasons why the conflict can be described as a forgotten conflict. A public opinion poll was conducted to confirm the hypothesis that this is a forgotten conflict. The results of this public opinion poll together with further media analysis confirm this hypothesis. The second part of the work focuses on the reasons why the conflict was forgotten. Several theories are applied to the case to provide a comprehensive explanation. In practice, it turns out that there are several reasons.
Caprivi Strip, conflict, forgotten, Namibia, public opinion, violence.