TOPICS: RtoP, East Timor, resource conflicts, reconciliation and peacebuilding
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Issue 35 – April 2021:
Cote d’Ivoire: Responsibility to Protect, electoral violence and the 2010 crysis
Nicholas Idris ERAMEH & Uzezi OLOGE
The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) is a highly contested doctrine when authorized or not. Yet, the need to safeguard civilian populations from mass atrocity remains urgent with Cote d’Ivoire’s post-election violence being instructive. Numerous studies have interrogated the nature of the conflict and subsequent interventions in Cote d’Ivoire, yet only a few seem to focus on the intervention process, outcome and implications for future application of the RtoP. This highlights need for deeper interrogation of the issues emerging from United Nations Security Council’s execution of Resolution 1975 in Cote d’Ivoire and the wider implications for the doctrine. While the Ivorian crisis meets the just cause criteria for RtoP authorizing, its execution in the Cote d’Ivoire exposed some challenges for the emerging doctrine. Challenges encompassing conceptual ambiguity, institutional issues and operational lapses leading to mass violation of rights of the civilian population by intervention forces, and the delegitimizing question of regime change. Future application of the RtoP must be context-specific accounting for the peculiarities of the environment where it is authorized; ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of the process and the actors involved; review of the thresholds for armed interventions; must engage local populations in the peace process and; must be backed by political will of both international and regional actors.
Responsibility to Protect, Humanitarian Intervention, Mass Atrocity, Electoral Violence, Cote d’Ivoire.
East Timor: When state repression makes secession easier (1975-2002)
Why does state violence sometimes fail to crush a secessionist movement and instead facilitate international support for the separatist cause? Based on the literature on the international recognition of secessionist entities and on the impact of state repression against social movements, this paper develops an argument according to which the timing of certain repressive events make them more likely to generate an international backlash and thus facilitate external support for secessionists. To backfire internationally, state violence must occur at the right time—that is, when the secessionists have gained sufficient media attention, put in place an appropriate organizational structure, and have abandoned violent tactics for a nonviolent campaign. Using the secession process of East Timor as a case study, this paper shows how the international moral outrage that followed the Dili massacre (1991),combined with a changing geopolitical context, have boosted the foreign support of the secessionist movement in East Timor and allowed it to obtain important concessions from Jakarta.
State repression, Secession, East Timor, Political violence, International Relations
Zimbabwe: The ethnicisation of Zanu and the downfall of Ndabaningi Sithole (1963-2000)
Owen MANGIZA & Ishmael MAZAMBANI
This article is an exposition of the transformation of ZANU from being, primarily, a nationalist movement into an ethnic oriented party. Since its formation in 1963, ZANU was gripped by ethnicity, resulting in factions and contestations developing among party members. These contestations developed into open conflicts along tribal lines. The paper argues that ethnicity was so acute among ZANU party members to an extent that divisions were clearly drawn along the Shona sub-ethnic groups of Manyika (easterners), Karanga (southerners), and Zezuru (northerners). The competition for leadership positions and the fighting among members of these ethnic groups resulted in the death of some members of the party and the expulsion of others from the party. It is argued in the article that the persecution of Ndabaningi Sithole and his fallout as the ZANU president was a result of the ethnicisation of ZANU and the liberation struggle. The removal of Sithole as the party president and his replacement by Robert Mugabe exhibits these contestations among the Zezuru, Karanga and Manyika ethnic groups. We argue that the deposition of Sithole from ZANU in 1975 and his castigation as a “sell-out” and “tribalist” was a ploy by Robert Mugabe and other ZANU leaders to get rid of him and to replace him along ethnic grounds. The ethnic card was deployed to serve selfish political interests. It is these ethnic contestations and fighting which also brewed conflict and enmity between Mugabe in particular and Ndabaningi Sithole, among other factors. This hatred was clearly displayed later in the struggle for supremacy between Sithole’s new party, ZANU-Ndonga and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. It is stressed in the article that this enmity also culminated in the denial of a hero status to Sithole when he died in 2000. We also argue that the deposition of Sithole from ZANU is one of the reasons why the Ndau people of Chipinge always voted for him and not Robert Mugabe in elections.
Zimbabwe, Ethnicisation, Downfall, Contestations, ZANU, Hero status
Nigeria: Resource conflicts and rurality. Implications on heritage assets
Elochukwu NWANKWO & Halilu AISHAT
Since its independence in 1960, Nigeria has been ravaged by various categories of resource conflicts with consequential effects on rurality. These conflicts have caused untold hardship on rural communities in Nigeria to the extent that some of the communities have been deserted for safety elsewhere. These rural communities have valued heritage assets where they had leveraged on for meaningful socioeconomic recovery. This study was aimed at identifying these resource conflicts and their impacts on heritage assets in rural Nigeria. However, resource conflicts like Boko Haram, militancy, herdsmen, banditry, and communal conflicts were identified. Evidences show that these conflicts obliterate tangible and intangible heritage assets of rural communities in Nigeria, with correspondence effect on heritage transfer through memory loss. Effective international support among others was recommended as a possible option. This study has implications for the understanding of further effects of resource conflicts on rurality in Nigeria.
Resource conflicts, heritage assets, heritage preservation, rural communities, conflict theory.
The Philippines: The challenges of Moro and Lumad power-sharing in the Bangsamoro
Jose Mikhail PEREZ
Two self-ascribed ethnic groups—Moro and Lumad—are native to Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Both groups share a common history of oppression from Western colonialism, Christian resettlement, and capitalist interests where the former has waged a more organized insurgency against the Philippine government in the late twentieth century. Due to the political superiority of the Moros, the Lumads are often left marginalized in the various peace processes in Mindanao due to their accommodation to the Moro’s call for the creation of an autonomous region under an internal power-sharing agreement. This form of double marginalization against the Lumad promotes a sense of internal colonialism where such arrangements are only left between the Bangsamoro regional government and the Philippine national government, thereby forcing the latter to accommodate to Moro interests. Analyzing the text of the recent peace agreements between the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GRP-MILF), the article attempts to understand the conflict dynamics between Moros and Lumads under power-sharing and power-dividing measures. The article concludes that consociationalism in ethnically divided societies often lead to more ethnic cleavages if done haphazardly to favor certain interests while leaving ethnic minorities at a disadvantage.
Moro, Lumad, Mindanao, Bangsamoro, consociationalism, identity politics.
Palestine: Reconciliation and peacebuilding. Perspectives from the civil society organizations
Ayman YOUSEF & Sezai OZCELIK
This research paper aims to shed light on the theoretical perspectives and operational approaches adopted by the Palestinian civil society organization in connection with the peacebuilding and reconciliation process in the Palestinian context. The research question is what are the different moves, debates, and initiatives taken by the Palestinian civil society organizations to put an end to the conflict? Why could not they succeed or produce tangible results in fulfilling this goal? The first part of the paper considers debates, contexts, and developments of civil society organizations, in general, and Palestine, in particular, as well as their roles on political, national, cultural, and developmental levels. Civil society deepens its peaceful intervention in many developed and developing countries to build domestic peace and achieve reconciliation, along with other tasks and duties. Palestine’s case is not an exception but a unique case since the independent sovereign state of Palestine does not exist on the ground. The second part aims to deeply analyze the roles of civil society in the reconciliation process and to assess why this process failed to produce fruitful results until now. To use narrative methodologies, the paper collects primary data through structured interviews and the focus group. Interviews were conducted with the cadres and activists in the Palestinian civil society and other professionals and experts in this field. The last part concludes that civil society, especially among the youth, is necessary for reconciliation not only between Israeli and Palestinians but also within the Palestinians as well.
Civil Society, Peacebuilding, Israel, Palestine, conflict.