Andrews Atta-Asamoah

Somalia : Fighting the Odds in the Search for Peace after the Transition

"Despite renewed hope in the future of Somalia, post-transition efforts towards peace and stability in this country face numerous challenges. This situation report notes that progress will be defined by the dynamics surrounding the strengths or weaknesses of the new Somali Federal Government (SFG), the rapidly adapting al-Qaeda-linked Islamist al-Shabaab and the success or failure of international support in the pursuit of peace. The emerging perception among sections of the Somali population as well as the international community of a weak and weakening Somali central government constitutes one of the most challenging developments, with far-reaching implications for the collective push for peace in the country. This situation report proposes that efforts should be aimed at strengthening the government, since its performance is central to any realistic progress in the country."

Long Walk to Restoration : Lessons from Somalia's Transition Process

"Somalia’s troubled recent history began with the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the subsequent outbreak of war among various clan-based actors in the different regions of the country. Since then, all efforts to restore peace, stability and normality of state functions have faced numerous challenges, which have culminated in a number of peace processes, agreements and more recently three major transitional arrangements. From the first Transitional National Government (TNG), established through the 2000 Arta Declaration and under the leadership of Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, the country struggled through more than a decade of two additional transition arrangements under the leaderships of presidents Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (2004–2008) and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (2009–2012) till the end of the transition on 20 August 2012. This situation report analyses the final stages of the United Nations (UN)-led political processes that managed the end of the transition, teasing out lessons learned for the various stakeholders and assessing the sustainability of the successes chalked. It is based on interviews with various UN staff involved in the process, Somali academics, staff of civil society organisations and government officials conducted in November 2012."

Besides Greed and Grievances Natural Resource Characteristics and Conflicts in Africa

"This paper addresses the debate on natural resources and conflict from the point that conceptualisations of the linkages between conflicts and natural resources have generally concentrated on the human aspects of the relationship. By so doing, the nature of natural resources and the influence their inherent and locational characteristics have on the roles they play in conflicts are seldom taken into account. Drawing on African conflict experience, the paper adduces evidence to establish an argument that this approach is one-sided for a proper understanding of the issues involved, and maintains that a more holistic understanding and conceptualisation should appreciate the role of natural resource characteristics. It posits that a given resource has a higher chance of fuelling conflict when it has characteristics that require less specialised skills for its exploitation and refinement, has high liquidity, and is easily portable and therefore ‘smugglable’."

Kenya's Neglected IDP's Internal Displacement and Vulnerability of Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya

"This report investigates the situation surrounding these displaced pastoralists. It examines the causes of their displacement, the legal basis for their protection and the shortcomings in responding to the problem. To address these, the report gives recommendations for the government of Kenya, traditional leaders and donors. This report seeks to illustrate the key factors behind pastoralist displacement in order to understand it and,where possible, contribute to prevention. Once displaced, widespread insecurity and limited access to justice, services and sustainable livelihoods hamper the ability of many pastoralist IDPs to return to their homes and lands. Some of these IDPs have chosen to return, despite insecurity, to care for their livestock and attend to their livelihoods, but a significant number remain in urban and semi-urban areas, in host communities that have limited or no resources to support them."

Addressing the 'Conflict Minerals' Crisis in the Great Lakes Region

"The year 2011 heralded the convergence of various initiatives seeking to curtail the financing of conflict in the Great Lakes region through the illegal exploitation of minerals. The combined effect of seeking to comply with the various processes has had significant implications at the national, regional and international levels by altering the dynamics of mineral exploitation in the region in both positive and negative ways. The positive impact has been in the area of the immense contribution of the initiatives to increased awareness of the role of illegally exploited minerals in financing conflict in the region and the need for various stakeholders to exercise responsibility in the sourcing and trading of minerals so as not to inadvertently fuel insecurity. Against this background, this policy brief aims at providing a framework for responding to the unintended consequences of existing initiatives in the Great Lakes region. It details the areas of immediate impact of these initiatives, their overall impact on the trends of insecurity in the region and ways of addressing the issues in the short to medium term."

South Sudan: Origins and Implications of Emerging (In)Security Dynamics

"This situation report provides explanations for the state of affairs in South Sudan and the implications of the emerging dynamics for the future of the new state. The report advances certain key policy recommendations and options that the various stakeholders, particularly the GoSS, could pursue to nurture and sustain internal peace and stability in South Sudan. Four main categories of insecurity can be crystallised from the history of and current situation in South Sudan: (1) insecurity emerging from age-old cultural practices such as cattle rustling and child abduction; (2) inter-ethnic tensions originating from age-old animosities and tensions; (3) insecurity emanating from strains in North–South relations; and (4) politically motivated tensions originating from political competition, alliances and inter-personality clashes."

Demography, Environment and Conflict in West Africa

"In this paper, we argue that West Africa’s conflict experiences since 1990 have never been devoid of the concurrent influence of the youth bulge problematic and the effects of the economic downturns of countries in the sub-region. These factors can therefore not be relegated to the background in present and future attempts to achieve peace. We also argue that the outbreak of conflicts has had grave ramifications on the region’s environmental security. This paper starts with a section that analyses the nexus between demography and conflict from which evidence is deduced to explain the youth bulge phenomenon and supporting destabilising factors. Subsequently, we discuss migratory flows and conflict in terms of the role of migration and its impact in fuelling tensions and the cyclical impact of conflict on migration trends. The third section assesses the possible role of environmental challenges in fomenting tensions and the effects conflicts have on the environment. The paper concludes with possible policy options for West Africa."

Southern Sudan: the Option of Secession and its Regional Implications

"As Sudan enters the final and most critical year of its post-war transition period, the other countries that form the Horn and central Africa are on the alert. Southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum, scheduled for January 2011, could very well result in the partition of the country and the emergence of an independent state in the south. The founding of a sovereign Southern Sudanese state would have profound implications for the region’s political playing field and reshape its security and economic environment. Key aspects of these discussions are captured in this report."

Sanctions and Embargoes in Africa Implementation Dynamics, Prospects and Challenges in the Case of Somalia

"The Somalia arms embargo was imposed in January 1992 by Security Council Resolution 733(1992) primarily to restrict the delivery of all weapons and military equipment into Somali territory as a way of impacting on the worsening security situation in the country. Sixteen years after its imposition, however, the country appears to be more awash with small arms and light weapons than it was before the embargo was imposed. This paper argues that even though the Somali embargo may have failed abysmally in restricting the access of factions in the conflict to weapons, it has not failed in offering instructive lessons for other embargoes on the continent and in strengthening the use of embargoes as an instrument for the pursuit of peace in the world. On this basis, the implementation and monitoring dynamics of the arms embargo in Somalia are discussed as a basis for not only strengthening it, but also shedding light on modalities and conditions for effective implementation of embargoes elsewhere on the continent. The author stresses that for an embargo to succeed in Somalia and elsewhere, the Security Council must demonstrate to embargo-busting entities its ability to employ ‘sticks’ in the enforcement of the embargo."

Policy Brief : Counter-Terrorism and the National Security of African States: Points of Convergence and Departure

"Africa’s recognition of the threat of terrorism to the continent has culminated in the galvanisation of national, regional and international efforts towards counter-terrorism on the continent. The renewed efforts have culminated in the (1) designing of legal instruments to facilitate action against terrorism, and (2) the institution of operational measures to prevent, deter and combat terrorist activities on the continent. Countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, Gambia and South Africa have subsequently succeeded in enacting counter-terrorism legislation, whilst others such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco have argued that their existing criminal codes can sufficiently deal with the situation. In addition, operational measures aimed at reducing vulnerabilities and eliminating threats of terrorism through border surveillance and control, prevention of money laundering, and the prevention of falsification of travel documents have become mainstream elements of various national, regional and continental counter-terrorism approaches." This policy brief is part of the CPMRD Newsletter.