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Canada and Missions for Peace: Lessons from Nicaragua, Camboida and Somalia

One of the defining features of Canada’s role in the world, both for Canadians and the international community, has been our unflagging support for United Nations peacekeeping. Up until the beginning of this decade, when the number of intrastate con…

Counter-Terrorism in Somalia- Losing Hearts and Minds

Nearly four years after 9/11, hardly a day passes without the "war on terrorism" making headlines, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia and now London holding centre stage. But away from the spotlight, a quiet, dirty conflict is being waged in Somalia:…

Ethiopia and Eritrea- Preventing War

The fragile peace maintained by Ethiopia and Eritrea since they signed a comprehensive agreement at Algiers in December 2000 is fraying dangerously. With a costly two-year war now followed by nearly five years of stalemate, patience on both sides of…

Getting the UN into Darfur

The impasse over deploying a major UN peacekeeping force to Darfur results directly from the international community’s three-year failure to apply effective diplomatic and economic pressure on Sudan’s government and its senior officials. Unless conc…

Guinea in Transition

For too long, public figures within and outside Africa have been timid about discussing Guinea’s deep-rooted problems. Its strong anti-imperialist stance in the 1960s and beyond earned it respect among pan-Africanists, but the hands-off attitude tha…

Darfur’s Fragile Peace Agreement

The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) signed under African Union (AU) auspices on 5 May 2006 between Sudan’s government and the faction of the insurgent Sudan Liberation Army led by Minni Arkou Minawi (SLA/MM) is a first step toward ending the violence b…

Liberia- Staying Focused

2006 is a decisive year for Liberia and with it West Africa. Just as Liberia once dragged its neighbours into a horrific war, it could now – with good policy and strong donor support – become an anchor for stability in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte …

Katanga - The Congo’s Forgotten Crisis

Katanga province is one of the most violent yet neglected regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most of its problems are the same as those that are systemic in the rest of the country but it needs urgent attention because it is both the h…

Peace in Northern Uganda?

The peace talks in Juba between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government have made surprising progress, with a formal cessation of hostilities agreement signed on 26 August. Led by Dr Riek Machar, vice president of the Government …

Disarmament in the Congo: Investing in Conflict Prevention

There are many challenges facing the Lusaka cease-fire signatories and the wider international community in implementing the Congolese peace agreement, but perhaps none so complex as the effort to disarm the non-Congolese armed groups destabilising…

Liberia: The Key to Ending Regional Instability

While the international community has made great strides in improving the security situation in Sierra Leone, Liberia remains a wellspring for continued conflict stretching across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Given the regional ambitions of its…

Liberia- Unravelling

The international community is often left to bemoan the fact that it lacks effective early warning tools for major humanitarian crises and conflicts. Yet, today in Liberia it is presented with almost a textbook case of all the major warning signs of…

Rwanda/Uganda: A Dangerous War of Nerves

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda were once called the "new breed" of African leaders but hopes that they can deliver peace and prosperity to their countries are being severely shaken. In early November t…

Sierra Leone: Time for a New Military and Political Strategy

Sierra Leone is a human tragedy of massive proportions that is rapidly becoming a security nightmare for all West Africa. Two-thirds of Sierra Leone’s population are thought to have been displaced during the ten-year civil war. Another 600,000 have …

The Inter-Congolese Dialogue: Political Negotiation or Game of Bluff?

More than two years after the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, the Inter-Congolese Dialogue officially opened in Addis Ababa on 15 October 2001, under the facilitation of Sir Ketumile Masire, the former President of Botswana. But the gover…

Back to the Brink in the Congo

Both wars that devastated the Congo (Democratic Republic) in the past decade and led to some 3.8 million deaths began when Rwandan troops crossed the border into that giant country's unstable eastern region, the Kivus. History may be repeating itsel…

From Kabila to Kabila: Prospects for Peace in the Congo

Joseph Kabila, son of the late Laurent Désiré Kabila, speaks a far more peaceful language than that of his bellicose father. But he will not be able to deliver peace alone, and there are already signs that the many parties to the war in the Democrat…

Maintaining Momentum in the Congo: The Ituri Problem

The international community is slowly awakening to the grim realisation that collapse of the Congo peace process and return to war are real prospects in that giant country, several millions of whose citizens died in the conflicts of the past decade.…

North Kivu, Into the Quagmire? An Overview of the Current Crisis in North Kivu

On 2 August 1998, barely 14 months after the fall of the late Zairian President Mobutu, a new armed movement in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced the beginning of another "war of liberation", this time against the regime of Laur…

Pulling Back from the Brink in the Congo

The crisis provoked by the struggle in late May and early June 2004 for control of Bukavu, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's strategically sensitive South Kivu province that borders Rwanda, is a stark reminder that the political …

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