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Whither Human Rights in African International Relations?

"Strict observance of state sovereignty, once a mainstay of international relations, has given way to a global concern to protect human rights wherever they are threatened. On paper, at least, Africa shares this international commitment in its est...

Eritrea: The Siege State

"Eritrea has been deeply troubled since independence in 1991. Following the devastating war with Ethiopia (1998- 2000), an authoritarian, militarised regime has further tightened political space, tolerating neither opposition nor dissent. Relati...

Guinea: Reforming the Army

"After decades of bad governance and misuse, the armed forces are a potential source of instability which could still throw Guinea and the region into chaos. At the very least, if not reformed thoroughly, they will continue to pose a threat to de...

Zimbabwe: Prospects from a Flawed Election

Excerpt: "The regional mediation offering the most realistic chance to resolve Zimbabwe’s eight-year crisis has failed. South African President Thabo Mbeki’s stated objective in talks between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement fo...

Beyond the numbers: Women’s Participation in the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation

"Since the end of the Cold War, much international attention has focused on identifying which factors within a mediation process contribute to sustainable peace. Research by academics and practitioners alike has identified several important areas...

Mediation in African conflicts: The gap between mandate and capacity

"Given the frequency with which high-level peacemaking is undertaken in Africa, there is surprisingly little discussion in official circles about the science and art of mediation. The first part of this paper examines some of the specific problems...

Under the Acacia: Mediation and the dilemma of inclusion

"Fostering peace through mediation involves a number of complex and important challenges. A key aspect of any mediation process is the inclusion of primary and secondary actors. This paper examines indigenous approaches to mediation and assesses h...

China’s role in the mediation and resolution of conflict in Africa

"The salience of China in relation to Darfur has generated a paradox in popular perceptions whereby China is seen as both the cause and the potential solution to an armed conflict. Such a black-and-white view may make effective ammunition for advo...

African Mediators’ Retreat 2009

"This publication is a meeting report on the African Mediators' Retreat 2009, which took place on 24-27 March in Zanzibar. The retreat was co-hosted by the HD Centre and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation."

Somalia: The Transitional Government on Life Support

"Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has squandered the goodwill and support it received and achieved little of significance in the two years it has been in office. It is inept, increasingly corrupt and hobbled by President Sharif’s w...

Negotiating Sudan’s North-South Future

"Sudan’s fragile Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is entering its final phase, and a critical vote on Southern self-determination looms, but foundations for a constructive post-referendum relationship are yet to be laid. In addition to a hand...

Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or Another Dead End?

"Intensified violence against those deemed to be ZANUPF enemies has exposed the limitations of Zimbabwe’s much delayed reform process and threatens to derail the Global Political Agreement (GPA). President Mugabe’s call for early elections has in...

Migration of Skills in South Africa: Patterns, Trends and Challenges

"It is a human inclination to want to position oneself where conditions are best for personal fulfillment, growth and success. People migrate because they perceive their environment as inadequate in terms of what they desire or deserve. The more d...

Going Public: How Africa's integration can work for the poor

"In the heyday of African nationalism, the continent’s founding fathers plotted their vision of pan-African unity. The twin paths of closer political and economic integration appeared to them as the only means to achieve dignity, prosperity and s...

Silencing the Guns, Owning the Future: Realising a Conflict-free Africa

"This report summarises the deliberations held during the high-level meeting, and its outcomes. Efforts are made to contextualise the discussions that occurred by providing information on overarching processes and developments that informed the ga...

Africa's Democracy: "Is the Environment Enabling or Disenabling"

The State of the Union Report addresses what lies above and below Africa’s current development trajectory. Too often we only ask what must be done and how it should be done but we seldom ask why our development efforts sometimes works in a sustain...

Somalia: An Opportunity that Should Not Be Missed

"The next six months will be crucial for Somalia. The international community is taking a renewed interest in the country; the mandate of the feeble and dysfunctional Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expires in a half-year; and emboldened tro...

The AU and the search for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi and Comoros

"This report highlights the AU’s role in deploying and supporting these mechanisms. At the beginning of both efforts, the OAU/AU faced tremendous difficulties in implementing its policy due to its administrative and logistical weaknesses. However,...

Towards enhancing the capacity of the African Union in mediation

"Armed conflict is one of the greatest threats to Africa’s development. Today, many African countries are in the throes of civil conflict, several more face a heightened risk of experiencing armed violence, while others are recently emerging fro...

Training to Protect Civilians: Recent Developments and Recommendations

"Protection of Civilians has become one of the most important aspects of the mandates of peacekeeping operations. More recently, both the United Nations and the African Union have been engaged in strengthening their roles in addressing protection...

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