Africa 2008 – 2009: Retrospective look at the past year and forecast for the new year

"The present Situation Report is an attempt to make sense of the various and contrasting developments that marked the year 2008 in Africa from a human security perspective.It also provides some clues to understand the events that are likely to shape Africa’s security debate in 2009. Although human security is a broad and sometimes contested concept, this Report considers it in its normative dimension as the absence of war and causes of war.The approach is voluntarily broad and such varied issues as armed conflicts, elections and other governance issues, as well as food security are analysed. We have chosen to analyse these developments on a sub-regional basis, while also addressing one particular crosscutting issue that is of significance to the African peace and security agenda in 2009, namely the role of the African Union and other regional bodies. The report concludes with a prospective look into the New Year. But given its nature, it goes without saying that some salient issues remain unaddressed, which should not be taken to mean neglect or minimisation of those issues."