Conflict Trends Issue 3 2014
In ‘South Africa and South-South Approaches to Post-conflict Development in Africa’ since 1994, promoting cordial and strategic relations with other countries in the Global South has been a key objective of South Africa’s foreign policy. Until recently, the pursuit of this goal appears to have dovetailed well with South Africa’s ambitions to play a leadership role in the stabilisation of Africa and catalysing the continent’s socioeconomic development. In “Monrovia is not Liberia”: A Rocky Path towards Decentralisation, decentralisation has the potential to address one of the most deep-rooted causes of conflict in Liberia. Yet, as the planning continues, a myriad challenges have emerged. ‘Information and Communications Technology in Peacebuilding: Lessons from Kenya’s Tana Delta’ describes the underlying nature of ethnic conflict in the Tana Delta and explores the peace processes that have been undertaken, some of which are ongoing. It then examines the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in peacebuilding, successful cases of use, and a specific example from the current use of ICT for peacebuilding in the Tana Delta of Kenya. In ‘Peacebuilding in Fragile African States: The Case for Private Sector Involvement’ conflicts often recur, as peacebuilding efforts tend to address violent conflicts by their symptoms only and ignore the underlying causes and conditions. ‘Demystifying the White Army: Nuer Armed Civilians’ Involvement in the South Sudanese Crisis’ examines the White Army’s history, role in Nuer society, structure and cooperation with the SPLM/A-IO. Increased comprehension and engagement with armed community structures, such as the White Army, is necessary to facilitate a durable solution to the current conflict. ‘Agriculture: A Key Ingredient for Peace and Stability in Africa’ argues that Africa can indeed address most of its challenges, including political instability, if its citizens have access to food, as well as means to production including farming inputs such as seeds, fertiliser, credit facilities and land to conduct their farming business. In ‘Local Peace Committees: Building Social Cohesion and Resilience within the Infrastructure for Peace Framework’ discusses the roles that Local Peace Committees (LPC ) could play within the broader social cohesion and resilience-building framework. Supported by broadly identified case studies, the article first unpacks the concept of LPCs. ‘Why Boko Haram Kidnaps Women and Young Girls in North-eastern Nigeria’ critically examines the disturbing trend of Boko Haram’s relentless attacks against women and young girls in north eastern Nigeria. The ramifications of these attacks on the right to education of women and young girls in northern Nigeria, as well as the far-reaching impact on their physical and psychosocial well-being, is assessed.