Conflict Trends Issue 3
The first article is titled: Is There a Link between Democracy and Development in Africa? by Kizito Sikuka. Arguments presented in this article clearly show a strong relationship between democracy and development. However, it may be important to note that this linkage is not completely clear in most African countries, compared to the way it is very clear in other parts of the world; for example, Europe. The article on page 11: Cooperation as a Tool for Enhancing State Capacity to Fulfil Obligations of the Lomé Charter by Oluseyi Oladipo identifies the inherent state capacity challenges that might hinder the implementation of the Lomé Charter, and advocates that cooperation is a means of enhancing state capacity in this regard. To achieve this, the article discusses the status and key features of the Lomé Charter, before briefly weighing state responsibilities against state capacity. The article on page 20: Regional Organisations’ Support to National Dialogue Processes: ECOWAS Efforts in Guinea by Brown Odigie provides an overview of ECOWAS’s efforts at supporting national political dialogue processes in the subregion through its numerous declarations, statements and field interventions, with a focus on Guinea. The article : Implications of Counter-extremism Approaches on Sustainable Peace and Security in Africa: The Nigeria Experience by Afeno Super Odomovo and David Udofia recommends a human security centred counter-extremism approach that views people as the focus of interventions – recognising their human rights, ensuring their safety and safeguarding their livelihoods to aid sustainable peace and security in Africa. The article on page 37: Youth Engagement in Conflict Transformation in the Central African Republic by Fabrice Kitenge Tunda describes intermittent episodes of coups d’état and political instability since its independence from France in 1960 in the CAR. There has only been one peaceful transition of power, when President Ange-Félix Patassé was democratically elected in 1993. The current conflict in CAR began in late 2012, when the Séléka armed rebel group launched several attacks on government forces, resulting in the overthrow of the former president François Bozizé on 23 March 2013. The fact that Somalis still largely rely on traditional justice systems, especially at the local level, due to the overall lack of trust and perceived ineffectiveness of the secular justice system is discussed in the article: Reinvigoration of Somali Traditional Justice through Inclusive Conflict Resolution Approaches by Natasha Leite. In this sense, the Somali experience is not unique: international research and experience shows that communities that are excluded or lack access to effective state services usually rely on their traditional governance mechanisms or create new, local ones.