Conflict Trends Issue 4 2014
In ‘Beheadings and the News Media: Why Some Conflict Atrocities Receive More Coverage than Others’ although major changes have occurred in the dissemination of news, there is no question that the news media retains an exceptionally powerful role in news-gathering and in agenda-setting. ‘Conflict Resolution in the Central African Republic: What Role for Civil Society?’ argues that the resolution of the conflict cannot occur without a proper understanding of the historical dynamics of the CAR and the severe political, economic, social and governance challenges that have characterised its polity. ‘Maritime Security in Africa: Potential for the Private Sector?’ concentrates on two aspects that are important for many coastal states in Africa: sustainable fishing, and off shore oil and gas production. These aspects are good examples for the potential of enhanced maritime capabilities. Furthermore, the article discusses the potential for an enhanced role of the private sector. In ‘African Union Panel of the Wise,’ the Panel of the Wise (PW) is a consultative body of the African Union (AU), composed of five appointed members who each serve a three-year term. The PW is one of the pillars of the AU Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). In ‘COMESA’S Committee of Elders, ’ the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Committee of Elders (CCoE) was established at the Eleventh Summit of the COMESA Authority of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti in November 2006. The imperative for the establishment of the CCoE was borne out of the realisation that peace, security and stability are fundamental prerequisites for the attainment of sustainable development. In ‘Arms, Wildlife and Disease: The Need for Integrated Responses to Complex Transnational Challenges, ’ the proliferation of conventional weapons, wildlife trafficking and the spread of disease profoundly affects many African countries. The unchecked flow of arms, for example, fuels armed conflict and violence throughout the region; illicitly trafficked wildlife commodities helps fund terrorist activities; and the spread of disease weakens state institutions and capacities to counter security threats. ‘The MONUSCO Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Opportunities and Challenges’ adds to the discussion on what the newly added UAV capabilities may mean for UN peacekeeping operations. ‘The Peacebuilding Potential of Islam: A Response to the Boko Haram Crisis.’ interrogates the potential role of Islam in peacebuilding. The article is an advocacy piece that posits utilising the resources in Islam towards a sustainable resolution of the Boko Haram crisis. The aim is to present a tool of conflict transformation and peacebuilding that is based on the inner strengths and potential for peace in Islam.