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March 21, 2016
By Vicky Karimi
Republished from The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security Blog
Over the years, rape as a tactic of war has been witnessed globally across geographical and cultural divides, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia and Syria, to name but a few. This scourge continues unabated for various reasons, key among which is a record of insufficient prosecution of sexual violence crimes at the national, regional and international levels. This has resulted in an impunity gap within which sexual violence thrives, is tolerated and even celebrated by warring factions. South Sudan is the latest demonstration of this.
On March 10th, 2016, the United Nations released a report containing the principal findings of a comprehensive assessment conducted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights into allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan since the outbreak of violence in December 2013. The assessment, which builds on and confirms the findings of previous reports, highlights the extent to which sexual violence has been perpetrated in the South Sudan conflict. It finds that from April to September 2015, the UN recorded more than 1,300 reports of rape in just one of South Sudan’s ten states: oil-rich Unity.
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March 15, 2016
By Prof. Medhane Tadesse
Republished from The Current Analyst
Peace making and peace building in Africa is on the edge of disaster. It is obvious where the road they(Africa's peacemakers) are on would lead, but those in charge of the task could not (or would not) see it. IGAD leaders continued to engage in the habitual attempts at ‘peace making’ efforts without recognizing and/or discerning what mistakes they had made and how they could keep from making them again. As a result the story of President Kiir’s doomed military and political position has been replaced by the story of his inevitability as the real decider in the peace process.
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March 11, 2016
by Habibu Yaya Bappah
Republished from Taylor & Francis Online
This article attempts to explain the apparent failure of Nigeria's military action against the Boko Haram (roughly translated as ‘Western education is prohibited’) insurgency in the north-east of the country. Until the involvement of troops from Chad and Niger in January 2015, the Boko Haram insurgents were succeeding in their effort to establish, or rather consolidate, an extreme version of the ‘Islamic state’ in parts of north-east Nigeria. For over five years, the military struggled to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria against Boko Haram, with little success. The war opened a Pandora's box, exposing a deep crisis in the military and the civilian leadership in Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgents were able to fly the flag of their ‘state’ in the territory of Nigeria. This article argues that the failure of the military action can be attributed to three factors: the erosion of military professionalism under civilian administrations since 1999; the poor handling of the war by the top military officers; and a lack of decisiveness in the leadership of President Jonathan and the military to end the insurgency.
For more about the article visit Taylor & Francis Online
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February 24, 2016
by Julius Kaka
Republished from IPI Global Observatory
Last week saw the most competitive elections in the history of Uganda. Several prominent ministers and key members of the ruling party were voted out—approximately 19 ministers lost elections, including Crispus Kiyonga, who is playing a key role in the Burundi Peace process.
The Electoral Commission declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni as the winner of the presidential election, with 60.7% (5,617,593 votes). Kizza Besigye came second with 35.37% (3,270,290 votes) and Amama Mbabazi third with 1.43% (132,573 votes) in a race that had eight candidates. President Museveni, who assumed office in 1986, is now one of Africa’s longest serving presidents, along with Angola’s Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (since 1979), Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang (since 1979), Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (since 1980) and Cameroon’s Paul Biya (since 1982). The 71-year-old has run the country for the last thirty years.
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Bringing Gender Dimensions Back from Obscurity
Governance, Peace and Security in Africa
AWDF Policy Working Paper
By Prof. ’Funmi Olonisakin
Efforts to address the gender dimensions of governance, peace and security in Africa have registered some success. At the same time, fundamental challenges remain. These challenges continue to relegate gender issues to the periphery of peace and security. Among other things; this policy paper discusses the disconnect between policy, scholarship and activism; and the reality on the ground. It argues, among other things, that there is not yet a narrative that moves Africa towards transformation in gender relations in peace and security processes in Africa. The paper makes a set of observations which, in part, explain the absence of a qualitative shift toward gender equality in these fields. It offers some proposals for relocating gender considerations in mainstream governance, peace and security discourse and practice.