Essays

Essays present critical analysis and debate on a pressing issue in African peacebuilding.

Statebuilding & Security | March 12, 2014

South Sudan and the Complications of Peacebuilding through Statebuilding

“The struggle for power between factions at the center depends on building and undermining state institutions simultaneously—a process international assistance has not been able to rein in. The international technical support for state building appears overwhelmed by the dynamics of state formation, which is inherently political and often violent. Meanwhile, peacebuilding interventions are increasingly overshadowed by the urgency to build the state.”

Returnee boy at the UNHCR waystation in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan
Returnee boy at the UNHCR waystation in Torit (Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan).
Statebuilding & Security | February 25, 2014

Refilling the Vacuum: Responding to the Boko Haram Insurgency

“If the Boko Haram insurgency is to be tackled effectively, a combination of well-thought-out development plans and security strategies is needed …. Bringing the State back into the lives of the people could make a significant difference in addressing youth unemployment and alienation and contribute toward institutionalizing new forms of democratic leadership, accountability, and social harmony.”

A man walks along a street in northern Nigeria.
A man walks along a street in Kano, Nigeria.
Special Issue: Westgate Mall Attack | December 4, 2013

Westgate and the Future of Security in Africa

The time has come to reflect soberly on the significance of the Westgate mall siege and other terrorist attacks, and what lessons must be drawn to prevent another tragedy. The imminent danger remains the inability of our states’ security institutions and our regional and continental security instruments to effectively tackle extremism-related acts of violence and terrorism. A vast movement must take place to ready the continent to meet this clear and present danger.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/3659638268/
Officers with the East African Standby Brigade.
Special Issue: Westgate Mall Attack | December 4, 2013

Terrorism Demands Rethinking of National and Regional Security

The Westgate Mall terror attack of September 21 has raised many questions about the nature of national security in Kenya and regional security in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa. These questions call for a rethinking of how security operations are conceived and executed, as well as an understanding of how the war on terror has raised new stakes and demanded different approaches to security.

Photo credit to Flickr user usarmyafrica. Photo taken by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May of AFRICOM. Photo taken on March 11, 2013 by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (new version CC BY 4.0). No changes were made. Original photo: http://goo.gl/wZP3D4
Counter-IED training, Nairobi, Kenya.
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