Essays

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

Mediation & Reconciliation | November 5, 2013

Mediating in Madagascar: Bypassing the AU Ban on Coup Legitimization

A great political problem on the African continent is the scourge of coups have taken place over the past half century, one being in Madagascar in 2009. To combat these coups, the African Union has put in place a firm policy commitment to reject coups and other unconstitutional changes of government. While at first glance, the AU’s ban on coup legitimization is a decisive rejection of the military overthrow of governments and, thus, a compelling deterrent to future coups, it becomes clear upon further investigation that the ban itself is incompatible with mediation, which the AU invariably undertakes to restore constitutional order.

Photo credit to Flickr user ratozamanana. Photo taken on January 24, 2009 by Ratozamanana Andriankoto. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (new version CC BY 4.0). No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ratozamanana/3223344244
Andry Rajoelina parades through the streets after taking office.
Peacebuilding in Congo | October 18, 2013

Why Peacebuilding in Eastern Congo Often Goes Wrong, and Why It Is So Hard to Get Right

Why is building peace in a context such as the Congolese conflicts so hard?  Despite many efforts, including the presence of the largest United Nations peacekeeping mission, international treaties, and peace talks, peacebuilding in eastern Congo has become a difficult task with a myriad of complexities. Havenith and Vogel seek to understand these challenges.

Photo credit to Flickr user noodlepie. Photo taken by Graham Holliday on May 9, 2012. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/noodlepie/7166807794/
United Nations tent on DR Congo border with Rwanda | Photo Credit to Flickr user noodlepie
Special Issue: Ghana's 2012 Elections | October 10, 2013

The Consolidation of Democracy in Ghana: The 2012 General Elections in Perspective

This essay examines the connection between elections and democracy, drawing on the case of Ghana. It evaluates the role played by civil society and the Ghanaian Electoral Commission (EC) before and during the election and analyzes the impact of the death of President Atta Mills on the electoral fortunes of his National Democratic Congress (NDC). The decision of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to go to court to contest the outcome of the elections is also examined.

Photo credit to Flickr user Eileen Delhi. Photo taken December 7, 2012 by Eileen Delhi. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eileendelhi/8255595232/in/photolist-dzw5QQ-dpcKxk-d9gPAS-broCqV-broy1P-browCR-broBYK-broB3p-broBwn-broCQB-brozAv-dpcUNL-dATQVv-e8GrZQ-e8GtnA-e8AQjp-e8Gu4A-e8Gt3C-e8AP8H-e8ALwz-nKJWwD-buqzrj-bYYgpJ-drtxiu-cC6e8q-cNKCVb-bumiNS-bumnk7-bumhDQ-bHgaQa-bummQf-bHg9pX-bumicb-bumjLA-bumndw-e8Gsio-e8GrGh-e8GvGd-e8AQCH-e8Gut3-e8ANfn-e8ALMX-bG3n9n-bzv3aC-dyTUka-bNpGez-bLFDRp-bxLVVd-bzv2JU-bLG7gi
Ghanaians wait in line to vote at a polling station near Bolgatanga, Ghana.
Research and Practice | September 26, 2013

Transnational Threats to Peace in Africa

This article illustrates the scope and magnitude of threats within Africa by focusing on drug- trafficking, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW), and terrorism and will offer suggestions for effectively combating them and promoting peace and security within the continent.

Photo credit to Flickr user unicef. Photo taken in September 2013. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (new version CC BY 4.0). No changes were made. Original photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdptcar/2530125775/
UFDR soldier protecting airstrip in Sam Ouandja
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