On the Spot

On the Spot focuses on providing quick, concise expert insights by scholars and practitioners into significant issues related to African peacebuilding. Poignant and spontaneous, it draws upon locally grounded knowledge, distilling diverse responses to questions and challenges facing peace, security, and development on the continent.

Radar | April 7, 2017

Whither Peacebuilding Initiatives? The Escalation of Herder-Farmer Conflicts in Nigeria

There is a growing trend towards episodic, low-intensity conflicts across Nigeria, particularly in its north-central and southern zones. These conflicts often involve nomadic Fulani herdsmen and sedentary agricultural communities,1 and result in the unmitigated decimation and sacking of rural communities. Herder-farmer conflicts have escalated in the last decade and assumed a deadly dimension over the […]

Cattle in Ta Kuti village, Niger State, Nigeria
On the Spot | March 23, 2015

Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections

Coordinated with the help of Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, this special section highlights the most significant issue(s) in Nigeria’s 2015 general elections, to be held March 28, 2015, after a six-week postponement. As Africa’s largest democracy prepares for the polls, several questions must be answered: What do these elections portend for the country in the face of domestic demands for solutions to problems of unemployment, inequality, the marginalization of minorities, and growing insecurity, and Nigeria’s role within West Africa and the rest of the continent? What implications will the elections likely have for national stability and development in Africa’s largest economy? And what do the elections portend for the country’s relations with its neighbors, the West, and emerging powers?

Photo credit to Flickr user Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Taken on  December 16, 2014. This picture is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. The photo was cropped to fit screen. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boellstiftung/16246473178
A Nigerian man shows his voter ID card.
On the Spot | October 21, 2014

Article 46A bis: Implications for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation in Africa

In this special issue, we asked several leading scholars and practitioners working in the field of international justice, human rights, and peace in Africa to respond to recent concerns about the embedding of Article 46A bis, which grants immunity to sitting heads of state and senior government officials, thereby precluding them from being tried by the African Court for serious crimes committed in violation of international law. Contributors were asked the following questions: Is Article 46A bis a blank check granting African leaders and senior government officials the right to act with impunity? Will leaders be able to get away in the future with serious war crimes and crimes against humanity? What are the prospects that Article 46A bis would be re-thought, further amended, or even dropped? And is there still space for African states and courts to engage with international justice institutions in the pursuit of justice in Africa?

Photo credit to Flickr user Embassy of Equatorial Guinea. Taken on June 29, 2011 at the 17th Ordinary African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. This picture is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0. Original image cropped to fit page. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/equatorial_guinea/5893460051
African heads of state and government officials at the seventeenth Ordinary African Union (AU) Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
On the Spot | May 5, 2014

South Africa: 2014 Elections

The African Peacebuilding Network asked several scholars and practitioners to explore what they consider to be the most significant issue(s) in the coming elections and the likely implications for post-2014 South Africa. What do these elections portend for the country in the face of domestic demands for solutions to problems of rising levels of poverty, violent crime, unemployment, inequality, corruption, and unequal access to basic services? How might these elections affect South Africa’s role within southern Africa? What implications will they have for the country’s relations with the rest of Africa, the West, and the emerging powers?

Inked thumb from previous South African elections indicating that a person had cast their vote.