Policy & Practice Briefs

The Policy & Practice Brief series forms part of ACCORD's knowledge production work to inform peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. They aim to provide succinct, rigorous and accessible recommendations to policy makers and practitioners and to stimulate informed and relevant debate to promote dialogue as a way to peacefully resolve conflict. Each issue draws on field research or the outcomes of thematic events, with analysis underpinned by rigorous research, academic theory and methods. 

The peace process in the DRC

A transformation quagmire

Policy & Practice Brief 20

Since the 1990s the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued to be mired in intractable conflicts. Despite the establishment of an elected government in 2006 following the implementation of a series of peace agreements, the country still faces challenges in consolidating peace throughout its territory. The eastern regions of the DRC have consistently experienced high insecurity and repeated incidences of violence, often as a result of interference of neighbouring countries. The recurring episodes of violence in both the eastern and other regions of the DRC indicate that the process of conflict transformation is impeded by deep structural issues in society. These issues must be addressed if peace in the country, and the Great Lakes region, is to be achieved.

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Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia

An intricate process

Policy & Practice Brief 19

In the midst of Somalia’s decades of conflict, al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist group with al-Qaeda links, has become particularly noticeable not only nationally but also regionally. Foreign intervention, therefore, is no new phenomenon in Somalia. Yet, when on 16 October 2011, Kenyan troops entered Somalia to launch a military offensive against al-Shabaab, called Operation Linda Nchi (Protect the Country), the reality of the al-shabaab menace in the region was highlighted. The Kenyan intervention in the Somalia conflict is, however, fraught with its own challenges for Kenya, Somalia and the entire region a year into the operation.

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Ghana: A Beacon of Hope in Africa

Policy & Practice Brief 18

Located in West Africa, a generally tumultuous region characterised by political instability of varying magnitude, ranging from coups, political turmoil, violent sectarian conflicts, to simmering political tension even in some seemingly ‘stable’ countries, Ghana stands out as an encouraging success story. Besides being the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence from a colonial power, the country has become the epitome of democracy and good governance in Africa following years of political upheavals.

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Preventing and Punishing Sexual Violence

The Work of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region

Policy & Practice Brief 17

Efforts to build lasting peace at regional level involve multiple strata of actors, institutions and processes. Regional organisations that are in search of shared peace and security must take cognisance of the various layers of political and social history of many sovereign states. These bodies must accommodate different economies, legal systems and security capacities, cultures and conflicting interests. Challenges such as these are particuraly acute for new regional institutions, especially when they ambitiously set out to solve newly-defined problems. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is an example of this new terrain.

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Responsibility to Protect

Why Libya and not Syria?

Policy & Practice Brief 16

While the intervention in Libya saved relatively many lives, there is hesitation to intervene in Syria due to geopolitics, despite the threshold for intervention having been reached. However, by endorsing the notion of responsibility to protect, UN Member States, including the Security Council, agreed to act collectively to save humanity from atrocities. Therefore, the international community should support the Arab League to constructively engage the warring factions to find a peaceful solution to the crisis and persuade them to avoid committing atrocities against civilians. The Syrian government should uphold its primary responsibility to protect its population and the belligerents should provide access for humanitarian assistance; those at fault should be held accountable by the international criminal court.

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Sexual Violence Beyond Conflict Termination

Impunity for Past Violations as a Recipe for New Ones?

Policy & Practice Brief 15

Based on a pilot study of seven African countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa – this Policy & Practice Brief presents insights on amnesty regimes and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) beyond conflict termination. It shows that CRSV often continues past conflict termination and that most of the conflicts under study negotiated amnesties. Yet, this finding is not enough to confer that impunity leads to continued CRSV. The combination of amnesties and continued CRSV raises important questions about how to address sexual violence in post-conflict situations and build durable peace.

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Climate change and conflict

Conflict-sensitive climate change adaptation in Africa

Policy & Practice Brief 14

In preparation for COP17 (17 th Conference of the Parties) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban,held a two-day expert seminar to identify issues and recommendations for ensuring that adaptation to climate change is conflict- sensitive. Practitioners and scientists presented new research on the linkages between climate change and conflict in Africa, and analysed various tools, policies and approaches to ensure that conflicts arising from climate change are addressed and climate change adaptation measures are conflict-sensitive.

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Managing Election-related Violence

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Policy & Practice Brief 13

Approximately 25 presidential, legislative and local elections are planned in Africa for 2011. The African Union (AU) has identified the forthcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as ones that require special attention. This is because many parts of the country – including the Kivus, Bas-Congo, and Equateur Province – continue to experience violent conflicts. This environment sets the context for the upcoming multi- party elections scheduled for 28 November 2011...

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