The Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) was created in Africa in the late 1990s. It closed down after 7 years leaving behind an unquestionable legacy of success.
Elections are now common in low-income societies. However, they are frequently flawed. We investigate a Nigerian election marred by violence. We designed and conducted a nationwide field experiment based on anti-violence campaigning. The campaign appealed to collective action through electoral participation, and worked through town meetings, popular theatres and door-to-door distribution of materials. We find that the campaign decreased violence perceptions and increased empowerment to counteract violence. We observe a rise in voter turnout and infer that the intimidation was dissociated from incumbents. These effects are accompanied by a reduction in the intensity of actual violence, as measured by journalists.
When discussing the end of British colonial rule in Africa, many historians have highlighted the role of postwar international relations and the impact of domestic imperial politics on decolonization and have failed to recognize the role of African nationalists. This article argues that such a viewpoint is flawed because it conceives of colonial policy makers as isolated and autonomous entities impervious to changes taking place in the colonies. The national liberation movements in Ghana, Central Africa, Kenya, and other regions of East Africa are explored in this article to illustrate the central role that colonial subjects played in the British decolonization of Africa. While dominant scholarship on the failures of the post-colonial state has made studies of decolonization and African nationalism less fashionable, it is becoming increasingly clear that our understanding of the nature and mechanics of the crises that beset the continent requires taking fresh stock of the record of European colonial rule in Africa. In this regard, the study of colonialism and decolonization in continues to be of critical relevance.
Mandates for UN peacekeeping operations in Africa have become more robust since the delivery of the Brahimi Report in 2000. Contrary to before, soldiers are now unmistakably expected to use force to protect local civilians in a number of UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. While this expectation of force may be celebrated, the question rises whether peacekeeping soldiers can meet the expectation. Are they ready to kill and risk their lives to protect local civilians? This question is especially pertinent to Western armed forces, which have contributed little to post-millennium UN peace operations in Africa but are explicitly called upon by the UN administration to contribute to the robust peacekeeping missions. This article discusses the question of moral and psychological preparedness in light of the possible tension between the nationalist orientation in Western armed forces and the cosmopolitan demands of UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.
This document first outlines a comprehensive strategy for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) activities in the greater Great Lakes region of central Africa. The purpose of this strategy is to enhance the prospects for stabilization and recovery in the region. The DDR of the ex-combatants is necessary to establishing peace and restoring security, which are in turn pre-conditions for sustainable growth and poverty reduction. A multi-country approach will enhance effectiveness of the international response, provide greater coherence among DDR activities, facilitate positive feedback relationships among DDR activities in the region, provide similar incentives for all parties to the conflict to pursue peaceful strategies, address the regional externalities associated with some individual programs, enhance transparency of closely related DDR activities, and facilitate knowledge-sharing and training across DDR implementers. A regional strategy also serves as a confidence-building measure. The strategy, if successfully implemented, will have a significant impact on reducing poverty by helping to consolidate peace, building confidence among governments in the region, helping to free up national resources for investment, attracting foreign capital, investing in the human capital of ex-combatants, and enhancing capacities for development at the community level.