Several devastating conflicts have persisted in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 20 years or more. Some countries are still emerging from the era of cold war politics, while debilitating internal struggles continue to plague others. Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, and more recently, Angola and Mozambique are examples of the former. The latter is illustrated by the situation in countries such as Liberia, Somalia and the Sudan. This study, the transition from war to peace in Sub-Saharan Africa, offers practical guidance and examples of good practice for improving the design and implementation of programs for demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration of ex-combatants and their dependents in client countries. It also provides a list of early warning signals that indicate whether the demobilization and reintegration programs (DRPs) process is not going according to plan and suggests preventive actions. Work on the ground, as well as case analysis in countries such as Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, and Rwanda form the basis of the suggested good practice in DRPs.
Despite increased international attention to managing the potential impacts of peacekeeping on host countries, unintended consequences continue to emerge. This article focuses particularly on the alternative economies that peacekeeping operations generate and the differential economic impacts on individuals who come into contact with peacekeepers. Based on empirical evidence derived from fieldwork in Liberia, the article highlights the everyday lives of women whose livelihoods have been affected by the presence of peacekeeping missions. It also discusses how such economies adjust during the peacekeeping drawdown phase, and explores the dynamics that such economies have on specific segments of the Liberian population. The argument is that, while peacekeeping economies are critical in stimulating the local economy and providing livelihoods during and in the immediate aftermath of war, they have negative unintended impacts that need mitigation.
The essay explores how the statebuilding intervention in Liberia produces a situation in which the locus for public authority is unclear and lines of responsibility and accountability are difficult to pinpoint. It does so by zooming in on one particular element in the intervention – the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program – and concludes that the opacity surrounding this programme risks defeating the wider liberal objectives of the statebuilding intervention.
This article critically analyses capacity-building and local ownership in the context of UN peace operations through interviews with UN staff and NGO representatives in Liberia and Burundi. The argument is that these concepts are left ambiguous and undefined to avoid accountability for peace operations while still functioning as value-adding and legitimizing discursive instruments for the latter. This article proves that the many paradoxes and contradictions surrounding the concepts clearly deter their operation in practice, while their positive connotations remain important, discursively, as legitimizing tools.
From a security perspective, the reintegration of ex-combatants has been largely successful in Liberia due to six years of sustained effort to reestablish rule of law throughout the country, to rebuild institutions, to promote early recovery, and to reintegrate the former fighting forces as well as other war-affected populations. This, however, does not mean that all problems related to integration are completely resolve. Since 2003, an array of efforts have been undertaken to reintegrate ex-combatants, from classic disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration to strategic and community-based interventions that aims at promoting alternative livelihoods. Here, Tamagnini and Krafft consider what those efforts have achieved and what was not achievable, explain why it is time to end targeted assistance to ex-combatants in Liberia, and propose the next steps to be taken.
Based on the study of every internationally negotiated civil war settlement between 1980 and 1998, this volume presents the most comprehensive effort to date to evaluate the role of international actors in peace implementation. It looks into promises made by combatants in peace agreements and examines when and why those promises are fulfilled. The authors differentiate between conflicts, showing why Guatemala is not Bosnia, and why strategies that succeed in benign environments fail in more challenging ones. Going beyond attributing implementation failures to a lack of political will, the volume argues that an absence of political will reflects the judgment of major powers of the absence of vital security interests. Overall, the authors emphasize that implementers must tailor their strategies and give priority to certain tasks in implementation, such as demobilizing soldiers and demilitarizing politics, to achieve success.
How can the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations, government donors, and other policymakers best apply the tools of conflict prevention to the wide range of intrastate conflict situations actually found in the field? The detailed case studies and analytical chapters in this book offer operational lessons for fashioning strategy and tactics to meet the challenges of specific conflicts, both potential and actual. The cases included are Burundi, Colombia, East Timor, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Liberia, Tajikistan, and Tanzania/Zanzibar.
For a long time analysts of war-torn societies have understood post-conflict situations primarily as processes of transition towards consolidated statehood. This perspective is increasingly considered unsatisfactory in that it raises false expectations of state-building processes and conceals important dynamics unfolding in situ. This article formulates an integrated analytical framework that allows for characterizing and assessing the dynamics in post-conflict polities. It is argued that any post-conflict polity can be characterized by focusing on the interactions between three post-conflict actors: the formal government, external actors and informal powers. In a second step Amartya Sen’s capability approach is used as an analytical benchmark for measuring state-building achievements. Subsequently, the analytical framework is applied for comparing two diverse post-conflict environments, Mozambique and Liberia, in order to illustrate the potential and limitations of the analytical framework.
This paper aims at contributing to this branch of research by providing first attempts for a theoretical discussion of the role of environmental cooperation in post-conflict peacebuilding, followed by an illustration of two concrete peacebuilding cases: Liberia and Mozambique. The major underlying question is how a closer link between research on environmental peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding can be achieved. The paper argues that both branches of research have historically been rather detached from one another. Work on the link between environmental aspects and security has often been dominated by environmentalists, e.g. water engineers or conservationists, while research on post-conflict peacebuilding has often been done by those specialized in the fields of international relations or conflict resolution. A systematic study of potential spill-over effects between research and environmental peacemaking and other branches of research might therefore reveal interesting findings about the potential role of environmental peacemaking in the context of post-conflict countries. Chapter 2 provides a start into this discussion by reviewing some of the core literature on the link between natural resources and violent conflicts, the theoretical background of the environmental peacemaking theory, and some of the literature on post-conflict peacebuilding. Chapter 3 uses the insights gained from this theoretical discussion in order to systematically look for interconnections and spill-over effects. As a result of this discussion, concrete hypotheses about the role of environmental peacemaking in post-conflict countries will be derived. Chapters 4 and 5 contain a discussion of the peacebuilding challenges in Mozambique and Liberia, followed by an analysis of the potential role for environmental peacemaking to support their peacebuilding processes. Chapter 6 contains the conclusions of this discussion, followed by a range of concrete policy recommendations, addressed primarily to the international community.
This article calls for a re-examination of the justification, formulation and implementation of DDR programming in certain post-conflict environments. Qualitative fieldwork among ex-combatants in Monrovia, Liberia, suggests that the extent and form of DDR programming must be more sensitive to and predicated on context, accounting for conflict histories and current socioeconomic conditions and local institutional capacity. Moreover, in some post-conflict societies, a better use of international community resources may be to delink disarmament and demobilization from reintegration, focusing reintegration resources instead on open-access jobs programmes with discrete, complementary bilateral or multilateral programmes for particularly vulnerable groups.
Studies of peacekeeping have helped to reveal the complexities, dilemmas and challenges of operations since their inception, and almost certainly into the future. Yet, despite the empirical and theoretical breadth of this canon, the field continues to be dominated by political science, development studies, international law and military studies, whose scholars tend to draw on problem-solving, macro-level and positivist perspectives in their writings. The impact of post-structural and post-positivist epistemologies developed in sociology, human geography and cultural studies remain marginal in the field. Given this, the present article seeks to complement and develop the study of peacekeeping through its framing of blue-helmet activity as embodied, spatial-security practice that is performed ‘out front’ for the beneficiary audience. In so doing we draw on critical geopolitics, military/human geography and sociological theorizing with a focus on space and performance. Our main aim is to show how the concepts of space and performance can be used to illuminate perceptions of everyday security by recourse to a modest, illustrative empirical component based on fieldwork in Haiti, Kosovo and Liberia.
In a sweeping review of forty truth commissions, Priscilla Hayner delivers a definitive exploration of the global experience in official truth-seeking after widespread atrocities. When Unspeakable Truths was first published in 2001, it quickly became a classic, helping to define the field of truth commissions and the broader arena of transitional justice. This second edition is fully updated and expanded, covering twenty new commissions formed in the last ten years, analyzing new trends, and offering detailed charts that assess the impact of truth commissions and provide comparative information not previously available. Placing the increasing number of truth commissions within the broader expansion in transitional justice, Unspeakable Truths surveys key developments and new thinking in reparations, international justice, healing from trauma, and other areas. The book challenges many widely-held assumptions, based on hundreds of interviews and a sweeping review of the literature. This book will help to define how these issues are addressed in the future.
As non-governmental organizations play a growing role in the international response to armed conflict – tasked with mitigating the effects of war and helping to end the violence – there is an acute need for information on the impact they are actually having. Addressing this need, Aiding Peace? explores just how NGOs interact with conflict and peace dynamics, and with what results.
International actors involved in transitional post-conflict situations often focus their attention on the reconstruction of a state’s political apparatus. Even where control of natural resources is central to the conflict, there tends to be less consideration of resource governance issues in transitional periods. This article examines one particular aspect of resource governance – the negotiation and signing of foreign investment contracts – in the context of post-conflict, pre-election Liberia. The investment contract process was mishandled by the transitional Liberian government. Although local interests resisted external oversight, international actors could and should have done more, in the interest of all Liberians, to proffer contract negotiation expertise and to prevent the transitional government from locking the state into unsatisfactory deals on major resource assets. International actors did address the contract issue and external oversight of economic governance more generally during Liberia’s formal transitional period, but ultimately their interventions amounted to too little and they came too late.
The rule of law is more than a legal concept. It encompasses more than an established set of rules and legal institutions. In the case of Liberia, there can be no rule of law without the commitment of those relatively few people who administer those rules on behalf of a post-conflict state that has endured twenty-five years of civil war and exploitation. This Essay seeks to prove that existing legal architecture and institutions in a post-conflict state matter less to the rule of law than does the character of the people who run the legal system. The Essay does not suggest that legal rules are, or should be, subordinate to personality in the orderly functioning of a postconflict society. However, it concludes that emphasis on creating new laws to address the perceived causes of state failure will ultimately accomplish little if the judges and lawyers who operate the legal system are not genuinely committed to the rule of law. This argument is developed by outlining, in very broad terms, the pre-conflict Liberian legal system and how it failed to serve as a meaningful bulwark against warlord predators. Then, the Essay focuses on a particular case, decided by Liberia’s Supreme Court on August 23, 2007, involving Liberia’s former head of state, Charles Gyude Bryant, who served as chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) from October 2003 until the inauguration of Liberia’s current President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on January 16, 2006. The Bryant case provides an example of how the presidential immunity provision in Liberia’s Constitution was invoked in an attempt to trump the rule of law with the rule of impunity, and how the Supreme Court of Liberia’s judgment offers hope for a better day in Liberia’s legal future, notwithstanding the divided opinion of the Court.
There is increasing consensus among scholars and policy analysts that successful peacebuilding can occur only in the context of capable state institutions. But how can legitimate and sustainable states best be established in the aftermath of civil wars? And what role should international actors play in supporting the vital process? Addressing these questions, this state-of-the-art volume explores the core challenges involved in institutionalizing postconflict states. The combination of thematic chapters and in-depth case studies covers the full range of the most vexing and diverse problems confronting domestic and international actors seeking to build states while building peace. Case studies include: Somalia, Palestine, Bosnia, East Timor / Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Liberia
The security situation in Liberia is currently quite good, and at a glance the peacebuilding process seems to be moving ahead. However, the root causes of the conflict have not been adequately addressed, but have in fact become more interlinked in the aftermath of the civil war. Instead of addressing local perceptions of insecurity the international community made plans for Liberia without considering the context in which reforms were to be implemented. The peace in post-conflict Liberia is therefore still fragile and the international presence is regarded as what secures the peace. Still, the UN is supposed to start its full withdrawal in 2010, indicating that the international community will leave the country without addressing the root causes of conflict.
Since the end of the Liberian civil war in August 2003 the international community has been “making plans” for Liberia. However, it rarely questioned whether these plans were in accordance with the political and economic logic of the peace agreement and the subsequent transitional government. The consequence was that corruption continued and a much more intrusive economic management plan was established. The Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme is supposed to combat corruption and facilitate good governance, but it also limits the range of policy options for the new democratically elected government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The irony is that the best and most legitimate government that Liberia has ever had is subject to stronger external control than any of its predecessors. The probability that this scheme will remain sustainable when donor interest shifts elsewhere is low, and what is needed is a more pragmatic approach that draws a wider segment of Liberian society into anti-corruption management and creates checks and balances between them.