The African Journal on Conflict Resolution is a peer-reviewed journal published by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) for the multidisciplinary subject field of conflict resolution. There are two regular issues per year, and occasionally also a special issue on a particular theme. It appears on the list of journals accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. ACCORD is a non-governmental, non-aligned conflict resolution organisation based in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD is constituted as an education trust.


The Globethics library contains vol. 4(2004)-19(2019) no.1

Recent Submissions

  • Boko Haram insurgency and the necessity for trans-territorial forestland governance in the Lower Lake Chad Basin

    Okoli, Al Chukwuma (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    The significance of forests as an existential threat to national security in Nigeria has been underscored in the phenomenon of Boko Haram insurgency. The occupation and apparent ‘weaponisation’ of Sambisa and the adjoining forests by Boko Haram insurgents have continued to pose an enervating tactical challenge that complicates the ongoing counterinsurgency efforts in northeast Nigeria. The instrumentalisation of forests as an operational and defensive stronghold by the insurgents in the lower Lake Chad Basin has been enabled by the existence of large expanses of dispersed, uninhabited and un-policed forested spheres in the area. This study examines the imperative for transnational forestland governance in the lower Lake Chad Basin, in the light of a continual incidence of Boko Haram insurgency in that context. Drawing discursively from the ‘ungoverned spaces’ (territorial ungovernability) hypothesis, the study posits that the prevailing vacuum of effective forestland governance in the region must be filled in order to mitigate the security challenge. To that end, the study prescribes a strategic trans-territorial forestland governance regime whereby Nigeria and Cameroon synergise efforts in bringing about effective reclamation and occupation of the volatile forested landscapes.Keywords: Boko Haram, forest, forest governance, insurgency, lower Lake Chad Basin
  • Book review: A Theory of Mediators’ Ethics: Foundations, rationale, and application

    Malan, Jannie (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    Shapira, Omer 2016 New York: Cambridge University Press, xxvii + 466 pp. ISBN 978-1-316-50763-6 Reviewed by Saran Fina Sidime*
  • State fragility and conflict nexus: Contemporary security issues in the Horn of Africa

    Adeto, Yonas Adaye (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    Although research on natural resource and ethnic identity-based conflict abounds, studies which critically examine how the state fragility–conflict nexus shapes the contemporary security of the Horn of Africa are rather limited. Qualitatively designed, this study attempts to explore and explain security implications of such a nexus. Analysis of the regional security complex (RSC) and empirical data from the field reveal that conflict dynamics feed and fuel state fragility in the Horn of Africa sub-region. The presence of extra-regional security actors, who are competing for military bases along the coast of Djibouti, the spill-over effects of violence in Yemen, and the Iran–Saudi power rivalry, together with incompetent regional political leadership, tend to shape the security of the Horn. Hence, a new and innovative approach to contemporary security and political commitment are sine qua non since the existing institutions and policies are not fully capable of coping with the need for a new security regionalism. It is hoped that the recent rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, albeit at an embryonic stage, is and will be a positive force capable of bringing about a paradigm shift in security structure, and inducing a viable and sustainable economic, political and security community in the Horn of Africa.Keywords: conflict dynamics, Horn of Africa, military bases, political community, regional security complex, state fragility
  • Linking governance and xenophobic violence in contemporary South Africa

    Misago, Jean Pierre (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    By demonstrating that local governance facilitates the occurrence of xenophobic violence by providing what I term favourable micro-political opportunity structures, the article argues that governance is a key determinant of xenophobic violence in South Africa and of collective violence generally. Research evidence (from extensive comparative empirical data and the global literature) informing this argument sits incongruently with the common and widely accepted understanding of governance and its relationship with collective violence. It shows that some aspects of this relationship are misunderstood and others are yet to be examined. Indeed, theoretical predictions in this regard indicate that collective violence and other forms of contentious collective action tend to occur in societies where mechanisms of social control have lost their restraining power. This article challenges these predictions by illustrating that, in most cases, xenophobic violence occurs in areas where social controls are strong and actually a facilitating factor. Further, the article indicates that the biggest misunderstanding of the relationship between governance and collective violence lies in interconnections yet to be examined. Such an examination would reveal the predominant role of governance, not only as a determinant, but particularly because of the significant role it plays in the making of violence co-determinants. Keywords: xenophobia, xenophobic violence, governance, collective violence, social controls, political opportunity structure
  • Foreword

    Malan, Jannie (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    No Abstract.
  • The challenges of power-sharing and transitional justice in post-civil war African countries: Comparing Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone

    Koko, Sadiki (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    This article uses the cases of Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone to analyse transitional justice processes in African societies where powersharing was used as a key tool to end very protracted and violent civil wars. It is argued that, by affording warring parties a prominent role in the postsettlement political environment, power-sharing inadvertently impeded the pursuit of both restorative and criminal justice in all three countries. As an instance of ‘warriors’ justice’, power-sharing was used by such actors as an opportunity to avoid facing retributive justice. Indeed, due to the central position they held within the power-sharing dispensations, former warriors emphasised amnesty while paying lip service to reparations for victims. In all three countries, the decision to revert to the international judicial system or not was mainly motivated by political calculations rather than any genuine concern for justice. However, notwithstanding the shortcomings above, the consensus brought about by the power-sharing dispensations enabled the three countries to effect meaningful institutional reforms, albeit with limited and different levels of success.Keywords: power-sharing, transitional justice, civil war, Burundi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone
  • Pervasive intra-party conflicts in a democratising Nigeria: Terrains, implications, drivers and options for resolution

    Basiru, Adeniyi S. (ACCORD, 2019-12-04)
    Intra-party conflicts of all shapes and complexions have been part and parcel of Nigeria’s democratic journey. However, in recent times, they have become much more pervasive and even assumed crisis dimensions, with negative implications for democratic stability and consolidation. Drawing from the literature and interpreting the evidence, this article examines the terrain, implications and drivers of intra-party conflicts in a democratising Nigeria with a view to recommending options for resolution. It proceeds from the premise that pervasive intra-party conflicts, which have now assumed crisis dimensions, are not given, but have been nurtured by certain structural factors which have shaped the contours of politics in Nigeria. Specifically, it argues that the crises are closely connected with the neo-patrimonial character of the Nigerian petro state, the nature of politics being played by the political actors, praetorian hangover, and the paucity of democrats who genuinely have democratic temperaments to play the game of democratic politics according to established rules. It calls for, among others, the reform and strengthening of the internal conflict management capacities of political parties in Nigeria.Keywords: democracy, political parties, elections, intra-party conflicts, conflict management, Nigeria
  • Elections, constitutionalism and political stability in South Africa

    D Nupen (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2007-10-18)
    No Abstract. African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 4 (2) 2004: pp. 119-144
  • Explaining electoral violence in Africa’s ‘new’ democracies

    S Omotola (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2011-01-25)
    The electoral process in many of Africa’s ‘new’ democracies has been characterised by violence. However, recent manifestations of electoral violence have assumed an unprecedented magnitude and changing form and character, with negative implications for democratic stability and consolidation. This paper analyses electoral violence in Africa, with emphasis on its manifestations, causes, implications and possible solutions. The paper argues that rising electoral violence in Africa is closely connected with the neo-patrimonial character of the African state, the nature of contestation for power, the weak institutionalisation of democratic architectures, including political parties and electoral management bodies (EMBs), and the fascinating political economy of electoral violence. This is complicated by the absence/paucity of democrats, with democratic mindset, to play the game of politics according to established rules. Worse still, avenues for democratic redress, including the judiciary and civil society, are also deeply implicated in the deepening contradictions of the state. The result is the deinstitutionalisation of the people in the democratisation process. Electoral violence is thus a major source of democratic instability with palpable threats of deconsolidation. These contradictions will have to be redressed to tame the monster.
  • Electoral systems, constitutionalism and conflict management in Southern Africa

    K Matlosa (African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 2007-10-18)
    No Abstract. African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 4 (2) 2004: pp. 11-54
  • Student leadership and advocacy for social cohesion: A South African perspective

    Speckman, McGlory (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    This article utilises the insights of sociology and social psychology in defining social cohesion, outlining the ideal state and making a case for the role of student leadership in social cohesion. It draws from personal experience as former Dean of Students while it relies mostly, not entirely, on secondary sources in the disciplines of sociology and social psychology. The conclusion is that given the numbers behind them and the position of influence derived from student structures, student leadership is ideal for advocacy and activism.Keywords: Social cohesion, student leadership, liminality, advocacy, common assumptions, f luctuating vision
  • South Sudan’s December 2013 conflict: Bolting state-building fault lines with social capital

    Gerenge, Robert (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    The December 2013 violent conf lict in South Sudan, the world’s newest and most fragile state, has shown that a state-building trajectory that only emphasises formal institutional development is not viable. Like any state at its formative stage, formal institutions in South Sudan have demonstrated limited capacity to meet the high demands by citizens for ‘peace or postsecession’ dividends. The state’s limited capacity has further been eroded by political constructs claiming ethnic supremacy by both the Dinka and Nuer, the main parties to the December 2013 conf lict. This article argues that the entitlement tied to post-secession dividends claims by the Dinka and Nuer has (re)produced a generally volatile social space for South Sudan by defining the mode of political settlement of the state, and undermining the generation of social capital for conf lict management in the society. By constructing a nexus between state-building and social capital, this article shows that the state-building process in South Sudan requires the hybridity of formal and informal institutions. This helps in transforming the volatile social space created through the supremacy constructs of the Dinka and Nuer and high citizen demands placed on the fragile state.Keywords: State-building, social capital, ethnic supremacy, Dinka, Nuer, South Sudan
  • Forward by Guest Editors

    Potgieter, Cheryl; Zulu, Paulus (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    No Abstract
  • A comparative analysis of the Post- Arab Spring National Dialogues in Tunisia and Yemen

    Hamidi, Hanna (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    Post-conf lict societies are in a fragile state in which social cohesion needs to be gradually rebuilt. One of the tools employed to restore social cohesion in a fragile society is the organisation of a national dialogue which would allow most, if not all, of society’s political and civil society actors to air their grievances and make concrete recommendations for the long-lasting resolution of conf lict. In the MENA region, both Tunisia and Yemen have organised national dialogues after the Arab Spring with different results. This article uses Jane Jenson’s model on social cohesion to determine why Tunisia’s national dialogue has been more successful than Yemen’s in bringing about social cohesion.Keywords: Social cohesion, national dialogues, transitions, peacebuilding, Tunisia, Yemen
  • Book review:

    Mnguni, Lukhona (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    A Nation in crisis: An appeal for moralityZulu, Paulus 2013Cape Town, Tafelberg, 224 pages.ISBN: 978-0-624-06536-4
  • Social cohesion, sexuality, homophobia and women’s sport in South Africa

    Engh, Mari H; Potgieter, Cheryl (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    In the post-Apartheid era sport has been consistently celebrated as an avenue for fostering social change, curing various social ills, and uniting South Africans across the divides of race, class, gender and geography. The argument for using sport to foster social cohesion in South Africa rests on two main assumptions: firstly, that direct participation in sport and physical activity promotes sustained communication, collaboration and understanding across social divides; and secondly, that the success of national teams and athletes promotes national pride and unity. In this article we raise the question of whether sport can indeed foster social cohesion in a context where women’s sports participation and symbolic embodiment of the nation give rise to regulatory schemas that enforce compulsory heterosexuality and mainstream constructs of ‘feminisation’. We explore these issues by drawing on media reports of cases in which South African elite women athletes have had their gender or sexual identities questioned, challenged or regulated according to heteronormative gender regimes. By so doing we argue that efforts to increase women’s sports participation or the promotion of women athletes as embodiments of the nation can contribute to facilitating social cohesion. To realise the potential of sport as a tool for building social cohesion, a conscious and dedicated effort must be made, we argue, to deal more directly with narrow heteronormative gender regimes and the homophobic attitudes and prejudices that these foster.Keywords: Gender, sexuality, homophobia, sport, social cohesion, race,South Africa
  • Towards Pentecopolitanism: New African Pentecostalism and social cohesion in South Africa

    Kaunda, Chammah (ACCORD, 2016-03-30)
    This article evaluates the challenges that militate against the full engagement of New African Pentecostalism (NAP) in the process of social cohesion in South Africa. It argues that this new religious phenomenon in South Africa has been preoccupied with the promotion of internal social cohesion within its ecclesiastical boundaries to the neglect of national social cohesion. Employing the notion of ‘religious cosmopolitanism’ (Cahill 2003) as theoretical underpinning, the article proposes a new concept termed Pentecopolitanism, as an ethical frame for New African Pentecostal engagement in democratisation and social cohesion in South Africa. The notion of Pentecopolitanism is envisaged to function as an antidote against sectarianism and fundamentalism within NAP and a framework for its constructive engagement with pluralism in the current South African search for national social cohesion. Pentecopolitanism is a philosophy which arises out of the need for recognition of the social function of religion, so as to enable human beings to discover their humanity through the humanity of others.Keywords: Social cohesion, Pentecopolitanism, South Africa, Black Africans, New African Pentecostalism
  • The African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): Restoring a relationship challenged?

    Landsberg, Chris (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    Africa faces a dual challenge of governance and development, with institutional and implementation crises looming large. Whereas the continent has gone through an energetic period of diplomacy during the decade 1998–2008, in which institutions and programmes like the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have been established, we have also witnessed serious problems revealing themselves. One such problem has been institutional rivalries which served to undermine the continent’s political and development agendas, and one such enmity was the tension and rancour between the AU and NEPAD. The newly elected Chair of the AU Commission in Addis Ababa will have to address such serious institutional tensions and rivalries in the continent. The relationship between the AU and NEPAD has exposed competition over status, scarce financial and human resources, policy influence and petty squabbles amongst diplomats and officials. The tensions between these poorly anchored and weakly consolidated institutions and initiatives have prompted some to suggest that NEPAD needed to be fully integrated into the AU and to fall under the command and control of the AU as premier body. When the AU finally settled on the idea of ‘integration’ after years of prevarication and equivocation, new institutional and human resource capacity building challenges began showing themselves. This was not all, however. A political leadership vacuum was added to the series of problems which bedevilled the continent, and African pivotal states like South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria and others, who were all instrumental in crafting the continent’s new, post-Cold War order, failed to demonstrate the necessary agency and leadership. While there is no doubting that NEPAD is a programme of the AU, its role should be, amongst others, to bolster technical and operational expertise, and support the AU and its processes, and become instrumental in facilitating, conceptualising, and even implementing policies. Crucially, NEPAD could and should provide technical backstopping for the AU and its organs, and become directly involved in promoting capacity building for the AU and regional economic communities (RECs). It has a vital role to play in ensuring that new processes of monitoring and evaluation are introduced within the context of African inter-state politics and diplomacy, and also in helping to ensure that programmes of the AU are implemented and African states and international partners meet their obligations towards the AU. NEPAD’s niche with regard to resource mobilisation should be bolstered. The AU for its part needs to urgently address its very serious institutional capacity constraints, and to focus squarely on the need to restore Africa’s international agency and leadership.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The African Union Peace and Security mechanism’s crawl from design to reality: Was the Libyan crisis a depiction of severe limitations?

    Sithole, Anyway (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    The formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the 25th of May 1963 gave hope that African countries would unite in eradicating colonialism as well as facilitating economic and social development. Furthermore, the establishment of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in 1993 ensured that an institutional structure for the maintenance of peace and security existed on the continent. However, the OAU largely failed to address the challenges that the continent faced and this led to calls for the OAU’s transmutation into the African Union (AU). The establishment of the AU on the 9th of July 2002 was thus greeted with high levels of optimism and euphoria, and the expectation that the continental body would now fully tackle the problems on the continent. An important development was the formation of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on the 25th of May 2004, as main component of the architecture through which peace and security in Africa were hopefully going to be achieved. This development presented an opportunity for the further institutionalisation of Pan-African ideals, with the hope that Africa would forge even closer unity. However, at present, the AU PSC continues to experience severe challenges, some of them inherent in the organisational structure of the continental body while some are externally induced. Some of these limitations include lack of unity of purpose as well as of political will among member states to deal with the conflicts bedevilling the African continent – as evidenced by developments during the Arab Spring. What transpired in Libya in 2011 was a clear indication of the slow evolution of AU ideals, a situation which was further compounded by the intervention and interference by some members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), under the aegis of the United Nations (UN) and the pretext of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012
  • The quest for Pax Africana: The case of the African Union’s peace and security regime

    Dersso, Solomon A (ACCORD, 2012-11-22)
    In 1967 Ali Mazrui offered in his seminal work, Towards a Pax Africana, the earliest analysis on the need for Africans to assume responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security on the continent. Arguably, the most comprehensive effort towards achieving this ideal was made with the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the context of the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). As the institutions and processes constituting the APSA are coming into operation, various questions are raised. Despite the fact that the political ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ underlying the APSA is routinely used in the literature and policy circles, questions still remain on what it actually entails and how it informs and shapes African policy making on peace and security issues affecting the continent. Most importantly, there is also the question of how far this ideal embodied in the APSA provides Africa with the means for achieving Pax Africana. In attempting to address these and related questions, this contribution will offer an analysis of the ideal of ‘African solutions to African problems’ within the framework of APSA and its role and limitations in Africa’s quest for maintaining its peace and security.African Journal On Conflict Resolution, 12(2) 2012

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