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Quarterly Highlights: - 3rd Quarter of 2013 (July - September)

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OVERVIEW OF PEACE AND SECURITY
The quarter under review recorded electoral successes in Guinea, Mali and Togo despite the pre-electoral skirmishes witnessed. Togo held legislative elections on July 25 in an atmosphere of relative calm, though the results were initially disputed by the opposition on allegations of malpractices.
Mali’s first and second round of presidential elections which took place on July 28 and August 11, 2013 respectively, were adjudged to be free, fair and peaceful despite the hasty preparations and threats by rebel groups to launch attacks in the Northern region of the country. However, the withdrawal of the separatist rebel groups on September 26 from the June 18 Ouagadougou Peace Agreement alleging non-commitment by the government to the process has led to resumption of suicide attacks, which threatens the security of the country and forestalls hope for peace in the restive region as envisaged by the incoming government. ......

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A Publication: Critical Questions and Responses on Land Reforms in Liberia

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1.0 Introduction
Intrastate conflicts in West Africa since the 1990s has been associated with the management and exploitation of natural resources especially land. Land and indeed natural resources are essential to sustaining people and peace in post-conflict countries, like Liberia, but governance failures often jeopardize such efforts. Natural resource management is therefore crucial to rebuilding communities, combating corruption, improving transparency and accountability, engaging disenfranchised populations, and building confidence after conflict and war. Land will never increase, it will decrease due to climate change and yet population continues to increase exponentially. As Liberia continues to sustain its peace and the population consistently upsurge due to birth and influx of investors, and the demand for land and other resources endures, there is potential for conflicts over land to deepen significantly and escalate if mechanisms for managing expectations are not harnessed and put in place.

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Quarterly Highlights: - 2nd Quarter of 2013 (April - June)

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CHALLENGES OF INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY

 

OVERVIEW OF PEACE AND SECURITY IN WEST AFRICA

Diverse issues ranging from terrorism, violent conflicts, demonstrations to suspected arsons and fire outbreaks threatened human security in West Africa in the second quarter of the year.

Nigeria:In the quarter under review, the “Boko-Haram,” insurgency in Nigeria continued to claim enormous lives and properties estimated at millions of naira. The group which is said to have links with other Islamic militants in Niger, Mali and the Sahel region recently engaged in bloody confrontation with members of the Joint Task Force leading to 185 deaths and loss of properties. The onslaught on innocent citizens continued with the killing of 90 security agents in Nasarawa state by the Ombatse cult group. As the insecurity situation in the country continues unabated, President Goodluck Jonathan was compelled to declare a State of Emergency in three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe respectively. Added to this is the perennial communal and ethno-religious conflict particularly between Herdsmen and farmers and between Christians and Muslims in most parts of the Northern states.

Ghana: The outcome of the on-going election petition hearing at Ghana’s Supreme Court over the declaration of John Mahama as President is a source of concern. WANEP and other CSO have been working to ensure that the outcome of the court proceeding is accepted by the parties involved and the rule of law allowed to reign. Anything contrary could undermine the democratic gains and the highly revered electoral process. Worrisome in Ghana is also the persistent fire outbreaks at residential buildings, markets and business premises which many perceive to be acts of arsonists with political party leanings.

Guinea: The postponement of Guinea Legislative elections earlier slated for May 2013 to June 30 by President Alpha Conde triggered several demonstrations and withdrawal of the opposition from the election process over alleged irregularities. Although Guinea experienced fragile peace in May with the UN initiated peace talks under the auspices of Said Djinnit, the UN-Secretary General representative for West Africa, however, the Guinean situation is further exacerbated by the piracy in the Gulf of Guinea which has grave impact on economic development and regional integration.......

 

Click on this link to read full Highlights of Activities for 2nd Quarter of 2013 [PDF-5.1MB]

From the Field: HARNESSING LOCAL CAPACITIES FOR POLITICAL DIALOGUE: WANEP’s Experience in the 2012 Ghanaian Election

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Quarterly Highlights: - 1st Quarter of 2013 (January - March)

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OVERVIEW OF PEACE AND SECURITY
The first quarter of 2013 raised a lot of security and peace issues concerning most countries of the West African Region.

NIGERIA: Nigeria has continued to battle with the incessant attacks by the militant Islamist sect “Boko Haram” which has claimed enormous lives and properties estimated at millions of naira. The scourge of “Boko Haram” has become a source of apprehension and a major threat not just to Nigeria but to the West African region, especially, as the sect has also been linked with other Islamic militants in Niger, Mali and the Sahel region. As the situation continues unabated, some Nigerians, including the government is considering amnesty for the sect in a bid to end the crisis while others have opposed the option of amnesty vehemently on the basis that such action is against the rule of law. Added to this, are the perennial communal and ethno-religious conflicts particularly between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in most of the Northern states but predominantly between the Christian/Muslims in Benue and Plateau States.

MALI: In an effort to restore normalcy in northern Mali, the French-led military intervention initiated on January 11 and the ECOWAS military mission of January 17 under the African-led International Support to Mali (AFISMA), were launched in the hope to recapture the cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, where the rebels had taken control. However, with elections slated for July 2013, it has become imperative to maintain peace before, during and after the polls given that the outcome can destabilize the country thereby worsening the situation in the once relatively peaceful country noted for strong democratic principles. Analysts are of the opinion that the elections are essential for the country but the dates appear to be unrealistic and could be counterproductive. .......

Click on this link to read full Highlights of Activities for 1st Quarter of 2013 [PDF-20MB]