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Peace and Security (347)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Arab Spring, Islamist Harvest?

Many writers have suggested that the recent developments in the Arab world constitute more than uprisings, but are actually full blown revolutions, or thawrat to use the Arabic term. SAIIA hosted a members' only meeting addressed by Yacoob Abba Omar on this very topical issue.
In 2013, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic mark twenty years of their independence. The negotiated split of former Czechoslovakia on 31 December 1992 remains an example of peaceful conflict resolution. Both countries continued on the path of political and economic transformation after the fall of the totalitarian communist regime in 1989, on the basis of the reforms undertaken in the early 1990s in Czechoslovakia.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Ambassador Martin Kimani, SAIIA Distinguished African Visiting Fellow, on 'International Justice and Peace in the Horn of Africa: Exploring the role that the norms and mechanisms of international justice have on peace building and stability in the Horn of Africa.'
It is not surprising that African countries bordering the Indian Ocean see themselves as ‘gateways’ or entry points to the continent. The coastal towns and communities of South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique have for centuries had complex and dynamic cultural and economic links with their counterparts along the Indian Ocean Rim. Today, with the global liberalisation of trade and investment, these countries increasingly seek to position themselves between Africa’s interior and the broader world, and particularly the fast-growing economies in Asia.
The South African Institute of International Affairs is proud to announce that Ambassador Martin Kimani has joined the institute as a Distinguished African Visiting Fellow and will be with SAIIA until 12 September 2013.The Distinguished African Visiting Fellowship is funded by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and is a legacy project of SAIIA’s 75th anniversary.
The SAIIA Western Cape Branch invites you to a school seminar to be addressed by Stan Henkeman on “How did South Africa attempt to deal with its divided past?”
Today, on 21 August 2013, a year has passed since the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the man considered to be the leading architect of post-Derg Ethiopia. Following his death, the future of a resurgent Ethiopia hung by a thread. Uncertainty mounted in the vast country of over 80 million inhabitants, with over 60 diverse ethnicities and two major religions that have cohabitated uncomfortably for decades.
Marikana has elicited a voluminous spectrum of analyses. The most insightful have pointed to the need for deep structural reforms, including innovative means of addressing the persistent challenges of migrant labour. Few, however, have drawn parallels between Marikana and the central problem of violence in South African society more broadly.
As Malawi stands poised to assume the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August 2013, it does so amidst a fractious border dispute with Tanzania.
Wednesday, 07 August 2013

Turkey: Coups and Trials

The Turkish courts have sentenced an ex-general to life in prison as part of the so-called "Ergenekon trial", a high-profile case involving 275 defendants, including the military, politicians and journalists. The trial centered on a retired military chief of staff, Ilker Basbug, who was accused of plotting to topple the Turkish government. Former Ambassador to Turkey Tom Wheeler, a research associate with SAIIA, joined an expert panel on Voice of Russia to discuss the trial, and its probable consequences for the Turkish government and the nature of governance in Turkey. Click here to download the audio podcast of the show…
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but it is more fitting to reflect upon the progress of its successor, the African Union (AU). The AU, created by the Constitutive Act of 2000, is equipped with more meaningful institutions, carries a stronger mandate, and has a more appropriate framework to intervene in armed conflicts than its predecessor. Indeed, the formation of the AU has resulted in major shifts in African policy, away from norms of non-intervention to an activist view of collective responsibility.
Monday, 29 July 2013

Congo: the curse of riches

The Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed another recent outbreak of violence related to the struggle over its rich natural resources. The central African country is faced with a dilemma which is frequently posed in Africa: Is there any way to turn the so-called ‘natural resource curse’ into a blessing?
On 13 July 2013 the fragility of regional security in Southern Africa came to the fore when the Southern African Development Community’s Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met in Tanzania to discuss the worrying developments in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
Sunday, 14 July 2013

Egypt's unrest

At the beginning of July, millions of Egyptians marched to demand that Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi resign. He was overthrown by the military on 3 July 2013 and the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, was installed as interim president. Hazem el-Beblawi, a 76-year-old liberal economist became interim prime minister to govern under a temporary constitution until parliamentary elections could be held in the next six months.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 67, June 2013
The recent 19th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, injected new momentum into the decade old African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) with the appointment of new leadership to the APR Forum and the APR Panel. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Barrister Akere Muna will play pivotal roles in the two afore-mentioned governing bodies of Africa’s unique voluntary governance assessment instrument. How will the new appointments affect the mechanism that is heading into its second decade of existence?
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul General,Mr Chris Trott and Dr Ola Bello, Head of SAIIA's Governance of Africa's Resources Programme, Cape Town  on'Crucibles of Instability: Mali and Guinea Bissau in the context of evolving insecurities in the SAHEL region' atThe Mountain Club of SA, 97 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town on Tuesday 23 April 2013 at 5:00 for 5:30 pm     Light refreshments will be served before the event Please RSVP to or call Pippa on 083 305 2339…
When the bodies of United States army rangers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu in 1993, American public opinion could not comprehend why their compatriots had to die for Somalia. Somalia was seen to be far from the ‘American national interest’. In the wake of domestic pressure and the debate about the national interest, Somalia marked a turning point for American involvement in African conflicts. Similarly, the death of 13 South African soldiers on 23 March 2013 in battle between Damara and Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) left South African public opinion in a state of incomprehension.
The South African deployment in the Central African Republic (CAR) which created a political firestorm at home, came to a precipitous end when President Zuma announced the forces’ withdrawal on 3 April. Beyond the official explanation which centred on a bilateral military cooperation agreement, unpacking the real rationale behind South Africa’s involvement requires a closer reading of a new African geopolitical script of which Pretoria is very much a part. Such a reading must consider the economic (largely resource) interests that forced the long unstable central African country back into the global media spotlight this past month.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 139, April 2013
Tuesday, 09 April 2013

South Africa's mission in CAR

South Africa has decided to withdraw its troops from the hapless mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), where 13 troops were killed by rebel forces. At the same time, South African Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to answer Parliament’s questions on our involvement in the CAR. On 5 April 2013 Tjiurimo Hengari, head of SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme, talked to Summit TV about the latest developments. Click here to watch the video [Duration: 8min 19sec] This video is coutesy of ABN digital/ CNBC Africa.
The presidential elections in Kenya on 4 March will test the progress Kenyan society has made towards peace and stability after the highly contested and violent elections of 2007. The elections are taking place in an environment of uncertainty. A number of key political contenders face International Criminal Court (ICC) charges for their alleged role in the displacement, torture, persecution and killing of civilians in the aftermath of the 2007 elections.
On 25 February 2013 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu announced that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) had acceded to the Platinum Sector Peace and Stability Accord, an agreement signed the previous week between government, mining houses and labour aimed at bringing an end to the turmoil in South Africa’s platinum sector. With all major stakeholders now signatory to the agreement, is this the beginning of a return to normality in the platinum sector?
31 January 2013: Islamist insurgents retreating from Timbuktu recently set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts, according to the Saharan town's mayor, in an incident he described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage. SAIIA's Dr. Oladiran (Ola) Bello speaks with Voice of Russia's Yekaterina Kudashkina on why the insurgents have burnt these ancient Muslim manuscripts. Listen to the interview [Duration: 5min 45sec]
Event description: The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Dr Boy Geldenhuys "Inside Syria and Egypt After the Arab Spring" atThe Mountain Club of SA, 97 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town on Thursday 7 February 2013 at 5:00 for 5:30 pm Light refreshments will be served before the event Entrance for non-members is R30 or R15 on presentation of a current student identity card.  Parking is freely available on Hatfield Street.   Event Background Dr Barend Leendert (Boy) Geldenhuys (D.Litt. et Phil: B.Th) studied at the universities…
Volume 19, Issue 3 of SAIIA's peer-reviewed journal, the South African Journal of International Affairs, is now out, featuring articles from leading academics on a range of topics relevant to African interests.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, The Institute for Security Studies, The Hannsseidel Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung invite you to a Panel Discussion and Book Launch on "THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT – FROM EVASIVE TO RELUCTANT ACTION? THE ROLE OF GLOBAL MIDDLE POWERS" Date: Wednesday 31October 2012 Time: 18h00 for 18h15 to conclude by 20h00, followed by light refreshments Venue: Jan Smuts House, East Campus, Wits University, Johannesburg Parking: Parking is available on both sides of Jan Smuts House and the surrounding area
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 57, October 2012
South African Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Embassy of Switzerland cordially invites you to a roundtable discussion to be addressed by Swiss State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Yves Rossier on "Switzerland's approach to promoting peace in Africa at the multilateral and regional levels". Date: Wednesday 10 October 2012Time: 16:45 for 17:00 followed by light refreshments to conclude by 18:30Venue: The Townhouse Hotel, 60 Corporation Str,Cape Town (diagonally opp Parliament)Parking: Available above the venue in Plein Park parkade (enter from Corporation Street)