The security environment in Africa has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last quarter of a century. Authoritarian dictatorships and one party rule have given way in a large number of countries to multi-party democracies. Civil societies have emerged and, in some countries, been empowered enough to make a difference in promoting reform agendas. Meanwhile,institutional capacity for peace-related activities has expanded hugely. The ending of some of the long-running civil wars, the signing of peace agreements, the conduct of multi-party elections, all held hope for peace, democratic reform and political transitions. Those hopes have been disappointed. Indeed, some of the gains have effectively been reversed. There is no part of the world where peace and human security in all its aspects has proved more elusive than in the African continent. A close examination of the causes of insecurity and perpetuation of conflicts in Africa indicates the complex and multi-layered nature of the crisis that have unfolded. There is a need to conduct and provide a more comprehensive assessment of the regional political and security situation in a continuous basis as well as more sophisticated approaches to understanding the role of national, regional and external actors.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2010 18:45



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