Conectas Human Rights, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, CIVICUS: Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development invite scholars and practitioners to submit articles for Sur Journal’s Issue No. 19, to be published in December 2013, with a focus on Foreign Policy and Human Rights. In its 19th issue, SUR intends to promote a debate on the relationship between foreign policy and human rights, with particular emphasis on emerging and rising powers from the Global South.
Pretoria: The analysis presented in this paper underscores the extent to which instability, war and conflict in Africa is largely a function of poverty, underdevelopment and poor governance. In many instances, African countries are caught up in a process of delayed state formation and are still trying to provide (human) security, build effective and legitimate governance capacity, and gain internal legitimacy. This process has been completed in many other areas of the world but was delayed in Africa, largely due to the impact of colonisation and the freeze that the Cold War placed on natural African state formation.
Addis Ababa: When we met at the January Summit earlier this year, we agreed that 2013 shall be an exciting, but hardworking year for us all. Indeed, the 50th anniversary of the OAU and AU represents yet another moment of destiny for our continent. There is general acceptance about the rise of Africa for the last decade in terms of economic growth, public investment in infrastructure development, regional integration efforts, as well as improvements in democracy, governance, peace and stability and some human development indicators.
Nairobi: The Report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission) has been produced at a critical moment in Kenya’s history. Just two months earlier in March 2013, Kenyans concluded a largely peaceful General Election, adding impetus to the need for solutions that will entrench a lasting spirit of peace, national unity, dignity, healing, justice and reconciliation. Established in the wake of the tragic and devastating events of the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence (PEV), the Commission has produced this Report as the culmination of a process that lasted four years and took the Commission to all regions of the country.
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa will, this evening at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, receive the Daily Trust African of the Year Award 2012 for his work last year in bringing peace to Sudan and South Sudan. In this recent interview in South Africa with Professor Tandeka Nkiwane, Member, African of the Year Advisory Committee, he comments on his panels work, the challenges it faced, unfinished matters in Sudan as well as South Sudan, issues facing heterogeneous African states, and how his ANC background prepared him for a lot of the work he is doing today on the continent. Excerpts:
Abuja: It has become necessary for me to address you on the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states. These unfortunate events have led to needless loss of lives and property of many innocent Nigerians including members of our security forces.
Ezulwini: Multiparty democracy should not be forced down the throats of Swazis. This was said by Happy Mahlangu, the newly-appointed South African High Commissioner in the kingdom, in an interview last week. Mahlangu said: “It would be folly to force things on the people of Swaziland. It is the people of Swaziland who should decide whether they want multiparty democracy.”
Lagos: As the continental leaders under the banner of the African Union prepare for their summit in Addis Ababa later this month, there has been no pre summit preoccupation by contact groups, the national units of countries as well as the AU commission itself on what can be likened to be a sensible African response to the shame in Central African Republic. Two months after renegades truncated yet another African democratic government in CAR, that country continues to slide towards possible anarchy in the absence of an African Union intervention. And yet a sensible AU intervention beyond condemnations and imposition of ineffective sanctions is the most potent panacea to the political crisis in that country. Landlocked, CAR - a country of some 4.2 million people itself - is surrounded by unstable countries including Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Midrand: I strongly believe that the vision of the African Union can only be realized with the full participation of its peoples. It is the people who give legitimacy to governments, to the institutions as well as the vision of the future that Africa aspires to attain; hence, the important role of the Pan-African Parliament. To play its rightful role, PAP must be stronger, offering a greater voice to the people of Africa through universal suffrage, capable of promoting the enactment of relevant policies and laws necessary for growth and development both at the national and continental levels and play an oversight role. Allow me at this juncture to point to some of the areas where I believe the Pan African Parliament can support the deepening of our commonly shared values on the continent.
London: The Somalia Conference took place at Lancaster House on 7 May 2013, co-hosted by the UK and Somalia, and attended by fifty-four friends and partners of Somalia. We met at a pivotal moment for Somalia. Last year Somalia’s eight-year transition ended and Somalia chose a new, more legitimate Parliament, President and Government. Security is improving, as Somali and AMISOM forces, and their Ethiopian allies, recover towns and routes from Al Shabaab. The number of pirate attacks committed off the coast of Somalia has drastically reduced. The famine has receded. The diaspora have begun to return. The economy is starting to revive.