Policy and Research Papers

Under the microscope: Customary justice systems in northern Mali

The people of Mali use many types of justice mechanisms, both connected to and further disassociated from the state, to resolve their conflicts. This has led to the creation of a diverse justice ecology that includes both what are often described as ‘formal’ actors—such as state appointed lawyers and judges — and ‘customary’ actors — such as qadis, imans, village chiefs, family heads and elders. This report reveals heretofore undocumented information about the customary justice systems in northern Mali, which we gathered from 108 interviews across the regions of Gao, Mopti and Tombouctou.

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Libya: A Post-Arab Spring Test for Security Sector Reform

If diplomatic pressure and the terrorist threat force Libya’s political factions to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Libya could provide a test bed for security sector reform (SSR) in a post-Arab Spring security environment that includes transnational terrorism and trafficking in drugs, weapons and migrants by international organized crime. This paper provides an overview of the Libyan conflict and current efforts to establish a transitional government. It maps the components of Libya’s security sector: military and police forces, justice institutions, and oversight institutions. It describes the elements of the proposed Government of National Accord and catalogues the tasks that must be performed to achieve SSR in Libya.

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Made in Havana: How Colombia and the FARC Decided to End the War

On November 24, 2016, the government of Colombia and the biggest guerrilla group in the country, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia–Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP), signed a final peace agreement. This accord put an end to the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere and to long and convoluted peace talks. What elements of the process contributed to its success? While it may be too early to properly speak of “lessons learned,” IPI’s latest paper highlights the key elements that seemed to have worked and those that made progress difficult.

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A Deep Influence: United States-Colombia Bilateral Relations and Security Sector Reform (SSR), 1994-2002

The internal conflict in Colombia has propelled the development of security sector reform (SSR) programs; however, these programs have been usually linked to the influence of relations between the United States and Colombia in military and foreign policy terms. The main objective of this essay is to understand said interplay from the mid-1990’s to the early 2000’s, which marked the biggest transformations to the Colombian defense sector in human rights, doctrine, equipment, and human capital. The analysis shows that such influence allowed for the consolidation of an offensive strategy which helped the Colombian government turn the balance of the internal conflict in its favor.

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Indigenous Women and Colombia’s Peace Process

This report explores the historic experience of indigenous women in Colombia – a group usually absent from political decision-making processes – and how formal and customary institutions impact their inclusion in Colombia’s political settlement. It charts the emergence of different pathways for change for indigenous women, including the evolution of women’s engagement in the Colombian peace process as well as the inclusion of gender and ethnic minority issues in negotiations. The report looks at how the peace process is an opportunity for indigenous women to play a key role in peacebuilding and the reconfiguration of the political settlement in Colombia.

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