The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a South African-based civil society organisation working throughout Africa to bring creative African solutions to the chellenges posed by conflict on the continent. ACCORD’s primary aim is to influence political developments by bringing conflict resolution, dialogue and institutional development to the forefront as an alternative to armed violence and protracted conflict. ACCORD specialises in conflict management, conflict analysis and conflict prevention. We intervene in conflicts through mediation, negotiation, training, research and conflict analysis.
Policy and Research Papers
Decentralising Liberia’s Security Sector: the Role of Non-Governmental Actors in Justice and Security Delivery
This article discussed the reduction of the UNMIL presence in Liberia and the rolling out a network of regional security and justice hubs across the country. The aim is to decentralise security, justice services and personnel to increase citizens’ access to justice and avoid the creation of a security vacuum.
Contemporary peacebuilding processes increasingly propose and adopt local ownership as a fundamental prerequisite in sustainable peacebuilding. Local ownership presupposes the application of an organic and context-specific approach to peacebuilding. Localisation also assumes the active participation of local actors, including national governments, civil society groups, community organisations and the private sector, in achieving a common purpose in peacebuilding processes.
Following years under the trusteeship of the international community, including the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC), Sierra Leone’s post-conflict peacebuilding processes continue. Within this context, this paper examines how questions of local ownership have been understood and operationalised in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war.
The first part of the paper explores the evolution of both the discourse and practice of local ownership in recent years.The second part of the paper pays particular attention to the implication of local ownership, and the relationship between international and domestic actors. The third part discusses the challenges of implementing locallyowned peace processes, particularly in countries like Sierra Leone where peace is still fragile. The last part of the paper argues that despite the challenges, local ownership remains essential to Sierra Leone’s achievement of sustainable peace.
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Protracted political instability in Guinea-Bissau continues to impede the effective functioning of state institutions and undermine socio-economic development and prospects for investments. Guinea-Bissau has remained in a political dilemma over the past few decades, with recurring crises and little possibility for resolution. A number of structural factors contribute to the country’s political instability, underdevelopment and state fragility. These factors include poverty, illiteracy, lack of access to justice, ineffective social cohesion, corruption, illicit trade, gender-based violence, land disputes and weak state institutions. Addressing these factors requires committed action by national actors and sustained support from the international community.
For more details on Resolving the Protracted Political Crises in Guinea-Bissau, kindly follow the link.
Justice and security are core components of healthy and functional societies. The security sector comprises, government structures with authority to execute force, detain and arrest to protect the state, its citizens and those civil bodies responsible for security sector management and oversight. A state’s failure to guarantee security and justice presents major obstacles to the achievement of political, social and economic development. Like many other countries ravaged by war, Liberia has experienced challenges with developing and maintaining effective security and justice systems. In order to promote the provision of coordinated and decentralised security and justice services which all Liberians can access, the government is rolling out regional justice and security hubs across the country. This Policy & Practice Brief explores how the Liberian government responds to national security and justice challenges through the creation of these hubs. It interrogates the merits and challenges of this approach.
For full access to the report, Enhancing Security and Justice in Liberia: The Regional Hub Model, please follow the link.