Democracy & Peace

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    This recent report from the International Crisis Group, which is part of a series on the theme of religion, state and society, explores Burkina Faso’s model of religious coexistence. It shows that religious tolerance in the country remains strong despite the recent emergence of some tensions in a regional context characterised by shifts in religious behavior and the rise of violence in the name of religion. The report makes recommendations for Burkina Faso’s political and religious authorities, in order to preserve this model of peaceful coexistence. Read on
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    A symposium organised from 5-6 October by the Strategic Research Institute of the Military Academy (IRSEM) in Paris, addressed the many challenges that African armies face. Contrary to popular belief, "their budgets are very small, their sizes have been reduced and the people are not invested in the armed forces," said Sonia Le Gouriellec, the co-organizer of the symposium. About 85% of African countries have been affected by coups, and almost every African country has experienced military rule. Read on
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    According to a source from the French Ministry of the Interior, France plans to increase its support to Senegal and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) to help them deal with security challenges. About EUR 42 million of financial assistance is planned for the 2017-22 period, half of which will be used to acquire new equipment. Read on
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    According to the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), governance in Africa has overall slightly improved over the past decade but the security situation has clearly become worse: two out of three Africans live in a country where safety and the rule of law deteriorated over the past ten years. This is particularly the case in Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Chad. Overall, the ECOWAS area is the second best-performing African region, after southern Africa, having recorded the largest increase in its average score (52.4) for overall governance. Read on
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    On the sidelines of the OECD Africa Forum on 29 September 2016, the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) and the OECD Development Centre had a working session with the ECOWAS Commission President Alain Marcel de Souza. The session provided an opportunity to present key priorities of OECD’s work with Africa and to listen to the expectations of the ECOWAS Commission, beyond its SWAC membership. Read on
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    The 29 September 2016 report of the UN Secretary General on the situation in Mali presents a bleak appraisal of the past three months. It barely masks the widespread frustration over the continued lack of concrete progress in the peace agreement’s implementation. Problems include: violations of the ceasefire in the Kidal region; inter-communal clashes in the Mopti region; attacks against United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), etc. Read on
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    The Republic of Benin celebrated its 56th year of Independence on 1 August. The national celebrations offered an opportunity for the newly elected president, Patrice Talon, who has been in power since 6 April 2016, to reaffirm his electoral commitments: institutional reform, economic recovery and an new dynamic overall to boost democracy in the country. President Talon is notably planning to organise a referendum to decide on the introduction of a single presidential mandate in the Constitution. Read on
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    On 11 July, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), delivered his first Security Council briefing on West Africa and the Sahel since the merging of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES), establishing UNOWAS. Read on
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    The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Confederation, organised a high-level meeting on the theme "Investing in peace and the prevention of violence in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara" from 27 to 28 June in Dakar. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the causes of violence in West African societies and to identify ways to address them. Read on
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    ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations have jointly appealed for a credible, inclusive and peaceful presidential election in The Gambia. The three organisations undertook a joint mission to consult with Gambian stakeholders ahead of the election scheduled for December 2016. Read on

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