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Africa

NUPI conducts wide-ranging research on Africa.

In particular we focus on issues related to social and economic development: fundamental questions concerning the conditions for state formation and democracy, as well as specific studies of individual countries and areas. Other important thematic areas include how post-conflict counties can avoid relapse, and the role of international peace operations in such circumstances – not least, the activities of the UN and the African Union.
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

Gendering Security Sector Reform through Capacity Building? The MINUSMA Specialized Police Team on Crime Scene Management

A key element of international peacebuilding efforts is support to reform of the security sector in conflict-affected states, for example through capacity building. From 2019 to 2022, a Norwegian-led police team provided capacity building in crime scene management to Malian security forces as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Norwegian officers organized courses and acted as mentors for the Malian officers. This article uses this case from MINUSMA to study how external support to reform can help promote gender perspectives in the security sector in conflict-affected countries. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda call on UN member states to contribute to increasing women’s representation and the integration of gender perspectives in UN peace operations. Despite these political frameworks, the gender perspective is often ignored in practice when such support is offered. The analysis shows that the Norwegian officers worked actively to promote gender equality and women's participation, even though this was not a central part of the project, and without references to resolution 1325 or women or gender perspectives in the project document. Instead, the officers pointed to how promoting women's participation and gender equality are a part of “the way we work” (in Norway), as well as MINUSMA's mandate as the basis for this work. Feminist research distinguishes between a traditional and transformative approach to working with gender and security sector reform, where a traditional approach involves working within existing structures to, for example, increase women's participation or for women to receive the same type of training or capacity. A transformative approach, on the other hand, will involve taking a closer look at these structures, and looking at how women's roles in the security sector are affected by societal, cultural and religious norms. The article finds that the work has mainly relied on traditional understandings of gender, and that the opportunities for capacity building to contribute to deeper changes in the security sector are therefore limited. The findings thus further indicate that individual officers can do a lot to promote women's participation and gender perspectives, but deeper transformation of the security sector will probably require action at a more structural level.

  • Security policy
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
Screenshot 2024-06-05 at 12.52.58.png
  • Security policy
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
How ad hoc coalitions deinstitutionalize international institutions
Podcast

How ad hoc coalitions deinstitutionalize international institutions

As ad hoc coalitions (AHCs) proliferate, particularly on the African continent, two questions crystallize. First, what consequences do they bring...

  • Africa
  • Governance
  • International organizations
  • United Nations
  • AU
  • Africa
  • Governance
  • International organizations
  • United Nations
  • AU
Articles
New research
Articles
New research

PODCAST: How ad hoc coalitions deinstitutionalize international institutions

A new episode of NUPI's podcast The World Stage investigates the consequences ad hoc coalitions bring, and how they can be captured an explored.
  • Africa
  • Governance
  • International organizations
  • United Nations
  • AU
Publications
Publications
Research paper
Viljar Haavik, James Suah Shilue

Grand Bassa and the 50/50 tax pilot: “A brilliant idea, but…”

This research note examines the implementation of property tax in Liberia. Based on original fieldwork data, the note analyses taxpayers' perceptions of the new tax system in the light of their experiences with public services, development projects and the political system.

  • International economics
  • Economic growth
  • Africa
  • Governance
rp324.PNG
  • International economics
  • Economic growth
  • Africa
  • Governance
Where does it happen?
Ny forskning viser hvorfor de fleste av oss ikke blir radikalisert og mulige terrorister. Lokale forbilder er en av grunnene.
  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Economic growth
  • Europe
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • Migration
Articles
New research
Articles
New research

The Use and Impact of mis-and disinformation on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

A new EPON report highlights the escalating challenge posed by misinformation, disinformation, malinformation and hate speech (MDMH) in the environments where United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UN PKO) are deployed.
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
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Publications
Publications
Report
Andrew E. Yaw Tchie, Fiifi Edu-Afful

A Forgotten People in An Unstable Region - The Effectiveness of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei Executive Summary

Established in June 2011, UNISFA aims to foster peace, stability, and development in the disputed Abyei region. Focused on implementing the Abyei Protocol, the mission addresses border demarcation (through the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism for the Sudan-South Sudan boundary since South Sudan’s independence in 2011) and security concerns and supports local governance through engagement with administrations. However, since 2011, UNISFA’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mandate and protecting civilians has been questioned as sporadic and spontaneous violence remains very high. While the overall security situation in Abyei has shown signs of improvement, persistent conflict dynamics stemming from intra- and inter-communal tensions, hired armed elements, and humanitarian challenges continue to set the region back. The rise of communal conflicts between new ethnicities and communities entering the “Abyei box” – often referred to as the Abyei area – has led to further tensions with the mission over its ability to protect civilians. In this Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) study, the authors set out to explore the effectiveness of UNISFA in meeting its mandated tasks in several areas. These include: 1. Protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence; 2. Support the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism; 3. Provide de-mining assistance, technical advice, and security; and 4. Provide aid to humanitarian personnel and oil infrastructure in the Abyei Administrative Area (AAA), respectively. The report examines how effective the mission has been in meeting its core mandate, what we can understand from the mission’s success and challenges, and how adaptive the mission has been regarding the ongoing crisis in Sudan and South Sudan and its impact on Abyei, which has strategic and broader implications for the mission. Co-authors Dr Andrew E. Yaw Tchie – Senior Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Training for Peace Programme. Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful – Visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the American University School of International Service and the University of Maryland Department of Government & Politics. He was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). Contributing authors Christian Ulfsten – former Research Assistant with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Ruth Adwoa Frimpong – Project Consultant with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) Nigeria. EPON series editor Dr Cedric de Coning, Research Professor – Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Screenshot 2024-04-22 at 15.46.57.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Report
Andrew E. Yaw Tchie, Fiifi Edu-Afful

A Forgotten People in an Unstable Region - The Effectiveness of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei

Established in June 2011, UNISFA aims to foster peace, stability, and development in the disputed Abyei region. Focused on implementing the Abyei Protocol, the mission addresses border demarcation (through the Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism for the Sudan-South Sudan boundary since South Sudan’s independence in 2011) and security concerns and supports local governance through engagement with administrations. However, since 2011, UNISFA’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mandate and protecting civilians has been questioned as sporadic and spontaneous violence remains very high. While the overall security situation in Abyei has shown signs of improvement, persistent conflict dynamics stemming from intra- and inter-communal tensions, hired armed elements, and humanitarian challenges continue to set the region back. The rise of communal conflicts between new ethnicities and communities entering the “Abyei box” – often referred to as the Abyei area – has led to further tensions with the mission over its ability to protect civilians. In this Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) study, the authors set out to explore the effectiveness of UNISFA in meeting its mandated tasks in several areas. These include: 1. Protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence; 2. Support the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism; 3. Provide de-mining assistance, technical advice, and security; and 4. Provide aid to humanitarian personnel and oil infrastructure in the Abyei Administrative Area (AAA), respectively. The report examines how effective the mission has been in meeting its core mandate, what we can understand from the mission’s success and challenges, and how adaptive the mission has been regarding the ongoing crisis in Sudan and South Sudan and its impact on Abyei, which has strategic and broader implications for the mission. Co-authors Dr Andrew E. Yaw Tchie – Senior Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Training for Peace Programme. Dr Fiifi Edu-Afful – Visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the American University School of International Service and the University of Maryland Department of Government & Politics. He was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). Contributing authors Christian Ulfsten – former Research Assistant with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Ruth Adwoa Frimpong – Project Consultant with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) Nigeria. EPON series editor Dr Cedric de Coning, Research Professor – Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Screenshot 2024-04-22 at 15.46.57.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Lotte Vermeij, Andrew E. Yaw Tchie

The Impact and Response to Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation and Hate Speech in the Digital Era Executive Summary

Over the past decades, the use of misinformation, malinformation, disinformation and hate speech (MDMH) has contributed to the escalation of violence in environments where the United Nations deployed Peacekeeping Operations (UN PKO). The widespread utilisation of modern technology in UN PKO environments raises the magnitude of the MDMH threat. In some settings, MDMH places communities and peacekeepers at risk of harm, but more broadly, MDMH places UN PKOs in ever more challenging situations which they are often incapable of responding to. The spread of information by actors as part of hearts and minds campaigns and other information strategies to bring populations on the ground on their side is nothing new. Simultaneously, the diffusion of rumours and false information can contribute to the escalation of tensions between and within groups and communities and result in widespread violence. All of these can support and contribute to the intensification and acceleration of MDMH, impacting not only the conflict dynamics but also the use of indiscriminate violence. The online uptake of MDMH may further aggravate these dynamics. It can undermine the stability of mission environments, local conflicts, indiscriminate use of violence by non-state and state actors, impact detrimentally on human rights, and jeopardise overall processes of achieving and sustaining peace and supporting its processes. The report draws on four UN PKOs as case studies and hinges further analysis on two UN PKOs to provide and understand context specific examples of the rising challenges that UN PKO face with MDMH. This report by the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) in collaboration with Norwegian Capacity (NORCAP) and Training for Peace sets out to explore some of these key developments and challenges questioning, what is the impact of MDMH on UN PKO’s and their ability to effectively implement their mandates? What efforts have the selected UN PKO’s taken to respond to MDMH? What are the lessons identified and recommendations for UNPKOs to address MDMH?

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 13.45.07.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Publications
Publications
Lotte Vermeij, Andrew E. Yaw Tchie

The Impact and Response to Misinformation, Disinformation, Malinformation and Hate Speech in the Digital Era

Over the past decades, the use of misinformation, malinformation, disinformation and hate speech (MDMH) has contributed to the escalation of violence in environments where the United Nations deployed Peacekeeping Operations (UN PKO). The widespread utilisation of modern technology in UN PKO environments raises the magnitude of the MDMH threat. In some settings, MDMH places communities and peacekeepers at risk of harm, but more broadly, MDMH places UN PKOs in ever more challenging situations which they are often incapable of responding to. The spread of information by actors as part of hearts and minds campaigns and other information strategies to bring populations on the ground on their side is nothing new. Simultaneously, the diffusion of rumours and false information can contribute to the escalation of tensions between and within groups and communities and result in widespread violence. All of these can support and contribute to the intensification and acceleration of MDMH, impacting not only the conflict dynamics but also the use of indiscriminate violence. The online uptake of MDMH may further aggravate these dynamics. It can undermine the stability of mission environments, local conflicts, indiscriminate use of violence by non-state and state actors, impact detrimentally on human rights, and jeopardise overall processes of achieving and sustaining peace and supporting its processes. The report draws on four UN PKOs as case studies and hinges further analysis on two UN PKOs to provide and understand context specific examples of the rising challenges that UN PKO face with MDMH. This report by the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) in collaboration with Norwegian Capacity (NORCAP) and Training for Peace sets out to explore some of these key developments and challenges questioning, what is the impact of MDMH on UN PKO’s and their ability to effectively implement their mandates? What efforts have the selected UN PKO’s taken to respond to MDMH? What are the lessons identified and recommendations for UNPKOs to address MDMH?

  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 13.45.07.png
  • Africa
  • Peace operations
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • United Nations
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