UN official denies CAR in ‘pre-genocide’ state

The Central African Republic (CAR) is not in a “pre-genocide” state despite its problems, a United Nations expert said Wednesday, touching on comments by a former UN official that have sparked a storm. CAR “is not in a pre-genocide situation,” Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor for the prevention of genocide, said. Genocide “is a long process,” he explained. In August, the UN’s then-aid chief, Stephen O’Brien, said he was deeply worried about the mounting violence in CAR. He said he saw “the early warning signs of genocide” and urged more troops and police to bolster the UN peacekeeping mission there. That assertion was strongly contested by CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera. He said the fighting stemmed especially from competition for minerals and other natural resources by armed groups, rather than a “programme” by one group to exterminate the other. Dieng, who arrived for a fact-finding visit on October 6, cautioned that the situation in CAR is “serious.” There are still “indicators… that could result… in crimes of genocide” if they are not tackled, he warned. These include major abuses against civilian populations for their ethnic or religious affiliation, the proliferation of armed groups and the weakness of the state, he […]

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CFP: space, borders, conflict and insecurity in West Africa.

CALL FOR PAPERS   West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN) Symposium 2018, Bamako, late April/early May 2018 (exact date tbc)   This call for contributions to the WAPSN symposium 2018 invites proposals on the topic of space, borders, conflict and insecurity in West Africa.   In West Africa, conflict and insecurity are constantly depicted as transnational or spilling over borders. Terrorism is said to destabilise countries throughout the Sahel region; maritime insecurity is presented as spilling over into all Gulf of Guinea coastal countries; and West Africa appears to be at the centre of a network of organised criminality that has extended its tentacles from South America to Europe.   Space and borders in West Africa are at the core of our analyses of the causes of conflict and insecurity. For example, porous borders and traditional trading routes that cut across state borders are often incriminated in assessments of insecurity in the region. Space and borders are also central to the policies that are elaborated to deal with conflict and security issues. Indeed, the West African bodies used to mediate or to implement security policies are increasingly chosen according to their geographical scope. At the same time, the ways […]

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