Due to the December and January vacation period, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere and much of Africa, it is always specially challenging to produce the January edition.
The temporary absence of key lay-out specialists, printers, translators, web managers and writers during this period adds to the challenge of including content that is topical, relevant and available.
This month our researchers in Addis Ababa and Pretoria have produced a country analysis on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), two PSC Retrospective articles, one on Somalia and the other about the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (ANWFZ) Treaty of Pelindaba. There is also an open page article on North Africa's Regional Economic Communities and Sub-Regional Economic Communities.
With regard to the country analysis on the DRC, the focus is on the M23 rebellion and what is happening in the eastern part of that country. The analysis paints a picture of a DRC President with diminishing political and military support, the head of a weak government, who is beset by the impact of failed Security Sector Reform, a scramble for valuable mineral resources by outside forces, and a growing rebellion that could, as some fear, reach Kinshasa itself.
The Retrospective article on Somalia focuses on the activities of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The analyst examines the successes and remaining challenges of the AMISOM peace support operation in Somalia and stresses the importance of AMISOM supporting the government in stabilising "liberated" areas through a strategy of good governance and improved service delivery on one hand, and effective security on the other.
In the short-to-medium term, though, there is a need to de-militarise part of the stabilised areas, take more account of Somalian traditions and culture, facilitate greater Somali ownership of the peace and stabilisation process, encourage greater civil society engagement in the peace and reconciliation process and ensure that AMISOM has the resources and training it needs to be effective.
The Retrospective article about the Pelindaba Treaty derives from the Second Conference of States Party to the ANWFZ Treaty that took place in Addis Ababa in November 2012. The analyst provides an historical overview of the Pelindaba Treaty, elaborates on the significance of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) and argues in favour of the ratification of the Pelindaba Treaty by all States Party, which would also accelerate the operationalisation of AFCONE.
The Open Page article provides background on North Africa's Regional Economic Communities and Sub-Regional Economic Communities. The focus is on the Arab Maghreb Union, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the North African Regional Capability and the Greater Arab Free Trade Association.
Your comments are always welcome.
Enjoy the read.
Project Leader: Peace and Security Council Report