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Doctoral Degrees (Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies)

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    Parliamentary floor-crossing and by-elections in Zambia's third republic: the related conflict for democracy and peace.
    Mudenda, Peter Mulinda.; Francis, Suzanne.
    The inducement of parliamentary floor-crossing and by-elections in Zambia’s Third Republic has been a source of conflict between the ruling parties and the opposition. To determine its effect on democracy and peace, the study utilised a qualitative research approach employing a semi-structured interview method to collect data from elected Members of Parliament from the ruling and opposition parties in Zambia; leaders of Civil Society Organisations; and the electorate. The study found that the inducement of floor-crossing and by-elections causes intra-party and inter-party conflict that negatively impacts on democracy and peace. It has further led to the erosion of liberal democracy anchored in a system of checks and balances by weakening the opposition and the parliamentary oversight of the executive. Moreover, it has also led to the erosion of peace due to the conflict it sets off within and between political parties, as seen in adversarial and antagonistic relations and electoral violence. The study shows that the inducement of parliamentary floor-crossing and by-elections in Zambia’s Third Republic undermines liberal democracy and peace. The study suggests that peace can be attained by banning the appointment of opposition MPs without consent of their parties; banning MPs that cross the floor from contesting by-elections and from public office appointments; introducing a system of proportional representation in the electoral system; ensuring that independent state institutions manage elections; curtailing Presidential powers; the use of coalition government; the promotion of on-going dialogue between stakeholders; and the building of ideology-based politics.
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    Intersections of gender and food insecurity in a political and economic crisis environment: a reflection from some NGOs and civil society organisations in Zimbabwe.
    Kuzhanga, Terry Tafadzwa.; Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.
    In the past few decades, the struggle to safeguard the availability, accessibility, stability and utilisation of food has captured the world’s attention. Despite mobilisation efforts by numerous interested global institutions, including governments, food security concerns remain a significant challenge confronting many populations who suffer continued food shortages and severe hunger. Notably, past and present food scarcity situations have either resulted in or instigated, public discontent. Moreover, political and economic crises have taken centre stage in world affairs and both phenomena have adversely impacted the livelihoods of the general populace in Africa, with women and children most affected. This study is grounded in establishing how food insecurity intersects with political and economic crises in Zimbabwe as well as the gender implications thereof. A qualitative approach was used, making use of focus group discussions and interviews as tools for data collection. Working with theoretical lenses that include the theory of protracted social conflict, the theory of intersectionality, theory of justice, and systems theory, the research explores men and women of Zimbabwe’s life experiences and struggle to ensure food security. Results from this study reveal that most women, as compared to men, continue to experience discrimination with regard to land ownership. The research findings also reveal that although women play an active role in food production, they remain in the majority of those who cannot access enough food for their dietary needs. The study concludes that there is a need for a paradigm shift in conceptualising what ought to be addressed so as to ensure food security and avoid possible further future violent conflict. This entails the need for sustainable strategies more resilient to future changes in the political and economic domain.
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    SADC meditation in Zimbabwe: lost opportunity for lasting solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.
    Chinyere, Petra Rumbidzai.; Joseph, Rudigi Rukema.
    Nearly a decade ago, a Government of National Unity (GNU) was established in Zimbabwe based on the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which was mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The unity government was a result of questionable elections which had seen President Robert Mugabe being defeated by Morgan Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) losing its parliamentary majority to the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations. Such a trajectory occurred in a country that had been ravaged by socio-economic woes for decades. The establishment of the GNU brought about short-term positive economic and political changes to the state of Zimbabwe. However, approximately seven years after its end, Zimbabwe has returned to the crisis that was meant to be addressed by the GNU. Consequently, the rationale behind this research was to establish whether the GNU in Zimbabwe was a lost opportunity upon which Zimbabwe’s crisis could have been solved. The study was informed by the Ripeness Theory, the Readiness Theory and the Elite Theory. It used a qualitative analytical approach in which data was collected through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and documentary search. The findings of the research revealed that the SADC-mediated GNU provided an opportunity to end Zimbabwe’s crisis but was affected by the approach used in its formation and implementation. While the SADC-mediated GNU ignored certain sections of the Zimbabwe community throughout its life, the differing interests of the parties impacted negatively on the operations of the agreement. The different political parties that constituted the GNU pursued party interest often ignoring the Global Political Agreement (GPA) itself. As a result, the set objectives of political, economic and security sector reforms among others were not realised. The SADC-mediated GNU thus failed to address Zimbabwe’s crisis. However, the GNU experienced some short-term successes especially in temporarily stabilizing the economy and bringing about political tolerance. Against such a backdrop, the study argued that GNU-related negotiations should be all-involving and all-encompassing for them to be successful. The SADC bloc’s elite-driven approach in dealing with crises situations ought to change as it has not yielded positive results. Additionally, the early warning signs of the bloc have failed and require reconsideration. At the national level, the state of Zimbabwe needs to consider adopting traits of the developmental state model to solve its unending crisis. These and some of the suggested solutions in the study will go a long way in solving crisis situations that may require unity governments and/or even assisting states to deal with economic and politically-related woes within the SADC region.
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    Peace building through youth development and empowerment in Zimbabwe: exploring government and civil society initiatives.
    (2020) Yingi, Edwin.; Ettang, Dorcas Oyebisi.
    Zimbabwe is a country that has been in the grip of conflict since the formation of its modern state in 1890. The attainment of independence in 1980 has not transformed the country to be peaceful but has continued on a violent trajectory epitomised by endemic political violence and egregious violation of human rights. In the aftermath of independence, the youth increasingly became actors in violent conflict, notably political violence. Literature is replete with cases of widespread role of young people in accentuating violent conflict across the world. This phenomenon has been attributed by scholars to the bulging youth demography. The United Nations and the African Union have advocated for holistic and comprehensive youth empowerment packages as solutions to averting the inclination of young people to violent conflict. Guided by the human needs theory and community-based approach to peacebuilding, this study seeks to add voice to the debate on how youth empowerment packages can provide strategic solutions to the complex challenge of peacebuilding in Zimbabwe. In pursuit of this broad objective, the study examined the youth empowerment programmes which are spearheaded by the government of Zimbabwe and civil society organisations. Using the mixed methods approach, this study interrogates the nexus between youth empowerment programmes and peacebuilding. Utilising in-depth interviews, survey questionnaires and observations, the study identified salient youth programmes and policies through which the state and civil society can address the underlying causes of violent conflict. Both civil society and the government have given nominal participation or what this study calls ‘negative inclusion’ to young people and this has not enhanced the empowerment drive meant for them. Lack of opportunities for young people occasioned by lack of requisite skills has aggravated their vulnerability in the process making them susceptible to recruitment into extremist youth groups. Extreme poverty resulting from limited or non-existent economic opportunities has, in the long run, jeopardised the fragile peace in the country. In a nutshell, the youth have been marginalised in programmes that affect their lives, and this has resulted in young people being out of kilter with programmes purported for them. The study among others recommends that government and civil society should embark on genuine youth empowerment programmes for peace to endure in Zimbabwe.
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    An assessment of the SADC conflict transformation capacity in the context of the recurring conflict in Lesotho 1998-2018: towards a conflict transformation model.
    (2020) Phungula, Noluthando Prudence.; Mtshali, Khondlo Phillip Thabo.; Maeresera, Sadiki.
    With Lesotho as its case study, the aim of this dissertation is to assess the conflict transformation capacity of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) within the period 1998-2018. The study was guided by the following questions: Which dynamics have been at play in the recurrence of conflict in Lesotho? What strategic political and diplomatic efforts has the SADC implemented in its attempts to resolve the conflict? What have been the major constraints encountered by the sub-regional body in its attempts to resolve the conflict? What scholarly and policy recommendations can be proffered for a sustainable SADC sub-regional conflict transformation model? This study utilised a qualitative research approach. Data which was collected through semi structured interviews was analysed using content analysis. As its theoretic framework, this research used the conflict transformation theory which has a focus on transforming factors that tend to perpetuate conflicts and on establishing a culture of non-violence, empathy and mutual understanding in communities to give them the capacity to resolve conflicts in a manner that is effective and that guarantees sustainable and durable peace. Within the conflict transformation framework, Lederach’s pyramid places emphasis on inclusion of all levels of leadership in transformative efforts. The findings of the study are presented under relevant themes. The findings show that SADC has the capacity to transform conflicts from negative to positive and sustainable peace. However, SADC currently does not have a guiding model for its CT efforts. As such, the study recommends a conflict transformation framework centred on local ownership as opposed to an outsider mediation approach, and a multi-pronged approach towards assessing the dynamics of the conflict and in the CT process. The study holds that peace attained under such conditions would be an effective, durable and self-sustainable peace. The study contributes to the debates on the relevance and application of Conflict Transformation as a possible framework that SADC could use to address the myriad of issues in the Lesotho context.
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    Pre and post-electoral violence dynamics in a fragile state: what is the sustainable solution to the electoral violence in Zimbabwe?
    (2017) Makonye, Felix.; Joseph, Rudigi Rukema.
    Elections are a defining characteristic of the tenets for democracy, and thus form an integral part of the democratization process. Over the past three and a half decades, Zimbabwe’s electoral processes have been pervaded by pre and post-electoral violence dynamics throughout the country. The result has been electoral outcomes that are contestable and neither free nor fair thereby becoming the centrepiece of worldwide attention and condemnation by regional, international and other organizations. The purpose of this study is to inform policy on the holding of elections that are sustainable, peaceful, free and fair in Zimbabwe among other things such as to add the voice of scholarship on the extent to which violence has pervaded the country’s elections so that intervention strategies can be designed to rescue the situation. The objectives of this study are to identify the dynamics that lead to pre and post-electoral violence in Zimbabwe, to determine the existing mechanisms to stem pre and post-electoral violence in Zimbabwe and to contribute strategies to mitigate pre and post-electoral violence in Zimbabwe. The focus of the study is Zimbabwe’s electoral processes from independence in 1980 to the present day. The study is purely qualitative in its nature and it appeals to three theoretical frameworks namely the conflict transformation theory, theory of positive and negative peace and the human needs theory. The study found the dynamics pre and post-electoral violence as militarization, ethnicity, draconian legislations and war rhetoric among others. It further found the existing mechanisms to stem violence as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and legal recourse among others. The study concludes by suggesting contributions such as demilitarization, international supervision of elections and the presence of observers well before and after elections. All data were presented and analysed using NVIVO software.
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    Pub[l]ic perception on proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Abuja, Nigeria: implications for peace and security.
    (2018) Ola, Adegboyega Adedolapo.; Jagganath, Gerelene.
    Small arms, having the attributes of being readily available and easy to use, have been the primary tool of the terrorist attacks in every part of the world including those of Abuja, Nigeria. Wide availability, accumulation and illegal flow of small arms tends to escalate conflict, terrorism and insecurity; and hinder development, social stability and good governance. The main objective of the study was to examine public perception on proliferation of small arms and light weapons and it’s the impact on peace and security in Abuja, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to examine the factors that stimulate the proliferation of small arms and light weapon in Abuja, Nigeria; examine the relationship between small arms, terrorism and insecurity; assess the nature of the threat posed to peace and security in Abuja, Nigeria; examine the strategic options that were utilised by the Nigerian security sector to enhance peace and security in Abuja, Nigeria. The study adopted a mixed method research approach involving a descriptive survey design. A sampling of 113 and 20 respondents was adopted quantitatively and qualitatively in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). The major findings were that: (i) the ineffective control of small arms led to their proliferation, accessibility and availability in the possession of unauthorised users in Abuja, Nigeria causing various terrorist attacks and great havoc in the city; (ii) rogue military and security personnel aided the proliferation of weapons to the possession of illicit users; (iii) lack of a national database and registration of small arms and light weapons, along with the absence of an effective marking, recording and tracing system for SALW also contributed largely to the proliferation of small arms; (iv) there is a positive correlation between the availability of small arms and terrorist attacks, it was also discovered that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons is a major cause of terrorism in Abuja; and (v) terrorism is a major factor that threatens peace and security in Abuja, which led to the death of many civilians and loss of properties. Based on the findings, it was recommended that: (i) the Nigerian government should increase the strength of the regulating agencies in charge of the Nigerian borders such as the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration, Nigerian Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and other security forces, which should be provided with adequate and functional modern technical equipment for arms detection; (ii) establish an arms bearing national body or agency that will monitor and guard the stockpile, diversion and misuse of small arms and light weapons in the country; (iii) the 1959 Nigeria Fire Act should be reviewed and amended in accordance with the Economic and Community of West African State Convention (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Programme of Action to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (UNPoA); (iv) the Nigerian government should seek assistance and cooperate with foreign countries and relevant agencies towards resolving the issue of illegal arms trade into the country in order to reduce and control the problem of small arms proliferation; (v) the civil society groups should cooperate better with the government in terms of arms control and the fight against illicit arms.
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    An analytical study of the role of Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in reconciliation and healing within the Zimbabwean context of political conflict and violence from 1979 to 2013.
    (2018) Muwanzi, Joseph.; Loubser, Noleen Dianna.
    This study analyses how the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ) has fostered reconciliation and healing within the Zimbabwean context of political conflict and violence from 1979-2013. It documents and discusses reconciliation and healing processes regarding how the church employed strategies, identified perpetrators and victims who needed reconciliation and healing, as well as worked with civil society organisations in the peace-building process. It also documents how the church conceptualises reconciliation from a social sciences perspective. The study adopted a sequential explanatory mixed-method for its design and worked with a sample size of 240 participants from eight districts of the MCZ within Zimbabwe. Questionnaires and interview schedules were the main source of primary data collection tools. Secondary data were sourced from text books, journals, the Internet, unpublished theses, MCZ Connexional Archives (minutes of conferences) in which conference is the governing board of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe as defined in its constitution as in MCZ (2007) and National Archives of Zimbabwe (newspapers). The quantitative data were analysed by means of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) programme while content and thematic analysis was used with qualitative data. The thesis was guided by the theoretical framework of conflict transformation based on Lederach’s peace-building theory. Major findings included that MCZ had actively participated in the peace-building process through multiple initiatives with perpetrators and victims of violence who needed reconciliation and healing. Various civil society organisations worked with the church towards peace-building but there was little support from the government. Major challenges that affected effective participation were the enforcement of draconian laws by the government such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Public Order and Security Act, Broadcast Services Act and Non-Governmental Organisations Act. There was a lack of political will, inadequate funding, lack of public counselling centres, fear and lack of social justice. Hypothetically, the study concluded that the church did not participate as effectively as may have been possible in the reconciliation and healing processes. The study has therefore put forth a number of the recommendations for the church under study as well as for future researchers.
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    Building peace in post-conflict societies: An exploration of the role of women in Liberia's peacebuilding architecture.
    (2018) Shulika, Lukong Stella.; Muthuki, Janet Muthoni.
    Post-conflict situations raise questions about the level to which the notion and practice of peacebuilding can contribute to sustainable peace, reconstruction, and development through transformative gender-responsive and inclusive processes. Embedded in these inquiries are the different standpoints and accentuation that the role and contributions of women in peacebuilding are an important contextual component for (post-)conflict agendas and are very much interlinked to their human and civil rights to participation and representation in public and official decision-making processes. This notwithstanding, the question regarding women’s participation, representation, and the consideration of their interests in the array of post-conflict approaches and processes still remain subject to a complexity of institutional, structural, socio-economic injustices and challenges, even at the grassroots levels. This study recognizes the manner and extent to which the importance of demystifying misconceptions about women and integrating their lived experiences into peacebuilding is imperative for the effectiveness and sustainability of post-conflict drives and its environment. Therefore, to understand the processes of peacebuilding in post-conflict transitions and address the question regarding the role of women therein, this study capitalizes on the Liberian experience as a macrocosm that embodies these themes. It provides a nuanced perspective and context of the role of women and women's organizations in Liberia’s peacebuilding architecture using a qualitative research methodology that comprises the review of relevant secondary info and primary data generated from focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with selected women organizations, institutions, and individuals in Liberia. The study identifies the absence of comprehensive scholarship that specifically examines women’s role in relation to each defined pillar of what constitutes post-conflict transition processes. Likewise, it uncovers dearth in literature inherent in the areas of policy implementation and domestication as well as the tendency to homogenize women and women’s organizational roles and significance. In response to these gaps, the study adopts a post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction and development theoretical framework, and Maxine Molyneux’s organizational theory. These theories serve as the lens through which the study expounds on the underlying importance of women’s peacebuilding agencies as being practically and strategically diverse as their experiences of conflict and the approaches that inform the different post-conflict processes. Hence, the study generates critical insights on women’s opportunities and challenges of engagement as well as the importance of using transformative stances to peacebuilding programmes; cognizant of the proactive rolewomen are playing and their underplayed contributions in Liberia. It arrives at several findings, including that Liberian women through their distinctive and shared experiences of conflict provide a gendered specific and transformative perspective to peace and security agendas both at the structural and practical levels. It also establishes that diverse women initiatives remain(ed) the core interventionist platform for women’s efforts in peace and decision-making processes during and in (post-) conflict Liberia and that there are numerous barriers to women’s peacebuilding efforts. The study concludes with several recommendations and the contention that women’s initiatives and agency for peace if genuinely supported would represent and serve as a strategy to progressively advance their different gender interests, participation, and representation in decision-making. It would equally increase the effective implementation as well as eventual sustainability of peacebuilding and development processes in Liberia.
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    Agents of peace or violence: an appraisal of youth participation in peace-building initiatives, Jos, Nigeria, (2000 –2010).
    (2018) Obaje, Timothy Aduojo.; Uzodike, Nwabufo Okeke.; Maeresera, Sadiki.
    The thesis explores peace-building processes in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria with a specific focus on the depth of youth participation in peace-building initiatives. The study revolves around the 2000 to 2010 era bearing in mind that this epoch was characterised by unceasing outbursts of conflicts in the city. It employed a qualitative design with thirty purposively selected respondents. Respondents were interviewed using a semi-structured interview instruments. The interviews generated detailed empirical data that illuminated various peace-building initiatives and the depth of youth participation in these initiatives in Jos. Academics and practitioners have identified peace-building as a potential technique could ensure sustainability of peace in conflict-prone societies. Since the early 90s, the United Nations have popularised peace-building efforts via its peace-building frameworks in making available a strategic response to violent conflicts and its causes. Guided by the human security conceptual framework and civic participatory theory, this study contributes to the debate on how the youth can genuinely and adequately participate in peace-building initiatives in Jos and globally. The comprehension of the concept of human security introduces a shift away from the traditional state-oriented security approach which gives rise to the utilization of military power based on the quest for state security. Human security draws attention to humans, both as individuals and groups, in a society. Findings from this study demonstrate that the Nigerian government and the Plateau State government in particular, are progressively subscribing to the idea of the human security oriented approach to peacebuilding over the State security approach. Although a lot need to be done in this respect, the identified peace-building initiatives are indicative of developments in the right direction. Included in some of the notable forms of peace-building initiatives that emerged from the analysis of the study’s empirical data, are the establishment of commissions of inquiry, the formation of inter-religious council, the appointment of the Special Advisor to the Governor on peace-building and trust and capacity building programs. Analysis of these initiatives revealed the strategic marginalisation of youth in peace-building processes. Peace-building endeavours such as trust and capacity building programs were manipulated and exploited rather than making a credible effort towards peace. These elements in some of the peacebuilding initiatives coupled with the total neglect of youth in other peace-building initiatives summed up the unscrupulous nature of the identified peace-building initiatives in Jos and consequently remaining stuck to the perimeter of Arnstein’s non-participation and tokenism in the ladder of participation. This study therefore, recommends the development of a comprehensive peace-building policy and civic participatory framework. A framework that facilitates and guides stakeholders effort towards genuine youth participation in peace-building initiatives. This will include but not limited to the prioritization of public participation in peace-building and other communal and societal affairs, the enhancement of the government’s commitment to peace-building efforts and civic participation, the development of stakeholders’ capacity, and finally, the enhancement of a culture of accountability with a focus on peace-building and genuine youth participation in decision-making processes. In so doing, the study contributes to extant literature about the youth as agents of positive change rather than instruments of violence.
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    Cross-border insurgency and the coping strategies of border communities in North-eastern Nigeria.
    (2019) Okunade, Samuel Kehinde.; Ogunnubi, Olusola Rasheed.
    Across continents, countries share borders with one another and so, have settlements called border communities. Nigeria is not an exception as she shares borders with neighboring states like Benin Republic in the South-West, Niger in the North, Chad and Cameroun in the North-East. For over 5 years, Nigeria has witnessed serious security challenge most especially, in the North-Eastern region, through the activities of Boko Haram, who infiltrated through porous borders putting the communities on constant threats and invasion. Extant literature reveals that these communities are being marginalized, with little or no attention from government in terms of basic infrastructure needed for daily survival. So far, research has focused on the coping strategy of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees in camps and host communities, to the total neglect of the border communities. It is therefore in this light that this study focuses on the coping strategies evolved by the border communities which ensures their continued survival against cross-border insurgency. This study was underpinned by three theories such as state fragility theory, functional prerequisite, human needs theory while a theoretical model that speaks to the coping strategies of border communities in North-Eastern Nigeria will be constructed from the study. For this study, qualitative research model was adopted using a phenomenological case study approach in exploring the coping strategy of border communities to ensure their survival and continuing existence, against cross-border insurgency. The target population consisted of all inhabitants of border communities in the North-Eastern Nigeria. Purposive sampling method was employed utilizing the typical case in the selection of participants. In-depth Interview (IDI) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was employed in collection of data while the interviews conducted were interpreted, transcribed, and content-analyzed. Data from both primary and secondary sources were descriptively analysed systematically and objectively, making valid textual inferences from them by identifying specific characteristics as it relates to cross-border insurgency and the coping strategies of border communities which are the crux of the study. Findings revealed that truly the border communities suffer Boko Haram attacks which has not only created a state of insecurity within the communities but has also created humanitarian crisis. Pathetic to note that this situation has received limited or no response hence, the evolvement of coping strategies by the communities for continued survival. These coping strategies involve reconciliation and unity, vigilance and Prayerfulness, formation of Vigilante Groups, and Bargain. Though, these strategies have been effective for survival, they have proven not to be totally capable of preventing further attacks in the communities. It is therefore necessary for the government through its agencies most especially, the North-East Development Commission and the Border Community Development Agency to synergize and improve on these strategies so that these communities can continue to experience the peace and tranquility that have eroded them for too long.
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    State stability and the crisis of refugees in Kenya: repatriation and resettlement of the Somali refugees in Dadaab Camp.
    (2019) Kirui, Peter Kipng'eno.; Francis, Suzanne.
    The repatriation of refugees is a complex phenomenon that requires extensive consultation especially among refugees and potential returnees. Even though several repatriations have failed as returnees flee again, the refugee actors have not significantly changed their approach to refugee repatriations so as to curb and reduce such failed repatriations. In this dissertation, I examine the Tripartite Agreement signed between the governments of Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR on 10th November 2013.This agreement is to guide the repatriation of approximately half a million Somali refugees from the Dadaab refugee camp in Northeastern Kenya. I argue that organized repatriations overlook refugee voices as experts and elites influence politics and policy surrounding repatriations. With refugees at the periphery of this decision-making, refugee actors make decisions about them that lack their input and, subsequently, the legitimacy of the decisions made on behalf of refugees. While tripartite parties agree, theoretically, on the need to promote voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees from Dadaab, in practice, they differ on how this should be carried out without rendering repatriation involuntary. I maintain that the refugee regime, the 1951UN Convention, needs to be changed as it is outdated, narrow in scope and does not address the new realities of the refugee problem. For instance, it does not recognize socio-economic causes of refugees. The study finds that the majority of Somali refugees in Dadaab neither know of the existence of a TA supporting their voluntary return, nor its contents. In this regard, I argue that refugees should be actively involved in decision making regarding repatriation and must not be relegated to the periphery. To address the refugee problem in Africa, I argue that focus should shift from the plight of refugees to addressing the reasons for the flight. As argued in this dissertation, only about 25% of Somali refugees in Dadaab have accepted repatriation since 2014 with many citing insecurity, lack of livelihood opportunities and social services as some of the reasons they have not repatriated. Cases of involuntary returns like that of Afghan, Rwandese and Rohingya refugees are cited as warning against unsustainable induced returns. As a deterrent measure, I contend that efforts by the international community should be focused on mitigating potentially explosive conflicts without necessarily interfering with sovereignty of concerned states. I argue that sustained peace and security that guarantee involuntary return is only possible by solving the reasons for the flight. The primary sources of the study included interviews, focus group discussions and personal observation. It was then categorized into various themes to address the set objectives.
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    The implementation of the refugee act 130 of 1998 in South Africa and the question of the social exclusion of forced migrants : a case study of DRC forced migrants in Pietermaritzburg.
    (2018) Masuku, Sikanyiso.; Rama, Sharmla.
    The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees refers to the concept ‘forced migrants’ as victims of coerced movement. In South Africa, the Refugee Act 130 of 1998 entitles all forced migrants the right to access education, employment and other social and economic services. However, forced migrants in the country remain socially excluded and continuously fall outside networks of controlled association. This study examines the underlying barriers in the enactment of the Refugee Act 130 of 1998. The central focus is the interplay between social exclusion and forced migrants failure to access their legal rights. The study offers an exploratory examination of social exclusion (a predominantly Eurocentric concept), within the context of the developing world while paying particular attention to the effects of social exclusion against forced migrants. A case study approach was adopted in the research along with an interpretive research paradigm. A non-probability sampling technique (expert sampling and homogeneous sampling) was then used to select the study participants; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forced migrants and civil society members. Participants were grouped to participate in the focus-group discussion (One FGD – eight participants), two participated in the life history and three in the in-depth interviews. The data was then analysed using thematic content analysis. Murphy’s theory of Social Closure (monopolization and exclusion) underpinned the analysis of the study. The multidimensionality of social exclusion, namely; the primary cultural as well as structural agentive processes of exclusion were examined in the study. The findings from the study show that a range of multidimensional factors influence the degree of social closure, prejudice, opportunity hoarding and institutional biases confronting forced migrants. As a result, Congolese forced migrants have been inhibited from accessing a host of legal entitlements in the country. Poor collaboration between the state and civil society, inadequate refugee rights education initiatives as well as bureaucratic challenges within the South African refugee appeal system were identified in the study as contributing to these challenges. The findings suggested how a capability based approach may facilitate forced migrants social inclusion, cohesion and their access to a spectrum of commodity bundles, civil rights and other necessaries enshrined by law. This study therefore makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge by establishing the link between social exclusion and the deprivations confronting forced migrant populations.
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    An analysis of state-led reconciliation processes : the case of Zimbabwe.
    (2018) Tofa, Moses.; Moore, Candice.
    This study uses case studies to critique the strengths and shortcomings of state-led reconciliation processes in Zimbabwe and to examine how state-led and community-based reconciliation processes complement or conflict with each other. Its main research question is that “what is the relationship between state-led and community-led reconciliation processes in the Zimbabwean context?” Sixty one people were interviewed through interviews and focus group discussions. In the case studies, the study establishes the nature and impact of violations which were committed, the healing and reconciliation needs of the communities, the perspectives of the communities in terms of the actors who should be involved in reconciliation processes, and the impact of state-led reconciliation processes. The study also uses the case study of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace to examine the role of civil society in reconciliation processes in Zimbabwe. This has enabled it to interrogate reconciliation processes by civil society, not from the perspectives of civil society itself, but of the people who were affected by its interventions. One of the findings is that in the absence of meaningful state-led reconciliation processes, it was civil society which played a major role in promoting reconciliation. However, it was found in the study that civil society was unable to address many of the reconciliation needs of affected societies because in the absence of top-down reconciliation processes, civil society has a very limited capacity to promote reconciliation. It is against this background that the study found that top-down reconciliation processes are indispensable because they may create an environment which enables reconciliation processes to take place at different levels of society and that reconciliation can be achieved through the interaction, engagement and collaboration between different actors such as the state, civil society, affected communities, and the international community. Although bottom-up processes can promote healing and reconciliation at individual levels, they are difficult to conduct in the absence of top-down processes. In a context where the two approaches are implemented simultaneously, they can either complement or conflict with each other.
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    Water access policies: probing water access policies and positive peace in a Zimbabwean rural setting.
    (2016) Shoko, Evans.; Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.
    This study sought to establish the correlation between water access policies, informal practices and positive peace. The study was carried out in Village One, Ward 11, Mhondoro-Ngezi District in Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. It was grounded in qualitative research using the Sequential Mixed Model method. Stratified purposive sampling was used to interview 20 Village One residents (10 men and 10 women) – from a total of 203 adults – to achieve a measure of gender balance and to make responses more representative. The study also interviewed 5 key informants from the Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council. Participant observations, documentary analysis and questionnaires were administered to provide triangulation of data. Deductive content analysis and thematic analysis was used to discuss findings. The study used the theory of positive and negative peace, common property resource management theory and conflict transformation theory. Content analysis of texts revealed that Zimbabwe’s water policy and related laws protect the rights of the citizens, encourage participation in their formulation but the provisions are hardly implemented. Findings revealed that participants understand some aspects of positive peace in relation to water access. Informal practices also shape people’s access to water through the effective use of local rules, although most of these rules are now being disregarded. Findings showed that there remains a gap between water supply and access. Findings also revealed that the use of informal practices is more effective to water access for productive uses, while formal water institutions can usefully work towards drilling of boreholes. Participants lack information about water policies and institutions, as communications are always confined to political leaders and government technocrats.
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    Peacebuilding among Shona communities in transition in Zimbabwe: a participatory action research.
    (2015) Chivasa, Norman.; Kaye, Sylvia.
    This study is a participatory action research (PAR) intervention that examined the contributions of informal peace committees to peacebuilding in Zimbabwe. The emergence of informal peace committees as a diverse segment of Shona customary courts is a demonstration of institutional transformation that has taken place among the Shona people. In many respects, the discourse on peace committees, as peacebuilding mechanisms has gathered momentum in recent years owing to the relative success stories recorded in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Philippines, Sudan, Uganda. In these and other countries that have experienced violent conflict, communities have taken responsibility to set up informal peace committees in order to address peace challenges bedevilling them. To interrogate systematically the contributions of informal peace committees to peacebuilding, this study established a 15-member ward peace committee (WPC) in Ward 8 of Seke district, Mashonaland East Province. Since the study was predominantly participatory, requiring the researcher to work with a small advisory team, a 15 member WPC became the participatory action group (PAG). A total of 42 participants and informants involving 21 males and 21 females were purposively sampled in the study, and due to its participatory nature, the PAG played multiple roles which included planning, convening meetings, implementing resolutions and the analysis of data. Data obtained from weekly and monthly WPC meetings were complemented with participant observation, six in-depth interviews, a WPC focus group, three village peace committee (VPC) focus groups and seven narratives on experiences of informal peace committees in Harare, Marondera, Mutare and Wedza districts. From the findings, one of the major themes that stood out was that informal peace committees give members of the village the opportunity to come together and share ideas on problems bedevilling them. Another popular view but also related to the above, was that informal peace committees are a direct response by communities to take responsibility for their own peace as they open space for building relationships through collaborative resolution of conflicts as well as fostering the improvement of livelihoods through low cost entrepreneurial activities such as bee-keeping, market gardening, farming, vegetable drying and poultry. These activities have made marked differences in that low-income communities have coped with economic shocks thereby mitigating violent conflict. The study concluded that informal peace committees are an effective means of building peace because communities take responsibility for their own peace using local resources and skills. It recommends that while informal peace committees should remain independent and community-based, they can feed into mainstream peacebuilding in Zimbabwe, in particular, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) which was created in May 2013.
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    Probing marital conflicts within the context of migrant families from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province.
    (2017) Umubyeyi, Beatrice Samson.; Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.
    This study is based on marital conflict among migrant families from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in Durban, South Africa. It aims to explore and examine the extent of marital conflicts among these migrant families, investigate the root causes of marital conflicts among them and examine whether there is any relationship between marital conflict and migration. Additionally, this study aims to investigate if there are any existing approaches to marital conflicts resolution among Congolese migrant families and if so, to identify them as well as examine their functions and effectiveness. The theoretical framework within which this study is constructed includes the theories of Social Constructionism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Conflict Transformation. This study utilises a qualitative approach; 20 men and 20 women married, divorced and separated Congolese migrants participated in the initial questionnaires. Respondents in this study were identified through two selected Congolese migrant Churches. In-depth personal interviews were conducted with 8 men and 8 women volunteers from those participated in the questionnaires and with two church leaders and church Counsellors from where participants were selected. The target group for this study were men and women married, divorced or separated, from Congolese migrant community living in Durban. Respondents in these categories are selected because of their own experiences in marriage. The research has used a random and judgmental sampling method. After examining the extent of marital conflict among migrant families from the DRC living in Durban, the findings show that marital conflict among these families is prevalent. The findings from this study also demonstrate that there are a number of root causes and factors that results in marital conflict among them. These include family life stress, unemployment, lack of communication between couples, changing behaviour of one or both partners, the influence of relatives or friends and lack of social support. It was also revealed that other factors such as the absence of one partner, emotional and financial depravation of one partner and alcohol abuse also contributed to marital conflict among migrant families from DRC living in Durban. In examining whether there is a relationship between marital conflict and migration among Congolese migrant families in Durban, the majority of the study participants agreed that there is a close relationship between marital conflict and migration. Several indicators were identified and these include the change of behaviour by one or both partners in the host country, family life stress, unemployment. With regards to whether there are any approaches to marital conflict resolution among these families, the findings from this study show that there are several approaches to marital conflict resolution. Negotiation and mediation however were considered to be the key approaches in solving marital conflict among Congolese migrant families living in Durban.
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    Interrogating the provision of secondary school education in Hopley and Caledonia communities: a lens into internal displacement in Zimbabwe.
    (2016) Benhura, Abigail Rudorwashe.; Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.
    Internal displacement is a tenacious social ill that has gripped the global community affecting the lives of millions of people. Despite the fact that this form of forced migration has become common lexicon at an international level, there is a dearth of studies on the impact of internal displacement on the accessibility of secondary school education. Therefore, the central focus of this study was to probe how internal displacement has impacted on the provision of secondary school education on Hopley and Caledonia communities. The study cited Hopley and Caledonia in Zimbabwe as communities that host internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose homes were demolished through Operation Murambatsvina in 2005. The study focused on the premise that forced migration invariably leads to deprivations in the lives of the victims. The study explored how the IDPs’ loss of shelter inevitably led to the failure to access secondary school education for the majority of the children. This was entrenched in the non-adherence to international statutes by institutions mandated to facilitate them so as to alleviate the challenges of internal displacement. In order to ground the study in a way that would give the scope of understanding of IDPs’ perceptions of the phenomenon and its effects on education, the study mainly used the Capability Approach as a theoretical framework. The Capability Approach enhanced the understanding that the lack of provision of education to displaced children denied them the opportunity to be what they can potentially be. In addition, the Entitlement Approach and Critical Theory were also used to interpret the role of education in the pursuit of social justice and inalienable human rights among the internally displaced people in the two communities. As internal displacement in Zimbabwe is politically sensitive, this led to the use of the qualitative research paradigm to seek the IDPs and other key actors’ subjective interpretations of this phenomenon. Furthermore, purposive sampling was used to select respondents whose children were of secondary school going age in these communities. The non-random and subjective nature of sampling was driven by the fact that the study specifically intended to select IDPs whose children’s access to education had been affected by internal displacement. Thematic and content analysis were used to analyse the empirical data and secondary evidence respectively. The study established that internal displacement in Zimbabwe resulted in the people being dispossessed of both their shelter and potential futures through the lack of education. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the lack of education increased the IDPs’ invisibility compounded by the government and global community’s failure to institute international policies and norms on internal displacement. Thus, the study makes a meaningful contribution to the body of knowledge on the discourse on ‘missing migrants’ in the form of IDPs in Zimbabwe. The implication of these findings is the need to deconstruct and recategorise IDPs in Zimbabwe so that they can benefit from the various internal displacement policies and international instruments.
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    South Africa and peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1996 – 2016 : probing the attitudes of Congolese refugees in Durban.
    (2016) Makanda, Joseph.; Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.; Mtshali, Khondlo Phillip Thabo.
    This study is anchored on the crisis of Congolese refugees that is taking an astronomical proportion in South Africa. While in different parts in South Africa Congolese refugees may initiate actions that may fuel the magnitude of a new or the ongoing conflict on one hand, and those that may transform and end war the DRC’s war. The study probes the views and insights of the Congolese refugees on South Africa’s peacebuilding interventions in the DRC’s conflict and contends that South Africa can draw from the views, insights and perception of Congolese refugees as another alternative of bolstering its current peace building interventions in the DRC. The study draws heavily on data gathered from four (4) focus group discussions and 58 in-depth interviews (comprising mainly, the Congolese scholars and civil rights activists in Durban). The study uses conflict transformation and realism theories. From a conflict transformation perspective, the study argues that drawing from the views and insights of the Congolese refugees may bolster an all-encompassing South African peacebuilding intervention in the DRC’s conflict. On the other hand, through the tenets of realism, study argues that South Africa can draw from the insights of the Congolese refugees as one way of achieving its dominant interests of having a stable DRC and Africa. Through a survey of scholarship on the link between refugees and conflict transformation, the findings of this study reveals that the inclusion of the views and insights of Congolese refugees in its peacebuilding interventions may earn South Africa respect on the continent as a country that respects the contribution of refugees in peacebuilding. This may advance South Africa’s interest of taking the lead in peace operations in Africa. However, the study also reveals that by participating in peacebuilding while pushing for more economic relations with DRC, the South Africa’s interventions in the DRC’s conflict can be termed as a predatory and exploitative way of the economics of war. For instance, the Inga Dam, agriculture and the abundance of mineral resources to which some South African companies own mining rights, underscores a realist argument that any intervening state intervenes in a conflict country in pursuit of its national interests. The findings of this study also reveal that, by drawing on the views of the marginalised non-state actors like Congolese refugees in its peacebuilding interventions in the DRC, South Africa may fulfill its desire of avoiding spill-overs from the effects of the war in the form of the incessant influx of Congolese refugees. An end to war in the DRC may be one way of furthering economic interests of the South African business segments. Having taken note that the major findings of the study revolve around contentious primary issues relating to the role of Congolese refugees within South Africa’s peacebuilding interventions, a number of recommendations are made. These include: 1. Establishment of refugees’ resource centres as a new approach of mitigating their forgotten role in peacebuilding processes. 2. Clarification of the conflicting interests of South Africa’s peacebuilding interventions in the DRC. 3. Inclusion of other non-state actors in South Africa’s peacebuilding interventions. Finally, a paradigm shift is needed in the conceptualization of what constitutes conflict transformation more so peacebuilding interventions. This includes a new theoretical thinking based on gaining vital views, insights and perspectives from non-state actors like Congolese refugees in South Africa.