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“African solutions to African problems.” challenges in implementing African mechanisms in transforming conflict: selected case studies (2007 to 2016)

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The study is premised on the understanding that African conflict challenges have been consistent and seem rather unending even after attempted peace, due to the application of external solutions. Hence, the research is built on the argument that African solutions to African conflict challenges lie within her own bosom. This research acknowledges the existence of other useful external solutions but argues that these solutions should not take precedence in addressing African conflict challenges as identified in most cases. In this light, this study adhered to the objective of clarifying perspectives around the notion of ASAP and its importance in developing effective mechanisms that are localized and indigenous in addressing African conflict challenges. The study traces the concept of ASAP to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and outlines how it is an important cause to pursue if effective peace and security are to be established in Africa’s conflict-ridden societies. The study utilizes conflict transformation and positive peace theories as a measure to bring understanding to the various dynamics of conflict, understanding the diversity of society and also promote alternative thinking as vital components in addressing African conflicts. The study employs the use of case studies (of Somalia, Darfur and Burundi) which provided three unique backdrops which exposed different variations in peace approaches. They exposed the weaknesses and strengths that are encountered in addressing typical African challenges. There are also various traditional and indigenous societal tools that are identified in these communities that can be key in addressing conflict which has often been neglected or undermined because they do not exist in the guidelines of liberal peace structures. The adoption of hybrid peace meant the promotion of the bridging of top-down and bottom-up approaches, encourage inclusive peace initiatives between external and local/indigenous peace approaches and to ensure that there is local ownership of peace processes which allows sustainable peace. However, the study identifies that the challenge of hybrid paternalism replaced liberal peace frameworks such that localized/ indigenous peace mechanisms and the effect of ASAP remain undermined. The implementation of the peace processes examined still exposes huge limitations and setbacks. This research concludes that despite the existence and adoption of a perfect platform, ASAP as a mechanism remains far from being a reality and the role of indigenous peace is still undermined in practice.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.