The Role of Regional Organizations in Managing Peace and Security in Fragile States

Master's Thesis, 2018

68 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents

Chapter 1
1.0 Background
1.1 Research Aim
1.2 Research Question
1.3 Research Objectives
1.4 Research Methodology
1.5 Theoretical Framework
1.6 Hypotheses
1.7 Limitations
1.8 Ethical Considerations

Chapter Two: Literature Review.
2.0 Introduction
2.1 State Fragility and Peace building in Africa.
2.2 Governance and Security in Fragile states
2.3 Patrimonialism and security in Africa
2.4 Ethnicity in South Sudan
2.5 Security Threats
2.6 Institutional Conflict Management
2.7 Mediation and Negotiation
2.8 Strategic Management

Chapter Three
3.1 Research Methodology
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Methods of Data Collection
3.4 Sampling Procedure
3.5 Data Analysis and Interpretation

Chapter Four
4.1 IGADs Involvement in Regional Security
4.2 Resurgence of Conflict in South Sudan
4.3 IGAD’s Intervention in Sudan
4.4 New Conflict, New Initiative
4.5 The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement
4.6 Mediation and Negotiations Process in IGAD
4.7 The Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan
4.8 Successes and Failures

Chapter Five
5.1. Recommendations



I wish to acknowledge Prof. Ann Fitz Gerald, My teacher and supervisor whose tireless efforts including wonderful motivations to hang in there and getäthis work done have made it possible for this work to be where it is today. I also want acknowledge the efforts of all the Cranfield Defence and Security lecturers who endured hard and difficultätimes to come and deliver lectures in Ethiopia. Without you all, it would not have been possible. Special thanks to Caroline Sweeting, whose prompt responses to my numerous questions are the dream of every student


This work is dedicated to my loving wife Lucy Muthamia, my sons Dennis and Sean whose encouragement and personal sacrifice encouraged me to soldier on and complete this research.


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


The conflict in South Sudan manifested on the 15 December 2013 and the regional organization IGAD moved quickly to manage it by establishing several structures that included the Cessation of Hostilities agreement and the Status of Detainees Agreement. However, the process of negotiating enduring peace and security in the country have proven elusive. Despite concerted efforts by IGAD, AU and even the UN, peace has remained elusive for the people of South Sudan. This research employs the neoliberal institutionalism theory to try and explain the reasons for this failure. It identifies weaknesses that range from conflicting interests of the IGAD member states, to egotistical competitions among the negotiators and lack of understanding of the problem. The attemptäto recalibrate the new security problems in the manner of the comprehensive Peace Agreementäthat brought an end to the Sudan war, can be seen as a failure to appreciate the new conflict dynamics that drive the ethnic war currently ongoing in South Sudan. Moreover IGAD has had a checkered history in peace and security and although it was hoping to use this experience in South Sudan, it failed to evaluate and resolve the South Sudan on its own merit. Thus in conclusion, we find that no conflicts are alike and any attemptäto use a template will most likely fail.

Chapter 1

1.0 Background

Global politics has changed since the end of the cold war. There has been an increase in the number of intrastate conflicts that have had devastating consequences for a world that should have provided peace dividends after the end of the cold war. Most of these conflicts are based on disputes over the distribution ofüresources resulting from gross disparities in wealth between different groups of people in these countries and the consequent struggle for reform of economic systems to ensure a fair distribution of economic power. Other causes of conflict in Africa include the lack of structures, culture and democratic practices and the resulting struggle for democratization, good governance and reform of political systems; systemic bankruptcy in the administration of justice and the inability of states to ensure the security of the population; and issues related to religious beliefs and religious differences and even strands of fundamentalism (Akinrinade and Siseyi, 1997). Subsequently, state survival has become challenged especially in Africa.

The end of the cold war has seen an increase in the number of intra-state conflicts especially in Africa, with most of these conflicts transcending borders. This often poses a risk to regional stability and undermines the continent's development. The resultant insecurity has been perceived differently within the regions in which they have prevailed. The persistent absence of peace, security and stability has serious implications for the development and integration of Africa. Violent conflicts and wars have slowed down integration in some regional economic communities (these are included in the early years of the European Union (EU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) and have led to a slowdown in others such as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) (Nloller, 2005, p 56). Conflicts have also diverted resources from development efforts and prevented countries from fully participating in the activities of the regional economic community (e.g. Burundi and Rwanda). In addition, according to Schnabel (2002) unrest in one country may reduce foreign investment in neighboring countries and in a sub-region. This is particularly damaging as this investment is largely related to the development of infrastructure and productive capacity in the regional economic communities. The impact ofüreduced regional development coupled with the possibility of spillover effects is probably what informs the now familiar interventionary efforts undertaken by regional organizations to ensure member states remain peaceful.

The violent conflicts and humanitarian tragedies that result in much of the world, combined with the UN's still inadequate capacity to deal effectively with these cases, deserve a deeper insight into the idea ofüregionalizing peace operations. Since the end of the cold war, it has become increasingly fashionable to emphasize that sub regional organizations should play an important role in conflict management, often supported as a principle of subsidiarity[1] (UN Charter 2(7)). In addition, the critical combination of the inadequacies of UN on the one hand and the terrible African situation on the other seems to have forced regional organizations such as the AU and even the EU, to play a vital role in their respective regions with delegated responsibilities to the sub regional bodies directly involved with the conflict.

African regional and sub regional organizations have been called upon to guide security and conflict management, both through conflict prevention and mediation, either through civilian or military intervention and peace-building after the conflict (PCRD Document). However, the desire for sustainable economic growth has informed the need to engage with issues affecting peace and security. Thus contemporary regionalism in Africa has seen these organizations change their mandates to cover security issues that include conflict and peace management. Among the African based sub regional organizations that has included peace and security in its menu is the Inter Governmental Agreement on Development (IGAD)

IGAD was founded in 1996 and is currently affiliated to Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan in 2012. The organization was created initially to deal with issues of drought in the greater Horn of Africa region which had been then identified as an existential threatäto peace in the region due to the then prevalent conflicts between the pastoralist communities, which an many cases transcended state boundaries. Given the drought and desertification mandate of its predecessor IGADD,[2] IGAD has extended this mandate to include; food security, environmental protection, peace and security, economic cooperation and integration, in line with the objectives of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Economic Community (AEC).

The IGAD peace and security mandate does not include the imposition of peace in situation of deterioration of peace in member states. According to Article 7 (g) of IGAD Charter, the regional body has the objective of promoting peace and stability in the sub region and creating mechanisms for prevention and management of conflicts. On the other hand, the factäthatäthe main body of the organization (Article 9 (4)) is committed to resolving member states' problems at sub regional level before referring them to other regional or international organizations allows IGAD to escalate matters either to the African union or United Nations should matters become difficultäto resolve (Article 18 (A) (c)) (IGAD, 1996).

With this transformation came the expanded mandate, which included peace and security. To provide effective access to security management, the organization has set up a fully equipped department of Peace and Security modeled after the European Short Alarm System, known as the Continental Early Warning (CEWARN) ( The extended role has allowed IGAD to engage in the management ofüregional conflicts. This saw IGAD intervening in the conflicts in Somalia and Sudan and, finally, in South Sudan with varying results. The first conflict on the plan of the nascent organization was the Sudan civil war, which had continued decades for decades. The decision to get involved in this conflict was more of a political decision underwritten by the former Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi who almost single handedly led the process of mediation before roping in the regional body.

Sudan's progression from a unified state to two independent countries through the IGAD’s government's intervention on conflict management in the former Sudan was recognized as one of the results of the regional organization efforts in the management of peace and security at sub regional level (Muriithi, T. 2009, Elowson and Alberqueque, 2016). This achievement is probably what gave the organization the confidence and courage to wantäto improve its role in peace and security management. Towards this end, the organization received support from the Unites States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Norway, commonly referred to as the TROIKA and other Scandinavian countries and some European states acting under the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF)

Thatäthe regional organization has been active in the management of peace and security in the Horn of Africa, not only in Sudan and South Sudan, but also in Somalia is not in doubt. During the post election violence in Kenya in 2007/8, IGAD remained active in monitoring and advising on the mechanisms needed to end the violence (Mwaura 2008, p 36). The organization was able to mediate between the parties in the war in Sudan, culminating in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 and also took serious steps to achieve a form of peace in Somalia. The way the organization conducted these processes has had different results in the two major conflicts with which it has engaged. For example, in Somalia, IGAD opted to pursue a two-pronged approach where negotiations were conducted while individual member states also had initiatives to mitigate the conflict. In the case of the Sudan however, IGAD was able to midwife the emergence of the youngest state in the world, albeit with the help of the international community. The new nation has nevertheless become engrossed in internal conflict, which has seen a serious deterioration of human rights and an almost catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

The conflict in South Sudan had been simmering since the signing of the CPA in 2005. It seems thatäthe few unresolved issues in the CPA were impossible to negotiate and things came to a head on 15 December 2013 when violence broke out in Juba mainly between the Nuer and Dinka members of the South Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). IGAD moved swiftly to institute a mediation process meantäto provide a viable and enduring peace and security in South Sudan. has become able to complete the peace process in South Sudan.

1.1 Research Aim

The lastätwo decades have seen the Balkanization of the Horn of Africa (HoA). The failure of the state of Somalia, the advent of an autonomous Puntland and Somaliland, de facto a hostile Eritrea and last but not least, a South Sudan, the youngest state in the world, which is torn apart by a civil war are few that can be cited. 2011 was a year that maintained hope for the peace and development of South Sudan. However, not long after these hopes were dashed with corruption charges, Nepotism, cronyism, tribalism, sectarianism, the mismanagement ofüresources and authoritarian tendencies of the Government of Southern Sudan (GRSS), as well as the failure of the liberation movement, the SPLM to self democratize after it became a popular movement meantäto bring together all south Sudanese (International Crisis Group (ICG, 2014). The culmination of these factors was the outbreak of the civil war between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Dr.Riek Machar. The war involved fighters from the South Sudan Veterans Movement (SPLM), but largely informed by tribal leanings.

The war was also triggered by the dissolution of Parliament by the President in July 2013 and the subsequent sacking of Dr Machar from the position of vice president. The gap between the two figures was quickly developed into a tribal hegemonic competition largely under ethnic fault lines pitting the Nuer againstäthe Dinka which plunged the world's youngest state into a bloody civil war. The war portended negative effects to the neighboring states especially those of IGAD.

In light of its purpose to promote peace and stability in the region and to create mechanisms in the region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter-state and intra-state conflicts through dialogue (Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), 1996, p.7), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) became the first actor to intervene to resolve the crisis in the South. IGAD soughtäto act in order to supplementäthe UN efforts in managing peace and security in the world.

Inspired by the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, in the 1992 Peace for Agenda Boutros Boutros Ghali underscored the importance of outsourcing the United Nations peacekeeping role to the regional organizations. Regional Economic Communities and Mechanisms (REC/Ms) are mandated with achieving peace and security in their respective areas of influence (United Nations, 1992, UN Charter Chapter VIII). In light of this, and with the new paradigm of African solutions to Africa's problems, AU REC/Ms are the most appropriate for conflict resolution and for achieving a lasting solution in their particular jurisdictions. This situation is further supported by the principle of subsidiarity of the African Union (AU), which invites regional groups to have the first review in what is happening in their neighborhood (African Union (AU), 2008).

Thus IGAD has been the lead organization in the horn of Africa when it comes to managing regional peace and security in the Horn of Africa. The organizations has attempted interventions in all areas with the potential to cause conflict within communities ranging from monitoring climatic changes to pastoralists movementäto counter terrorism and internal conflicts of member states ( making the organization ubiquitous in peace and security. The latest and the most challenging peace and security provision effort by the organization is the negotiation and implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, which has proven a challenge despite the parties to the conflict having signed it. The aim of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of IGAD in resolving regional conflicts with case study of the ARCSS in order to determine whether regional organizations should take lead role in peace and security management of the member states.

1.2 Research Question

Regional organizations have on many occasions intervened in the affairs of their member states both in violent conflict and economic terms. Within the African continent, regional economic blocks (RECs) and regional mechanisms (RMs) have established intervention methodologies that cut across the economic as well as the conflict spectrum. The establishment of the African Standby Force (ASF) is one of the African Union conflict response tools that envisages an organ capable ofüresponding to all manner of threats that have potential to engender conflict between or within states (APSA Chap IV, Lucey,A. and Arewa, M. 2016). Consequently regional organizations have progressively assumed a bigger role in the management of peace and security within the member states ( Other regional organizations besides IGAD have also undertaken peace and security activity in the spirit of subsidiarity to ensure that conflict in one member state does not spillover to other states in the organization.

The question is: How effective has IGAD been in its management of the South Sudan conflict?

1.3 Research Objectives

Several objectives derive from the research question. The following are the objectives of this research.

a. To determine the effectiveness ofüregional organizations interventions in regional conflicts and find out whether IGAD has been effective in managing the South Sudan Conflict.
b. To identify the regional political dynamics that have influenced IGAD’s peace and security management efforts
c. To establish whether IGAD has the political will and the capacity to effectively manage the South Sudan Conflict.

1.4 Research Methodology

The nature of the problem at hand leads to several research methodologies being considered. It is possible to conduct a qualitative as well as a quantitative research on this matter. However due to the limitations stated below, this research will largely be qualitative which will allow for review of existing literature on the matter in order to establish an analytical framework which will enable the interrogation of conflict management dynamic in regional organizations (Miles &Huberman, 1994.p 40). A fair amount of personal observations obtained by the researcher while working as a liaison officer for IGAD and AU will be used to buttress the qualitative data collected from both secondary and primary sources. By using a case study research design method, it is hoped thatäthe underlying issues in conflict management within regional organizations in general and IGAD in particular will be brought out. Rigorous engagement with the literature will lead to logical derivatives that will be used to validate the objectives of this research. The research will assume an inductive approach in order to allow the generalizations of the observations made and hence enable conclusions to be drawn (Denzin $ Lincoln, 2005).

1.5 Theoretical Framework

This paper will therefore use the Neoliberal Institutionalism theory as articulated by Robert Keohane (1984) and Robert Axelrod (1984) who developed the theory and argue that institutions such as the UN redefine state roles and act as arbitrators in state disputes. Although international institutions cannotätransform anarchy, they have the potential to change state behavior by influencing the character of the international environment. International institutions do this by using several methods that create incentives for cooperation like favorable trade status, financial aid or through disincentives like sanctions (Navari 2013 in Williams P, 2013 (ed)). This theory is useful because it addresses the relationship of cooperation between states in a world of anarchy without a central authority. In other words it allows us to look and assess the nature of interaction within an integrated organization and answers the question of why states choose to remain within international organizations. Axelrod argues that by continuous interaction between egoistic elites prosecuting different agenda, a level of trust eventually develops which allows them to work together for the common good (Axelrod 1984, in Navari op cit). The theory explains that states cooperate because they feel more re-assured collectively than when acting alone. Once institutionalized, states hesitate to abandon the organization due to fear of the unknown ahead (Axelrod 1984). This can be explained in terms of shared transaction costs, which include the cost of information, costs of measuring the attributes of what is being exchanged and how valuable these are, the costs of protecting rights and policing and enforcing agreements (North,D. 1990.p 27). When states consider the costs involved in unitary action versus institutionalized action, they opt for institutions despite the constraints they impose on states because institutions reduce the transaction costs involved in rule making, enforcement, negotiation, information gathering and even in conflict resolution. Thus institutions emerge and survive because they serve to maximize the exogenously determined interests and preferences of their members.

According to neoliberal institutionalism theory, states create institutions to maximize shared interests. Security is a shared interest because the lack of security in one state has the potential to affect another state negatively. In liberal international relations theory, the state is not an actor but an institution constantly subjectäto capture and recapture by coalitions of social actors (Moravcsik., 2001. pp. 67-9). Thus neoliberal institutionalism, with its emphasis on the role of promoting collective interests is useful in analyzing and explaining how IGAD can work as an institution to mediate for peace in member states.

1.6 Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be tested in this research.

a. Regional organizations such as IGAD will remain challenged in managing security in fragile states as long as they are unable to divorce member states’ national interests in the conflict states.

b. The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) was engineered to fail from the start and was not a true representation of aspirations of the protagonists in the conflict.

c. Regional Organization’s mediation for peace in fragile states is more likely to experience failure than in the more stable states.

1.7 Limitations

Regional organizations exist across the entire African continent and beyond. To conduct an effective study of the role of these organizations in conflict management would require extensive travel. Due to scarce finances, this will not be possible and thus the need to conduct a desk based study. Following the outbreak of hostilities in South Sudan, it may not be possible to conduct quantitative research in the country. In this regard, some of the data used in this research may be dated and could lead to faulty deductions being made. To mitigate the risks, a careful selection of key informants and security management experts from the AU, IGAD, and the South Sudan conflict parties will be interviewed. Author observations made during participation in the process will be included where no expertise is available but, without any introduction of bias.

1.8 Ethical Considerations

This research is subjectäto the Cranfield University ethical considerations. It must be submitted to the universities ethical committee for approval. The researcher is also obligated to observe the communication ethics of the organizations being researched.

Chapter Two: Literature Review.

2.0 Introduction

This chapter discusses the road to the evolution of conflict in Africa by providing an overview of how state fragility and the post colonial African state making has informed the peace and security architecture. The chapter adopts a wide approach to understanding the conflict problem in Africa before narrowing down to South Sudan. The chapter will moreover discuss the various factors contributing to state failure and the growth of malevolent conflicts in the continent. Finally, an analysis of the relevance and utility of neoliberal institutionalism in security studies will advance the theoretical framework.

Civil war in Africa has been endemic and so have been the attempts to mitigate occurrences and effects (Williams, 2016. p 2). Williams argues thatäthere are two types of armed conflictäthat obtain within the continent of Africa. He identifies the sources of such conflicts as those rooted in the African state system and those that occur in the margins or outside the system. According to him, the conflicts associated with the state system can be traced to the nature of the colonial construction of the state at independence (Williams, 2016,p 114). This means that African States accepted the concept of uti posseditis juris, the legal doctrine thatäthe colonial boundaries remain to form the administrative boundaries when the political unit achieved independence, and consequently claimed sovereignty based on this paradigm. Although arguments have been advanced on the issue of sovereignty and the need for self-determination in Africa, very few examples exist. In fact except for South Sudan and Eritrea, self-determination remains a mirage for many wannabe nations in Africa (Williams op cit, pp 114-116)

The new state thus assumed Eurocentric modes of extraction with resources being exported to Europe in their raw state. This would not have of itself been a source of conflict exceptäthatäthe resources also fell into the hands of the few elites who had some education atäthe beginning of state formation process in Africa (Ayoob, cited in Chester Croker et al 1999, p 38(eds). The seeming rejection of the postcolonial state model appears to be atäthe center of the growth conflicts in Africa. According to Cohen (Cohen et al. 1981,p 902) conflicts and state making in Africa is characterized by primitive state power accumulation, and thus an understanding of the power struggle dynamics in any African conflict is critical for its management. The power seekers basically gravitate around the ability to extract resources and maintain means of violence apparatuses thatäthey then employ to ensure further extraction. It is therefore possible to argue that resource extraction is atäthe core of state weakness and the conflict problem in Africa. Moreover, the extraction ofüresources and control of means of violence became synonymous with power and the African elite perceived these as a requirement for state making. Ayoob (Op Cit,p 40) notes that in order to sustain the fiction of nationhood in Africa, the early leaders wanted a free hand to cajole, and coerce disparate populations under their rule to acceptäthe legitimacy of state boundaries and institutions and thus acceptäto be regulated by such institutions. Itätherefore appears thatäthe peace and security problem in Africa is a result of several things that combine to create a state. These include, resources, nationhood, power dynamics and external influences. Failure to bring these factors into play means thatäthe viability of the African state model will remain challenged.

2.1 State Fragility and Peace building in Africa.

State fragility can be divided into state collapse and State failure, which though are notäthe same phenomena, are closely related and often confused. Although several authors have explored the concept of state collapse and failure (Zartman 2005, Menkhaus 2003, 2007, Rotberg 2003), state fragility is not static but varies from one status to another (Rotberg 2012). What emerges from the available literature is that many writers do confuse state failure with state collapse, with most of them using the terms interchangeably (Klare 2003, Herbert Jeffrey 2004, Van de Walle 2003). Ken Menkhaus (2003a, 2007) probably one of the most prolific writers on state collapse distinguishes between state collapse and state failure, he however fails to link the collapse with regional security concerns. In some of his other work he denies thatäthere is a relationship between state collapse and regional or even internal security (Menkhaus 2002:407). His analysis is however useful to describe the difference between collapse and failure, which will help in clearing the definitional confusion in the literature and thus help in understanding state fragility. Robert Rotberg (2003, 2005) is of the opinion that violence; disintegration and weakness threaten the very foundation of the international system, as we know it. According to Rotberg, desirable international norms such as security, economic development and peace become difficultäto achieve when states waiver between weakness, failure and eventual collapse (ibid). Friedman (1989:68 - 70) on the other hand, contended that a stateless “anarcho-capitalist” society could provide essential public goods and maintain a high standard of living especially because the system would be free from the interfering governmental structures within a strong state. This argument if accepted has the potential to encourage deviant behavior within the state, resulting in total disintegration of the nation state as understood within the international system. Van Notten notes that in Somalia for example, the collapse of the state resulted in total lack of law and order and the majority of the population reverted to traditional tribal law (Van Notten 2005:36 49) which even though capable of solving disputes in the traditional system proved inadequate atäthe state level. In South Sudan, a similar situation has obtained and reversion to traditional judicial system is firmly in place (Deng 2004: 161-164). This has however not contributed much to peace and can indeed be seen as part of the security problem in the country. The failure of formal law enforcement in such contexts means that provision of goods and services are no longer centrally regulated. Instead provision of public goods in fragile state is more in the hands of warlords or militia faction leaders who invent ingenious methods of extracting rent from the citizens or the environment in order to sustain their operations. This was the case in Somalia when clan centric warlords soughtäto occupy the vacuum left behind by the collapse of the Barre government in 1991. It was further demonstrated in Kenya especially in the North Eastern part of the country where, as a result of neglect by the government, the shifta militia comprising of indigenous Somalis attempted to occupy the apparent governance vacuum (Nene Mburu 2005:45-68) and in Ethiopia similar behavior was seen in the Ogaden region where ethnic Somalis soughtäto enjoined in the greater Somalia. In all these examples, the lack of strong central government provided violent rent seekers opportunity to exploit local populations.

The nearest approach to try and link state fragility to regional security is best captured by Lyon and Samatar who argued that: “political disintegration generates instability and threatens neighbouring states through refugee flows, the stimulation of illegal trade in weapons and other contraband, and because the communities imperiled by state collapse often cross borders and can appeal to neighbouring groups for involvement” (Lyons and Samatar, 1995: 3). This factätherefore allows regional organizations such as IGAD the desire to intervene in the management of security in its member states.

Klare (In Roterberg 2004:116) has argued that state failure is not a sudden occurring phenomenon but is a result of prolonged interaction amongst a number of interlocking factors. He identifies these factors as ranging from ethnic factionalism, pervasive corruption, decaying national infrastructure all occurring within a diminishing power atäthe center. Klare further argues that state fragility is possible to reverse but, becomes complicated when militias who provide certain services including security at a costäthat is greater than what a functional state would otherwise offer, challenge the states’ monopoly of violence. The ability to subsist on the products of violence often has a domino effect where groups’ with access to weapons feel thatäthey can use such weapons to extract benefits for survival. By coaching their desires in ethnic garb, such militias create fiefdoms from which they establish a quasi state complete with pseudo government structures (Klare op. cit 116 125). Klare however, does not link state fragility with the effects the phenomenon has on the regional stability and security. Without identifiable effects on the region, there is no incentive for the regional organizations to engage in security management. Nicholas van de Walle uses a political economy approach to try and explain the nexus between state stability and fragility (Van de Walle in Rotberg 2004: 98-100). He opines that political communities break down as one or more identifiable groups cease to recognize the legitimacy of the state and pursues a violent struggle to replace the central state authority or secede from it (Van de Walle op cit, 94). Despite the state fragility ensuing from such behavior, the central state may continue to function in the areas under its control butäthe administration of such areas remain strenuous. In south Sudan, the central state manages to control the capital but most of the countryside remains lawless and under the control of militias.

Collier on the other hand attempts to advance the theory of economic deprivation view of fragility. He argues that, the levels of income, degree of ethno-linguistic fractionalization, population and the proportion of primary commodity exchange and exports all help to determine the outbreak and duration of civil wars (Collier and Hoeffler 2000:16). In the case of the collapse of South Sudan, it can be argued thatäthe conflicting parties develop a predatory behavior as a result of diminishing income from the single export commodity within State. Moreover, the perception of deprivation as a result of patrimonial exchange contributes to increase hatreds between communities further aggravating insecurity.

To understand the nexus between state fragility and the security effects it has on the regional states and even the world, we need to assess the deeper meaning of whatäthe US national security strategy of 2006 intended when it stated that: “Weak and impoverished states and ungoverned areas are not only a threatäto their people and a burden on regional economies, but are also susceptible to exploitation by terrorists, tyrants, and international criminals”(US National Security Strategy 2006:7). Thus there is an implicit assumption and an explicit conclusion that open ungoverned spaces will be available for exploitation by terrorist and other criminal groups to the detriment of US security. Hence under the subsidiarity rule, it is the duty of the regional organization to form the bulwark againstäthe negative effects associated with this phenomenon. If the US can fell threatened, how much more should weak states in the neighborhood of a fragile entity fear?

The position taken by the only super power is one indication that State fragility is now considered existential threatäto regional security. As Buzan points out, since the advent of the nation state system, the state has remained the referent object on security analysis and within the international milieu it will probably continue to hold pole position in matters security. The state will in this regard obscure other referent objects such as individual security and thus continue to determine how security unfolds internationally (Buzan 2007: 65 100). This means that state fragility will remain of concern to international relations in as far as regional security is concerned.

The position taken by the US in the national security strategy (2002) however falls short of explaining how the empty spaces created by lack of governance affectäthe regional security dynamics, choosing instead to address how such spaces will affect security in the US (Stewart 2007:644). If the only super power could openly admitäthat it now feltäthreatened less by conquering states than by failing ones (White House 2002) then the threat of state fragility should concern neighboring such states negative effects are more likely to manifest closer home. This position is further amplified by the USAID white paper (2003), which states that when development and governance fail in a country, the consequences engulf entire regions across the world. State fragility is however not a permanent status and states can rise from such situations and improve themselves in the fragility continuum (Rotberg 2012). We should therefore see a situation where states rise out of failure or collapse and reinventäthemselves. Except for Ethiopia where the re-emergent state has somehow managed to remake a fairly strong state after near collapse, majority of other cases that we have do not attestäto this model. Instead we see states rise out of failure and especially in Africa, remain in the weak and failing states band. Historically, Africa is not alone in producing failed and collapsed states. Europe led in this area during the formation of its modern day nations. Ayoob in fact comes close to relating the concept of state collapse and regional security when he examines the case of a declining Germany and the consequences this had on England and France (Ayoob 2004: 97-99). Subsequently a similar argument can be made in regard to the consequences one would expect in Kenya and Ethiopia following the collapse of Somalia. Fragile states therefore need constant monitoring because neglecting them is tantamountäto accepting the growth of insecurity not only in the region but worldwide. Exiting the fragile state status is not by magic or wishful thinking but requires effort and determination. Instituting good governance is a possible panacea to the existing fragility in Africa.

2.2 Governance and Security in Fragile states

A simple definition of governance is synthesized to mean the way the people of a particular political or social construct are managed and how the decision-making process is structured to involve a large portion of the society. It further includes democratic accountability of the elites to the population, inclusivity, participation and respectäto the rule of law (Rhodes 1997a: 15, Rosenau 1995:13). Issues of governance in Africa can be traced to the days of colonial rule and its subsequent demise. Almost all African countries, except Ethiopia and Liberia suffered from colonialism. Ayoob argues thatäthe problems of the post colonial African state can be found in the proliferation of intrastate conflicts resulting from faulty state making (Ayoob: 2004:96). Thus a more robust and foundational state making is necessary to emancipate the continent from the curse of colonialism. It is now no longer in doubtäthat internal conflicts are atäthe heart of state fragility. Several factors combine to nudge a state towards total collapse. These range from poor governance, inequitable distribution ofüresources to outright greed by the ruling elite, who often package this greed into a community deprivation (Collier and Hoefler 2000, Robert Gurr 1982). Arguments and counter argument have been proffered to explain why states degenerate into civil wars (Menkhaus 2003, Collier 2004). Popular perceptions often relate internal protestäto some form of grievance. Thus it is not surprising that many of the internal conflicts, which have obtained in Africa and elsewhere, are almost always attributed to some kind of oppressive action by the state machinery. Economic grievances have been widely used to explain why states degenerate and cease to function altogether. This narrative has however been challenged especially by Paul Collier who argues thatäthe causes of internal conflict could as well be a result of greed exhibited by the rebels and not genuine grievance resulting from some form of exclusion (Collier 2004:198-200). Emanating from this argumentätherefore is the question whether the greed ofürebels in one country could be extended to a third state. It is the contention of this study thatäthis is indeed possible especially if we are to follow Colliers argumentäthat although a grievance may indeed exist, conflict breaks out only when the rebels calculate thatäthey could do better out of war. The rebels therefore turn into merchants of violence and no state boundary can hold them when they assess that benefit could be made across such borders. This is one of the main reasons that regional organization engages in pacification measures. In Africa this is reinforced by the factäthatäthe rebels will most likely have kin across the border thatäthey can count on for protection against law enforcement agencies of the countries they may be looting. The very nature of African boundaries, drawn as it were arbitrarily, further complicates administration in border areas. Collier however does not advance this argument choosing instead to concentrate on economic causes of civil conflicts. Robert Kaplan attributes the phenomenon of state fragility to a disease of biblical proportions, starting in Africa and other Third World countries, spreading and threatening to infectäthe entire world. He explains how scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet' (Kaplan, 1994: 44). He concludes that state collapse is manifested by: “disease, overpopulation, unprovoked crime, and scarcity ofüresources, refugee migrations, the increasing erosion of nation-states and international borders, and the empowerment of private armies, security firms, and international drug cartels” (Kaplan 1994: 46).


[1] The concept of subsidiarity is an attemptäto reconcile social ordering with a view to establishing the most efficient part of the social order where the problem can be resolved. Subsidiarity determines which level of authority will achieve the objectives of the proposed action more efficiently, and justifies action by a higher level of authority only if the proposed objectives cannot be achieved equally well by the lower levels of authority, and only if that action does not interfere unnecessarily with their authority (Nicholas Tsagourias, 2011, p 5)

[2] The Initial organization was established to address issues of conflict emanating from environmental based conflicts especially droughtäthat is common in the East and Horn of Africa. As a result of frequent droughts, communities in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda often fought over grazing lands and thus the intention of the Organization was to manage these conflicts through development based programmes that would change the peoples lifestyles across the borders.

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The Role of Regional Organizations in Managing Peace and Security in Fragile States
Cranfield University  (Defence and Security)
Security Sector Management
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role, regional, organizations, managing, peace, security, fragile, states
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Julius Minyori (Author), 2018, The Role of Regional Organizations in Managing Peace and Security in Fragile States, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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