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POST-INDEPENDENCE CONFLICT VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN THE SAHEL AND THE GREAT LAKES REGIONS: INSURGENCIES AND TERRORISM AS ORGANISED VIOLENCE COLLOQUIUM ON.

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Presentation on theme: "POST-INDEPENDENCE CONFLICT VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN THE SAHEL AND THE GREAT LAKES REGIONS: INSURGENCIES AND TERRORISM AS ORGANISED VIOLENCE COLLOQUIUM ON."— Presentation transcript:

1 POST-INDEPENDENCE CONFLICT VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN THE SAHEL AND THE GREAT LAKES REGIONS: INSURGENCIES AND TERRORISM AS ORGANISED VIOLENCE COLLOQUIUM ON UNDERSTANDING AND PREVENTING VIOLENCE IN AFRICA PREMIER HOTEL, CAPE MANOR, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 Callixte Kavuro (SaVI, UCT) 1

2 INTRODUCTION MILITIA IN THE EAST OF DRC MILITIA IN THE NORTH OF MALI 2

3 INTRO (ctd) In the 1960s, Africa has experienced violence that was organised and perpetrated by armed groups who fought for the liberation of African countries from the chain of colonialism. Africans were so proud and eager to take part in the liberation struggle. Shortly after days of independence, Africa again experienced an epidemic of a deposition of the very first African governments. Since 1950s to date, Africa has experienced 73 coups d'état. This figure rises to 100 if we include attempts, real or imagined. Whether failed or succeeded, most of these coups d'état were characterised by shedding of blood. One or more ethnics became victims of these undemocratic changes. Powers were centralised in the hands of one ethnic. Leaders installed one-party and dictatorial rule. In many African countries, citizens were oppressed and suppressed. State-sponsored persecutions were perpetrated and massive violence were organised and committed against civilian population. As a consequences, citizens fled their countries to neighbouring countries. 3

4 INTRO (Ctd) Although many people are of the view that independence introduced African self-rule, freedoms and justice; principles of which citizens were able to determine their own destiny freely, the Tuareg in the Sahalian region, on one hand, and the Rwandan Tutsi, the Burundian Hutu, and Congolese Banyamulenge, on the other hand, had different view. To them, independence came just as political oppression, repression and persecution. Why? 4

5 Insurgencies In Historical Lens Rwanda: Prior to independence, there was a social revolution carried out by Hutu majority grouped in an opposition political party, namely, PARMEHUTU (Parti du Mouvement d’Emancipation Hutu), an extremist opposition party of former President Gregoire Kayibanda. Tutsi ruling class were, by means of organised violence, killed before the hunt of Tutsi extends throughout of Rwandan territory. The revolution, in 1960, deposed Tutsi monarchical regime that oppressed Hutus for centuries. Tutsi fled Rwanda to neighbouring countries and started insurgencies from bases in Burundi and Uganda. They formed a militia group that invaded Rwanda between 1960 and They applied massive violence and committed systematic and retaliatory killings. 5

6 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) The Tutsi insurgencies resurfaced in 1990 under the banner of the RPF. The RPF invaded from Uganda and its insurgencies ended when Juvenal Habyarimana (a Hutu)’s regime was overthrown in July Tutsi claims that it is on this date that Rwanda became free from colonisation and the bonds of domination. Tutsi insurgencies resulted in the famous Rwandan genocide. Habyalimana’s army fled Rwanda. It is now based in DRC and it has created a militia group known as FDLR (Forces Démocratic de la Libération du Rwanda). FDRL now claims to fight for democracy and freedoms and for liberating majority of Rwandans (Hutu) from the on-going Tutsi minority domination and oppression. Rwanda has been characterised by ethnic division, hatred, and political conflict. Organised violence perpetrated by non-state actors has claimed millions of lives and displaced others. Hutu refugees are scattered all over the world and supports FDLR’s struggle. 6

7 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) Burundi: Political power competition between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups led to the mass violence and repression that were, from time to time, committed by Burundian governments against Hutu population from time immemorial until These massive killings generated exodus of Hutu refugees in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988, 1993, and These horrible killings are described as ‘Hutu genocide’. In 1980s, Hutu refugees living in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Belgium created an armed group, called the PALIPEHUTU (Parti pour la Libération du Peuple Hutu), with aim and purpose to target Tutsi civilians with massive retaliatory killings and to fight against Tutsi mono-ethnic armed force. Hutu retaliation led to the introduction of multiparty system in 1990s and democratic election that took place in Mr Malchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, was elected as President. Ndadaye was assassinated by Tutsi officers after 3 months of election. Massive violence were organised by Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic group was a main target. 7

8 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) In April 1994, a Burundian Hutu president, who took over from Ndadaye, was assassinated in Rwanda along with his counterpart, Rwandan Hutu president. And in 1996, a Hutu president, who took over from the assassinated President was, in 1996, overthrown by former President Major Buyoya, a Tutsi officer. This political crisis resulted in creation of numerous Hutu militia which committed violence targeting Tutsi population. In 2000, a peace agreement were concluded, and power was handed to Hutu majority group. However, one Hutu militia group, vis Forces Nationales de Liberation (FNL), an armed wing of PALIPEHUTU objected to peace agreement which resulted in power- sharing. It is now fighting for a total military and political control by Hutu majority. Today, it is based in the DRC and attacks Burundi from its bases in the DRC and Tanzania. 8

9 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) The DRC gained independence in The first Congolese government was deposed by Col. Mobutu in After 32 year in office, Mobutu was overthrown by Laurent Kabila through insurgency. Kabila invaded DRC from Rwanda (east of DRC). He was assassinated after 4 years in the office. He was replaced by his son Joseph Kabila in However, since 1997, the east of DRC has never been stable and have become a hub of foreign/transnational armed groups as well as nationalist and separatist groups. They are about 3 foreign armed groups and more than 10 Congolese armed groups. Only Banyamulenge/Tutsi minority group has, since 1998, fighting for political participation. Their first insurgency ended by peace accord but which was not fully implemented. Today, Banyamulenge are fighting for secession of the Kivu region under the banner M23 (former CNDP, Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple). Except M23, most of Congolese armed groups are not fighting for achieving a political aim but for economic gains. They apply massive violence and have been using terrorist tactics 9

10 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) MALI Since 1900s, Muslims in the Sahel region have been fighting against colonisation. Malian Tuareg waged violence against France in 1917 and when Mali became independent, they refused to recognise the Malian government. They fought against it and waged insurgencies in , and and 2011 to date. Today, they fight under MNLA (National Movements for the Liberation of Azward). MNLA fights for autonomy of Azaward (North of Mali) and for governance based on Islamic religious principles. Though Mali experience coups d'état on several occasion, Tuareg people were excluded from political participation. Each insurrection ended by peace agreement but there is no agreement that was ever implemented. Malian Tuareg no longer fights for political inclusion but for the secession of northern Mali. 10

11 Insurgencies In Historical Lens (Ctd) Not only the secession of northern Mali but for all area inhabited by Tuareg: Tuareg People are in 6 Sahelian countries, namely, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya. In each country, they are minority. Normally, this area inhabited by Tuareg people is known as “Azaward”. Tuareg peoples have took arms in a bid to install governance based on Sharia law and to protect all Tuareg’s political interests by establishing an independent state of “Azaward.” Organised violence and terrorist tactis are employed to meet this end Transnational armed groups:(i) Ansar al Deen, (ii) Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), and (iii) Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). These three armed groups are “al-Quaeda Islamist” and fight against what ‘they consider to be “apostate” regimes in the Sahel region. In addition, they have a desire to frustrate international intervention in Sahelian countries, to destabilise western government and the world economy. 11

12 Self-determination Or Liberation Struggle Citizens have become so angry and resentful to such an extent that they came to the conclusion that it is their onerous duty to fight against authoritarian regimes. In so doing, organised violence is the only means to do so. Article 1(1) of the ICCPR & ICESCR: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Article 20 of the African Charter and Peoples’ Rights: All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development to the policy they have freely chosen. Colonised or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognised by international community. All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the state parties …in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.” 12

13 Self-determination (Ctd) According to twin Covenants and the African Charter: All Peoples have the right to liberate themselves and freely determine their own destiny Oppressed/colonised people can free themselves by using any violence necessary including terrorist tactics. States are required to assist armed struggle or oppressed people revolting against an authoritarian and dictatorial regime. Coup d'état, insurgency, insurrection, revolution,…are legitimate in the pursuit of liberation and self-determination. “violence” is purely an instrumentality to achieve these ends. 13

14 Challenges Related to Combating Insurgency and Terrorism No legal definitions of “self-determination”, “liberation struggle”, and “peoples” Peoples are, by themselves, defined on the basis of minority/majority, indigenous, ethnic, race, colour, religion, region, culture, class, language, political ideology, etc. This is so problematic. For example, peoples can distinguish from others on the basis of one or more features: Hutu as peoples: majority, ethnic, inferior status (class), indigenous Tutsi as peoples: minority, ethnic, superior status (class) Banyamurenge: minority, ethnic, superior status (class), language, culture, region Tuareg as peoples: minority, ethnic, religion, region, colour, political ideology We are therefore peoples who are exercising the right to self-determination! 14

15 Challenges (Ctd) AU Convention on the Prevention and Combating Terrorism, 1999: It condones the terrorist acts committed during the liberation struggle in the following striking terms: “…the struggle waged by peoples in accordance with the principles of international law for the liberation or self-determination, including armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression and domination by foreign forces shall not be considered as terrorist acts.” Art 3(1). Consequences: Organised violence acts that amount to terrorist acts cannot be classified as such. This provision gives a leeway to armed groups to commit mass violence including terrorist tactics. 15

16 Challenges (Ctd) International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, 1999: It does not explicitly prohibit a state from funding terrorism, rather it prohibits an individual and legal entity. It is concerned with transnational terrorist activities but not those committed within a single state. Apprehension of perpetrators and prosecution is subject to the state having jurisdiction. Consequences: Armed groups are financed and trained by states. They are also granted a safe haven. Armed groups are based in the failed countries that are unable to exercise full control of their boundaries or a state army capacity cannot effectively counter insurgency. 16

17 Challenges (Ctd) Definition of the terrorist act: AU Convention on Terrorism: “any act which is a violation of the criminal laws of a State Party and which may endanger the life, physical integrity or freedom of, or cause serious injury or death to, any person, any number or group of persons or causes or may cause damage to public or private property, natural resources, environment or cultural heritage and is calculated to (a) intimidate, put in fear, force, coerce or induce any government, body, institution, the general public or any segment thereof, to do or abstain from doing an act, or to adopt or abandon a particular standpoint, or to act according to certain principles; or (b) disrupt any public service, the delivery of any essential service to the public or to create a public emergency; or (c) create general insurrection in a State.” 17

18 Challenges (Ctd) Definition of the terrorist act: UN Declaration on Terrorism, 1994: “criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons, or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious, or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them” Art 1(3). Divergence in the definitions: AU Convention condones criminal acts including terrorist acts committed in the pursuit of political ends whereas UN Declaration does not. According to AU Convention, terrorist act is any contravention of the criminal laws of a State Party whereas in terms of the UN Declaration such criminal act must provoke a state of terror. 18

19 Challenges (Ctd) UN Declaration and AU Convention on Terrorism make a terrorism act punishable under domestic laws by obligating State parties to adopt legitimate measures aimed at eliminating terrorism. Particularly, UN Declaration emphasises enhancing cooperation among nations by concluding “special agreement” to the effect of combatting, preventing and eliminating terrorism activities and facilitation of perpetrators’ extraditions. Impediment to policing the UN Declaration and AU Convention on Terrorism: Whereas terrorism is condemned by UN, it is condoned by AU if committed in liberation struggle. National jurisdiction (violation of domestic criminal laws). “Any criminal act:” this is so vague and uncertain as any criminal act cannot amount to terrorism act. 19

20 Conclusion Failure to conceptualise the term peoples result in a nation-state peoples sub-dividing into small groups of peoples on the basis of different grounds. Self-determination can be exercised through democratic process. But where a tyranny and dictatorship have pushed a regime into the abyss, peoples of course resort to violence to express their anger and to patriotically liberate their nation. Condoning terrorist acts or subjecting them to national jurisdiction has resulted in the perpetrators commit them with impunity. Armed group are initially created as liberation movements, and gradually, become terrorist groups which pursue economic ends. All these factors are contributory to the increase of armed groups. As we have seen Africa has been characterised by organised violence. More groups claiming secessions are still to come. Otherwise, Africans needs to move from liberation struggle to democratic change. But not from liberation struggle to an overthrow and, then back to insurrection! 20

21 THANK YOU 21


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