African Security Review - Volume 17, Issue 3, 2008
Volume 17, Issue 3, 2008
Author Denise GarciaSource: African Security Review 17, pp 2 –17 (2008)More Less
National security is traditionally considered to have two dimensions : national defence against external aggressors and internal security against domestic enemies. States therefore pursue weapons and alliances to attain security with military procurement being an integral part of the pursuit of national security. Climate change has modified this state of affairs because it poses unique challenges to the regional security of Africa, and to general security on a global scale : it is a non-temporal threat, with no clearly defined parameters, and cannot be tackled by military means. In addition, it threatens not only the security of a state but the security of communities or entire portions of a state's population. It is therefore a risk to both national and human security. The advent of nuclear weapons has dramatically changed international relations in the 20th century and modified security relations amongst nations. Now climate change processes are redefining security in the 21st century. The security implications for Africa are the most dramatic and urgent.
This paper explores the climate divide produced by climate change processes, particularly with regard to consequences of and effects on national and human security. To complement this analysis, two areas of security are examined, the first being the relationship between climate change and conflict and the second the security stressors in Africa that compound climate change and imperil security. In conclusion, the climate change scenario in Africa is linked to the pursuit of energy, conservation of forests and resolution of conflicts. The author also situates the African challenges in the multilateral processes of climate change.
Author Dan KuwaliSource: African Security Review 17, pp 18 –38 (2008)More Less
To date, most of the work on climate change has focused on mitigation and adaptation strategies to address its causes and consequences to the environment. Some commentators have expanded the debate by arguing for the promotion of sustainable development and poverty reduction. However, there is need to also focus on the human dimension in the climate change discourse. Therefore, this discussion seeks to contribute a more nuanced understanding of the problem through a victim (human security) oriented approach to combat climate change.
The central argument is that there must be a deliberate reframing of the climate change debate in terms of human security, which is anchored in human rights doctrine. The shared human rights framework entitles and empowers developing countries to safeguard their rights when they are endangered. Investment in emission reduction is a bargain compared to the long-term costs of inaction. It is essential to act now to prevent catastrophic impacts, rather than adopt a business as usual approach and face terrible consequences later. Africa should take the lead, as populations in developing countries on the African continent will bear the brunt of climate change impact.
Climate change : a new threat to stability in West Africa? Evidence from Ghana and Burkina Faso : featureSource: African Security Review 17, pp 39 –57 (2008)More Less
Traditionally seen as an environmental and an energy issue, climate change is now being recast as a threat to international peace and security. Africa, though the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as the continent most likely to suffer its worst consequences - a function of the continent's reliance on climate-dependent sectors (such as rain-fed agriculture) and its history of resource, ethnic and political conflict.
The security implications of climate change have become the subject of unprecedented international attention, and in 2007 climate change was the focus of both a Security Council debate and the Nobel Peace Prize. There have been some attempts to construct scenarios of the ways in which warming temperatures might undermine security on a global scale. But the security impacts of climate change at the level of countries have been lost in the political rhetoric.
This paper is an effort to address this research gap. Drawing on field visits and consultations with local experts, the authors explore the extent to which climate change could undermine stability in two different West African countries, namely Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Environmental change and human security in Lesotho : the role of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project in environmental degradation : featureAuthor Oscar Gakuo MwangiSource: African Security Review 17, pp 58 –70 (2008)More Less
This paper examines the impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on environmental change and on environmental and human security in Lesotho. The central argument is that the construction of the project has contributed to environmental degradation, and particularly the depletion of renewable resources in terms of both quantity and quality. The environmental scarcity brought about by the project's construction is, first, human-induced and second, supply-induced in that it is caused by resource degradation and depletion. This has had an adverse impact on environmental and human security in the country. Part of the problem is that environmental issues associated with the project have not been politicised by the elite and have accordingly not yet become a concern at a high political level. However, the project itself is indeed the subject of politics at a high level, because of its hydro-political implications. In the conclusion potential solutions to the challenges of environmental problems associated with the project and the country as a whole are put forward.
Author Henri BoshoffSource: African Security Review 17, pp 72 –74 (2008)More Less
Author David ZounmenouSource: African Security Review 17, pp 75 –79 (2008)More Less
The recent 'national dialogue' initiated by opposition parties and civil society organisations in Senegal in an attempt to frame solutions to the country's latent political crisis highlights the fragility of the democratic experiments in Africa. Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, Senegal has been a model for political stability in West Africa. For almost two decades Léopold Senghor, Senegal's first president, governed a relatively democratic system before stepping down willingly in 1981. His party, the Socialist Party, remained in power until the election of Abdoulaye Wade in 2000. While the 2000 elections ushered in a new political dispensation in Senegal, recent growing political dissension and socio-economic problems cast serious concerns over Wade's political legacy and the state of democracy in Senegal. Low-intensity but protracted armed conflict in the Casamance and recurrent social protests tend to cloud the ambitions of Wade's Coalition for Change, mainly because his international actions often receive a mixed welcome, if not outright contempt.
Author James D. NoteboomSource: African Security Review 17, pp 82 –98 (2008)More Less
It is important that African nations, free of colonial and cold war influences, now develop their own national security strategies to deal with threats to or opportunities to advance their national interests. This is particularly important because of the many and evolving challenges they face from globalisation, climate change, internal strife, disease and non-state actors, including drug cartels and terrorists. National security strategies can be developed using an analytical model that considers national values, national interests, the strategic vision of its leaders, and the use of national powers to achieve these objectives. The model deviates from traditional national security analysis in that it does not focus primarily on the use of military power to achieve strategic objectives, but rather on a balanced and coordinated use of all elements of national power, including its diplomatic, political, economic, military, information and socio / psychological powers to advance the security of the nation.
Oil pipeline sabotage in Nigeria : dimensions, actors and implications for national security : essayAuthor Freedom C. OnuohaSource: African Security Review 17, pp 99 –115 (2008)More Less
If situated within the Cold War era conceptualisation of national security, oil pipeline sabotage does not seem to fit in properly. However, when viewed from a new paradigm of national security, recent manifestations of oil pipeline sabotage and its implications hold out serous threats for national security in Nigeria. This paper examines the three main dimensions of oil pipeline sabotage in Nigeria, namely oil bunkering, pipeline vandalisation / fuel scooping, and oil terrorism, as well as the actors and objectives behind them. The author argues that if the federal government does not make concerted efforts to contain the rising incidence of oil pipeline sabotage in the country, the capacity of government to discharge its primary responsibility, that is to provide security and development, will be largely compromised. The paper therefore advocates the adoption of stringent measures aimed at enhancing surveillance of the pipelines, the tackling of corruption and the entrenchment of good governance in the country.
Source: African Security Review 17, pp 118 –124 (2008)More Less
The disentangling of liberalism from democracy is one of the great paradoxes of our time, and the group that embodies this dichotomy more than any other is Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is the one of the oldest and most influential Islamist movements in the world and seeks to impose a fundamentalist vision on Egyptian society. The Brotherhood's most important theoretician, Sayyid Qutb, developed a coherent ideology of radical Islam that inspired Osama bin Laden, and the Brotherhood's 'secret apparatus' carried out attacks for decades (Munson 1988:77). The Brotherhood's history and rhetoric make the West nervous. But within the context of modern Egyptian politics - and Islamic fundamentalist movements in general - the most striking thing about the Brotherhood is its commitment to moderation, in methods if not ends. How should such a group be treated?
Author Leah BerrySource: African Security Review 17, pp 125 –131 (2008)More Less
Although refugees can and often do bring positive social and economic changes to host communities, the influx and presence of refugees have also been shown to at times have negative impacts on individuals within a hosting community or even on the community as a whole. Therefore it is important not only to investigate the impacts of the presence of refugees on the hosting communities, but also to consider how these impacts have influenced the overall relationship between the two groups. In particular, one must determine what factors and influences on the hosting communities could contribute to a contentious or even conflictual relationship between the two groups. A better understanding of factors that contribute to or prevent conflict will ultimately assist those working with refugees with the coordination of projects that lessen the likelihood of conflict between refugees and host communities.
Author Jonathan AllenSource: African Security Review 17, pp 134 –137 (2008)More Less
James Garvey's short book The ethics of climate change is designed as an introductory text on a dauntingly complex and serious question. The issue is complex because it involves questions of scientific fact, competing understandings of moral value, different conceptions and levels of moral responsibility, and conflicts between the moral principles that one can call upon to guide or assess policy-making. It is serious because even conservative estimates of climate change indicate its alarming potential to disrupt and threaten the lives of humans and other animals and forms of life over the next century.