Solutions to Violent Conflict

Preventing Violence in the 2015 Nigerian Election

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2018 at 8:48 am

Laurie Nathan

In 2015, Nigeria held elections that were widely expected to lead to large-scale violence. The risk derived in part from the country’s severe regional tensions, which included the religious and political cleavage between the North and the South, as well as the long-standing turbulence in the Niger Delta region, where militants warned they would take up arms if President Goodluck Jonathan did not win. More dangerous still was the insurgency of Boko Haram, which threatened to disrupt the “pagan practice” of elections.

The risk of violence also derived from the nature of governance and electoral politics in Nigeria. Elections in that country suffer from a “do-or-die” pathology, with too much political power, economic opportunity, and ethnic patronage accruing to the winners. In 2015, as in the previous election, a worst-case scenario was that the losing party would refuse to concede defeat and some of the losing constituencies would erupt into violence.

Preventing Small Fires from Becoming Big Fires: Successful Preventive Diplomacy by the UN

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2018 at 8:47 am
un multimedia lebanon

Photo: UN Multimedia

Laurie Nathan, Adam Day, João Honwana and Rebecca Brubaker

From its inception, the United Nations (UN) has engaged in preventive diplomacy in situations of conflict in order to prevent the outbreak of large-scale violence. Preventive diplomacy has recently been given fresh impetus by the Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations and by the appointment of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who has called for a renewed emphasis on “diplomacy for peace.”

Preventing Military Escalation between Israel and Lebanon

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2018 at 8:47 am

Adam Day

In 2006 the Hezbollah movement based in Lebanon abducted two Israeli soldiers. The incident sparked a brutal war between Lebanon and Israel, destroying much of southern Lebanon and resulting in over 1,200 fatalities. In the wake of the war, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 mandated the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to monitor and support the cessation of hostilities. UNIFIL also monitors the Blue Line demarcating the border between the two countries, established after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in1978. The tripartite forum convened regularly by UNIFIL is the only place where Israeli and Lebanese army officers can communicate directly each other. The UN Secretary-General has also appointed a UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).

Since 2006, Lebanon and Israel have remained formally in a state of war, with a persistent risk of escalation and violence.