Browsing Faculty of Military Sciences by browse.metadata.advisor "Breytenbach, W. J."
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- ItemConflict and peace in Burundi : exploring the cause(s) and nature of the conflict and prospects for peace(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2006-03) Mokoena, Benjamin P. O.; Breytenbach, W. J.; Neethling, T. G.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Military Sciences. School for Security and Africa Studies.The purpose of this study is to investigate the cause(s), the nature, and characteristics of the conflict in Burundi, and 10 explore the conditions for sustainable peace and prospects for peace. The study is intended as a descriptive analysis of conflict and peace in a case study of Burundi. Since independence in 1962, intermittent conflict has characterised the state of Burundi. There are various accounts of the conflict, of which a popular, but superficial, relates an 'ethnic' conflict between Hutus and Tutsis. Equally disparate, is the prescription of solutions, the most dominant of which is power sharing based on ethnic quotas. The conflict is played out in the context of a failing state with sharp structural weaknesses. In addition, Burundi is mired in the wider instabilities of the Great Lakes region and the communicable effects thereof. The study breaks away from the tendency to analyse only the current (since 1993) bout of conflict. It is proposed that the various incidences of conflict mark different phases in the life cycle of a single conflict. The study also breaks away from the tendency to view the conflict as only opposing Hutus and Tutsis. These two tendencies in analysis generate serious distortions and omissions and may account for the wrong conclusions regarding the conflict in Burundi. Another contribution of the study resides with the proposal of the necessary and sufficient conditions for peace in Burundi. The contention brought forward by this study is that exclusion would appear to be the strongest theoretical approach to understand and describe the conflict in Burundi. In this regard, one particular contentious issue has remained constant throughout all the incidences of conflict involving different groups. The central issue has been about the political economy of Burundi that has systematically denied social mobility for the 'other'. The Burundian state is a repository of political, economic and social security where the 'other', defined in ethnic, intra-ethnic, clanic, regional, elitist (and historically dynastic) terms, is excluded and subordinated. Exclusion (and the consequent inequalities and injustices) is a source of acute grievance and motivation for collective violence. The resultant conflict has manifested in a struggle for the control of the state. Inter alia, the conflict has been pemicious, genocidal, protracted and intractable. The notion of institutionalised power sharing, based on ethnic quotas, has been put forward by the actors in the peace process as the fundamental principle guiding the search for a solution to the conflict in Burundi. The study concludes that power sharing may be necessary, as a confidence building measure, however, power Sharing in itself is not a sufficient condition for sustainable peace, and may well in fulure prove to be Ihe weakest link in the peace process. Inter alia, the conditions in Burundi are not amenable to institutionalised power sharing as such, e.g. the presence of an overwhelming majority, and deep socio-economic inequality along ethnic lines. Further, the current power sharing structure in Burundi tilts the democratic framework in favour of Tutsi participation and security, awards the Tutsi with a de facto veto power, fixes the ethnic balance of power, and thus perpetuates conflict generating Tutsi domination of the political economy of Burundi. This study proposes the reconstruction of the state (state building) as a necessary precondition for peace. II is concluded that political representation, economic opportunity and social mobility, must transcend social categories in Burundi. The continuing instabilities in the Great Lakes region are also a point of concem. Thus, peace in Burundi is also contingent upon greater efforts to curb the communicable conflicts in this region.
- ItemWeak states and child soldiering in Africa : contextual factors(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-12) Van Niekerk, Magdaleen; Breytenbach, W. J.; Nel, Ananda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. Dept. of Political Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Over the last forty years Africa has been one of the most conflict-ridden regions in the world, resulting in untold human suffering. It has been estimated that between 1955 and 1999 some nine to ten million people have died as a result of violent conflict in Africa. However, those suffering the most in these wars are not merely the defenceless victims of conflict, but also its active perpetrators. More than 120 000 children under the age of 18 years have been forced or recruited to participate in armed conflicts across Africa. Although the use of children in armed conflict is not a new phenomenon, it has never been as widespread and as brutal as during the past decade. Governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, security institutes and the media have conducted extensive research on the phenomenon of child soldiers, specifically focusing on the demobilisation and reintegration of child combatants. Surprisingly, not much research has been conducted on why particular states are more prone to utilise these little soldiers than others. This thesis attempts to fill that gap by analysing the circumstances under which children are utilised as soldiers in Africa. This aim is divided into three subdivisions, namely to describe the type of states in which children are utilised as soldiers, to analyse the conflicts in which child soldiers are utilised, and to describe the socio-economic conditions that urge children to take up arms. An analysis of the child soldier-phenomenon suggests that it transpires in weak states. These states exhibit very distinct characteristics, including serious problems of legitimacy, the absence of one cohesive national identity, the presence of opposing local strongmen, high levels of institutional weakness, economic underdevelopment, and a vulnerability to external international forces. The weakness of these states is created by the fragmentation of social control amongst various social organisations, which is in turn caused by the expansion of the world economy from Europe and also by colonialism. This fragmentation poses immense challenges to state leaders and forces them to adopt very distinct political policies, which put certain limitations on the process of state-making. In response to this, leaders have adopted a number of social, political and economic strategies. These, together with the socio-economic conditions - specifically poverty - within weak states often create civil violence. These strategies include political centralisation, authoritarianism, ethnic politics, the manipulation of democratic processes and mechanisms, patronage politics and the manipulation of state economic structures and policies. However, in order to successfully execute these strategies, rulers need wealth-creating resources, which usually result in the exploitation of scarce natural resources. Warlords and local strongmen also exploit resources to purchase arms to combat both government forces and opposing strongmen. In addition, large international private companies cash in on the financial advantages accrued from conflict. This leads to the formation of entrenched war economies. In the end then, these wars becomean excuse to plunder natural resources for private enrichment. A very distinct characteristic of these conflicts is the widespread use of child soldiers. All the armed groups in Africa's wars, including government armed forces, paramilitary groups and armed opposition groups, are to a greater or lesser extent guilty of recruiting, forcefully conscripting, press-ganging and deploying child soldiers. However, states that utilise child soldiers all exhibit similar socio-economic characteristics. Poverty is endemic. Famine is widespread and magnifies the problems caused by war and poverty even further. The provision of medical and health care is insufficient because of the vast number of war wounded and the destruction of hospitals and clinics. This is also aggravated by the high numbers of HIV/AIDS sufferers. Schools are destroyed, educational systems are often poorly developed and illiteracy is widespread. In addition, due to years of war and civil unrest, millions of people are displaced and forced to become refugees. These socio-economic characteristics create the ideal breeding ground for the recruitment of child soldiers.