Turkey provides assistance for relief aid and reconstruction, but also works as a business partner and invests in youth education.
BY PROFESSOR ALPASLAN OZERDEM | APRIL 13, 2013
Turkey has emerged as a generous donor for humanitarian crises across the world over the past five years, especially in the context of Africa.
In 2011, while official development assistance (ODA) fell in 16 DAC countries, Turkey's net ODA increased by over 38%. Following the 'Turkey – Africa Co-operation summit' in Istanbul in August 2008, the African Union declared Turkey a 'strategic partner' and in May 2010, Istanbul was the venue for the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Though Turkey is relatively new in African politics, trade and aid circles, it has already expanded its area of influence in the continent by linking its soft power tools of transportation links, trade and education closely with its foreign policy.
In the most simplified terms, this is the process undertaken by Turkey: once an African country is identified for bilateral relations by the Turkish foreign ministry, a diplomatic presence will be established, Turkish Airlines will launch a flight destination and economic links will be formed by globally active Turkish companies.
Meanwhile, the foreign ministry might sign an agreement to ease the existing visa regime to increase interaction in commerce, academia and culture. A number of Turkish schools run by the Gülen Movement – highly sought after by local communities – also play an active role in consolidating relations and the Turkish government may provide scholarship opportunities for graduates of these schools to take a university degree in Turkey.
Though some of these measures are fairly traditional means of forming bilateral relations for other donor countries, what Turkey seems to do differently is that it joins up its efforts in the realms of diplomacy, economics, trade, culture and education.
In Somalia, for example, Turkey has become the largest donor among non-OECD-DAC countries and one of the most active actors in humanitarian aid and peace-building. There are a number of reasons for Somalia to become an interest for Turkey in this way, including geopolitical interests, socio-cultural and religious ties and Turkey's wider business interests in Africa as well as Turkey's newly gained confidence in tackling global challenges.
In August 2011, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accompanied by a large entourage, travelled to Somalia to raise awareness among the international community of the ongoing conflict – the first non-African leader visiting Somalia over the past two decades. The visit brought Somalia back to the attention of a number of other donors, as it received a huge coverage by international media. For Turkey's internal politics too, such high profile coverage meant strong public support for the Somalia aid campaign and popularity for the governing party.
Turkish aid organisations such as Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) are highly active in a wide range of infrastructure, welfare and service sector programmes in the country such as clearing rubbish, providing clean water, building hospitals and running the Mogadishu's permanent settlement for displaced Somalians. In 2011, the Turkish government donated $49m (£32m) to Somalia, but its successful mobilisation of private donations resulted in another sum of $365m. In 2012, over 1,200 Somali students received full scholarships to study in Turkey with a budget of nearly $70m.
One key to Turkey's success is that it has much more presence in the streets of Mogadishu than many other actors. Some UN agencies and international NGOs have been running their programmes through remote management from Nairobi due to security challenges, however Turkish officials and aid workers have continued to work in the city. This is because Turkey has established a high level of trust within government, various armed groups and war-torn communities. Its Islamic background is also an important factor, according to Kilian Kleinschmidt, the UN's deputy humanitarian co-ordinator in Somalia.
So, the Somalia experience shows that Turkey's main strength in response to peace-building challenges is the way it uses its different capacities and resources in a co-ordinated way; providing assistance for relief aid and reconstruction, but also working with Somalia as a business partner and investing in the youth education.
However, this is not going to be a trouble free journey for Turkey. Although a joined up humanitarian strategy co-ordinated by its ministry of foreign affairs seems to increase effectiveness on the ground, Turkey may have to face tough future questions on the ethics of such a strategy, due to the dual principles of neutrality and impartiality for humanitarian responses.
Also, being an emerging power and getting involved in humanitarian crises around the world demands a sophisticated aid strategy and there is a huge need for Turkey to learn from the experiences of traditional donors such as US, EU countries and Japan. Avoiding their mistakes is key, but at the same time, there is no point in re-inventing the wheel.
Turkey hasn't yet come to terms with the fact that it would make more sense to work with these actors and take a co-ordinated response rather than going it alone as often it does. In the long-term this is likely to create unnecessary tensions. If it wants to become a long-term player in the field of humanitarian response, Turkey will need as many friends as possible.
Professor Alpaslan Özerdem is the President of CESRAN International.
He tweets as @AlpOzerdem
The article first appeared at the Guardian.
On 2 August 2012, a deadline set by the African Union and endorsed by the Un Security Council for Sudan and South Sudan to reach a comprehensive settlement on unresolved issues stemming from their separation in 2011 passed without an agreement being achieved. Negotiations, however, continued. Despite some apparent progress, they were initially announced as having been called off without an agreement, but within hours an agreement on oil and an extended deadline for resolving the remaining issues was made public. This may seem bizarre, but it fits a pattern of brinkmanship and last-minute deals brokered with international mediation, accompanied by sticks and carrots, that has plagued the relations between the two sides over the past several years and is at the heart of many challenges that especially South Sudan is facing.
South Sudan gained independent statehood according to provisions in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan that put an end to a civil war between North and South. Independence may not have been a foregone conclusion, but it was foreseen as an option in the CPA, and eventually came about in a three-step process in 2011: a referendum on 9 January confirmed the South Sudanese people’s overwhelming desire to separate from the rest of Sudan, on 9 July independence was officially declared, and on 14 July South Sudan was admitted to the United Nations as its 193rd member state. Yet, if anything, this was the continuation (and in some cases the beginning) but not the end of problems between North and South.
The CPA lacked detailed provisions if Southern secession was to occur was never fully implemented and both sides failed to achieve a comprehensive, negotiated settlement of issues pertaining to the management of their separation: in the run-up to, and during the first year after, Southern independence disputes between North and South have thus centred on the status of Abyei and the demarcation of the common border, the question of citizenship (primarily for Southerners in the North), and financial arrangements (including those related to the oil dispute). More than a year after the South gained independence, not only remain most of these issues unresolved but relations between the Sides considerably worsened bringing them close to a return to all-out war in the spring of 2012.
The unresolved North-South issues are, in many ways, also at the heart of South Sudan’s wider state-building challenge: several inter-communal conflicts, political disputes, and insurgencies, a complex humanitarian crisis, and a near collapse of the economy compounded, and were exacerbated by, the lack of constructive relations between the now neighbouring countries.
The Abyei crisis is symptomatic for the way in which North-South tensions negatively affect state-building in South Sudan. A referendum in Abyei, mandated in the CPA to take place in parallel to the referendum in the South, was cancelled because North and South could not agree on criteria for voter eligibility, despite intense international mediation and pressure, thus leaving the dispute over Abyei unresolved at the time of Southern independence with both North and South claiming the territory as theirs. Abyei has ever since been plagued by violence, predominantly between local communities, as well as by direct clashes between regular Northern and Southern forces—despite the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force) to Abyei (UNISFA) and agreements between North and South achieved before and after their separation.
With no progress on the implementation of security agreements on Abyei another major spat of violence occurred there in March and April 2012. The Sides accused each other of being responsible for starting the clashes and for supporting insurgent fighters as proxies on the other side of the border. As a result, a meeting between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan scheduled for 3 April 2012 in Juba was cancelled, and with it a major opportunity was missed to address problematic issues in the relationship between the states, from the question of Abyei, to citizenship and oil. The increasingly aggressive rhetoric and actions on both sides, eventually led South Sudanese forces to capture and hold the area of Heglig between 10 and 20 April 2012, alleging that it had been used by the SAF as a staging ground for attacks aimed against the South, thus capturing one of the last remaining oil sources for the North.
A parallel dispute over oil-related payments escalated in January 2012 and led South Sudan to shut down all of its oil production. This has had a major impact on both countries. South Sudan’s resource wealth includes roughly three-quarters of pre-2011 Sudan’s proven oil reserves, yet at present all refinement and export infrastructure is in the North thus maintaining a high degree of interdependence between North and South even after their separation. As oil exports funded 98% of public spending in post-independence South Sudan, government’s decision to shut down its entire oil production not only impeded South Sudan’s economic development but also had a significant, and negative, impact on the country’s state-building project as a whole. At the same time it deprived Sudan of significant revenue.
The oil dispute added to border tensions between North and South, which in turn are linked to insurgent movements on both sides of their new international border. Clashes along the North-South border and insurgent violence in border states in the North and South alike escalated from late March onwards and negatively affected long-established trade links, leading to higher food and fuel prices. Depleting foreign currency reserves, due to the loss of oil-related revenue, limited both countries’ ability to import basic commodities and increased inflation.
The lack of revenue meant delays to building institutions and capacity within South Sudan to deal with a worsening humanitarian situation and increased the new country’s dependency on the international donor community. The already desperate situation in conflict-affected areas especially in Jonglei and along the North-South border, which had created over 500,000 IDPs in South Sudan by the end of the first year of independence, was further compounded by an influx from conflict-affected refugees from Abyei (numbering in their tens of thousands) and from the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan in Sudan (170,000), as well as from Southerners returning from Sudan (390,000) and refugees returning from neighbouring countries (330,000).
South Sudan’s internal and external security challenges and their consequences, mass displacement and return migration, and the country’s economic crisis, as well as a serious rain shortfall that led to a crop failure, combined to create a food insecurity crisis affecting approximately half of the country’s population of 9 million. The country’s lack of capacity to respond to this humanitarian crisis will continue to remain limited until the parallel economic and security crises are resolved. These are, in turn, intrinsically linked to the complex web of North-South problems.
Within days of South Sudan’s capture of the Heglig area, the AU adopted a Roadmap on 24 April 2012 ‘for implementation by both Sudan and South Sudan, in order to ease the current tension, facilitate the resumption of negotiations on post-secession relations and the normalization of their relations.’ The AU Roadmap was endorsed by the UN Security Council in a resolution on 2 May 2012, threatening sanctions if the parties failed to reach agreements by 2 August 2012. While talks between the sides are continuing and proposals for a comprehensive settlement are being circulated, this deadline has now passed. Given the severity of the crisis and its regional implications, this is not just any old deadline. It clearly indicates the limitations of the African Union and the United Nations to facilitate sustainable, constructive outcomes in this dispute: while major violent crises were swiftly contained and diffused fundamental issues remain unresolved and thus retain their potential for future conflict escalation.
The expiration of the deadline of the AU Roadmap, and its subsequent extension in light of at least a partial agreement, is thus indicative of the dilemmas that South Sudan faces one year after achieving independence. Two rather sobering conclusions are difficult to escape. The first is that the situation in South Sudan has hardly improved for the majority of its population during the first twelve months of independence. In light of the tremendous human suffering endured by people north and south of the new border during the 1983-2005 civil war, this is particularly depressing. The second conclusion is that the overwhelming majority of challenges that have plagued South Sudan in its attempts to build a viable independent state have their causes in local leadership failures. While institutional shortcomings in the CPA, especially a lack of contingencies in the case of separation, clearly played a role, they were exacerbated by a lack of political will to resolve the major North-South post-independence crises. Until this lack of political will is overcome and leader north and south of the new international border rise to the occasion of reaching a comprehensive agreement, the threat of a return to war will continue to loom over the people of Sudan and South Sudan.
First Published at www.stefanwolff.com
BY KAZUMI KAWAMOTO | MAY 30, 2012
This paper also illustrates how theories on conflict resolution are valid to predict conditions for effective mediation, but also how particularities in context can determine the “success.” The following section describes the post-election crisis and examines its causes. The third section analyzes the intervention by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities (“the Panel” hereafter) with respect to timing, actors and strategies by applying theories on conflict resolution. Why did the mediation start at this particular time? Why was this Panel chosen as mediators? What strategies did they use? These are the three key questions in the analysis. Then, the fourth section summarizes lessons learned from Kenya. The fifth section focuses on additional factors contributing to the result, while the sixth section encompasses recent development and challenges for the future.
Violence and Trigger Causes
After the announcement of the presidential election results on 30 December 2007, Kenya experienced its worst political crisis since independence. There were more than 1200 deaths and several hundred thousand Kenyans displaced. The trigger causes of the violence were the flawed election and its contested results. Before the election, news media had reported that opinion polls showed a very tight race between Raila Odinga, the leader of an opposition party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki. Though both sides apparently engaged in election malpractice, the Electoral Committee of Kenya (ECK) announced the victory of Kibaki.
The first wave of violence appears to have been spontaneous and reportedly stemmed from the anger of ODM supporters at what they perceived as the theft of the presidential election. This type of violence took place in Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret and Nairobi’s slum areas. The second type of violence occurred mainly in the rural setting of the Rift Valley as well as Eldoret and Kericho towns by allegedly targeting those perceived as ODM opponents, including the Kikuyu, Kissi and Luhya communities. The last type of violence was of retaliatory character. “Counter-attacks and reprisals developed, led by mobs of Kikuyu youths, notably in Nairobi’s Mathare slum, and two localities of the Rift Valley – Naivasha and Nakuru.” Gangs drawing on the large numbers of unemployed and marginalized youth were also responsible for the more organized violence.
It is to be noted that there were several institutional factors leading to the post-election violence in 2007-2008. First, 19 out of 22 members in the ECK had been appointed shortly before the elections and by the President alone without inter-party consultation. Some of the new commissioners lacked electoral experience, which caused doubts among many Kenyans about the legitimacy of the ECK. In addition, the Constitution and electoral law created further complications. For instance, the Constitution was silent about the way the 12 nominated seats in the Parliament were to be filled. Finally, only one complete copy of the electoral law had existed in the Parliamentary Library before the election, which made it difficult to provide those interested with a complete and comprehensive legal text.
The 2007-2008 election violence can never be explained without exploring its root causes: ethnic grievances. The population of Kenya is about 41 million consisting of 42 tribes: Kikuyu 22 per cent, Luhya 14 per cent, Luo 13 per cent, Kalenjin 12 per cent, Kamba 11 per cent, Kisii 6 per cent, Meru 6 per cent, other African 15 per cent and non-African including Asian, European and Arab 1 per cent. The root of the ethnic grievances can be traced back to the colonial period, as the “colonial government initiated the concept of tribes by replacing the traditional leadership system with the colonial chieftaincy system based on ethnic lines.”
Ali Abdullah Saleh’s autocratic rule in Yemen comes to an end on 21 February 2012 after 33 years as a new interim president is elected in the country which remains deeply fragile and divided. The outcome of these elections is as predictable as it is certain that they are at best the beginning of a difficult transition period. Yemen stands out as the only country of the Arab Spring so far that has seen a negotiated transition, albeit not one free from violence.
BY PROF. STEFAN WOLFF | FEBRUARY 22, 2012
Yemen also stands out in yet another way as a country whose crises go much deeper than the socio-economic and political dissatisfaction that primarily drove the Arab Spring elsewhere. Two insurgencies in the north and south, the latter additionally complicated by internal schisms within the southern movement, and a threatening and growing presence of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) are part of this complex picture. Moreover, the volatile security situation in Yemen, including a split in the country’s armed forces and the proliferation of tribal and other militias in a country awash with arms, has significant regional and international implications, and thus a number of external players have a stake and taken an interest in Yemen’s future, above all Saudi Arabia and the United States. To complicate matters further, recent reports indicate increasing concern with Iranian involvement in the country as well.
All this poses huge challenges for the transition process that is to follow the presidential elections. A national dialogue, mandated in the GCC transition plan, and most likely to be facilitated by the UN not only offers an opportunity for fundamental constitutional reform but indeed requires it if Yemen is to survive as a country, let alone have any prospects for sustainable social, economic, and political recovery.
Five key tasks need to be accomplished in the national dialogue:
These substantive challenges within a future national dialogue are ‘complemented’ by equally difficult procedural issues. The true success of a negotiated transition in Yemen will not only depend on the country’s new constitution but also on who will participate in shaping it. The many divisions within the country, almost equally reflected in its diaspora, are one factor to be considered. Similarly important, however, are the interests of outside stakeholders. It may seem cynical, but Yemen’s transition will not conclude with a happy ending unless outside interests are taken into account and external players’ red lines not crossed: Saudi Arabia will be equally wary of too much decentralisation and too strong a central government, the US and its western partners will want to see credible and effective counter-terrorism efforts against AQAP. And the likely significant role of the UN in the national dialogue will require Russian and Chinese acquiescence in the Security Council.
The national dialogue in Yemen, thus, faces a multitude of serious challenges and there is a wide range of potential spoilers inside and outside the country. That said, the national dialogue also is Yemen’s perhaps only chance at negotiating a transition. The alternative of a prolonged civil war should be unpalatable enough for Yemenis and their international partners to try their very best to make a success of it.
This article first published at Stefanwolff.com.
On Monday 21st January a deadline that it now appears was not only arbitrary but also purely notional elapsed. This was the deadline for the current Libyan government to tell the International Criminal Court what they were going to do with the two remaining indictees of the ‘Tripoli Three’ – Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi. This has spurred a discussion over whether they should be tried at The Hague or in Libya. The mainstream debate has been marked by a remarkable rigidity of thinking, with only two points that seem to be absolutely clear: one, that Libya has a legal obligation to hand them over to the ICC and two, that this is almost certainly not going to happen. This has led to remarkably pessimistic conclusions about the future of the ICC, Libya and the international rule of law framework.
BY TEDDY NICHOLSON | JANUARY 31, 2012
These opinions are highly conditioned by historical and political narratives, and while the ICC has spent much of its short history engaged in rather simplistic ‘order vs justice’ debates, in particular when it comes to the fraught issue of Sudan, that is not what is at play here. The historical story that is being told as a forewarning by those who support the ICC is the comparison with the trial of Saddam Hussein following the invasion of Iraq.
The Saddam Hussein trial has gone down in the collective memory of the international justice community as the archetype of international justice done badly. Not only was it marred by massive procedural irregularities including lack of independence, failures to disclose key evidence and violations of the defendant’s right to question witnesses, it administered the death penalty. Shortly after Saddam was executed, Human Rights Watch stated that this was “a significant step away from respect for human rights and the rule of law”.
This is the story being told currently of what a trial of Saif Gaddafi and al-Senussi in Libya could look like. Writing recently in the Guardian, Polina Levina argued that the Iraqi Special Tribunal was, in effect, a show trial, and that this is potentially what awaits the two indictees in Libya, and most importantly, that this kind of trial does not deliver justice.
This point is being supplemented by a powerful legalist argument that, under Security Council Resolution 1970, Libya has an obligation to cooperate with the ICC. This means that the current government is legally required to hand over Gaddafi and Senussi to the ICC. There have been significant legal debates around whether Libya is required to issue a formal challenge of admissibility before the Court, or whether the Prosecutor can simply drop the case. Kevin Jon Heller argues convincingly that the latter would be unlawful, and that Libya still has a clear obligation to hand them over before making a challenge to bring them back again, and this seems to be largely accepted as the legal reality, despite what the Prosecutor says.
This combination of legal certainty coupled with the fact that key ICC member states (UK and France most of all) are not putting pressure on Libya to hand them over, has led to the previously mentioned pessimism about the situation.
However, there is another way to conceptualise the issue, one which was on full display in December at the UN during the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the ICC meeting, where the buzzword on everyone’s lips was complementarity. This is the doctrine, enshrined in the Rome Statute, that the ICC steps in only when states are unwilling or unable to investigate and try international crimes themselves – ICC jurisdiction is complementary to national jurisdiction.
The idea being advanced in New York, both among states and the NGO community, is that we should stop looking at the ICC in isolated terms, and start thinking about the Rome Statute as a broad system of international justice where complementarity is thought about in positive, not negative, terms. Normally, advocates of the ICC tend to think of complementarity negatively – as something which prevents the ICC from trying a case – the ideal of international justice is a trial in the sanitised courtrooms in The Hague, the notional polar opposite of the Iraqi Tribunal. This is largely a hangover from the days of the ICTY and ICTR (the latter is not in The Hague, but the point stands), which both had primary jurisdiction over crimes rather than the complementary jurisdiction of the ICC.
The alternative view, of positive complementarity, is that the ethos of the ICC should be to presume in favour of states leading the response to international crimes. This is arguably closer to the letter of the Rome Statute which does place the ICC as a court of last resort. Furthermore, notions of positive complementarity are designed to use the promise/threat of the ICC as a way to improve national justice systems. At the ASP meeting in New York, the most quoted line from Luis Moreno Ocampo was “The ICC will succeed when it has no cases.” Ocampo may have meant by this that it will succeed when there are no crimes being committed for him to prosecute, but the way it is interpreted is to say that the ICC will succeed when states are all prosecuting and trying these crimes themselves.
This is marking a change in emphasis in the political community surrounding the ICC, away from the more missionary, legalist notions of doing justice primarily in The Hague. This has led to a debate starting to open up somewhat to other possibilities. Mark Kersten, writing in the middle of last year, was one of the first commentators to anticipate this debate and propose an ICC trial in Libya. Levina, in the Guardian article previously mentioned, acknowledges that an admissibility challenge would not necessarily be a bad thing, in order to have the trial in Libya.
The institutional response is slow coming. It may be unfair to criticise the ICC for a legalist response, as it is a legal institution governed by an international treaty, and that does not offer it much room for manoeuvre. However, the institutions of the Court should try to find the political and legal space to endorse and participate in a trial of the two suspects. The worst possible outcome is for the ICC to allow itself to get into an open confrontation with the Libyan government that they are bound to lose.
By allowing a trial on Libyan soil and becoming part of the process, the ICC would be able to ensure that there is not a repeat of the Iraqi fiasco, and the death penalty is not administered. That last point is by far the hardest challenge, but if it can be resolved with the support of the states who backed the original referral, then the Court would come out of this process strengthened in the eyes of its supporters and perhaps even able to use this cooperation to lay the groundwork for the far greater prize – a Libyan signature added to the Rome Statute.
Teddy Nicholson is a postgraduate masters degree candidate in the Department of International Relations at the LSE.
This article first published at LSEIdeas.
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