Panel 3

Mobility, Violence and Peace Culture

Panel organisers: Victor Adetula, The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden and Cyril Obi, APN/SSRC, USA.

E-mail: victor.adetula @nai.uu.se

Several millions of people in Africa have fled their homes as a result of war, crime, riots  and other forms of violence and ‘natural ‘disasters-induced pressures. For example, the world's most extensive humanitarian crisis is currently playing out round the Lake Chad Basin where several millions have been displaced, and dependent on food aid, with million children malnourished. While some countries are dealing with the aftermath of violent conflict, others are experiencing new conflicts, partly fueled by clashes over access to scarce environmental resources, destabilizing population movements and the availability of arms. In virtually all the sub regions, the trends and patterns are the same with respect to violent conflicts associated with cross-border movement of population. The complicity of migrant populations in the insecurity in of the host countries as well as instances of xenophobic violence have been reported in some African countries. However, while these negative trends persist, the contributions of the migrant communities to peace and development in Africa is growing as demonstrated by the initiatives of some African diaspora. These issues are for further examination in the proposed panel, which builds on research, peace practices, and policy engagements on the link between population mobility, violence and peace in Africa by some APN-SSRC grantees and NAI researchers & associates. Thus, the proposed panels provides opportunity for panelists to disseminate results of their research, development & peace practice, and policy engagements. We expect a review of existing conceptual and theoretical constructs on the relationship between population mobility, conflict and peace practices. Cases studies from countries and regions of Africa will be entertained to enable the panelist determine the influence of population mobility on vulnerability to conflict, and how population mobility can enhance peace culture. Contributions that deepen our understanding of the contexts and contents of the conflicts between the agrarian and pastoral communities whose livelihood are welcome. Other important outcomes will be contributions to recent social science theories and methodologies, extensive qualitative data on the role of the migrant communities in conflict resolution and peace building in Africa.

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