You will notice that our Peace and Security Council Report has a new look. If you have an opportunity to do so we would welcome your comments, positive or critical, about our publication. We are also hoping to produce a French electronic version of this report during April 2012. Madagascar’s membership at the African Union is still suspended in the absence of significant progress on a number of key issues, including the enactment of amnesty legislation, which is critical for the full implementation of the Road Map to end the ongoing crisis. The country witnessed a military demonstration in March 2012 in which soldiers aired their grievances about poor living and working conditions. Many fear that dissension in army ranks can be a recipe for a mutiny. The analysis on the ongoing crisis in Madagascar shades light on regional and continental efforts to end the deadlock and proposes options to deal with the crisis.
For the second time in two years, Guinea-Bissau went to the polls on 18 March 2012 to elect a new president; because of the death of President Malam Bacai Sanha. The fragile balance that currently exists among major military and political conflicting interests and the power vacuum in the wake of the president’s demise could aggravate the power struggle among the political and security elite of this West African state. The analysis of Guinea-Bissau builds possible post elections scenarios and advances recommendations on how the AU might help prevent another crisis.
The tension between various tribal and regional groups and militias in Libya is rising at an alarming rate. Some reports claim that as many as 700 militia groups are present in Libya, which is yet to establish a strong and unified army and integrated security institutions. The NTC chairman, Mustafa Abul Jalil, has repeatedly warned of the possibility of a ‘civil war’ if these armed groups are not brought under control. The recent declaration by the eastern region of Cyrenaica, announcing the establishment of a regional council, working for self rule, has further escalated tensions between contending parties. The analysis about Libya examines the country’s internal dynamics in the light of rising regional tensions and suggests possible early response options by the AU to engage the contending parties in Libya. A retrospective article on the AU PSC’s efforts in protecting women and children and other vulnerable groups in armed conflicts is also part of this month’s report.
Duke Kent-Brown (Editor)