Advertisements
A New Approach to Stalled State Transformations in Iraq and Yemen

A New Approach to Stalled State Transformations in Iraq and Yemen

Chatham House in this research paper titled Between Order and Chaos: A New Approach to Stalled State Transformations in Iraq and Yemen, Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House (@renadmansour) and Peter Salisbury, Senior Consulting Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme (@peterjsalisbury) say that International policymakers have failed to stabilize states such as Iraq and Yemen, partially because of the assumed binary distinction between state failure and success. This paper advocates for a ‘middle–out’ approach that aims to strengthen the connectivity between the bureaucracy and de facto authorities.

The Summary of this paper dated 9 September 2019 is reproduced for all intents and purposes below and the paper can be read online or as a Download PDF (opens in new window)

  • In the Middle East and North Africa, a growing number of internationally recognized (de jure) states with formal borders and governments lack de facto statehood. Often, governance vacuums are filled by alternative actors that perform state-like functions in place of, or alongside, weakened official institutions. This results in hybrid orders where the distinction between formal and informal actors in the state is blurred, as too are the lines between the formal, informal and illicit economies.
  • International policymakers have struggled to establish political settlements in these contexts. Would-be state-builders have mistakenly assumed a binary distinction between state failure and success. They have sought to recreate an idealized archetype of the ‘orderly’ state, critically failing to recognize the more complex networks of de facto actors on the ground. At times, international policymakers pick or support leaders who lack local legitimacy, capability and power. This stalls and fragments ongoing organic state transformations, and produces hybrid orders as de facto actors adapt by both capturing state institutions and creating parallel ones.
  • We propose a new model for understanding the fragmentary transformations of the state underway in Iraq and Yemen. It involves the concept of a multi-layered state, consisting of the executive, the formal bureaucracy, the de facto authorities and society at large. The gap in legitimacy, capability and power between the middle two layers in this model – the formal bureaucracy and the de facto authorities – is a critical source of instability and an impediment to reform. Bridging that gap is thus the key to effective peacebuilding and/or state-building.
  •  This paper argues that all states lie along a chaos–order spectrum. No state is entirely chaotic or orderly. Even those that display many features of chaos – as in Iraq and Yemen – contain pockets of order that are all too often overlooked. The larger the gap between the formal bureaucracy and the de facto authorities, the more a state slides towards the chaos end of the spectrum. Effective state-building must find a way of institutionalizing improvised governance arrangements.
  •  To achieve this, we advocate a ‘middle–out’ approach that aims to strengthen the connective tissues between the bureaucracy and de facto authorities. Simplified, this more inclusive approach entails reframing international involvement as playing the role of a ‘referee’ to monitor the transformations of the state while enforcing accountability, as opposed to the practice of picking ‘winners’ and integrating unfavoured actors into unpopular political settlements.
Advertisements
Cross-border water planning key, report warns

Cross-border water planning key, report warns

In AFRICATECH of August 22, 2019; More deals, less conflict? Wondered Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation whilst Cross-border water planning key, report warns.

LONDON, Aug 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Efforts to share rivers, lakes, and aquifers that cross national boundaries are falling short, raising a growing risk of conflict as global water supplies run low, researchers warned on Thursday.

Fewer than one in three of the world’s transboundary rivers and lake basins and just nine of the 350 aquifers that straddle more than one country have cross-border management systems in place, according to a new index by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

With more than half the world’s population likely to live in water-scarce areas by 2050 and 40 percent dependent on transboundary water, that is a growing threat, said Matus Samel, a public policy consultant with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Most transboundary basins are peaceful, but the trend is that we are seeing more and more tensions and conflict arising,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

When work began on the index, which looks at five key river basins around the world from the Mekong to the Amazon, researchers thought they would see hints of future problems rather than current ones, Samel said.

Instead, they found water scarcity was becoming a “very urgent” issue, he said. “It surprised me personally the urgency of some of the situation some of these basins are facing.”

Population growth, climate change, economic and agricultural expansion and deforestation are all placing greater pressures on the world’s limited supplies of water, scientists say.

As competition grows, some regions have put in place relatively effective bodies to try to share water fairly, the Economist Intelligence Unit report said.

Despite worsening drought, the Senegal River basin, shared by West African nations including Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania, has held together a regional water-governance body that has attracted investment and support, Samel said.

Efforts to jointly govern the Sava River basin, which crosses many of the once warring nations of the former Yugoslavia in southeast Europe, have also been largely successful, he said.

But replicating that is likely to be “a huge challenge” in conflict-hit basins, such as along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq and Syria, Samel said.

Still, even in tough political situations, “there are ways … countries and local governments and others can work together to make sure conflicts do not emerge and do not escalate,” he said.

“The benefits of cooperation go way beyond direct access to drinking water,” he said. “It’s about creating trust and channels for communication that might not otherwise exist.”

‘NO EASY SOLUTIONS’

The report suggests national leaders make water security a priority now, link water policy to other national policies, from agriculture to trade, and put in place water-sharing institutions early.

“There are no easy solutions or universal solutions,” Samel warned. “But there are lessons regions and basins can learn and share.”

The index has yet to examine many hotspots, from the Nile River and Lake Chad in Africa to the Indus river system in India and Pakistan, but Samel said it would be expanded in coming years.

Working toward better shared water management is particularly crucial as climate change brings more drought, floods, and other water extremes, said Alan Nicol, who is based in Ethiopia for the International Water Management Institute.

“Knowing how a system works effectively helps you know what to do in the face of a massive drought or flood event – and we should expect more extreme weather,” he said.

While efforts to coordinate water policy with other national and regional policies and priorities are crucial, the key missing element in shoring up water security is political will, he said.

“We’ve been talking about this kind of integrated water management for 30 years,” he said. “The problem is practicing it. And that’s essentially a political problem.”

Reporting by Laurie Goering @lauriegoering; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking, and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate

The cries Algeria’s youth for a profound change must be heard

The cries Algeria’s youth for a profound change must be heard

Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul, Economist, Expert international. © DR at AP.P

In this long plea where he begins by paying homage to the Algerian youth, Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul analyses the handicaps, both political and economic, which overwhelm Algeria despite its immense potential. Then projecting himself into the perspective, he evokes the scenarios of the future and pleads with a lot of arguments and a great conviction, for “an indispensable global reform” (…) by flattening the differences through dialogue and consultation. 

So, here is this contribution from PR Abderrahmane Mebtoul, Economist, International Expert as posted on AFRICAPRESSE. PARIS on March 5, 2019, in French.

The strong mobilization of 22 February and 1st March implies a good analysis of the aspirations of civil society. Certainly not the rentier living in the salons, but the one that we saw on the street, the youth who does not want to be recovered.

The lesson given to the leader of the Workers’ Party, which was booed, should serve as lessons. At a time when the world is experiencing political, social and economic upheavals, where Algeria is being challenged by some 70% of its population claiming genuine democratic reforms – a condition of harmonious and sustainable development in the face of the relentless globalization – we must pay a great homage to our youth who have not experienced the drama of the years 1990-1999, and yet want a change.

Let us salute its political maturity and peaceful marches without violence, where political parties in all tendencies have played no role in mobilizing. Let us also salute our security forces who have managed in a modern way these events which must be meditated profoundly by the parties of power and their satellites – weakly representative, not to say non-representative – as well as by any of the opposition, which was off-track.

A partisan system disconnected from the society

According to some sources, the number of political parties is approaching sixty, often with unnatural alliances, whereas in democratic countries these alliances are made by ideological affinity and a clear programme.

Also, except for ten of them, the others show a formal and ostentatious presence in the elections… Furnishing the emptiness, powerless almost always to act on the course of things and to articulate clearly the concerns and aspirations of the real society.

Because of the internal crises that periodically shake them, the discredit that strikes the majority of them, the defiance of them and the partisan activism, the current political formations today have a low capacity to carry out a work of mobilization and efficient management, to contribute significantly to the political socialising, and thus to make an effective contribution to the work of national recovery.

As proof, the last parliamentary elections, both 2012 and 2017: considering the null and official data of the Ministry of the Interior, the 3/4 of the Algerian population are not represented by the elected officials.

The discredit which strikes political groups, both from the power and from the opposition, must give way to credible, non-artificially created formations, subject therefore to the possibility of an objective assessment of the status and role which must be theirs in a society that aspires to join the ranks of democratic societies. These formations will have to be more capable of mobilizing society than in the years to come, reforms – long deferred to guarantee a fictitious, transient social peace – will be very painful.

An atomized civil society with an informal dominant

Civil society in Algeria is shattered. Contrary to the accepted and illusory ideas of past years, in a context of social disintegration and “satellite TV” youth, most official religious brotherhoods have less and less impact.

On the other hand, the confusion that currently prevails in the national association movement makes it difficult to devise a strategy to take into account and mobilize it. Its diversity, the politico-ideological currents that pass through it and its complex relationship to society and the State add to this confusion and make imperative an urgent reflection for its restructuring, its current state reflecting the major fractures have occurred in the national political system. Thus, it will soon be divided into four fundamentally different civil societies: three at the level of the real sphere and one dominant in the informal sphere.

The most important segment of this civil society, the privileged and often unique interlocutor of the public authorities, is constituted by appendages of power, located on the periphery of the parties in power and whose officials are sometimes deputies, senators, living in large part of the transfer of the rentier annuity. In fact, those who pride themselves on mobilizing millions of voters live in air-conditioned lounges, disconnected from society.

The second segment is that of a civil society frankly rooted in the Islamist movement, with there also appendages of legal Islamic parties.

The third segment is that of a civil society claiming the democratic movement. Poorly structured, despite the relatively large number of associations that comprise it, and undermined by contradictions in relation, among others, with the question of leadership. For these first three civil societies, their impact on the turnout in the last local and legislative elections, despite their accession, was relatively low.

We finally have an informal, unorganized, totally atomized civil society. It is by far the most active and important, as well as we saw on February 22nd and the 1st March 2019, with precise codifications forming a dense mesh.

Without the intelligent integration of this informal sphere – not by authoritarian bureaucratic measures, but by the involvement of society itself – it will not be necessary to rely on a real dynamism of civil society. Because when a state wants to impose its own rules disconnected from social practices, the society has its own rules that allow it to function with its own organizations.

Three scenarios for Algeria from 2019 to 2025

The dynamism of the partisan system and of civil society in order to make it an effective instrument of the framing of forces and a powerful lever of their mobilization is likely to succeed only if the movement that composes it, is not in the service of ambitions personal unmentionable and sometimes dubious.

We can foresee the different scenarios possible depending on the state of the power relations at the internal level, considering the evolution of the strategy of the actors at the external level.

The first scenario: failure of the reform process.

The conditions of failure are real and combined in the legal and economic environment in case of lack of visibility and coherence in the economic and social approach. Risk accentuated by the annuitants at the internal level and certain segments of external actors maintaining informal relations and who are not interested in deepening the reforms (loss of contracts in case of transparent tender notices).

On the other hand, the ambiguity of legal texts allows for the legal blockade of reforms, while the multiplicity of speakers allows for the confusion of prerogatives. Other parameters contributing to the risk of failure: the fragility of internal private investment capacity, stabilization plans that have made forced savings to the detriment of the average layers that have impoverished; the mistrust generated by internal and external investors through continual changes in legislation, while the stability must be rigorous; populist speeches on account settlements on the sensitive subject of taxation, and finally the high pressure of a fraction of the internal and external actors linked to the interests of the annuity, that to preserve protectionist postures because the liberalisation Destroyed a fraction of the annuity.

The second scenario is the status quo.

It would lead to the regression for both social and physical, the world being in perpetual motion. This hypothesis will prepare the conditions of failure by imputing the current social conditions (poverty and unemployment) to reforms, which, except macroeconomic stabilization, are timid in Algeria (microeconomic and institutional reforms, Issues of future years), or to technical bodies while petrol is the absence of political will (neutralization of power relations).

This status quo will participate in a programmed failure and would be suicidal for the future of the economy and Algerian society. This is maintained by the confusion of some concepts assimilating false reforms to the sale of national heritage.

Thus, according to the proponents of this analysis, the reforms would be dictated by the major global oil companies, the IMF and the World Bank. A posture reminding us of the Times of the Inquisition against those who advocated the market economy and the establishment of democracy.

The third scenario is the success of solidarity-specific political and economic reforms as contained in the legal, economic and political environment of Algeria, thanks to a youth increasingly aware of the country’s future issues.

The rupture of the previous system, in view of historical experiences, only occurred through violent but short-lived revolutions. Successful experiences have shown that the gradualist pathway inserting the Conservatives into a reformist dynamic has involved a profound redevelopment of the structures of power and new people acquired in the reforms with cultural demystification, the devastating rumours in the opinion are only the translation of the weakness of the communication system, especially in Algeria where the oral route is predominant.

There is, therefore, therefore, an urgent need for close cooperation between the supporters of the reforms, the political parties, the associations and, in general, all civil society, the administration, public and private enterprises, the collectives of Workers, trade unions, flattening differences through dialogue and consultation.

The goal will be to make the strategic objective emerge through a symbiosis of individual interests and collective interest, showing that the medium-term winners of the reforms will be more numerous than the short-term losers.

The support of external actors for their interests in order to avoid the negative effects of the Destabilisation, but above all the mobilisation of the favorable internal actors because no country can make the reforms in our place, the fate of Algeria is in the hands of Algerian and Algerian.

Algeria, an indispensable actor for Euro-Mediterranean and African stability, can lead to a process of inseparable reforms of a profound democratisation of its society. In the business world, feelings do not exist, only reforms will allow economic growth and the reduction of the nagging problems of unemployment and poverty. Any obstacle to these reforms only decreases the rate of growth, increases the country’s insecurity and, Over there, contributes to social and political destabilization. Time being money, any delay in the process of reforms could result in more important social costs that could be supported by the most disadvantaged.

A strategic vision to surpass a multifaceted crisis

It is time to have foresight in the medium and long term, in order to correct the mistakes of the past, like navigating on sight by ignoring the aspirations of society.

The strategic question is: shall we go towards a real salutary change by reorganizing society, due to the global geostrategic upheavals announced between 2019-2025-2030 or, thanks to the passive distribution of the annuity, shall we simply replaster, postponing the inevitable social tensions?

These are important enough reasons to seriously consider reorganizing the partisan system and civil society so that they can fulfil the function that is them in any democratic political system that reconciles modernity with our authenticity, far from administrative injunctions.

The redesign of the state, including administration, integration of the informal sphere, reforms of financial, fiscal, customs and socio-educational systems, new mechanisms of regulation and social cohesion, optimisation of the effect of public expenditure and the new management of infrastructures based on the rationalization of budget choices… and pose the problem of the future of the Algerian economy so as to reconnect it with growth and, consequently, to alleviate unemployment.

As I have often recalled, in this month of February 2019 – and this is not today – Algeria is going through a crisis of governance, which implies having a strategic vision of the future of Algeria on the 2030 horizon.

Algeria needs for its national and international credibility, geostrategic tensions at the level of the region and the inevitable budgetary tensions between 2019-2020-2025 to bring all its children into their diversity and not to divide us, requiring a minimum of economic and social consensus that could not mean unanimism, a sign of decadence of any society in order to stabilise the social body.

The reforms – beyond the natural resistance of the pensioners – by rehabilitating good governance (the fight against corruption, in concrete terms and not only by legislation) and human capital, are the basis for development. The cries of youth in these months of February and March 2019 for a profound change must be heard so that Algeria can meet the challenges of the 21st century characterized, in this constantly interdependent world, by major geostrategic upheavals in the security, economic, political, social and cultural fields.

Faced with the inevitable budgetary tensions and the geostrategic stakes of 2019-2025-2030, the success of the reforms must be based on four axes: gathering, rebasing of the state, democratisation and economic reforms accommodating economic efficiency and profound social justice.

‘Gilets Jaunes’ of France from Brussels to Basra

‘Gilets Jaunes’ of France from Brussels to Basra

From Brussels to Basra, gilets jaunes have brought visibility to people and their grievances per Jon Henley, The Guardian’s European affairs correspondent published on December 21, 2018, is the story of a movement that is increasingly apparent throughout the world and in particular in the MENA region .

How hi-vis yellow vest became symbol of protest beyond France


A “yellow vest” protest against corruption and unemployment in Basra, Iraq. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

It started on 10 October, with a Facebook appeal launched by two fed-up truck drivers from the Seine-et-Marne department, east of Paris, calling for a “national blockade” of France’s road network in protest against rising fuel prices.

Within days the campaign had gathered 200,000 backers and spawned hundreds of local spinoffs across the country; two weeks later, a video urging motorists to display their hi-vis yellow vests behind their windscreens in solidarity garnered 4m views.

The gilets jaunes, named after the vest drivers are required to carry in their vehicles, were born, and since 17 November, the movement’s first nationwide day of action, its sustained, sometimes violent protests have rocked France.

But not only France. Mostly leaderless, unstructured and organised on social media, “yellow vest” demonstrations have multiplied internationally, from Belgium to Bulgaria, Serbia to Sweden and Israel to Iraq.

The popular anti-establishment insurrection by France’s squeezed middle, living mostly in rural or deindustrialised areas and small or medium-sized towns far from the globalised cities where the wealth of the 21st century is increasingly concentrated, has found a global echo.

As in France, where it has overwhelming public support, these diverse national movements have brought together people with disparate demands and political views but one overriding and common complaint: they cannot make ends meet.

“If the hike in the price of fuel triggered the yellow vest movement, it was not the root cause,” said the geographer Christophe Guilluy. “The anger runs deeper, the result of an economic and cultural relegation that began in the 80s … Western elites have gradually forgotten a people they no longer see.”


A gilets jaunes protests in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: nicolaslandemard.com/Le Pictorium/Barcroft Images

Facebook Twitter Pinterest

Cheap, readily available, easily identifiable and above all representing an obligation imposed by the state, the the yellow hi-vis vest itself has proved an inspired choice of symbol and has plainly played a big part in the movement’s rapid spread.

“The point, remember, of the yellow vest is to ensure its wearer is visible on the road,” Guilluy said. “And whatever the outcome of this conflict, the gilets jaunes have won in terms of what really counts: the war of cultural representation. Working-class and lower middle-class people are visible again.”

The revolt spread first to French-speaking Belgium, where 400 people have been arrested over the past few weeks as police used teargas and water cannon to disperse crowds pelting them with flares, cobblestones and billiard balls, and setting cars and trucks alight in Brussels, Charleroi, and elsewhere.

Dismissive, like their counterparts in France, of all their country’s established parties, Belgium’s gilets jaunes, who have demanded the resignation of the prime minister, Charles Michel,aim to launch a Mouvement citoyen belge (Belgian citizens’ movement)to compete innext year’s European and Belgian federal elections.

There have been largely peaceful yellow vest protests in half a dozen Dutch cities including Rotterdam, where marcher Ieneke Lambermont said her children had to “pay taxes everywhere, and can’t get housing anymore”. Things were “not going well in Dutch society”, she said. “The social welfare net we grew up with is gone.”


A protest in Rotterdam. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/REX/Shutterstock

Facebook Twitter Pinterest

In Italy an anti-austerity, anti-EU protest group inspired by the gilets jaunes has garnered thousands of supporters online and plans a large rally in January, while in Spain Facebook groups of chalecos amarillos plan to begin demonstrating in Madrid in the new year because “it’s worse here than in France”.

Protesters wearing yellow vests have also been seen in Sweden, Greece and the UK, where a group of pro-Brexit campaigners blocked Westminster Bridge and on Wednesday at least two accosted the pro-European Tory MP Anna Soubry outside parliament. In Germany, both the far right and the far left organised yellow-vest protests – separately – in Berlin and Munich.

Canada spawns its own yellow vest protests – with extra rightwing populism

Read more

More than 100 protesters turned up for an anti-government yellow-vest demonstration in Dublin. In Poland yellow-vested farmers blocked the main A2 motorway 20 miles from Warsaw, complaining over a range of grievances.

Protesters wearing yellow vests in Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member, have blocked major roads including the border crossings with Turkey and Greece, demanding not just cheaper fuel and higher living standards but the departure of a government they likened to “the mafia”.

A civil rights organisation and far-right politicians have adopted yellow vests – for different reasons – in Serbia, while beyond Europe gilets jaunes protests have also occurred in Canada (over the UN migration pact), Israel and Jordan (over corruption and the high cost of living).

In Tunisia, a Facebook group of gilets rouges is complaining about the country’s ailing economy; in Basra, Iraq, gilets jaunes have been protesting against high unemployment, corruption and the terrible general state of the city; and authorities in Egypt are so worried about the movement spreading they have banned sales of yellow vests.

As 2018 draws to a close….

… we’re asking readers to make an end of year or ongoing contribution in support of The Guardian’s independent journalism.

Three years ago we set out to make The Guardian sustainable by deepening our relationship with our readers. The same technologies that connected us with a global audience had also shifted advertising revenues away from news publishers. We decided to seek an approach that would allow us to keep our journalism open and accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or what they can afford.

More than one million readers have now supported our independent, investigative journalism through contributions, membership or subscriptions, which has played such an important part in helping The Guardian overcome a perilous financial situation globally. We want to thank you for all of your support. But we have to maintain and build on that support for every year to come.

Sustained support from our readers enables us to continue pursuing difficult stories in challenging times of political upheaval, when factual reporting has never been more critical. The Guardian is editorially independent – our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. Readers’ support means we can continue bringing The Guardian’s independent journalism to the world.

Please make an end of year contribution today to help us deliver the independent journalism the world needs for 2019 and beyond.

Challenges ahead for the Fourth Estate

Challenges ahead for the Fourth Estate

Here are the wise words of the guru-to-be named Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights and Global Dialogue.  These words are more likely to be of some use in the MENA region where there are presently numerous “Challenges ahead for the fourth estate.”

Media and press freedom at a crossroad

26 November2018,

Media has the power to transform societies through enhancing enlightenment and active citizenry. Observers occasionally refer tothe media as the fourth estate owing to its influential role to furtherenhancing the plurality of opinions and ideas. A free press is indispensablefor facilitating good governance and transparency. It strengthens theaccountability of governments as citizens can critically assess the activitiesof incumbents through information provided by the media. It is indispensablefor facilitating good governance and transparent societies.

Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights defends freedom of expression and the right to information. It enables press freedom to become a reality: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has been quoted as saying that “the ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.” However, significant challenges lie ahead limiting freedom of the press. Firstly, journalists have had at times to pay a high toll for the expression of truth as they see it. Thus according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more than 1,300 journalists have been killed since 1992. Among these victims, approximately 65% were murdered, 22% perished owing to crossfire and combat, whereas 12% lost their lives owing to dangerous assignments. Many of those deaths remain unresolved and perpetrators are rarely brought to justice as “complete impunity” prevails in more than 80% of the cases.

The 2017 World Press Freedom report issued by Reporters Without Borders likewise suggests that violent extremism has put significant constraints on the ability of the press to operate freely and carry out their duties. The conflicts in Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Syria, the report underlines, have enabled insurgents to create black holes for reporting.

Journalists have the right to work free from the threat of violence and free from the threat of fear in their capacity as transmitters of information to the public. Their lives should not be put at stake for merely putting Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration into practice.

Secondly, the accountability of media needs to be strengthened so that it represents the public’s interests. After the so-called “War on Terror”, hate speech and online bigotry have rapidly been on the rise targeting specifically religious minorities. This has been followed by a misconceived conflation between terrorism, Islam and the Arab identity, which has given rise to marginalization, bigotry and discrimination.

In the context where social media contributes to the dissemination of fake news without accountability, traditional media have an important role to play to promote awareness of false and inaccurate information. They may enlighten world public opinion by offering alternative narratives on contentious issues contributing to plurality of views and offering a voice to the voiceless.

At the 25 June 2018 World Conference on “Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” held at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, it was suggested by the panellists to better harness the power of media by promoting positive stories about religion and culture.

It was also proposed that we, as global citizens, should never fear the stranger as differences enrich our societies. Media can play a more influential role in addressing prevailing misconceptions and misunderstandings that exist between people. The use of contemporary phobic language triggering social exclusion and religious intolerance is a threat to democracy and to diversity. Incitements to hatred, violence and bigotry should be condemned as it exacerbates religious divisions within communities. It also gives rise to a populistic tidal wave that is taking root in several countries.

Media has a “moral and social responsibility” in “combating discrimination and in promoting intercultural understanding (…)” as stipulated in Principle 9 of the Camden Principles on Freedom of Expression and Equality. By reversing the trend of offering simplistic and misconceived generalizations not grounded in reality, media can become a catalyst for social inclusion by promoting a culture of peace, harmony and tolerance. This would be in line with the objectives laid out in the 2002 “Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and in UN HRC Resolution 16/18 entitled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief” that condemns “any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other mean.”

Societies that demonstrate respect for press freedom and the safety and freedom of journalists will make a valuable contribution to the fulfilment of the provisions set forth in SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Idriss Jazairy

Idriss Jazairy, Author profile

The intra-African Migration 2016 Streams

The intra-African Migration 2016 Streams

While international media focus on all those migrants’ influx to Europe, the phenomenon is a growing one but in between the African regions and countries as from a recent study of the International Organization for Migration relating to an investigation on year 2015. The intra-African migration 2016 streams is here looked at further to Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty, knowing that demographers consider that migration will be a significant variable of any adjustment up to 2050, due to which 2 or 3 billion additional people are expected whilst the effects of climate change would probably be felt by now with some areas no longer able to feed any additional population.

Human migration is the movement of the place of life of individuals. It is probably as old as humanity itself, growing 2 percent a year. It measures a stock and includes voluntary as well as forced migration. Internal migrations within countries are also increasing, but it is then referred to population displacement.

Statistics show a recent decrease in the very large migrations that tend to be of the chosen immigration favourable to the brain and skills drain out of poor countries, at the expense of the latter. The characteristics of the current migratory phenomenon are about the diversification of countries of origin and destination, as well as the forms taken by the migration phenomenon itself.

Estimates of capital repatriation to the country of origin from the host country show that these are at least equal if not higher than the amount of financial aid given by the so-called ‘wealthy’ countries to the poorest ones.

Immigration today means the entry into a country or a particular geographical area, of foreign people for either a long stay or to settle.

The word immigration comes from the Latin in-migrare that means ‘falling into place.”  In addition to this phenomenon are there are those of dual citizenship and nomadism. The notion of immigrant is based on the statement of the place of birth and nationality. The immigrant is the one who left his place of birth or domiciliation for another place or another State, in order to settle there permanently.

According to international experts immigration can have several causes:

  • Economic: job search, greater prosperity, better working conditions. This is the main cause of current emigration;
  • Political: the escape of an oppressive regime.
  • Religious: hope of a more tolerant land.
  • Climate: taste for a different meteorological environment (typically warmer and sunnier);
  • Tax: will to enter a more favourable legal and financial environment. This is particular to the highest strata of society and in favour of tax havens.

 

For Africa, the international organization in its 2016 study highlights the following intra-African regional streams:

  1. West Africa… 5,927,519 people
  2. East Africa… 4,583,385 people
  3. Southern Africa… 2,761,732 people
  4. Central Africa… 2,039,776 people
  5. Maghreb… 319,954 people

Top countries of departure

  1. Burkina Faso .           .           425,661 of which. .           .         1,294,323 in Ivory Coast
  2. DR of Congo .           .           192,697 of which  .           .          303,580 in Uganda
  3. Sudan .           .           .          190,255 of which  .           .          552,391 in South Sudan
  4. Mali .           .           .              902,272 of which  .      .          .    356,019 in Ivory Coast

Top host countries

  1. Ivory Coast .           .        2,093,354 of which  .           .           1,294,323 from Burkina Faso
  2. South Africa .           .       1,230,732 including   .           .           475,403 from Zimbabwe
  3. Nigeria .           .              1,076,442 including            .           .    351,985 from Benin
  4. Ethiopia .           .            1,063,000 including            .           .     375,202 from South Sudan

For the Maghreb region, the study cites 319.954 people.

Algerian experts advise these data ought to be taken with all due precaution, and;

  • 40% of migrants, say experts of migratory movements, came into Algeria to work;
  • 40% are in a kind of ‘transit’ to the European continent; these are the most educated and they aim to settle in Spain, in Italy or in France and
  • 20% of these migrants present in Algeria would return home, but cannot do so.

In the face of the magnitude of the phenomenon, the Government recently revealed the preparation of a national file to record all African migrants, and the development of legislation on asylum seekers and refugees.

The Minister of the Interior stated, that in addition to the various possibilities of employment in either construction sites or among others, Algeria would as always be considering itself in need of as varied a workforce in as varied areas of activities as can be had.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs on the other hand stated that the official position of the country as to be keen in welcoming all stressing that Algeria has always been in solidarity with Africa but that there is reason to pay attention to its national security, and that broad international agreement is needed to share the migratory stocks, but through a long-term resolution of the true development of Africa.  This should be based on a win/win partnership for each and every party far from any spirit of domination.  ademmebtoul@gmail.com