MaryAnne Iwara

Hybrid Peacebuilding Approaches in Africa: Harnessing Complementary Parallels

Cover page

Many of the most pressing conflicts across sub-Saharan Africa today—including violent extremism, sexual and gender-based violence, pastoralist/farmer conflicts, and criminal banditry—are shaped by local, community-level drivers. Despite these local drivers, however, international peacebuilding approaches often ignore or neglect bottom-up, grassroots strategies for addressing them. Often, international efforts that contribute to the prevention and management of local conflicts depend heavily on large-scale, expensive, and external interventions like peacekeepers, while under-investing in or bypassing traditional/customary mechanisms and resources that uphold locally defined values of peace, tolerance, solidarity, and respect. Recognizing that these traditional and customary practices themselves sometimes have their own legacies of violence and inequality, this policy note emphasizes the possibility of combining aspects of traditional peacebuilding mechanisms with international conflict management approaches to harness the benefits of both.


Also available in French.


Suggested citation:

Iwara, MaryAnne. Hybrid Peacebuilding Approaches in Africa: Harnessing Complementary Parallels. Washington, D.C.: RESOLVE Network, 2021.