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Written by Pastor Olubunmi Ajala and Dr. Joan Mbagwu, the Director and Projects Manger of OliveBranch Konsult respectively .

The People's Mandate is a simple, readable and usable guide to insuring peaceful, free and fair elections in Nigeria. The contents are, of course, lrgely applicable to other African countries.

It strives to educate the voing public, sentisize them about their civic duties, mobilize them into participating massively in the electoral processes and galvanize them into insisting on the relevance and sanctity of their vote.

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This book, written by Dr. Joan Magwu, is a conscious effort to demonstrate the fact that Africans have indigenous processes which help in resolving disputes and most importantly, they worked in the past and are still relevant today. The first chapter looked at the generic characteristics (social harmony, participatory nature of justice delivery, gerontology and oaths and spirituality) of the African approaches, thereby making the book relevant to all readers as they will understand the nature of peace instruments in Africa.

Chapter Two deals with cultural values and theoretical framework, also, the importance of dealing with people on the values they have respect for. It further argued that peace making strategies should be based on the values of the people involved in conflict.

Chapter Three is about the different indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms from different parts of Africa including the roles women play in peace making. The Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of indigenous approaches were discussed in Chapter Four. The indigenous strategies in the contemporary society do have threats and weaknesses which must be identified and rectified by the strengths and opportunities in the strategies.

The Challenges of Using the Endogenous Approaches is discussed in Chapter Five as it is obvious that every strategy in resolving disputes will always have its challenges. Some of the challenges have to do with the complexities of the modern times and the conflicts that follow the period.

Chapter Six is about the success stories of using traditional approaches in Rwanda after the genocide of 1994. The genocide claimed over one million lives in hundred days and efforts to transform the conflicts through the western judicial systems were impossible until the application of the Gacaca traditional models.

Chapter Seven deals with the success stories of using traditional approaches in Mozambique where the Magamba spirits played a big role in transforming the post-war Gorongosa. Magamba spirits traditional belief is based on the principle that the death of individuals through traumatic acts, or the breaking of taboos such as the killing of human beings without metaphysical and/or social legitimization, is an offence that requires immediate redress through atonement rituals.

Chapter Eight discusses the success stories of using traditional approaches among the Kpaa Mende people of Sierra Leone. The ngele gbaa ritual is performed when there is a theft in the community and culprit is not willing to confess. The offended person will "beg the ground" from the chief and elders for a little amount and state his intention to curse the thief on the ngelegbaa. When the chief approves, the ngele gbaa-moi (owner of the ngele gbaa) is sent for, most often from a nearby settlement.

Chapter Nine is about the success stories of using traditional approaches in Burundi. The traditional justice mechanism of the institution of bashingantahe is used to classify men of integrity whose responsibility was to resolve conflicts on all fronts from the king's court to the people. Gotten from the combination of a root verb, gushinga (which means to plant or bolt down) and a noun intahe meaning (staff of justice) the bashingantahe literally means "the one who bolts down the law". This is because of the way these men (the bashingantahe) hit the ground with their sticks when resolving conflict.

Chapter Ten deals with the success stories of using traditional approaches among the Acholi people of northern Uganda. The Acholi traditional justice and reconciliation mechanisms is called mato oput. Acholi society believed that man is a sacred being whose blood must not be spilled without a just cause, and the killing of human beings is strictly forbidden by their religion. Members of the community were enjoined to observe this strictly by worshipping the same supreme deity, - Nyarubanga, through an intermediary deity, known as the jok-ker, meaning "the ruling deity". The unique importance of the Acholi traditional system is that the perpetrators of atrocities will remain in society even after a peace deal is reached.

Chapter Eleven is about success stories of using traditional approaches in South Africa. The principles of Ubuntu to a large extent have influenced South Africa, as she aims to resolve conflicts with the sole aim to reach a win-win solution. For example, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa is based on Ubuntu principles which aim "to work towards a situation that acknowledges a mutually beneficial condition. Its emphasis is on cooperation with one another for the common good as opposed to competition that could lead to grave instability within any community".

Women and Post Conflict Reconstruction

Inclusion of women in post conflict reconstructions is important because they have important and necessary roles to play in all the phases of post conflict reconstruction. Women are in a better position to explain or talk to women who took part in the fighting in terms of demobilization and reintegration, because they are quite knowledgeable about fellow women and these ex-combatants will be willing to open up with fellow women and share their fears and concerns. In addition to these reasons scholars have identified other reasons that may not be strictly due to peace related reasons.

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The book is a product of a doctoral thesis in Defense and Strategic Studies at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. Beyond Military Force as Strategy for Countering Terrorism in Nigeria: A Handbook is divided into three parts: Part One: Understanding Terrorism, Part Two: Boko Haram Terrorism, and Part Three: Beyond Military Strategy.

This study covered the early period of the formation of the organization to the end of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. This is a well-researched academic work that will help scholars on terrorism and especially Boko Haram understand the phenomenon.

This book is structured into parts to make it reader-friendly as one could just select any part they want to study and don’t have to worry about the others as every part is complete on its own.

The author, Joan Mbagwu holds a BA (Ed), in English Education from University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, MA, Conflict Resolution and Management, Macgregor School of Antioch University, Ohio, USA and PhD in Defense and Strategic Studies from Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria. She teaches Criminology, Peace and Conflict resolution courses at Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State. She has a lot of NGO experiences working for both local and international organizations. Joan has conducted researches for Ford Foundations and Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) in areas of peace and governance, and has a lot of publications. Her work for UPeace Africa as a Process Evaluator for West Africa exposed her to the challenge of peace processes in traditional African Societies on which she wrote a book. Her expertise in peace and security is expanding and has led to the writing of this book: Beyond Military Force as Strategy for Countering Terrorism is Nigeria: A Handbook.

The book is available for sale in both printed form and e-book format.

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