In view of the special role the military has played in politics and the changing political environment in the region, the Center is giving priority to issues of civil-military relations to foster a dialogue between the military and civil society and enhance relations between these two critical sectors of society. The programme focuses on individuals holding leadership positions in government, the bureaucracy, traditional or religious institutions, and the military and civil society organizations in the region.
A key focus of the programme is a continuous review of regional military peacekeeping initiatives, most especially the ECOMOG and AU experiences, as well as the involvement of civil society and non-state actors in national and sub-regional security arrangements in Africa. The programme aims to monitor threats to holistic security and develop the capacity to understand, anticipate, plan and forecast security problems and provide solutions.
The programme also focuses on a wider dimension of the complex relationship between private military operators, small arms and light weapons proliferation and resource exploitation. The issue of child combatants is another important focus in this programme. The aim is to develop youth programmes that will promote a culture of peace in the region and help to properly re-integrate young former combatants back into society.