Currently viewing the tag: "mediation"

The below is from a WPF research briefing paper, “African Solutions to African Challenges: A Statistical Overview of International Mediation in Civil Wars in Africa,” produced as part of the African Peace Missions project. You can access the entire collection of research briefings and the final report, “African Politics, African Peace,” on […]

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For the international mediator, it’s not his war: he is neither tainted by the crimes nor related to the victims. But his conscience is also on the table, and he may believe in peace not as an exercise in political calculus, but as a humanitarian necessity. He doesn’t choose the parties or the dispute, and his control is limited to skill in handling the agenda, and moral suasion.

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Seven journalists have been killed in South Sudan in 2015. Independent newspapers are closed down. Humanitarian agencies feed millions of South Sudanese people – even after peace is signed. Government spending on health and education remains near zero.

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The UN Security Council threatens sanctions on South Sudan’s leaders if they don’t sign a deal before the end of August 2015. The mediators draw up a ‘compromise peace agreement’ and both leaders sign, reluctantly. The agreement is a share-out of top jobs. The people must wait for democracy, justice, disarmament and development.

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The mediators remain stuck in a model of peacemaking that includes only the leaders of the warring parties. Between December 2013 and August 2015, there are eight summit meetings, usually in Addis Ababa, and near-continuous peace talks. But the mediators never once go to meet the South Sudanese people. Civil society’s views aren’t taken seriously.

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History shows that the Sudanese and South Sudanese only reach peace agreements when the budget is increasing. Every political leader goes to the peace table expecting to depart with more than the amount he arrived with. The problem facing the mediators was that South Sudan’s budget is shrinking rapidly.

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