Currently viewing the tag: "mediation"

The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan have signed a series of eight agreements today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agreements address security, trade, oil, and citizenship. They are a major step forward.

However, several issues including the final status of Abyei area remain outstanding. The agreements also do not cover the conflict in the […]

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In these circumstances, the Darfur Peace Agreement became several overlapping bargains in an integrated political marketplace. It was a bargain between the GoS and the Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi (the sole rebel signatory), whereby they jointly sought to impose their authority on those who didn’t sign, by force of arms. It was a series of local bargains with individual rebels. It was a deal between the GoS and the U.S., in which neither trusted the other, and which didn’t last long.

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I argue that our mediation paradigms are still framed by the “old” war ideal type, in that mediators seek to achieve compromise between two adversaries with political objectives, each of which has decided it cannot fully defeat the other. In both “joint enterprise” wars and “political marketplace” conflicts, a third party mediation process is liable to become subsumed within that system of governance itself.

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The dominant interventionist approach to peace and security in Africa by-passes the hard work of creating domestic political consensus and instead imposes models of government favoured by western powers. The emergent African methodology offers a chance to develop locally-rooted solutions too often sidelined.

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President Bashir and President Kiir are due to meet in Addis Ababa on Friday. This is the last chance, not only for the two to snatch a deal on oil, but also to stop an escalation into a wider north-south war. The two must step back from the brink.

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