Currently viewing the tag: "mediation"

In Total Destruction of the Tamil Tigers: The Rare Victory of Sri Lanka’s Long War, Paul Moorcraft recalls a Buddhist saying: “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” In Sri Lanka, if history is to be written by the victors – President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his followers [...]

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Review of: John Young, The Fate of Sudan: The Origins and Consequences of a Flawed Peace Process, London, Zed Books, 2012.

One of the truisms about Sudan is that the more you know about the country, the harder it is to write anything that makes sense. Those who have hardly been there have no [...]

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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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