In South Sudan’s political marketplace, a bad peace deal—or a badly-implemented peace deal—can be as bad as no deal at all. A collapsing peace deal has the potential of unleashing exceptionally severe violence.
According to the ‘do no harm’ precept, those who design peace agreements and steer their implementation, should not allow optimism of the […]Continue Reading →
This article systematically examines the varying effectiveness of African and non-African third parties in mediating civil wars in Africa. Drawing on data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, supplemented with unique data on mediation efforts, which together cover all mediation efforts in civil wars in Africa between 1960 and 2012, this article presents quantitative evidence supporting the effectiveness of African third parties. Compared to non-African third parties, African third parties are far more likely to conclude peace agreements and these peace agreements are more likely to be durable. Most effective, however, are mixed mediation efforts in which there is coordination between African and non-African third parties, but in which African third parties take the lead. The phrase, ‘African solutions to African challenges’ should thus be understood as a division of labour and responsibilities, rather than an excuse for non-African third parties to ignore Africa’s problems or African third parties acting on their own.Continue Reading →
There is an international norm of inclusion in peace processes and political settlements. This is recent. Twenty years ago, the participation of unarmed political parties, civil society actors and women, was only a moral principle and an aspiration, disputed by political elites and questioned by conflict mediators. Today it has become a norm of international political practice, in the sense that people in conflict-affected countries demand inclusion, the international sponsors of peace processes seek it, and protagonists in conflicts tactically call upon it, occasionally to good effect. Inclusion is not law. It is still contested, but its challengers are in retreat. This paper examines what has occurred.Continue Reading →
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 […]Continue Reading →
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.Continue Reading →
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.Continue Reading →
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