LL#2 – The Darfur and Doha Peace Talks 2009 – 2014

Dear reader.

Good to have you back.

Today, let us take a brief look at the follow-up to the failed Darfur Peace Agreement (2006) and the Doha Document for Peace (2009-2011).

Background: Based on an initiative pushed by Qatar in 2010, the leaders of the major movements went to Doha for ceasefire talks[1]. Negotiators for most of the movements are in Doha, Qatar, for peace negotiations that are mediated jointly by the UN/AU. However, a key movement, SLM/A-Wahid is not participating, while the JEM pulled out in May 2010 despite signing a ceasefire agreement with GoS in March 2010[2].

In 2014, both the UN under UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Haile Menkerios, and the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki have attempted to revive the Doha process[3] and to unite the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF)[4] in order to proceed to a first cease-fire agreement.

Process: In 2009, the Doha talks began mediated by the AU/UN Joint Mediation Support Team (JMST) chaired by Ambassador Djibril Bassole, former foreign minister of Burkina Faso. Initially Bassole invited only the JEM; other rebel groups were allowed to join later, with some initially refusing because of the venue in an Arab state. By 2011, most of the secular rebel groups had also joined. Libya and the U.S. also held meetings with the rebel groups, the outcome of which was the unification of the groups previously associated with the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM). In July 2009, talks began between the JEM and the GoS at Doha. These talks led to trust-building agreements that were not honored. Shortly after these rounds of talk, bombing and fighting broke out in 2010 in Darfur. The humanitarian situation continued to decline as the number of IDP’s rose and food shortages increased. Then in January 2011, the government looked to strengthen its hand by negotiating with a new rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by Tigani Seisi, former governor of Darfur. At the talks held in Doha were also Thabo Mbeki, Djibril Bassoule and Scott Gration. These talks were seen by the other main Darfur rebel groups – the JEM and SLA – to be an attempt to divide and weekend Darfurian opposition and leaders of both groups spoke out against the talks, most notably on a visit to Juba to gain recognition from the Government of South Sudan. This in turn made the Government of Sudan fear that the SPLM might support the Darfur rebels .However, a draft agreement was signed by LJM and the GoS in January 2011. This was followed by a joint statement by the JEM and LJM reiterating their commitment to the Doha peace process. The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid did not participate .

Context: The pressure exerted by mediators and international actors on the parties at the Doha peace process was much softer than at the Abuja talks that led to the DPA. The focus at Doha was on building trust between the two parties and the mediators worked to make sure the environment was a safe space for that trust to be built. The mediators also did not draft a document to impose on the other parties as had happened at Abuja as the deadline drew near. Instead, mediators drafted initial documents in 2011 that were sent back and forth to all parties, ultimately resulting in a draft peace agreement in June 2011. However, even though the mediators focused on making the process inclusive and uniting the rebel groups, the JEM refused to sign this peace agreement, which became known as the DPA 2011. The AUHIP also initiated a Darfur Political Process with the goal of conducting Darfur-wide consultations leading up to a Darfur conference to draft a permanent settlement. The process was meant to come up with a settlement that had the mandate of the people because arriving at an inclusive peace process with all armed groups (the aim of Doha) proved very difficult. The lack of local support for the DPA could also have been a motivation for devising a process of canvassing Darfurians about the peace process. The DPP was not meant to overrule Doha or distract from it, and the Doha negotiations continued to focus on arriving at an agreement that would be accepted by all armed groups.

Outcome: On January 15th 2011, the AUHIP, Sudan, the United States, and the UNAMID held a meeting chaired by Mbeki. According to a statement released by the AUIP, the four parties discussed how to expedite the Darfur Political Process and move into the Darfur conference. The parties decided to initiate a Darfur Political Process on the ground to be carried out by the AUHIP and UNAMID In April the AUHIP met again to discuss the Darfur Political Process and concluded that it should begin on May 1, “in a manner concurrent with and complimentary to the Doha talks.”

To this day, this initiative has not succeeded in producing a sustainable outcome and durable peace.

[1] https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/darfur-peace-talks-begin-in-doha-between-government-and-ljm, accessed August 6th, 2015

[2] For a critical appreciation of the Doha process, see Williams and Simpson, 2011, 41 ff

[3] http://allafrica.com/stories/201411281404.html, accessed August 2nd, 2015

[4] The Sudanese Revolutionary Front is a composite of 3 main armed groups: SLA/Minni Minawi, SLA/Wahid, and JEM.

LL#1 – The 1996 Guatemala Peace Accords

Dear reader.

Good to have you back for our first Lesson Learned. This time, we are looking at the milestones of the 1996 Guatemala Peace Accords.

The negotiations for the Peace Accords were remarkable in the sense that the negotiating parties agreed on a complex agenda which also included the sincere and honest undertaking to address the underlying root causes of the conflict. The agenda entailed a range of themes and topics, from security sector reform, agrarian reform and the role of indigenous people and their cultural identity in a democratic society. Through a first agreement (Agreement on the Procedure for the Search of Peace with Political Means, Mexico, April 26 1991), parties decided on the content of the agenda. substantive issues first (democracy; human rights; refugees; truth commission; indigenous rights; economic, social and agrarian situation; role of the army; strengthening of civil authorities and institutions; constitutional reforms) and procedural issues afterwards (cease fire, demobilization of the insurgents and their rejoining of legal life). They also agreed in the nature of functions to be fulfilled by the mediator (called “conciliator”) Monsignor Rodolfo Quezada Toruño and those of the UN observer. While the parties agreed on defining the terms of democracy and the role of the rule of law (Agreement of Queretaro, Mexico, July 25 1991), the negotiating parties fell into a 2-year negotiation deadlock, mainly due to internal governance issues, the clinging on to power by spoilers from the military and further human rights abuses which posed a predicament to all parties involved. In 1994, parties resumed talks with the UN as the moderator of the talks and with the previous conciliator, Monsignor Quezada as the Go-To person to interact between the negotiation parties and Civil Society through the ASC (Framework Agreement to Resume the Negotiations between the Government of Guatemala and UNRG, Mexico, January 10 1994). Another innovation of the Framework Agreement is the decision to call upon the governments of Colombia, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Norway and Venezuela in order to constitute a “group of friends” of the Guatemalan peace process with the aim to give the necessary support to the UN moderator in view to speed up the process and to give it “security and firmness,” acting -at request of the parties- as “witnesses of honour” at the signature of the agreements, which -by the way -they did only at the signature of the final peace agreement held in Guatemala City last 29 of December, 1996. Following the Calendar Agreement (March 1994), parties engaged in comprehensive talks to tackle the first set of identified, substantive issues. The negotiation of this accord took more than two years and it provoked -along with the attempt of a coup d’ état by former president Jorge Serrano in May 1993- the paralyzation of the negotiations for almost six months in 1993. It also calls for the UN verification of the provisions and clauses of the Agreement, that allowed the installment since November 1994 of the UN mission for Guatemala, called MINUGUA. Following a range of other substantive and procedural accords, the final Peace Accord was signed in Guatemala City in December 1996 (Accord for a Firm and Lasting Peace, Guatemala City, December 29 1996). The Central American case of Guatemala clearly demonstrates that UN intervention in internal armed conflicts both as mediator and as monitor of the peace accords in order to verify the fulfillment of the agreements is a fundamental role of the UN that, as we have already mentioned, must be enhanced and promoted in the future. In other words, peace making – peace through negotiation and mediation- and peace building –peace through development and democratization- must be emphasized in internal armed conflict resolution.

The case also emphasizes the need to properly understand and map out the conflict dynamics and structures taking place at the state level in order to allow for the state to rethink its role as a guarantor of security and the enabler of a conducive peace building environment. Furthermore, the innovative regional cooperation and the range of agreements brought about an effective conflict prevention mechanism, ensure the protection and rights of the indigenous minorities and populations. Finally, special attention must be given to power-sharing arrangements if the analysis of the conflict reveals that at the core of the conflict it has been the contested space and power of the state in the first place. Without addressing these issues at the state level, institution-building will rather be ineffective in the sense that actual peace dividends and benefits are not felt.

Thank you for checking in today!

Lessons Learned – sharing comparative knowledge

Dear reader!

Good to have you back.

I am starting a new initiative of sharing lessons learned from my experiences in the field. These will be short summaries of the milestones of political mediation in a range of cases and I sharing these with you in order to keep up the knowledge sharing part, identifying key areas for further research, provide some new and not so new insights on mediation strategies and styles and invite to a debate whether mediation at the political level is a process conflict regulation or conflict resolution.

All Lessons Learned will start with the abbreviation LL followed by a hashtag and the number of the lesson. As always, feel free to comment, participate, discuss or to take it forward for further distribution and discussion.

See you then!

And enjoy the ride…

BRICS Survey

Hi there.
Being based at the BRICS Policy center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, allows me to research the role of the BRICS bloc in general and of emerging middle powers more specifically, in international peace and security.
To get a better understanding of its role and impact, I am conducting a survey about BRICS, with the intention to compile a report based on your inputs and for submission to policy makers for consideration in light of the BRICS 2016 summit.
Your inputs are much appreciated and throughout the next questions, you can comment freely, insert references or provide feedback as necessary that could shed a light on the question or even invite for further reflections.
At the end, there is a contact form and I would be very privileged to know about you, your contact details and if you allow me to follow up with you in case for further information or comments.

Here is the link to the questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/emergingBRICS

Thank you for participating in our survey. Your feedback is important.
Regards, Pascal da Rocha

GSUM hosts colloquium on legitimacy and resilience in national dialogue processes

On August 6th, 2015, the Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM) was glad to welcome its Fellow, Dr. José Pascal da Rocha (Columbia University) and Dr. Renata Giannini (Instituto Igarapé) for the colloquium “Legitimacy and resilience in national dialogue processes”. Researchers and practitioners of the field, as well as graduate and undergraduate students participated in the event, which took place at BRICS Policy Center, Rio de Janeiro.

Dr. da Rocha’s presentation was guided by the question of why so many national dialogue processes have proven to be ineffective in post-conflict settings. Understanding national dialogue as processes, such as roundtables and conferences, to foster integration, inclusion and sustainable peace, through wider political participation and active citizenry, Dr. da Rocha approached this question by looking at three key variables: legitimacy, resilience, and effectiveness. The underlying hypotheses for this perspective are that legitimacy of political actors enables effective national dialogue processes, and that resilience to external shocks leads to sustainability within this dialogue.

The intuition for investigating national dialogue through the lenses of legitimacy derives from the finding that many peace processes lack broad popular support, making them often an unstable and insecure enterprise. In Dr. da Rocha’s understanding, legitimacy is conferred not only through a set of pre-defined legal norms, but through the popular acceptance of authority, governance, and accountability, manifesting itself through diverse stated and unstated commitments.

Turning to resilience, Dr. da Rocha defines as the capacity to absorb negative events, to be able to make rapid adjustments to shocks, as well as the ability to create new structures in order to make the system sustainable. For effectiveness, Dr. da Rocha defines the ways that parties experience the outcome of a peace process as in accordance with procedural justice, as well as human rights, social outcomes and other standards of rule of law conduct, fostering security and preventing harm and being able to make a positive change to the wider social, political, or economic conflict dynamics in the local context.

On the examples of Mali, Yemen, and Nepal, Dr. da Rocha showed the shortcomings of these national dialogue processes in terms of effectiveness, legitimacy, and resilience. In the peace process of Mali, for instance, the criteria for effectiveness were not met, since the ceasefire agreement was written by external mediators and nor rights-based outcomes, such as the implementation of basic services, jobs or justice were achieved. Also in terms of legitimacy and resilience, the agreement is flawed, since parties from the periphery of the country were not adequately represented in the peace process, prioritizing the restoration of order, but ignoring the needs for change of many populations. Also in Nepal and Yemen, similar problems prevail: particular parties remain excluded from the negotiation table, and poverty and gender-based exclusion make the countries vulnerable to future conflicts.

In his conclusion, Dr. da Rocha argued that the creation of an enabling environment is directly linked to the creation of an enabling peacebuilding environment. Therefore, peacebuilding initiatives should target the countries’ institutional capacities, in order to stimulate the development of local human capacities and collective social institutions, so that societies are better able to manage social change.

Mediation expert with OSCE


Welcome back!

Just wanted to share that I have the honor and the privilege to having been selected to the OSCE Mediation and Dialogue Expert roster, vetted and verified.

As a consultant, I be will working under the general supervision of the Deputy Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre for Operations Service and in close co-operation with the OSCE Mediation Support Team. Specific tasks may be developed based on a given assignment. The consultant will be tasked with:

  • Liaising with the CPC/Operations Service Mediation Support Team to provide tailor-made expertise supporting OSCE mediation, dialogue or crisis response efforts;
  • Providing expertise that is relevant in mediation processes, including gender responsiveness, mediation and dialogue process design, power-sharing, management of natural resources, national minorities, ceasefire arrangements;
  • Supporting the work of high-level OSCE representatives leading mediation, dialogue and crisis response efforts;
  • Designing and conducting interactive training, coaching and retreat sessions related to mediation and dialogue facilitation;
  • Preparing background notes on mediation and dialogue-related topics;
  • Reporting on the specific assignment as well as identifying future needs;
  • Of course, any other relevant tasks, as needed.

I am looking forward to the challenge, to working with colleagues, and to provide my best to a constructive outcome of peace processes.

Colloquium at BRICS Policy Center on National Dialogue Processes

Hi there.

Welcome back! This is to notify you about a colloquium I will be giving, being privileged as a fellow at the Global South Unit for Mediation, BRICS Policy Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on legitimacy and resiliency in national dialogue processes.

This colloquium is an in-depth continuation of a presentation given on the same topic and using Mali as a case study at the 28th Annual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, Clearwater, Florida.

Here is the link to the colloquium and for registering: http://bricspolicycenter.org/homolog/agenda/interna/840?secao=eventosFuturos

National dialogue processes have taken place in a number of countries going through political transitions. Designed to expand participation in political transitions beyond elites, their ambition is to allow diverse interests to influence transitional negotiations. One body of literature on national dialogue and reconciliation links the process of national dialogue to the question of legitimacy and sustainable peace in peace processes, with a focus on representation, accountability and governance. However, success stories linking legitimacy and resilience to effective national dialogue processes remain elusive and anecdotal at best, with a rather bleak score sheet when assessing the peace dividend and the level of national ownership, with no rigorous scholarship in the literature linking process to outcomes.
This colloquium will share lessons learned using 3 case studies (Mali, Yemen, Nepal) to investigate the notions of legitimacy and effectiveness as mediators between the local and the national dialogue processes, incl. the scaling up of the concept of resilience to the national level in order to contribute to a renewed debate on the key elements and components of durable peace. Since it speaks about legitimacy at the political level, participation of civil society, and the research method used to explore the phenomena, this colloquium is suitable for policy-makers, academics, civil society representatives and students of all grades alike.

Colombia’s path to peace – part 1

When negotiations between the Colombian government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerilla (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) began on Oct. 8th, 2012, both parties to the negotiations and the general public displayed a healthy amount of distrust and skepticism. Government representatives weren’t quite sure if the revolutionaries were sincere in their wish and will to conduct an honest dialogue and not to use the talks as an insincere tactical motive to rally once more against the government. On the other side of the table, the revolutionaries couldn’t possibly count on the government willingness to provide sustainable solutions and to work toward compromise. And there is a rich history of failures: FARC used the negotiations with the government of Patranas (1998-2002) to reorganize its combat units (Frentes). During the days of the Gaviria government (1990-1991), both sides used to overextend their demands to the point where any suggestion or demand was deemed unacceptable by the other side. The dialogue between the rebels and the Betancur government (1984-1986) failed as the military didn’t cease hostilities.
The killing of thousands of members of the Union Patriotica party, whereby many FARc rebels organized themselves into one party during the negotiations with the Betancur government is not forgotten by the FARC. And this lack of trust and confidence in the motives of the other side is mirrored in the attitudes and negotiation behaviors of the current Havanna Talks: no official cease fire has been brokered or announced and the agreement on negotiated items is only valid when and if there is a complete and comprehensive agreement – called single undertaking in peace agreement terms.

However, the negotiations are quite time consuming and lengthy. Hence, the most icky points have not been talked about yet and President Juan Manuel Santos has invested its entire political capital into the dialogue process, yet he is becoming increasingly impatient and unnerved by the slow progress of the talks. Though both sides had announced a truce which didn’t hold, and the upcoming municipal elections are perceived as a braking pad since FARC isn’t confident that the safety and livelihoods of its disarmed and demobilized fighters can be secured. In many of the rural areas, the government and military lacks presence and therefore it cannot make guarantees as to the security of demobilized fighters since local and regional elites do not feel tied by any of the ceasefire provisions between the government and the FARC. And rightly so: the perception and general question is that this is a peace process for the sake of the government yet the general population in both urban and rural areas and in the region at large needs to support the peace process. Beyond the population, important stakeholders such as the military, economic and political elites need to be tackled as well so as to not become spoilers to the national dialogue process.

Beyond the actors mentioned above, the question still remains as to the role of a smaller rebel group, the ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional), and its current exclusion from the talks. It can be argued that it would be a stretch to assume that it would automatically and without preconditions accept any agreement brokered between the two major parties in the Havanna Talks.

in the next post, I will give an appreciation of the current negotiation results

Political mediation 101 (through the use of case studies)

Dear reader.

For the politically inclined, I created this very simple and straightforward overview of the key steps of political mediation, making not use of theory but of practice, for your consideration. As always: comments and critiques and additions are welcome!

Mediation entry

Step1: Preparing entry

Case study: Burundi mediation

Mediator is identified and commissioned:

The initiative to begin the process of peace negotiations for Burundi was mainly made in 1995 by Governments and Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region. In other words, it was a Regional Initiative. The Late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere was requested to mediate in the Burundi peace negotiations in 1995. (Mpangala, 2004: 14)

Nyerere died in 1999 and former South African President Nelson Mandela was appointed as the new mediator in November 1999. Mandela had his first meeting with Burundians parties on January 16, 2000 to provide a new impetus to the peace process. (Kitevu and Lind, 2001:2)

The profile of the mediator is presented to the parties for consideration and endorsement

After studying the situation in Burundi Mwalimu accepted the responsibility as mediator and began work in April and May 1996 in Mwanza. Mwalimu was chosen because he had long experience on the affairs of Burundi as a nationalist leader and President of the United Republic of Tanzania. As a retired President he was a respected national and international figure with enough knowledge and wisdom to enable him play the role as mediator for Burundi. He was also accepted by the Burundi negotiating parties in Mwanza and later on in Arusha. (Mpangala, 2004: 14)

Despite his limited knowledge on Burundi politics, Mandela also came in as the second mediator. While Nyerere was viewed as having been opposed to “whites”, Mandela scarcely opposed to “apartheid” had sought reconciliation with them. It is precisely this reputation as reconciler which paved his way as Nyerere’s successor. The parties argued that Mandela had the capability to identify and correct a number of weaknesses in the methodology and management. Also, coming from a regional super-power, Mandela was considered influential to the process bearing in mind that South Africa had the military capacity to support any agreement (Bentley & Southall, 2005: 68; Daley, 2007: 341)

Step2: Entering the conflict scene

First direct contact between mediator and parties

First meet the parties separately: Nyerere insisted on assurance that Burundian Politicians were both ready to engage in mediation. To receive this assurance, he made quiet visits to Burundi in October and December 1995, where he spoke with the Government, all major parties, civil society, religious leaders, the army, and former Presidents Bagaza and Buyoya. (Arusha I: the background to the Arusha Peace Accord. Available at www.hsrcpress.ac.za/downloadpdf.php)

Mandela had known little about Burundi before he was drawn into the process. He therefore spent much time initially following his appointment as mediator getting to know the delegates and leaders of the different parties and factions. He visited Burundi in preparations of the negotiations, and made two visits outside the capital to meet different stakeholders to the conflict. The negotiations had to be included now if an ongoing peaceful settlement was to be agreed upon (Van Eck, 2000)

Secure a commitment to start mediation: After studying the situation in Burundi, Mwalimu accepted the responsibility as mediator and began work in 1996 in Mwanza, Tanzania. (Mpangala, 2004:13)

Step 3: Mediator analyses parties’ positions and clarify his/her assumptions

Mwalimu preferred to use the methodology of facilitation as an entry point to the mediation process. Facilitation created a special relationship between the facilitator and the negotiating parties such that it provided greater freedom, openings and space for the negotiating parties to make decisions and arrive at consensus. Given the nature of conflicts in Burundi the facilitation approach was viewed by Mwalimu as the best option (Butiku, 2004).

Mediation Middle phase

Step 4: Broadening stakeholder’s engagement 

The issues negotiated were based on five areas of concern, i.e.;

  • The nature of conflict and the problems of genocide and exclusion and solutions to these.
  • Democracy and good governance, dealing with the transitional institutions: the institutional, judicial and administrative systems and questions regarding justice and impunity
  • Peace and security, the cessation of hostilities, the terms of a permanent ceasefire and the question of the security forces.
  • Reconstruction and economic development

Guarantees of the implementation of the agreement            (Daley, 2007: 343; Mokoena, 2005: 65)

In Mwanza in 1996 there were only three negotiating parties that is the government, the UPRONA Party and the FRODEBU party. This means that many parties to the conflict were excluded. After the second session the negotiations broke down due to disagreements on basic principles of the negotiations and the coup d’etat on the 25th June, 1996. When the negotiations resumed in Arusha in 1998 the number of negotiating parties was greatly expanded to include the Government, the National Assembly and seventeen political parties. Altogether there were nineteen negotiating parties. Towards the end of the negotiations a fifth committee to deal with issues of implementation of the peace agreement guarantees was established. In each committee all the 19 negotiating parties were represented. Periodically committees presented their work to plenary sessions for overall discussions. (Mpangala, 2004:14)

Later during the negotiations, parties focused on two main issues:

  • the question of ceasefire and secession of hostilities
  • leadership of the transition period

Step 5: Facilitating negotiations of appropriate options

Mediator assists parties to generate options: Human Rights Watch has noted the “moral tone” which former President Nelson Mandela adopted when he succeeded Nyerere as mediator in the Burundi peace process. From the moment he took on the role in December 1999, he warned parties of the dangers of wasting time whilst ordinary Burundians were dying.

The rebels’ exclusion was widely regarded as the weakest link in the negotiations, as without their participation and agreement a permanent peace was likely to prove elusive. Mandela has secured the agreement in principle to enter negotiations, albeit with conditions, of not only CNDD-FDD, but also the FNL. This won him the respect and praise of President Buyoya who himself agreed to meet with the rebels in South Africa in July 2000. (HSRC Report 1999-2002: Africa: Burundi, http:/www.hrw.org)

Like Nyerere, Mandela used his international status to garner support for the process and to bring pressure to bear upon the Burundian players to come to an agreement. This facilitated in parties generating options to reach an agreement, such as:

  • advocating ethnic power-sharing solutions such as the idea of the presidency revolving between Tutsi and Hutu
  • the demographic composition of the army should reflect that of the population, therefore integration in the army should be based on equal representation of Hutu and Tutsi in order to allay the latter’s fears of domination
  • utilizing the notion of “sufficient consensus” to ensure an inclusive negotiation forum between all parties
  • Cease-fire agreement

(HSRC Report 1999-2002: Africa: Burundi, http:/www.hrw.org)

Shift of viewpoints from position to interests and needs: First, the FRODEBU militants suspect Colonel Epitace Bayaganakandi of some responsibility in the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye in October 1993. The militants accuse him of having become aware, several days in advance, of the plotting against the elected President, having been forewarned by the gendarmerie, and of having done nothing to save the head of state. They also accuse Epitace Bayaganakandi of being responsible for the killings in the ‘triangle of death’in the Gihosha quarter, situated to the North of the town of Bujumbura, perpetrated by members of the national army, in February 1994, a few days after the investiture of President Cyprien Ntaryamira. (ICG Africa Report No29, 14 May 2001)

However, the attempts to control the rebellion during the Arusha process, ‘in the name of imposition of the principle of the interests of the majority’, were not fruitful. Despite its efforts and repeated meetings with the rebels since Autumn 2000, FRODEBU, which obtained postponement of the threat of regional sanctions in order for FRODEBU to intervene with the rebels, did not succeed in imposing its political leadership on the armed movements.

Step 6: Designing and constructing an agreement

Case study: The Arusha Peace Agreement

From Nyerere to Mandela, parties in the Burundi conflict generated options for a peaceful agreement know as the Arusha Peace Agreement signed in Arusha on the 28th day of the month of August 2000.

The Parties acknowledge the need for the Agreement to be accompanied by and to be a condition for lasting peace and a cessation of violence in Burundi. The Parties accordingly call upon armed wings of non-signatory parties to suspend hostilities and violent actions immediately, and invite such non-signatory parties to participate in or engage in serious negotiations towards a cease-fire. The Parties agree that in addition to this public invitation included herein, they will as a priority take all reasonable and necessary steps to invite such Parties to participate in cease-fire negotiations. (HSRC Report 1999-2002: Africa: Burundi, http:/www.hrw.org)

Mediation Closure

Step 7: Monitoring Mechanisms

Following the groundwork by former mediators Nyerere and Mandela; the implementation and subsequent agreements to the Arusha accord were left to the current mediator Jacob Zuma. The accord for Burundi provided for a 30-month power-sharing arrangement irrespective of the fact that much of the details regarding implementation of the Accord were not decided. As such, Mandela’s role was to continue well into 2001 through meetings with the various parties until agreement could be reached on the nature of the power-sharing agreement, as well as the leadership of the interim government. (Bentley & Southall, 2005: 79; Africa: Burundi, http:/www.hrw.org)

The peace process and other areas of agreement in the Accord were to be overseen by a 29-member Implementation Monitoring Committee to be comprised of representatives of all 19 parties to the negotiations; Burundi Civil Society, member countries to the African Union (formerly known as the Organisation of the African Union). (HSRC Report 1999-2002: Africa: Burundi, http:/www.hrw.org)

Once parties have reached an agreement, an implementation plan has to be put in place to oversee that parties do not deviate from the conditions of the agreement. Lack of implementation plan often leads to an outbreak of conflict. As such, parties should be made aware of the challenges that may befall implementation so that they may consider coming up with monitoring mechanisms or indicators that may be used to monitor the implementation process. The international community may assist in monitoring the agreement by monitoring ceasefires. In Burundi, the IMC was established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the accord. South African deployed a protection force in the year 2001 with the task of protecting returning politicians. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, the African Union proposed that there be established a peace-keeping mission that will be focused on monitoring hostilities as well as observing the security commitments that were agreed to by both parties.

Step 8: Implementation agreements

Implementation agreements elaborate on the details of comprehensive or framework agreements.

The goal of implementation agreements is to work out the specifics and mechanics of operationalizing comprehensive agreements. They come in varied forms – for example verbal notes, exchanges of letters and joint public statements. In most elaborate implementation agreements, clauses on monitoring, evaluation, verification and dispute resolution are an integral part of the drafting procedure.

Implementing agreements means that the conflict parties act on them, hopefully bringing the dispute in question to an end. Most agreements require that parties carry out specific actions and behave in certain ways. The success of an agreement, therefore, depends on the implementation strategy and the process of putting the plan into operation. It also depends on the degree to which parties feel a sense of ownership of an agreement.

Success depends on:

  • willingness and ability of parties to the conflict to comply with the agreement
  • management of expectations
  • input of locals into planning and design of the agreement
  • monitoring and observing implementation procedures and processes
  • enforcement procedures in cases of non-compliance with the agreement
  • role and power of external monitor(s).

After the Arusha peace process, the Government of Burundi signed a series of ceasefire

agreements as a follow-up to the process. These ceasefire agreements were signed

by the government and the rebel groups that had not taken part in the Arusha peace

process, namely the CNDD-FDD and PALIPEHUTU-FNL.

The ceasefire agreements outlined below were signed between 2002 and 2008:

– 2002 Ceasefire between the transitional government and the minority CNDD-FDD faction led by Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiy, and the minority FNL faction led by Alain Mugabarabona

– 2003 The Pretoria Protocol on Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing in Burundi

– 2003 The Pretoria Protocol on Outstanding Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing Issues in Burundi (Pretoria II Protocol)

– 2006 The Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement, signed in Dar es Salaam between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL

– 2006 Dar es Salaam Agreement of Principles Towards Lasting Peace, Security and Stability in Burundi

– 2008 The Magaliesburg Declaration on the Burundi Peace Process


Prof. Gaudens P. Mpangala, 2004.Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding in Africa as a Process. Case studies of Burundi and he Democratic Republic of Congo. University of Dar Es Salam. The MWALIMU NYERERE Foundation

Arusha I: the background to the Arusha Peace Accord. Available at www.hsrcpress.ac.za/downloadpdf.php

Butiku, J., 2004, The Facilitation of the Burundi Peace Negotiations. In: Mpangala, G. P., and B. U. Mwansasu (eds), Beyond Conflict in Burundi, Dar es Salaam: Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation

Human Rights Watch World Reports 1999-2002: Africa: Burundi, http://www.hrw.org.

International Crisis Group (ICG) Africa Report No29, 14 May 2001

Kitevu R. and Lind J., 2001. “Enhancing the Arusha Agreement : Environmental aspects of the Burundi Peace process”, African Center for Technologies Studies, Vol1, n2 .