Comparative Mediation and Its Outcome in African Wars of Insurgency: Angola and Mozambique
This study has sought to establish why similar conflicts respond to mediation differently by examining the civil wars in Angola and Mozambique. Both conflicts attracted international mediation efforts and whereas the mediation in Mozambique yielded peace within two years of the start of mediation, the conflict in Angola persisted for fourteen years after the first attempt at mediation. The similarities between the two countries including a shared history of domination by the Portuguese, the attainment of independence the same year and the eruption of civil war characterized by external interference should have resulted in a similar response to mediation. That was not the case, as the Angolan war lasted fourteen years after the initiation of negotiations while in Mozambique it was two. The study has proceeded along the hypothesis that it was the idiosyncrasies of the leaders in both conflicts that caused the divergence in outcomes of the mediation. The results of the study revealed that mediation in the two cases was affected by four factors, namely; the ripe moment; choice of mediator; impartiality and neutrality of the mediator; the ownership of the mediation process and the implementation of the agreement. The differences in response to mediation of the two conflicts led to the conclusion that the idiosyncrasies of the individual leaders in the conflicts ultimately decided whether mediation succeeded or not. The study made three inferences regarding mediation: mediation efforts require an understanding of the psyche of the leaders involved in order to avert unnecessary prolongation of conflict; consultation with the constituents for the agreement is to be respected and that inclusive governance obviates the winner-take-all approach to elections which spawns conflict.
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