International Mediation in Africa: Experiences and Challenges

in International Negotiation
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Although informal and traditionally driven practices of mediation have existed for many generations, institutionalized and African-driven mediation became more important following the end of the Cold War. Mediation initiatives undertaken over the past 25 years, partly as a consequence of the increase in intra-state conflicts on the continent, have resulted in the generation of a deep body of knowledge and the evolution of a community of practitioners. This article examines two of the first post-1990 African-driven mediation processes – the Arusha Peace Process for Burundi and the Inter-Congolese Dialogue (icd) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (drc) – to highlight key lessons that emerged, including the choice of mediator, who to include in the mediation, the impact of regional and international dynamics on the mediation, the importance and challenges of addressing the root causes of the conflict in a mediation process, and the role of non-state actors and Track ii diplomacy.

International Mediation in Africa: Experiences and Challenges

in International Negotiation



African Union (2014). African Union Mediation Support Handbook. Durban: African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes.

ApuuliKasaija Phillip (2004). “The Politics of Conflict Resolution in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue Process.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 41: 6584.

BentleyKristina A. and Roger Southall (2005). An African Peace Process: Mandela South Africa and Burundi. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

BercovitchJacob and Scott Sigmund Gartner (2006). “Overcoming Obstacles to Peace: The Contribution of Mediation to Short-Lived Conflict Settlements.” International Studies Quarterly 504: 819840.

BercovitchJacob and Richard Dean Jackson (2009). Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-First Century: Principles Methods and Approaches. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

BettsWendy (1999). “Third Party Mediation: An Obstacle to Peace in Nagorno Karabakh.” SAIS Review 192: 161183.

BlaydesLisa and Jennifer De Maio (June 2010). “Spoiling the Peace? Peace Process Exclusivity and Political Violence in North-Central Africa.” Civil Wars 121: 328.

BoshoffHenri and Martin Rupiya (2003). “Delegates, Dialogue and Desperadoes: The ICD and the DRC Peace Process.” African Security Review 123: 2937.

CarayannisTatiana (2009). The Challenge of Building Sustainable Peace in the DRC. Background Paper. Geneva: Centre for Humanitarian DialogueJuly. Online at

Crisis Group (2000a). The Mandela Effect: Prospects for Peace in Burundi. International Crisis GroupAfrica Report N. 13. April 18. Online at

Crisis Group (2000b). Scramble for the Congo: Anatomy of an Ugly War. International Crisis GroupAfrica Report N. 26. December 20. Online at

Crisis Group (2002). Storm Clouds over Sun City: The Urgent Need to Recast the Congolese Peace Process. International Crisis GroupAfrica Report N. 44. May 14. Online at

CunninghamDavid E. (2006). “Veto Players and Civil War Duration.” American Journal of Political Science 504: 875892.

De CarvalhoVanessa Roque (2010). A Critical Descriptive Analysis of the Role of Track I and Track II Diplomatic Interventions: The Case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1998–200). Masters Thesis in International Studies Stellenbosch University. March. Online at

FalchÅshild and Megan Becker (2008). Power-sharing and Peacebuilding in Burundi: Power-sharing Agreements Negotiations and Peace Processes. Oslo: Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PIRO).

HautngimanaAdelinJenny Theorn and Anton Popic (2007). “Peace Agreements in Burundi: Assessing the Impact.” Conflict Trends ACCORD 3: 1924.

HavermansJos (2000). Burundi: Peace Initiatives Help Stem the Violence. November (Amsterdam: Doctors without Borders. 1 November. Online at

HipplerJochen (2008). “Democratization after Civil Wars – Key Problems and Experiences.” Democratization 153May: 550569.

GreigJ. Michael and Patrick M. Regan (2008) “When Do They Say Yes? An Analysis of the Willingness to Offer and Accept Mediation in Civil Wars.” International Studies Quarterly 524: 759781.

JonesBruce D. (2001). The Challenges of Strategic Coordination: Containing Opposition and Sustaining Implementation of Peace Agreements in Civil Wars. Policy Paper Series on Peace Implementation.New York: International Peace Academy and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Online at

KembaClaude (2004). Perspectives on the Role of Key Stakeholders in the DRC’s Political Transition. Occasional Paper N. 26. Electoral Institute of Southern Africa. November 26. Online at

KhadiagalaGilbert (2005). “Mediating civil conflicts in eastern Africa.” Politeia 243: 295314.

KhadiagalaGilbert (2007). “Mediation efforts in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.” Background Paper presented at the 2007 Oslo Forum. Humanitarian Dialogue. April 25–27. Online at

KyddAndrew (2003). “Which side are you on? Bias, credibility, and mediation.” American Journal of Political Science 474: 507611.

LederachJohn P (1997). Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. Washington, DCUnited States Institute for Peace.

LieberfeldDaniel (2003). “Nelson Mandela: Partisan and Peacemaker.” Negotiation Journal 193: 229249.

MapendereJeffrey (2005). “Track One and a Half Diplomacy and the Complementarity of Tracks.” Culture of Peace Online Journal 21: 6681.

MaozZeev and Lesley G. Terris (2006). “Credibility and Strategy in International Mediation.” International Interactions 324: 409440.

MayneMaureen (2005). Research Project on the Inter-Congolese Dialogue. Democratic Dialogue Network. Online at

MontvilleJoseph (1991). “Track Two Diplomacy: The Arrow and the Olive Branch: A Case for Track Two Diplomacy,” in Vamik D. VolkanJoseph V. Montville and Demetrios A. Julius editors The Psychodynamics of International Relations: Unofficial Diplomacy at Workvol. 2. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books161175.

MooreChristopher W. and Peter J. Woodrow (2010). Handbook of Global and Multicultural Negotiation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.

NanSusan A. (2003). “Track I Diplomacy.” Beyond Intractability website. Online at

NathanLaurie (2009). The Challenges Facing Mediation in Africa. Section 2 The Oslo Forum Network of Mediator – Africa Mediator’s Retreat 2009. Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Online at

PahadAziz (2005). “Perspectives on the DRC Transitional Government.” Speech delivered by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Aziz Pahad to the IGD ConferenceMay 30Pretoria. Online at

ParkJunhyuk (2010). “Conflict Management and Mediation Theory: South Africa’s Role in Burundi’s Civil Conflict,” International Area Review 133: 181201.

QuinnDavidJonathan WilkenfeldKathleen Smarick and Victor Asal (2006). “Power Play: Mediation in Symmetric and Asymmetric International Crises.” International Interactions 324: 441470.

RogierEmeric (2004). “The Inter-Congolese Dialogue: A Critical Overview,” in Mark Malan and João Porto Gomes editors Challenges of Peace Implementation: The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies. Online at

StedmanStephen John (1997). “Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes.” International Security 222: 553

SvensonIsak (2013). “Research on Bias in Mediation: Policy Implications.” Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs 21: 1726.

SwartGerrie and Hussein Solomon (2004). A Critical Assessment of Whether the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement Has Been a Success. Centre for International Political Studies. South African Institute of International Affairs. Online at

TinsleyCatherine H.Kathleen M. O’Connnor and Brandon A. Sullivan (2002). “Tough Guys Finish Last: The Perils of a Distribute Reputation.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 88: 621642.

un (1998). The Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa. Report of the un Secretary General (S/1998/318)April 13. Online at

un (2012). United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation. Department of Political Affairs, United NationsSeptember. Online at

un Security Council (2013). Statement by the President of the UN Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa. United Nations Security Council (S/PRST/2013/4). April 13. Online at

UryWilliam (1999). Getting to Peace: Transforming Conflict at Home at Work and in the World. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Van EckJan (2000). “Mandela Mediation breathes new life into Burundi peace process.” Burundi Report No. 2000/1. Cape Town: Centre for Conflict Resolution. Online at

Van de WalleNicholas (2000). “The Impact of Multi-Party Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Paper prepared for delivery at the Norwegian Association for Development Research Annual Conference, “The State under Pressure,” October 5–6, 2000Bergen, Norway. Online at

WalterBarbara F. (2002). Committing to Peace: The Successful Settlement of Civil Wars. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

WehrPaul and John Paul Lederach (1991). “Mediating conflict in Central America.” Journal of Peace Research 281: 8598.

WhitmanShelley (2003). “Balancing Act – An insider’s view of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.” African Security Review 124: 133135.

WolpeHoward (2011). Making Peace after Genocide: Anatomy of the Burundi Process. Peaceworks N. 70. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 17 17 11
Full Text Views 9 9 9
PDF Downloads 3 3 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0