The Anatomy of an African Peace Process

Author(s): Jeremy Astill-Brown
Date of publication: 01/08/2007
Synopsis: Violent conflict is widely accepted to have an adverse impact on African development. It destroys African capacity and vital human and physical capital. In recent years, the African Union and its partners have sought to build improved civilian and military capabilities to prevent, mitigate, manage and resolve conflict in Africa.

There is plenty of evidence of what works and what - in terms of capabilities and assets - is required to promote sustainable peace and to prevent a resurgence of conflict. But the vital role of a sound peace process is poorly understood. Indeed, every time the opportunity for a peace process occurs, the international community seems unable to recall the lessons of past failures.

Contrary to popular belief, peace agreements are rarely entered into for altruistic or humanitarian reasons. They normally result from a realisation by one or other party to a conflict that victory by purely military means is no longer possible.

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