Modern African conflicts and international interventions : the prospects of indigenous peace-making mechanisms : a case of Darfur 2003-2014

This thesis empirically contributes to extant debates over the relevance of indigenous peacemaking methods in modern African conflicts. Reliant on the on-going Darfur conflict as case study and contingent on the study’s two embedded units of analysis being: African Union- United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the Institution of the Native Administration respectively, the study advanced the notion of complementarity as propounded by authors in the field of conflict transformation. The contended inadequacy of mainstream methods of intervention in civil wars across the globe was contextually investigated side by side John Paul Lederach’s postulations towards the adoption of the “reconciliation” component as the central focus of intervention in cases of prolonged violence. To corroborate or refute the propositions underlying Lederach’s comprehensive framework for intervention in protracted conflicts, the study, drawing from secondary as well as primary data derived from key informant interviews, group discussion and official UNAMID documents, employed the pattern matching technique to arrive at its findings: UNAMID does implement the authorised multidimensional mandate geared towards the actualization of durable peace for Darfur. The involvement of the Civil Affairs Section with the stakeholders on level 3 of the conflict, demonstrates a complementarity of efforts to douse tensions at all levels of the conflict, including on the level of intertribal rivalry on the grassroot. Darfur’s indigenous system for reconciliation and its custodians (Judiyya and Ajaweed) constituted the selected stakeholder for this study. These actors have been incorporated into UNAMID’s working framework for peace, albeit to the extent to which the GoS sanctions it. The thesis contends that regardless of a legitimacy crisis, indigenous methods maintain saliency at peace-making in a semi modern society like Darfur, notably, in the absence of reliable and effective formal peace-making arrangements. Nonetheless, the current politicised nature of the conflict constitutes an impediment to the effective use of indigenous methods on level three of the triadic conflict in Darfur. Accordingly, conflict transformation may be actualised based on the re-empowerment of contextual human resources and in conjunction with mainstream approaches, but most significantly also, contingent upon the unbiased support of the government of the day.



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