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Sub-Saharan Africa

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Conflicts in Africa are characterized by their regional impact; they are typically transnational and span across national boundaries. In this context, supporting regional approaches to conflict prevention becomes ever more important. The core principle underlying CMI’s work in Africa is that sustainable solutions to complex, and typically borderless conflicts require regional efforts and the participation of all levels of society. We support the organizations in promoting peace and security on the continent, help them build their mediation capacities, and assist in their mediation efforts.

In addition to our partnership with the African Union (AU), CMI has established institutional partnerships with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)


Strengthening African mediation capacities

CMI’s work in sub-Saharan Africa involves a number of regional partnerships and collaborations with actors at all levels.

Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa teams discuss regional dimensions of conflicts at an informal meeting at the Swedish mission.

CMI works to enhance the capabilities of African national, regional and sub-regional actors, and to provide operational, technical, and advisory support to official and unofficial peace processes, including those in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. CMI works with local and regional actors to identify and enhance the capacities of relevant actors in projects related to conflict analysis, mediation, gender, and inclusion. CMI also creates spaces for constructive dialogue among different actors and helps them address common concerns, such as cross-border security and sub-regional peace.

Our work is based on a number of regional partnerships and collaborations with actors at all levels. For instance, at the request of the African Union, CMI has since February 2014 provided operational support to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in building its mediation capabilities and strengthening its role in resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic. CMI is also part of a broader consortium that supports the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its mediation efforts, in line with ECOWAS’s own conflict prevention framework. The consortium provides high-level peace and security expertise to ECOWAS and aims to strengthen its mediation capabilities within the broader African Peace and Security Architecture. To further support peace and security efforts in the region, CMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

CMI has also established cross-regional working groups focused on the Great Lakes Region, the Sahel and the Red Sea in response to evolving political dynamics within these regions. Bringing together the specific regional expertise of CMI, the groups actively monitor the evolving regional dynamics providing good offices and analysis.

  • Conflicts in Africa are typically transnational and shaped by regional dynamics
  • CMI focuses on identifying and enhancing the capacities of African regional and sub-regional organisations in issues related to conflict analysis, mediation, gender, and inclusion
  • CMI supports the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and is part of a consortium that assists the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its mediation efforts
  • CMI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Supporting the African Union’s mediation capacities

CMI’s long-standing work with the African Union is centrally focused on further strengthening collaboration between the Union and the regional economic communities.

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Ambassador Nicolas Bwakira (left) together with CMI’s senior advisers David Kapya and Nureldin Satti discuss peace mediation in Africa at a seminar in Helsinki.

One of CMI’s most enduring partnerships is with the African Union, which has a key role in consolidating peace and security in Africa. Since 2009, CMI has worked with the Union’s Peace and Security Department and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) to improve the AU’s capacity to respond to conflicts through preventive diplomacy and peace mediation.

Because the AU works in a diverse and highly complex environment, it is imperative that CMI is flexible in its support of the Union’s activities. We provide the AU with needs-based operational support in contexts where such assistance can make a substantial contribution to the AU’s capacity to design, implement, and support any given mediation process. CMI’s support includes wide-ranging advisory service and other expertise, ranging from process design and facilitation of thematic areas including national dialogue, gender, and inclusion.

The fundamental focus of CMI’s work is on systematising, fostering, and solidifying collaboration between the African Union and the African Regional Economic Communities. For example, at the AU’s request CMI has since 2014 provided operational support to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to build ECCAS’ mediation capacities and strengthen its role in resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic. CMI’s support for the AU also includes conducting targeted country assessments and providing analytical briefings to various Union bodies. CMI also helps to strengthen coordination between civil society actors and regional and sub-regional organizations. In collaboration with African non-state actors, the AU, and the Regional Economic Communities, CMI has gathered data on the added value of non-state actors in mediation processes, and has produced recommendations for deepening and solidifying collaboration between non-state actors and regional organizations.

  • CMI’s strong partnership with the African Union continues with confidence
  • Together with our partners the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Conflicts (ACCORD), CMI augments the Union’s conflict response capacity through preventive diplomacy and peace mediation
  • CMI’s work focuses on furthering collaboration between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities
  • At the request of the AU, CMI has worked in many areas, including Madagascar, the Central African Republic, and Côte d’Ivoire

Strengthening the role of South Sudan political institutions in conflict resolution

The current fragile and dynamic transitional context in South Sudan requires careful attention to in order to build resilient institutions.

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CMI’s head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Itonde Kakoma with Tanzanian president Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and CCM secretary general Abdulrahman Kinana prior to the signing of the reunification agreement of the South Sudanese ruling party on 21 January in 2015.

CMI has been active in South Sudan since its independence in 2011, and has established a reputation as an independent and effective actor there. CMI works to create an environment that supports sustainable and inclusive implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS). The Agreement was signed in August 2015, and was the successful outcome of coalition-building and transformation of key leadership in South Sudan. The current fragile and dynamic transitional context requires attention in order to produce resilient institutions that can withstand the fragile economic and military situation.

We engage with key political actors relevant to the peace process towards dialogue and transformation across the political divide and between varying sectors and levels of governance. Existing partnerships with the political party, the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, and national think tanks provide entries into the national context. Broader CMI partnerships with the African Union and IGAD, as well as strong links to various actors in the international and regional community allow for appropriate sequencing, focus and coordination of CMI efforts within the broader context.

Our ongoing initiative with the South Sudan’s Woman’s Parliamentary Caucus models inclusive approaches to the ongoing peace process in South Sudan to wider stakeholders, and is geared to strengthening the role of parliament in conflict resolution, and the implementation of ARCISS specifically. CMI also supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Intra-Party Dialogue alongside the ruling parties of Tanzania (CCM) and South Africa (ANC). The Dialogue convened the principal groups of the SPLM Groups in Arusha, and resulted in the signing of the SPLM Reunification Agreement on January 21, 2015. CMI has since worked with the Co-Guarantors of the Agreement, CCM and ANC, to implement the Reunification Agreement.

  • CMI’s efforts are aimed at creating a environment that is conducive to sustainable and inclusive implementation of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS)
  • CMI’s ongoing initiative with the South Sudan’s Woman’s Parliamentary Caucus aims at strengthening the implementation of ARCISS and the role of parliament in conflict resolution
  • CMI also supports the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Intra-Party Dialogue alongside the ruling parties of Tanzania and South Africa

 

See our video on our work with female parliamentarians in South Sudan.