Photo: Saila Huusko/CMI
On February 13, 2013 CMI organized a workshop ” Enabling, Supporting and Conducting Mediation - The Role of African Non-State Actors in Conflict Prevention” in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting brought together key African non-state actors around the continent to discuss mediation and conflict prevention together with African Union Liaison Offices.
The meeting was organized in the framework of CMI’s African Union Mediation Capacity Building Project, implemented together with ACCORD (African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Conflicts) and African Union Conflict Management Division. As part of the project CMI has mapped key African non-state actors who have concrete experience from either supporting or directly participating in mediation processes at the local, national, or sub-regional level.
As a follow-up to the finalized mapping (please find the mapping here), the participants of the Dakar seminar discussed the added value of African non-state actors in mediation through different cases presented by WANEP (West Africa Network for Peace Building), FAS (Femmes Africa Solidaritè), and the Christian Council of Lesotho. The participants also brainstormed how the AU could best benefit from the expertise of non-state actors in mediation and agreed, among other things, that non-state actors can support the AU for example by talking informally to the conflict parties and by providing technical expertise as part of the AU’s mediation support teams. The participants furthermore highlighted that long-term building of stable peace requires the involvement of not only AU member states and the AU but also a wide range of actors and groups, and that this relationship is a question of partnership rather than competition.