Panel Discussions - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Mozambique, 20 Years After the Peace Agreement
Mozambicans’ focus on local ownership, aided by the Community of Sant’Egidio’s facilitation efforts, transformed Mozambique from a country ravaged by civil war into a possible model for sustainable peace. This was the main reflection of an IPI roundtable discussion on October 23rd, which was co-organized with George Mason University.
Download this as a meeting brief
Meeting participants, some of whom had been actively engaged in the peace process, reflected on four key themes:
- Local ownership was essential for lasting peace. The changing world of the early 1990s had a significant impact on Mozambique’s 16-year civil war. With the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) lost a key external sponsor; with the collapse of the Soviet Union, so did the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO). A peace process became possible when Mozambican leaders acknowledged that they needed to shift from one-party rule to multiparty rule. Over time, this realization allowed the parties to engage in building a national consensus. The focus of political discourse has gradually shifted from the allegiances that fueled the civil war to addressing national needs.
- Mozambique may offer a mediation model. External conditions were ripe for a peace agreement in Mozambique: Security Council alignment, foreign aid, and the end of the Cold War played an important role. But with local actors ready to find their own solution, Sant’Egidio and other external actors played a valuable role in getting them to the table time and again, and facilitating an agreement amenable to both. Not only did the religious association provide a location for the Rome General Peace Accords, it also fostered an atmosphere that encouraged parties to internalize the agreement so that it could be sustained over time.
- Peace took precedence over accountability. Mozambique stands out as a case where the parties chose to forgo accountability for the sake of peace. In a time before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the decision to provide amnesty to fighters on both sides was supported by the UN, the US, and other interested parties—and was considered necessary to seal the agreement. Nonetheless, informal and traditional forms of reconciliation have since occurred at local levels.
- Growth, poverty, and inequality present challenges. Although Mozambican schoolchildren today have shoes on their feet and books in their backpacks, poverty remains high and foreign investment may be exacerbating inequality. Leaders should ensure that large-scale investments reach local communities and continue building a political culture where institutions will safeguard rights for all.
The Global Observatory
New Threats in Africa Mean New Questions for Peacekeeping: Interview with Patrick Cammaert
UN peacekeepers are encountering threats never seen before in Africa, and it may be time to re-examine peacekeeping, said Major General Patrick Cammaert.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 26, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in Central African Republic
How to prevent catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) was the topic of an event at the International Peace Institute on November 26th. Ten months after a military coup brought the current transitional government to power, the Central African Republic is wracked by massive human rights violations, sectarian violence, attacks on civilians, and reprisals by self-defense groups.
December 10, 2013
Human Rights in Peacekeeping
December 09, 2013
Video: Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]