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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Power-sharing in Africa
Editor:Sriram, Chandra Lekha
Periodical:Afrika Spectrum (ISSN 0002-0397)
Geographic terms:Africa
Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Sierra Leone
peace treaties
conflict resolution
Abstract:Power-sharing elements are present in most of the peace agreements concluded in Africa in the period 1999-2009. What can be achieved via power-sharing - sustainable peace, a halt in open hostilities, a shared openness for compromise, or none of these - is still open to debate. Above all, the short-term merits may contrast with long-term problems associated with a solution that is frequently elite-centred, driven by individual material interests and leaving a legacy of strong incentives to turn to arms in order to achieve something. In sum, it is still unclear what the simple recipes for sustainable peace would be and why some power-sharing pacts are more successful than others. Political power-sharing, rather than military, territorial or economic, is the most prominent in Africa. Power-sharing also varies in its inclusiveness, in its extent or degree, its implementation at the local level, and the relative prominence of negotiators, Finally, it may be useful to see power-sharing as a process and not as a one-off event and to value past, apparently 'failed' peace agreements, as part of a learning exercise by key actors. Stef Vandeginste's historically informed analysis of the peace process in Burundi since 1988 exemplifies this perspective. Chandra Lekha Sriram and Marie-Joëlle Zahar draw attention to the partly problematic attitudes of international actors to post-conflict peacebuilding. They identify three factors of particular salience for the appropriate implementation and durability of power-sharing arrangements: the nature of the State, the nature of the armed group, and the degree of third-party engagement. Anna K. Jarstad's contribution deals with the tension between power-sharing and elections. Helga Malmin Binningsbø and Kendra Dupuy investigate the role played by power-sharing in terminating the civil war in Sierra Leone. Kathrin Heitz looks at the local level of power-sharing, investigating the change of power relations in the long-time rebel-held city of Man in West Côte d'Ivoire. Einas Ahmed focuses on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) (2005) in Sudan and the dynamics of post-conflict relations between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Henry Amadi looks at Kenya's Grand Coalition Government, formed in the wake of the disputed December 2007 presidential elections, as an obstacle to urgent constitutional reform. The issue is introduced by Andreas Mehler. [ASC Leiden abstract]