How African Organisations Support Peace Agreement Implementation

AU, IGAD and SADC mediation, guarantees and monitoring practices in Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe

Author: Michael Aeby

Over the past 20 years, the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (REC) have become pivotal peacemakers in Africa. The intergovernmental organisations, which jointly established the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), have facilitated numerous peace agreements to contain violent intrastate conflicts. These agreements, however, often collapse without being implemented. This report explores how African organisations support the implementation of framework agreements for transitions through continued mediation, guarantees and monitoring. To this end, it traces how the AU, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) supported the implementation of framework agreements in Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

The case studies highlight the importance of independent, well-capacitated and credible implementation monitoring mechanisms (IMM) to inform the work of mediators and guarantors, keep track of progress, resolve disputes and render transitional mechanisms transparent to signatories and societal stakeholders. The outcome of the transitions and implementation support by the African organisations was mixed. Constraints included the organisations’ low capacity to provide sustained support, discords among member states and within the international community, poorly designed and resourced transitional mechanisms and, most importantly, signatories’ limited commitment to implement agreements.

The Global Transitions Series looks at fragmentations in the global order and how these impact peace and transition settlements. It explores why and how different third-party actors – state, intergovernmental, and non-governmental – intervene in conflicts, and how they see themselves contributing to reduction of conflict and risks of conflict relapse. The series critically assesses the growth and diversification of global and regional responses to contemporary conflicts. It also asks how local actors are navigating this multiplicity of mediators and peacebuilders and how this is shaping conflict outcomes and post-conflict governance.