CSRC Working Paper 5

No Ownership, No Peace: the Darfur Peace Agreement
Working Paper No : 5 (series 2)
Author(s) : Laurie Nathan
Date : September 2006

The author is a Visiting Fellow with the Crisis States Research Centre and a Research Associate in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. He previously headed the Centre for Conflict Resolution at UCT. This paper is based on the author's participation in the Darfur mediation process and critically examines the process of negotiations and mediation in Abuja between November 2005 and May 2006. It analyses the use of deadline diplomacy and the failure of the African Union and its international partners to distinguish between getting the parties concerned to sign a peace agreement and obtaining their genuine consent to its terms and execution. It also considers the psycho-political dynamics, balance of power and other factors which gave rise to the parties' reluctance to enter into real negotiations, as well as exploring the ways in which the use of deadline diplomacy prevented the mediators from doing a successful job.