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The Limitations of Peace Negotiations and Identity Constructs in Conflict-Prone Countries in Africa: A Focus on the Central African Republic (CAR)

  • Wendy Isaacs-Martin
Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 71)

Abstract

With the ultimate objective of examining violence and terrorism in Africa, this chapter attempts to analyze critically the efficacy and sustainability of peace agreements and the resultant socially cohesive identities. It identifies the guiding principles of peace negotiations, revealing how political leaders and armed groups alike exploit and manipulate these systems. Enforcing peace agreements in conflict prone African countries is highlighted along with the responsibilities of external stakeholders and the motivations of political and militia leadership. The second part of the chapter offers detailed descriptions of the failure of peace negotiations in the Central African Republic (CAR). Since 2013, this has been popularly portrayed as a bifurcated conflict between Muslims and Christians. In a country beset with militias, undisciplined military forces, rebel forces and defense units, there is the persistent threat of social unrest, violence and political instability. Political leadership and militias are intertwined and loyalties shift repeatedly between the groups and the leaders. The question posed is whether the manner in which militia leadership is targeted for negotiation offers the best way in which to facilitate peace and nation building in a war-torn country? A number of peace negotiations dating from 1997 to 2015 are analyzed in this study. The findings are that a dogged universal application does necessarily render effective long-term resolutions. Governments and external stakeholders must consider the motivations, and the socio-political ramifications, of all armed groups when initiating negotiations, peace deals and power sharing. Militias do not target other armed actors but innocent civilians and regardless of the peace agreements and initiatives little has changed in the rationale of the conflict.

Keywords

Peace negotiations Central African Republic (CAR) Militias Political leadership Negotiations Peace consolidation 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archi Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI), University of South Africa (UNISA)PretoriaSouth Africa

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