Monday, May 31, 2010

"African Mediation Efforts Have Mixed Results"

I'm quoted in Nico Colombant's VOA story today, "African Mediation Efforts Have Mixed Results." Here are the quotes:
A former U.S. ambassador in Africa, David Shinn, says having a deal signed has also proven much easier than implementing its content.

"There are many examples of failed mediation in Africa, but there are also a fair number of examples of what appeared initially to be successful mediation, and then it came apart in the implementation," said David Shinn.

He cites Somalia as an example. More than a dozen mediation attempts in Somalia have failed to bring peace and stability.

Shinn says he is worried about the future of a comprehensive peace agreement between North and South Sudan. It calls for South Sudan to vote on independence from the North in a referendum next year. But critical issues have yet to be resolved, including those involving water, oil and borders.

Shinn points to Mozambique, where a 16-year war ended with a peace deal in 1992, as a case study for successful mediation. The former ambassador says it is very important for major world powers, such as the United States, China and Russia to be involved in the implementation stage.

"So there is some real muscle behind the implementation effort," he said. "So by all means, you have to have that commitment and that commitment has often been lacking."

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