Resources

Resources

The Oslo Forum process strives to critically examine the current practice of conflict mediation. The themes raised at each event are intended to provoke discussions, suggest interesting questions and propose new or unconventional approaches. 

Background papers and interviews are prepared prior to the retreats to set the tone for discussions and to sensitise participants to current debates and innovative ideas.

Background papers and interviews do not represent the positions of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).

Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007 - Background Paper - Mediation in African conflicts: The gap between mandate and capacity
Abstract

Given the frequency with which high-level peacemaking is undertaken in Africa, there is surprisingly little discussion in official circles about the science and art of mediation.

The first part of this paper examines some of the specific problems in this regard: insufficient expertise in mediation; inadequate institutional support for mediators; no institutional memory and learning; and no viable concept of mediation. The second part of the paper proposes the establishment of specialist mediation units in the AU and regional organisations as a means of addressing these problems.
 

by
Laurie Nathan,
22 Apr 2007
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007 - Background Paper - Power-sharing: A conflict resolution tool?
Abstract

This paper briefly presents the key characteristics of power-sharing arrangements and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of such mechanisms. It argues that, indeed, power-sharing arrangements are often necessary for settlements to be reached. However, it also argues that such arrangements should be transitional and that, during transitional periods, efforts should be made to expand political participation beyond the members of power-sharing governments. Thus, mediators need to be aware of the pitfalls of power-sharing agreements and, when possible, to consider ways in which agreements mayencourage wider political participation during transitional periods.

by
Katia Papagianni,
22 Apr 2007
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007 - Background Paper - Mediation efforts in Somalia
Abstract

This paper reviews and assesses the past eighteen years of external mediation efforts aimed at ending Somalia's protracted civil war and reviving a central government. It identifies lessons learned, summarizes ongoing debates about the most appropriate mediation approaches, and inventories the range of obstacles and constraints which have prevented successful mediation of the Somalia conflict.

by
Ken Menkhaus,
22 Apr 2007
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007 - Background Paper - Under the Acacia: Mediation and the dilemma of inclusion
Abstract

Fostering peace through mediation involves a number of complex and important challenges. A key aspect of any mediation process is the inclusion of primary and secondary actors. This paper examines indigenous approaches to mediation and assesses how they address the issue of inclusion. It discusses examples of indigenous mediation from the Tiv community in Nigeria, the guurti system in Somaliland and the application of ubuntu to mediation and reconciliation found predominantly in Southern Africa. It argues that official mediation processes limit the number of interlocutors in order to protect a process and encourage expediency, but as a result, undermine their own legitimacy. In contrast, indigenous processes are more inclusive, but tend to be slow in bringing about agreement. In its final section, the paper proposes a possible ‘‘hybrid approach', which might incorporate elements from indigenous and official processes to create greater thresholds of inclusion while maintaining important efficiencies.

by
Tim Murithi and Paula Murphy,
22 Apr 2007
Africa Mediators' Retreat 2007 - Background Paper - Bringing peace to West Africa: Liberia and Sierra Leone
Abstract

This paper discusses the tortured peace processes in the West African states of Liberia and Sierra Leone, delineating lessons learnt from the complicated and prolonged diplomacy and external military interventions that characterised these efforts.
In important ways, though each of the conflicts was driven by their own internal dynamics, there were strong linkages between them which complicated their resolution. This paper attempts to delineate these linkages by a detailed and chronological discussion of the mediation efforts and lessons learnt.
 

by
Lansana Gberie,
22 Apr 2007

Pages

Updates

2nd Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is launching the second edition of the Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, an essay competition seeking bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges.