Power sharing as a conflict resolution mechanism in Africa

Authored by: Katia Papagianni

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will assess how with the increase of negotiated settlements to civil wars in the past two decades, power-sharing arrangements have proliferated. In Africa, power sharing is a pre-valent tool of conflict resolution: Kenya’s 2008 and Zimbabwe’s 2009 power-sharing agreements are prime examples of the phenomenon. Also, Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Liberia’s 2003 Accra agreement, Burundi’s 2001 agreement and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 2003 Sun City agreement all contained elements of power sharing. Power-sharing arrangements bring former belligerents into joint governments and guarantee them representation in the executive, the legislature, the army and/or the management of the country’s wealth. Guarantees of inclusion are intended to reassure weaker parties that they will not be exploited or marginalized in the new political order and to give them an incentive to commit to the agreement. 1

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