Evaluating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
A new report by Johan Brosché of Uppsala University, in tandem with the UN’s Mediation Support Unit, evaluates the CPA, focusing on power-sharing aspects of the accord. Also, the paper seeks to answer what lessons can be learned from the CPA, with regards to sharing power to enable peace. In the paper a broad approach is applied which includes all four different types of power sharing: political, economic, territorial and military. The methodology used for this paper mainly comprises interviews with politicians, academics, policy-makers, diplomats and observers involved in the negotiation process leading up to the signing of the CPA on January 9, 2005, as well as people engaged in the implementation phase. The interviews were primarily carried out during a field-trip by the author to Khartoum, Juba and Nairobi in July 2009. But also preparatory interviews prior to the field-trip, as well as complementary interviews after the trip, have been conducted. In addition, a wide variety of academic and policy literature has been consulted so as to gain as broad and deep understanding of the situation as possible.
The key lessons to be learned from this report are as follows: The CPA process suggests that involving both regional actors and the broader international community can constitute a fruitful approach towards reaching an agreement. Also, the CPA shows the importance of not getting stuck with details and therefore a call is made to focus on the functioning of the agreement.
In addition, the CPA is an example of how a lack of capability among the parties severely increases the problems at hand; capacity-building of the parties should thus be a focused area. Furthermore, one positive asset with power sharing is that it can build trust between former enemies, but if an exit option of this co-operation is included in the agreement, the potential for trust-building is reduced; power-sharing agreements should thus preferably not include such options.
Moreover, power-sharing accords can have unintended effects for other regions, so such potential consequences have to be examined.
Additionally, the constituencies that are represented at the negotiations influence the legitimacy and implementation of the agreement; consequently, issues of inclusion and exclusion have to be carefully scrutinized. Also, it is important to convey the message of an agreement to various constituencies, and to bring peace dividends to the people to increase the legitimacy of the agreement.
Regarding the implementation phase, three key lessons are learned. First, for a successful implementation it is essential to keep up the momentum of the signing. Secondly, this paper wants to emphasize that the signing of an agreement is the start, and not the end, of building peace. Finally, this report emphasizes the importance of striving to keep the moment ripe during the implementation process.