Darfur: Why is the Doha Process Failing? And Who is Responsible? (II)
Part 2: The model structure of mediation and what we have in Doha as Mediation and Process and identifying the gaps
The content of this set of 3 papers exposes and details why Doha has failed and shall continue to fail unless structural reforms are done to the Process and competent mediation personnel are engaged .(1) We cannot beat about the bush and look “elsewhere” while the main fault-line is in Mediation.
A- The mess in the process structures
A robust Mediation Process must (at least) have:
1- Framing of Issues (DOP) that meets the agreement of the belligerent parties.
2- A well designed Gathering Process for the Primary Stakeholders for Track I and the Secondary Stakeholders for Track II, but in separate venue/sub-process: Not a Bazaar.
3- Impartial Venue and Mediator who know his/her/their role.
4- The mediator must have the continued and sustained confidence of the parties.
5- The Mediator is a “Facilitator” and not an “Umpire” dictating on parties.
6- He/she must “level the field” and make sure both/all belligerents are treated equal.
7- He/she must have the capacity, knowledge and resourcefulness to generate seeds of options and must be able to open windows when doors are shut.
8- The venue provider does not have to be part of the mediation team. He/she/they have no right to “elbow” others otherwise we will have “Power Mediation” that does not work.
9- The Process must be “at arms’ length” from State Actors
10- Trust fund(s) must be at arms’ length from donors.
11- Define Primary and Secondary Stakeholders and Beneficiaries(2) on clear criteria
12- Track I is for Primary Stakeholders only and an independent from Track(s) II or III for other stakeholders
13- “Process Friends” must organize themselves as think tank and at arms’ length from Mediation.
14- Stay the course: “process not content”
15- Liberal timeframe
16- Experts for the parties upon their request.
17- Curtail media and bullies
18- “Pressure” is the wrong tool and the wrong term. Encouragement is a better approach.
19- The Mediator/Mediation must be fully conversant with the “TOOLS” needed for mediation and he/she must be aware of the limitations of those tools especially “Shuttle Diplomacy”
Do we have that in Doha? Or, what do we have in Doha?
We have an “Incrementally Driven Approach”-Not a “Process” in Doha
1- Mediation dives in with green “assumptions”.
2- Even worse, dives in with “People”. The lessons taught to mediation and LJM by the very IDPs and Refugees who were flown in to bestow legitimacy on the process were a blow to both Mediation and LJM. It was that single unexpected outcome that sobered up Mediation to their mess.
3- Over-dependence on “Shuttle Diplomacy”. We have “Mobile Mediation”.
4- The AU-UN CM is more into the “Content” than the “Process”, passing judgements and sometime assuming his own moral grounds.
5- While LJM and GOS were negotiating, the top two men in the team flew to meet with Abdulwahid. They “caught the wind” and distracted attention from the failing talks in Doha. Neither their hearts nor minds were in the Process in Doha and knew it was hollow.
1- Throw in whatever may make a difference regardless of the possible negative impacts (IDPS are killing each other in Kalma and Himaidiya in Zalingei).
2- State actors are up to their ears in the Process and throwing in their political and diplomatic prejudices. Qatar and Egypt as example. The fragile Eritrea swaying from camp to camp.
3- Regrettably, Qatar’s PM was close behind his State Minister. This is not an inter-state conflict; it is intra-state conflict that needs independent mediation. He caused and can continue to cause considerable “Unintended negative results”
4- No designed/pre-designed course
5- Events steering the course (People and Process) from day-to-day.
6- Every Tom Dick and Harry in/chipping in
7- “Bullies” coming and going. Gen Scott Gration as example.
8- Infringement on the basic rights of leaders of Movements and Political Formations to ensure their presence close to the venue. Several times this went to mean measures touching the dignity of the leaders. Rule # 1 in Mediation is that Negotiations are out of free will and that the freedom to exit is unconditional.
9- Inability to safely and honourably return field commanders to their bases and/or where they were flown out from. This one snag has eroded considerable confidence in the current Mediation.
10- Even worse is the dishonourable blackmail of Dr. Khalil in N’Djamena airport by Mr. Bassole to fly back to Doha in return for travel documents. He still expected Dr. Khalil to come back to a process he is mediating/co-mediating .(3)
11- Pressure groups/actors having a foot in the Venue and Process
12- This led to bringing top leaders of Movements to the hall. That is taboo in professional mediation. Mediation does not seem to have a clue about “Re-entry” procedures .(4) The leaders were wrong in cornering themselves in Doha and the Mediation was grossly wrong in bringing them and humiliating them by holding them to ransom as they were not sure if they will come back again. What kind of Mediation is that which does not respect the free will of the adversaries?
13- More than one boss and more than one frame of reference: UN/AU/LAS(5) /Qatar
14- “Multi-track” process that needs a team of geniuses who are not there.
15- Serious activities brewed outside the Process and venue. GOS/JEM agreement in N’Djamena as example. Addis and Tripoli mini-processes as additional examples.
16- Emotional blackmail by concentrating leverage on Movements on violence and suffering of the communities rather than addressing root causes.
17- Disastrous mix between Track I and Track II.
18- Childish rivalry between incompetent heads of departments and organizations dealing with the Process.
19- Seeking “Quick Results” and not Quality Product” dictates
20- And the list can go on.
B- Where are the “Gaps” in Doha?
1. Only bipolar parties (LJM and GOS)
2. GOS/NCP now have their own (Peace from within policy and activities)
3. There is no Universal DOP(6)
4. There is no Exclusive “Unbiased” retreat venue
5. The Chief Mediator has not got the Professional Capacity to manage the Process and keep it on track.
6. Let alone run a multi-track, multi party Process.
7. There is only ONE Movement that meets the entire 8 points criteria(7).
8. There are four distinct entities: JEM, SLM-A/W, LJM and the Road Map which are still not fully harmonized. That is not all. Some Movements/Formations never came to Doha and some came and left. That left Mediation wondering “Who really represents Darfurians?”When President Mbeki brought in “Civil Society” meaning “Darfur Society” in his African Union High Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) report. Mr. Bassole had to jump on that first.
9. A big gap was the threatening tone of Mediation that talks shall proceed with “Whoever shows up”. That is now bad egg on their face.
10. Another glitch was forcing Movements/Formations into LJM structures or else they remain in hotel rooms.
11. The Capacity of all the Movements in 28 identified areas needed for Negotiations was not properly built .(8)
12. The Venue and Mediation are serving for both Track I and Track II. In mid-July, Track II (Darfur Society) has torpedoed the fragile Track I between LJM and GOS/NCP. No agreement was signed on July 15th and LJM may very well crack from within with time. In the absence of a confined geographic location containing them, they are likely to re-fragment.
13. The “Template” of talks is not agreed and is swinging between Protocols and Holistic.
14. There are no proper Forum(s) structured for the International and Regional Communities and for the Secondary Stakeholders.
(1) Read JEMs letter to Ban Ki-moon on reforms to the process dated June 6th, 2010
(2) Primary stakeholders are those who can impact positively or negatively on the conflict. Secondary stakeholders are those who are impacted upon. Beneficiaries are the general public.
(3) Refer to our Capsule # “Al Mahmoud in Tripoli talking to JEM dated July 2nd 2010
(4) Read John Burton “Conflict Resolution-Its Language and Process” re-entry page 39
(5) League of Arab States
(6) Refer to IGAD DOP of 1994.
(7) See Criteria for who is a “Movement” developed by Subsahara Centre in a research done for the Government of Canada in 2009.
(8) Review the results of the survey carried over two years by Subsahara Centre on capacity building needs of Movements