Triggering Conditions for Peace (Africa)
Is there a time when mediators should not even try to get warring parties round a peace table? The answer is probably not, but timing does seem key to a successful long-term outcome to negotiations.
The crux is securing a genuine and sustained peace, such as in Mozambique in 1992, versus one that barely makes it past the press conference, as in several abortive rounds of Somali talks. That in turn is related to the "ripeness" of the conflict – usually a mutually hurting stalemate, with dialogue accepted by both sides as the only logical relief.
But according to Martin Griffiths, director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, a conflict resolution agency involved in several international mediation efforts, it is the responsibility of the mediator "to try and trigger" the right conditions, rather than waiting for a propitious time to engage.
From AFRICA: Learning the grammar of peace at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/dc9e39dfd7c24a4ad1254605a1...