PROJECT TOPIC: THIRD-PARTY COORDINATION IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROCESSES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The issue of conflict has become one of the regular headlines in the daily news of the world media today. Many countries in the world have suffered from one conflict or another, ranging from religious, civil, political, cultural, regional and ethnic violent such as in Nigeria, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Liberia, Cambodia and so on. The most disturbing part of these acts of conflicts around the globe is that most of them have traced their roots to religion. Even some perpetrators of these acts of conflicts most of the time justify their actions with religion, thereby making religion an object of conflict.
Prevalent violent conflict on the African continent has been addressed by numerous scholars, advancing various reasons to explain the continuous conflicts on the continent.
The scholars (such as Jackson 2000, 2002; Okoth and Ogot 2000; Adedeji 1999; Khadiagala 2006; and Taiser and Mathews 1999) agree in their description of Africa as the least developed continent economically, yet the most conflict prone politically. What has been the main focus of these scholars is the shift in
Africa‟s conflicts, from conflicts between states to conflicts within states, internal conflicts, civil wars, intra-state conflicts or new wars (Kaldor 1999:33-118; 2006:72-94; 2012:71-118).
In the post-independent period, statehood in Africa has been characterized by internal wars. Every region has experienced armed conflict at some time since the early 1960‟s (Busumtwi 1999:259). Writing in 2002, Jackson observed how in the last twenty years, internal conflict has occurred in half of Africa‟s countries.
For example in the mid 2001 there were serious internal conflicts in Algeria,,
Chad, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Angola. Many other African states face instability, high levels of domestic political violence or rebel movements such as in Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria (Jackson 2002). This trend of events continues to this date and Africa has arguably had the most significant share of these conflicts (Souare 200:369).
Conflict starts within the boundaries of a single state but fighting spills over into the neighboring states; conflicts are protracted over many years, involve multiple actors, ranges from government armed forces, militias, warlords, to criminal gangs presenting a multitude of challenges and demanding different responses from the International communities. Africa‟s conflicts have ranged from ideological conflicts, governance, to racial conflicts, identity conflicts, religious and environmental conflicts. One should also note the employment of extreme means of pursuing conflict goals, such as extreme forms of violence. Violence is deliberately targeted at civilians, and at entire groups rather than individuals, and it presents a complete blurring of the lines between wars, organized crime and large scale human rights violations (Kaldor 1999:2).
Furthermore, internal conflicts in Africa have led to various outcomes, for example some have resulted in total state collapse as in Somaliaor semi state collapse as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and others have led to secession as in Eritrea. Also, there have been civil wars where regimes have changed as in Liberia, warlord cases have been seen in Sierra Leone, and others have led to temporary ceasefires as in Angola and Chad (Jackson 2002). Domestic violence is not a gender issue, it is a social issue affecting men, women and children. It is also not a new concept. Historically in old English law it was believed that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb – „„the rule of thumb‟‟. This belief was in fact never wrote into law, however before the reign of Charles II, British Common Law permitted a man to give his wife „„moderate correction‟‟ (Wikepedia, accessed 25/08/09). This type of attitude continued up until modern times where domestic violence was untouched by law and viewed as private business due to the fact that it occurred in the confines of the home. With the introduction of the Domestic Violence Policy in 1996 and other social efforts such as the setting up of refuges and help lines for victims of domestic violence, this is no longer the case and there is more awareness of the problem and domestic violence is now recognized as a social problem.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Non-coercive third-party intervention has become a common approach to solving internal and international armed conflicts around the world. A great deal of research illustrates that effective third-party intervention can put an end to complex, protracted, and even intractable intrastate conflicts (Bercovitch and DeRouen 2005, Wallensteen 2002).
However, there are cases in which unsystematic and immature third-party intervention efforts have led countries towards either the recurrence of violent conflict within a few years of signing a peace agreement or the failure of the implementation of the peace agreement.
Empirical research shows that about half of all mediation efforts around the world, particularly since the mid-1990s, have included more than one third party (Beber 2010, Lindgren, Wallensteen, and Grusell 2010). This trend towards an increasing number of third parties suggests a growing interest in conflict resolution efforts across the globe.
(Bercovitch and Jackson 2009, Crocker 2011, Crocker, Hampson, and Aall 2001b, Crocker, Aall, and Hampson 1999b, Kriesberg 1996, Paris 2009, Svensson 2011).
Mediation and facilitation have traditionally been the most common forms of noncoercive third-party intervention in armed conflicts. They are often single-party interventions performed by powerful nation states and the United Nations (UN) in high-level negotiation processes.
This trend, however, has changed over the past two decades. Third-party roles have expanded beyond mediation and the facilitation of high-level negotiation processes to include new roles, such as the monitoring of ceasefires and peace processes, providing support for post-negotiation initiatives, facilitating reconciliation and peace building processes, and supporting conflict-affected countries through development and humanitarian assistance. New types of thirdparty interveners have emerged along with the UN and powerful nation states. Western nations that are politically less powerful in global governance structures but are resource rich, such as the Scandinavian countries, local and international peace building organizations, the European Union (EU), financial institutions such as the World Bank, regional organizations such as the African Union, private mediators, faith-based organizations, and local business communities are all examples of newly emerging third-party entities. With an enlarged number of third-party interveners acting in various capacities, with myriad roles, and in different phases of conflict, the issue of coordination has garnered critical scrutiny. In other words, third-party coordination is emerging as an important area of inquiry in mediation research. However, it has not yet received sufficient scholarly attention.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
This study has been conducted with three major objectives in mind. First, it aims to explore some of the key factors that play an influential role in the occurrence of third-party coordination. An in-depth understanding of this issue is particularly salient because it provides insights into some of the root causes of third-party coordination problems. A more comprehensive knowledge of the conditions for third-party coordination helps us to understand the underlying factors that motivate (or demotivate) coordination among third parties, and thereby to design the most effective third-party coordination strategies for particular conflict-affected countries. The current literature on this issue provides only general explanations, such as how the various institutional and policy interests of third parties sometimes impede coordination and how the convergence of such interests contributes to coordination (Crocker, Aall, and Hampson 1999a, Iji 2005). On its own, this approach does not help us to understand fully many of the contextual and policy factors, as well as the motives behind the occurrence of third-party coordination. This study aims to fill this lacuna.
1. To understand the status of third party intervention in conflict resolution in Nigeria
2. To understand the status and acceptability of agreement to disputants in third party mediation
3. To understand the environment of third party post conflict resolution
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
In order to get information from respondents the following questions where formulated:
1. What are the various types of third party involvement in domesticvoilence?
2. Under what conditions do third parties coordinate their intervention efforts?
3. How do third-party relationship dynamics and power differentials influence their coordination behaviours?
4. Why are more incident of domestic violence erroptedamong Liberia citizens
5. To what extent does third-party coordination contribute substantially to conflict resolution?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis will be tested
Ho: There is no correlation between third party involvement and the extent of domestic violence
Hi: There is positive correlation between third party involvement and the extent of
Ho: That there are more incident of domestic violence among addicts of Liberia
Hi: That there is more incident of domestic violience among addicts of Liberia
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This research has the potential to make a contribution to both theory and policy in the area of third-party coordination. In a broader framework, this empirical study informs us about the limits and scope of third-party coordination in conflict resolution processes, and further suggests a way to evaluate the extent to which it can be considered an effective conflict intervention approach.
Theoretical and policy contributions of this research are promising because the findings of this study are based on in-depth interviews and interactions with a diverse range of third-party practitioners and other relevant stakeholders working in real-world conflicts.
These are people who have perhaps the best understanding of various dimensions of third-party coordination, because they confront coordination issues on a regular basis.
Their stories related to coordination are well-grounded in reality. No previous research has been conducted on this particular theme by incorporating direct interaction with a wide range of interveners from two distinct conflict contexts.
The second potential contribution of this research concerns its articulation of a set of empirically identified Contextual, Policy, and Motives (CPM) factors that often contribute to the occurrence of third-party coordination. In the existing conflict management literature, there are no such indicator-based explanations regarding the occurrence of third-party coordination. I believe that the findings of this research on this particular theme are well-developed and better conceptualized than what has been discussed in the literature to date. Likewise, by examining two different cases this research authenticates that third-party coordination is a contextual process; the reasons for coordination in each armed conflict and peace process are not the same. Nonetheless, factors related to the occurrence of thirdparty coordination can be explained under the CPM framework.
1.7 SCOPE& LIMITATIONS
The only real limitation encountered conducting the primary research was the return rate on the domestic violence victim questionnaire. Twenty were sent to male victims and thirty to female victims, of which eight were returned by the males and seventeen by the females, an overall return rate of 50%. This was deemed acceptable as all those that were returned were properly completed and provided valuable information to complete the dissertation.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In this study, I use broad terms such as peace process, conflict resolution, third-party interveners, third-party intervention, multiparty mediation/intervention, third-party coordination, third-party relationship, and the power status of third parties. This section summarizes the basic concepts and definitions used, and present them as operational definitions for the purpose of this research.
Peace Process: There are many definitions of the term peace process. Saunders has defined it as “a political process in which conflicts are resolved by peaceful means” (Saunders 2001, p.483). A peace process can include a variety of activities, such as confidence-building measures, risk-reduction strategies, good offices, fact-finding or observer missions, conciliation and mediation efforts, and the deployment of international forces, and all of these activities can be conducted in different stages and phases of a peace process (USIP 2014).
Conflict Resolution: Like the term peace process, there are many definitions of conflict resolution. Wallensteen defines conflict resolution “as a situation where the conflicting parties enter into an agreement that solves their central incompatibilities, accepts each other‟s continuous existence as parties and ceases all violent action against each other” (Wallensteen 2011, p. 8).
Multiparty Mediation/Intervention: Beber (2010) has defined multiparty mediation as the involvement of “more than one third party in either a primary or secondary role” in conflict resolution processes (Beber 2010, p. 17).
Bercovitch, J. 1984. Problems and Approaches in The Study of Bargaining and Negotiation.Political Science. Boulder, Colo.
Bercovitch, Jacob and Karl Derouen 2005. Managing Ethnic Civil Wars: Assessing the Determinantsof Successful Mediation, in: Civil Wars, 7, 1, 98-116.
Bercovitch, Jacob and Ole Elgstrom 2001. Culture and International Mediation: ExploringTheoretical and Empirical Linkages, in: International Negotiation, 6, 1, 3-23.
Crocker, Chester A., Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall (eds.) 1999. Herding Cats: MultipartyMediation in a Complex World. Washington, DC: United States
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