The heightened peace and security challenges in the continent comes with the increased expectation for more effective responses to conflicts by the AU and the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs). This calls for further strengthening of the capacities within these institutions on conflict prevention and mediation. In line with this, ACCORD and the AU conducted a training on conflict prevention and mediation. The training took place in Durban, South Africa, from 19-21 September 2017.
The training brought together representatives from the AU and from the RECs/RMs, more particularly from the situation rooms. The RECs/RMs represented in the training included the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the East African Community (EAC); the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN SAD).
The training sought to enhance the skills of the participants in mediation, negotiation and conflict prevention and further strengthen their understanding on how to implement, monitor and link Peace and Security Council decisions to conflict prevention and early response. Further, the training enhanced the conflict analysis skills of the participants at the same time providing them with an experience-sharing platform further strengthening their understanding of conflict prevention efforts in other regions in the continent.
The interactive sessions and group exercises amongst the different institutions provided an opportunity to analyse and compare the approaches in which conflict management strategies were implemented in countries that these institutions have worked in. Participants were also tasked with developing a strategy and designing a process as part of the interactive sessions.This was beneficial to the participants as this gave them an opportunity for experience sharing and collaboration between the AU and RECs/RMs.
ACCORD continues to build and enhance mediation capacities at local, national, regional and continental level in Africa with the aim of strengthening the link between early warning and early response, thus a stronger preventive approach.