The Darfur Peace Process: Understanding the Obstacles to Success

 

By
Nuredin Netabay

May 2009
 

This piece was written while the author was completing a Master of Arts degree in Peace Studies at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

I. Introduction

Almost five years have passed since Darfur, the western region of Sudan, erupted in bloody conflict. The crisis in Darfur is not an accidental disaster, or a human catastrophe that humanitarian intervention can reverse or solve. The conflict is as not simple as presented in the media, which casts the conflict in terms of Arabs versus black Africans. The reality is far more muddled. It is a human tragedy, brewing for decades, that finally erupted into a vicious cycle of violence in 2003.[1]

The Darfur conflict is not only a problem for the Sudanese, but is also a regional problem. The conflict is threatening the stability in other regions of Sudan, and in neighboring countries like Chad, and the Central African Republic. Looking at its nature, magnitude and internal dynamics that fuel it, one can see that, unless it is addressed soon, the conflict has the potential to plague the whole region with a continuous cycle of violence and lawlessness.

The chaotic and atrocious nature of the Darfur conflict has attracted much attention from the international community. As a result, regional and international actors have carried out several peace initiatives to end the violence. The peace efforts that constitute the Darfur peace process include the N'Djamena peace negotiations of September 2003 and April 2004,[2] The Addis Ababa peace negotiations of May 2004,[3] the Abuja peace negotiations of August 2004-May 2006,[4] and the Sirte peace negotiations of October 2007.[5] These peace initiatives have not made substantial progress towards sustainable peace. Since the peace efforts began in 2003, every peace effort has been followed by increased violence, and ultimately, the peace process has failed. Therefore, the key research question that this paper sets out to answer is: Why did the Darfur Peace Process fail?

This paper argues that the Darfur peace process has failed because of the following five factors: 1) mutual mistrust between the government of Sudan and the rebel movements; 2) weakness of the mediation process; 3) inconsistent strategy of participation; 4) the fragmentation of the rebel movements; and 5) the inability of the DPA to address power and resource-sharing, and security issues. In order to prove this argument, the paper makes a general assessment of the Darfur peace process by examining the process of the negotiation itself, the participation of actors, and the factors related to the dynamics of the conflict during the peace process.

To conceptualize the arguments, the paper lays down the theoretical framework in order to analyze the factors that have undermined the Darfur peace process in light of theories and principles of peace processes. In the second section, paper offers an overview of the Darfur peace process, from the first peace initiatives led by Chadian President Idris Deby in September 2003 to the UN and AU-mediated Sirte (Libya) peace negotiations of October 2007. In the third section, the paper uncovers and examines the major factors which have undermined the Darfur peace efforts. Finally, the paper proffers some recommendations for future peace efforts in Darfur.

II. Theoretical Framework

In order to ground the arguments in a theoretical framework of peace research, this paper refers to selected peace literature by leading scholars in the field, including John Darby and Roger MacGinty, Peter Wallensteen, Roy Licklider, I. William Zartman, Desiree Nilsson and Stephen J. Stedman, among others. These peace scholars propose principles and theoretical arguments that provide useful analytical lenses for understanding the factors that determine the success or failure of a peace process and a peace settlement.

First, Darby and MacGinty propose that a successful peace process requires five essential criteria. These include a willingness of the warring parties to negotiate in good faith; inclusiveness of the process; addressing root causes of the conflict; commitment of negotiators to a sustained process; and the avoidance of the use of force by the protagonists to achieve their ends.[6] Every peace process has its own distinctive dynamics depending on the nature of the conflict; however a successful peace process generally contains these principles. The failure to consider these principles might jeopardize prospects of a successful peace process.

In Understanding Conflict Resolution, Peter Wallensteen identifies two pivotal factors for a durable peace settlement in intrastate conflicts. The first requires addressing "the distribution of power in a society."[7] This necessitates the participation of all stakeholders in the peace process in order to ensure their representation in any established government and to receive a fair share of resources. The second factor concerns the security of actors. Wallensteen notes that a sustained peace settlement has to remove the security dilemma of actors.[8] After the completion of a peace agreement, actors should feel secure. Failure to address issues of power-sharing and a continued security dilemma in a peace process might lead to the breakdown of the peace settlement.

In Obstacles to Peace Settlements, Roy Licklider echoes the principles that Darby and MacGinty, and Wallensteen propose for a durable peace process. Furthermore, Licklider notes that a workable and sustainable peace settlement usually must address root causes of the conflict, involve all parties in the conflict, and deal with the security dilemma of actors.[9]

William Zartman, in his article titled "The Timing of Peace Initiatives: Hurting Stalemates and Ripe Moments", articulates that resolving conflicts through a negotiated settlement requires a "ripeness" for resolution.[10] For a conflict to be ripe for resolution, the parties must reach a point of "mutually hurting stalemate."[11] At this point, the disputant parties conclude that victory by escalating the conflict is impossible and the deadlock is painful for both. Thus, the parties enter negotiations as a way out of the deadlock or stalemate. However, for Zartman, the ripe moment has a deadline. Unless the disputants negotiate and end the conflict through peaceful means while it is ripe for resolution, then they resort to violence and conflict escalates.[12]

Desiree Nilsson, in her book entitled In the Shadows of Settlement: Multiple Rebel Groups and Precarious Peace, argues that the number of warring parties and their military strength, and inclusion of all rebel groups and unarmed actors are significant aspects that determine whether a peace process results in a durable peace agreement.[13] If some stakeholders in the conflict are left out of the process, they could spoil the prospects for peace. Similarly, a disparity in military capabilities among warring parties causes the weaker parties to feel insecure since they then lack bargaining power at the table and the leverage to support their claims. As a result, weaker parties could also spoil negotiation efforts because of feeling bypassed and overwhelmed by militarily stronger adversaries.

In Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes, Stephen J. Stedman argues that the greatest risk to a peace process comes from spoilers-armed and unarmed groups or parties who believe that the outcome of the negotiations would not serve their interests.[14] Mostly spoilers are those who are left out of a peace process and subsequent peace settlement. Stedman further articulates that those outside of the settlement would pose a major threat to the prospects for durable peace as they believe their interests are not represented in the settlement. Spoilers use violence to undermine the peace process and to achieve their ends, which proves to be catastrophic for prospects of a durable peace.[15]

While the aforementioned peace literature covers some common ground, the principles this literature proposes do attempt to explain distinct perspectives of peace process in different contexts of conflicts. In analyzing the factors that have undermined the Darfur peace process, this paper refers to these aforementioned principles.

III. Brief Background of the Darfur Peace Process

Although in 2003 the international community disagreed about the Darfur conflict, the appalling human suffering in the region gradually gained regional and international attention. Since then, neighboring countries, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have worked to bring Darfur's rebels and the government of Sudan to the negotiating table. Chadian President Idriss Deby led the first peace initiative largely because he feared a spill-over effect in Chad if the conflict in Darfur escalated.[16] Through the mediation of President Deby, the SLM/A (one of the rebel factions) and the government of Sudan signed a 45-day ceasefire in N'Djamena in September 2003.[17] Nevertheless, both sides violated the ceasefire.[18] In April 2004, Chad, with AU assistance, mediated a ceasefire agreement to allow humanitarian access to Darfur. However, further Chadian attempts failed because the rebels questioned the impartiality of President Deby as mediator.[19]

In May 2004, the AU assumed leadership of the process and through its mediation the government of Sudan and the rebels signed an "Agreement on the Modalities for the Establishment of the Ceasefire Commission and Deployment of Observers" in Addis Ababa.[20] This agreement formed the basis for the establishment of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which, in July 2004, the AU converted into a full-fledged peacekeeping force.[21] After the Addis Ababa agreement, direct negotiations between the government and the rebels-JEM and SLM/A-began in Abuja, in August 2004, under the mediation of the then AU chairman, former Nigerian president Obasanjo.[22] Despite the fact that the two sides signed a protocol on security and the humanitarian situation in November 2004, the Sudanese government's refusal to meet its security obligations significantly strained the negotiations that followed.[23] Finally, in December 2004, the rebels suspended their participation in the negotiations due to a full-scale offensive by the government forces against the rebels on the ground.[24] The peace talks did not resume until June 2005.[25]

Until the spring of 2005, the UN and key western countries, such as the U.S., Britain, and Norway did not involve themselves in the Darfur peace process. However, these did place a great deal of attention on the negotiations between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to end the conflict between the North and South in Sudan. As Alex de Waal puts it, "fearing the north-south peace would be held hostage to an intractable conflict in Darfur, the international community made the talks between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) the priority."[26] However, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005, the attention of the international community switched to the Darfur peace process, and under the leadership of the UN and AU, the Abuja peace negotiations re-commenced in June 2005. [27] After exhaustive and repeatedly extended negotiations, the peace talks finally concluded with the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) by the government of Sudan and SLM/A in Abuja in May 2006.[28]

Although the international community hailed the DPA as a major success, and even though many people hoped that it might finally put an end to the crisis in Darfur, nothing substantial has changed in Darfur. DPA implementation fell far short and consequently it has failed to fulfill the expectations of the people of Darfur.[29] Laurie Nathan, a member of the AU mediation team that produced the DPA, says "The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) of 5 May 2006 has not led to peace and stability and in certain respects has heightened conflict in Darfur."[30] The International Crisis Group also reports that "almost a year after Sudan's government and one of three rebel factions signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), the humanitarian and security situation has deteriorated in the troubled western region of Sudan."[31] Thus, the proliferation and changing nature of the violence, mass displacement, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation has characterized the post-Darfur Peace Agreement period.[32]

With the aim of bringing an end to the conflict in Darfur, widely publicized UN and AU backed Darfur peace talks opened in Sirte, Libya on October 27, 2007.[33] From the beginning, the Sirte peace negotiations had been shaky because of the absence of key rebel leaders. The negotiations could not make progress without the presence of the major rebel leaders and, finally, the mediators postponed the negotiations to an unspecified time.[34] Distressingly, since the postponement of the Sirte peace negotiations, the Darfur peace process has been moribund and the prospects for its revival appear dim.

IV. Factors that Undermined the Darfur Peace Process

The Darfur peace process has thus far failed to bring a lasting peace to the violence-plagued region of Darfur. Earlier in the introduction section, this paper identified five major factors that stymied the Darfur peace process. The following sub-sections will discuss these five factors in detail.

1. Mutual Mistrust between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and Rebel Movements

In the context of civil war or intrastate conflict, mutual trust is a crucial factor for serious negotiations toward a sustainable peace agreement. Mutual trust ensures confidence between the actors, increases their willingness to negotiate and compromise, avoids the 'security dilemma', and helps them feel secure with the outcome of the negotiations. According to Darby and MacGinty, a successful peace process requires "that the protagonists are willing to negotiate in good faith," and "that the negotiators are committed to a sustained process."[35] Roy Licklider also notes that a workable settlement requires compromise and flexibility, which in turn requires mutual trust. [36] Parties who lack mutual trust seldom reach a workable peace agreement. Discussing factors that undermine peace negotiations, Adrian Guelke identifies "the pursuit of irreconcilable aims by major antagonists" as among the major obstacles for a negotiated settlement.[37]

In the Darfur peace process, trust and confidence between the GoS and the rebel movements has been unimpressive. From the very beginning, the parties did not negotiate seriously. Bad faith on all sides hampered the 2004 N'Djamena and Addis Ababa peace efforts.[38] Similarly, in the Abuja negotiations of 2005 and 2006 that led to the signing of DPA, the government and the rebels "continued to view each other with acute suspicion and loathing."[39] The parties did not engage in serious and flexible negotiations or show any willingness to make concessions. Instead they "rejected the claims of their adversaries, traded accusations, recriminations and insults."[40] As a result the parties failed to reach a comprehensive and sustainable agreement in the Abuja negotiations.

Two factors might have created mistrust between the government and rebels. First, the appalling scale of the violence and atrocities have perhaps incited hatred and broken relationships among various tribes in Darfur who previously had good relations. Characterizing internal conflicts/civil wars, Peter Wallensteen writes such conflicts result in the "breaking up of existing social relationships."[41] For example, Wallensteen argues that in such conflicts, "Families may be divided, friendships are destroyed, and local communities are shattered."[42] This social breakup often creates psychological wounds among communities that ultimately incite hatred and mutual distrust.

This point has been evident in the Darfur conflict. A report by the UN Commission of Inquiry for Darfur assert the Sudanese army and its proxy Arab militias continue to conduct "indiscriminate attacks, including killing civilians, torture, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging, and forced displacement, throughout Darfur."[43] This rampage of the government forces and their Arab militias against African tribes worsened social relationships and created a social divide among the Darfur tribes and diminished trust between the rebels, who represent the various tribes, and the government of Sudan.[44] Therefore, this social divide may have diminished the will of actors to come to the negotiating table in good faith to end the conflict.

Second, the GoS lacks the political commitment to find a negotiated and durable settlement to the conflict.[45] The lack of commitment may stem from the GoS' belief that negotiated settlements that enable rebels to have their demands met might encourage rebellion in other marginalized regions of Sudan in order to get their demands through negotiations.[46] The government has military superiority on the ground and an experienced negotiating team with strong bargaining power at the table. With this it has tried to intimidate the rebels and undermine their position in the talks. The government describes the rebels as unrepresentative of the people of Darfur, and instead portrays them as armed bandits fighting for their own self-interests.[47] For example, in the November 2004 Abuja talks, the government negotiators hinted that "because the JEM and SLA were not sufficiently representative of the entire Darfur region, they could not reach a comprehensive political settlement with them."[48] The government's negotiating team undermined the credibility of the rebels and thus weaken their negotiating position. Also, the government refused to make concessions to the rebels.[49]

On the other hand, the rebels "viewed the government as a perfidious, evil regime that repeatedly[had] broken its promises."[50] This view developed from the fact that the government ruled out negotiations with the rebels when the rebellion erupted in 2003. On April 2003, SLM/A and JEM mounted an ambitious and successful assault against government forces in El Fashier (capital city of northern Darfur).[51] After the rebel assault, then-governor of North Darfur, Ibrahim Suleiman, tried to negotiate with the rebels. However, the Khartoum government did not have the political will to negotiate with the rebels, and the central government immediately removed Ibrahim Suleiman from his post.[52] The government believed that crushing the Darfur rebellion militarily would prevent possible rebellion in other parts of Sudan.[53] Thus, the Khartoum government unleashed the proxy-Arab militia-Janjaweed-who committed horrendous atrocities on African tribes.[54] This position escalated the conflict and undermined prospects for peace efforts.

Furthermore, the government had never lived up to its promises when it agreed to negotiate because of regional and international pressure.[55] It has continuously violated the 2003 and 2004 ceasefire agreements and has never neutralized its proxy militia-the Janjaweed-and has never stopped attacking civilians.[56] After the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) of May 2006, the government partnered with Minni Minawi's SLM/A, the only rebel group that signed the DPA. In mid-September 2006, government forces and Minawi's forces launched a coordinated offensive to crush the rebel groups who did not sign the DPA, and also targeted communities who supported those rebels.[57] Therefore, throughout the Darfur peace process the government has lacked interest in negotiating with the rebels unless pressured to do so by the international community.

Rebel mistrust of the government, therefore, proved a fatal blow to the Darfur peace process. From the early stages of the Abuja talks, the rebel leaders demanded guarantees from the international community that the government addresses security in Darfur and implements the ceasefire agreements of 2003 and 2004. The rebels wanted to ensure that the government would stop attacking rebels and civilians, disarm the Arab proxy militia, and permit humanitarian efforts. However, they could not get assurances from the government or from the international community. As a result, the Abuja talks of 2004 collapsed without producing any political settlement.[58]

Also, in the Abuja talks of 2005 and 2006 that led to the DPA, the rebel movements demanded a guaranty for the implementation of the agreement. Two key rebel leaders in the Abuja negotiations-Abdel Wahid of SLM/A and Khalil Ibrahim of JEM-argued that without implementation assurances the DPA would simply fail. They could not trust the GoS.[59] However, the mediators could not guarantee the implementation of the DPA. Consequently, Abdel Wahid, alongside Khalil Ibrahim, never signed the DPA. Without the signature of those two key rebel leaders, the DPA collapsed before the implementation process began. Similarly, the October 2007 Sirte peace negotiations collapsed, in part, because key rebels refused to attend the talks until the government stopped attacking, upheld its political commitment, and improved security on the ground.[60] In summary, mutual distrust between the GoS and rebel movements undermined the Darfur peace process and compromised possibilities to reach a sustainable and comprehensive peace agreement that would put an end to the suffering of the Darfurians.

2. Weaknesses of the mediation process

In any peace process, mediators and external actors who influence the mediation process play a dominant role in its success or failure. Though often mediators and external actors have a positive role in the peace process, there are times when they have helped to induce failure. According to Licklider, mediators "seem increasingly to be oriented toward bringing about peace, which in practice means some sort of negotiated settlement, even if some sort of players want the settlement skewed in favor of one side."[61] Licklider furthers adds, "external pressure does not always promote peace, of course. Ostensibly, internal violence is often promoted or made possible by outside assistance of various sorts."[62] Therefore, mediators and external actors may complicate the outcome of a peace process by focusing on a quick outcome rather than a long-term solution-oriented process of mediation or by skewing the outcome to one side.

In Preparing for Peace (1995) Lederach argues that in mediation, clarity and the adequacy of the framework of the process determines the outcome.[63] The bottom line of this argument is that a hasty and quick-fix-oriented process does not result in a sustainable solution acceptable to all.[64] In the case of the Darfur peace process, the mediators have used ineffective mediation strategies. Partly, if not exclusively, throughout the Darfur process two factors related to the processes of mediation have undermined the outcome of the negotiations. These are incompetence of mediators and misguided mediation strategy.

2.1 Incompetence of mediators

Incompetence of mediators hampered the Darfur peace process at an early stage. First, the Chadians lacked mediation experience and impartiality. While mediating the first ceasefire in September 2003, Chadian President Deby skewed the negotiation process in favor of the GoS.[65] Although the rebels and the GoS agreed to a 45-day ceasefire, it soon collapsed partly because president Deby blamed the rebels for complications. [66] President Deby's assertive stance against the rebels undermined his credibility as a neutral mediator. Subsequent negotiations in N'Djamena collapsed because the rebels refused to negotiate further unless international observers were present.[67]

Mediators' incompetence further undermined the April 2004 N'Djamena negotiations. First, the African Union (AU) envoy, Hamid Elgabid, lacked negotiation experience and was ill-equipped to mediate because he did not speak English or Arabic, the languages the protagonists could understand. French translation slowed down every session.[68] In addition, neither Hamid Elgabid nor the Chadian mediators did not craft clear mediating strategies. Despite this problem, the GoS and the rebels signed a humanitarian ceasefire agreement with provisions to allow humanitarian access to the Darfur and deployment of the AU observers. However, this limited agreement did not hold.[69]

It is troubling that GoS and the rebels received different variations of the agreement, which reveals the lack of impartiality among the mediators. De Waal chronicles this saying, "The Chadian foreign minister ordered an extra sentence to be handwritten into the Sudan government's copy of the agreement, specifying that the rebel forces had to go to camps and disarm. The Sudan Liberation Movement had a signed and stamped version without this provision - which they had rejected as suicidal."[70] The agreement lacked maps and details about the areas under control by the adversaries that would have enabled the AU observers to assess the situation on the ground and monitor the ceasefire.[71] Consequently, the April 2004 N'Djamena ceasefire agreement ended in failure, leading to exacerbated violence. The incompetence and disorganization of the Chadian and AU mediators, therefore, worked to the advantage of the Khartoum delegation who maneuvered the negotiations in their favor. As a result, the subsequent N'Djamena and Addis Ababa negotiations did not make substantial progress.[72]

In May 2004, the African Union took leadership of the peace negotiations from the Chadians. However, the AU mediators also failed to formulate a realistic and workable negotiation process. The Abuja talks dealt only with security and humanitarian issues instead of addressing the daunting political and economic issues that are root causes of the conflict. Consequently, in December 2004, the Abuja negotiations collapsed.[73] Criticized for incompetence and failure to craft a clear political agenda for the negotiations, the AU appointed the former OAU secretary-general, Salim Ahmed Salim as a new chair of the Abuja negotiations.[74] Simultaneously, the UN joined the mediation efforts. Under the leadership of Salim, reformulated and credible political negotiations aimed at finding a political solution to the Darfur conflict resumed in Abuja in June 2005.[75] In summary, for almost two years, the Darfur peace negotiations suffered from incompetence of mediators and a lack of a clear mediating political agenda. This hampered the advance of the efforts and prolonged the process.

2.2. Misguided Mediation Strategy

The UN and AU mediators' inconsistent mediation strategy — deadline diplomacy — partly undermined the Abuja peace negotiations that produced the DPA of 2006. The mediators had limited the timeframe of the negotiations by setting deadlines, so that factions did not receive enough time to solve their differences and disagreements and to thoroughly discuss and understand the document before signing it.[76] Pierre du Toit observes that, "A deadline is a mechanism for imposing time costs on negotiators?as they face a deadline, the options narrow down to two: agree to the proposal, or refuse. Take it or leave it."[77] But in negotiations intended to put an end to deep-rooted conflicts like that of Darfur, deadline diplomacy seems to undermine the peace process. As Pierre du Toit argues, "Enough time must be made available to find a quality settlement, that is, one that deals effectively with the basic issues of conflict. When this is not met, and negotiators are forced into rushing a decision, agreements of poor quality may result."[78] Therefore, negotiating parties need sufficient time to develop mutual trust and confidence and to address their differences.

Deadline diplomacy did not work well in the Abuja negotiations of 2005 and 2006 because of the mistrust and deep suspicion between the rebels and the GoS, and disagreements among the rebels. Instead of giving the rebels time to solve their differences, the UN and AU mediators rushed to sign a peace agreement overnight. The excessive pressure from the mediators forced key rebel leaders to take a defensive position to avoid signing an agreement that they did not necessarily agree with its provisions. The rebels complained that they lacked ownership of the process.[79] Deadline diplomacy neglected some of the less tangible or more relational aspects of negotiations, which could potentially improve the chances of success of the peace efforts.

De Waal, a member of the AU mediation team in Abuja, offers an interesting story about Abdel Wahid of the SLM/A faction and the excessive pressure the mediators put on him to sign the text of the agreement. De Waal accounts that President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Robert Zoellick, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and Hilary Benn, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, attempted to cajole Abdel Wahid to sign the document at the Nigerian presidential palace. However, he took a defensive position and refused to sign.[80]

The text of the DPA is extremely lengthy. It contains 109 pages and is full of tables that make it prone to misunderstanding.[81] Because of the time pressure, the rebels could not read the whole text and understand its contents. The mediators finished preparing the text of the agreement on April 25, 2006, only 5 days before the April 30 deadline for the parties to sign.[82] The AU and UN mediators gave an ultimatum to the parties using "take-it-or-leave-it" style language.[83] Given the length and complicated nature of the document, the ill-prepared rebels could not scrutinize and understand the text well before they signed it. Explaining this fact, De Waal writes, "The Darfur rebels' delegates in Abuja were still struggling to master the 515 paragraphs when they were called on to make a final and binding decision; none of their people in Darfur had even seen a copy."[84] The rebels asked for an extended deadline in order to read and comment on the agreement. However, the mediators, determined to have a signed agreement by pressuring and intimidating the parties, outrightly rejected the request of the rebels for an extension of the deadline.[85] As a result, two of the three major movements presented in Abuja negotiations refused to sign an agreement over which they had no ownership nor did they necessarily agree with its provisions.[86] Therefore, the mediators' deadline diplomacy, of limiting time and rushing into a decision, undermined the credibility of the DPA of May 2006.

The mediators did this because they believed that the Darfur conflict was ripe for resolution. Briefing the UN Security Council on the Abuja peace negotiations, the AU's chief mediator, Salim Ahmed Salim, told the council members that, "the conflict in Darfur, which had witnessed so much suffering and bloodshed, seems at last to be ripe for resolution."[87] The GoS and rebels did not engage in direct talks until January 2006. Instead, the actors communicated through shuttle diplomacy. However after January 2006, the rebels and the government started to talk directly and showed some flexibility on certain issues. This development prompted the mediators to believe that the parties were now feeling the pain of the deadlock and might want to end the conflict.[88] The mediators invoked William Zartman's "ripeness theory"[89] and, as a result, they resorted to deadline diplomacy to pressure the parties to sign an agreement before the conflict in Darfur passed the ripe moment and transformed to an apocalyptic phase which could not be reversed. However, the dependence on deadline diplomacy "inhibited the development of a meaningful mediation strategy."[90]

Application of Zartman's "ripeness" theory in the Darfur conflict is misguided. The theory is a reductive solution to the severe crisis in the region. The crisis in Darfur had already reached a disastrous stage, but still the parties are not at a "mutually hurting stalemate." The government has enormous military and financial resources to continue the war and it prefers a military solution to the conflict rather than a negotiated settlement. The rebels also know that the government has no political will to negotiate, and these rebels seek to strengthen their military capabilities to fight for their cause.

Most importantly, for conflicts to be resolved, it is not necessary that they only reach a ripe moment. John Paul Lederach criticizes Zartman's ripeness theory as "a limited metaphor."[91] It is a limited metaphor in that it does not consider complementary efforts that could initiate peace negotiations. Peace efforts can take place while fighting continues. For example, in Darfur, humanitarian efforts, peace related activities in IDP camps, tribal leaders and elders' peace initiatives; civil societies and civic associations' peace initiatives can take place and help start negotiations. These activities could take place in Darfur while fighting continues, and may help to convince the parties to come to the negotiation table. Otherwise, waiting until the conflict is ripe (it may even never be "ripe"), or until the warring parties reach a point of mutually hurting stalemate, could escalate the conflict and increase human suffering.

3. Inconsistent Strategy of Participation

Whether stakeholders in a conflict are properly represented and whether the peace process is inclusive play a pivotal role in making or breaking the outcome of a peace settlement. Roy Licklider observes that "a workable settlement usually has to involve all major parties."[92] Echoing Licklider's argument, Darby and MacGinty also say that one major criterion for a successful peace process is that all major actors in the conflict are included.[93] This means a peace settlement that does not involve all stakeholders in a conflict cannot be sustainable. The peace process and subsequent settlement may lack legitimacy among the excluded groups, and these groups outside the process may acts as spoilers. Stephen J. Stedman's concept of spoilers supports this argument. As Stedman articulates, if one of the warring parties is skeptical about its security after the agreement or in the future government, certainly it would spoil the agreement.[94] Licklider supports Stedman's argument saying, "Even a small but dedicated group can commit a series of violent acts that can bring about the collapse of the peace process."[95] Therefore, for any peace process to be successful, it should include all affected parties and stakeholders in the conflict.

Nilsson also intelligently observes that the exclusion from a peace process of unarmed parties who have not been directly involved in the violence may determine whether or not a durable peace will prevail.[96] Nilsson argues that the inclusion of these non-warring parties would increase the prospects for a durable peace by ensuring local ownership of the process and enhancing the legitimacy of the outcome of the process.[97]

Mediators and the mediation process play a vital role in ensuring the inclusiveness of a peace settlement. A mediation process that does not consider the interests and needs of all affected actors, addresses only the symptoms of the problem. In Preparing for Peace, Lederach articulates that "mediation can and should facilitate the articulation of legitimate needs and interests of all concerned into fair, practical, and mutually acceptable solutions."[98] Without all parties, even if a peace agreement is reached, it may not live long.

Regarding the Darfur peace process, the mediators have never ensured the representation of all stakeholders in the Darfur conflict. In the Abuja peace negotiations (2004-2006) that produced the DPA, only the government of Sudan and the three major rebel groups — the two factions of the SLM/A and the JEM — participated.[99] Various Arab militias, smaller rebel factions, civil society, civic associations, tribal leaders and religious leaders, representatives of people in IDPs and refugee camps, and the Durfurian diaspora have not participated in the peace process.[100] Since the major Darfur rebels do not represent all sections of Darfur society, those groups that did not participate in the negotiations could not make their voices heard.

The October 2007 Sirte peace negotiations also failed to be inclusive. The mediators did not draw lessons from the Abuja process, and did not invite key sections of the society to the negotiations. According to De Waal, except the major rebel groups and some splinters, "many others were not invited but have important stakes, including a JEM breakaway group, Arab leaders, and the unarmed leaders of Darfurians in the towns and camps."[101] De Waal further adds that the involvement of those left-out segments of actors "is essential if the peace process is to enjoy legitimacy among Darfurians and if implementation is to proceed smoothly."[102] Future Darfur peace process may not have legitimacy and credibility unless all stakeholders participate in the process.

Lack of inclusion of stakeholders in the Darfur peace process forced the excluded groups to act as spoilers. Stedman's argument about spoilers occurred in Darfur in the wake of the DPA of 2006. In the post-DPA period, some Arab militias have intensified their attacks to consolidate their power, fearing that the government's involvement in the peace process would jeopardize their position. Other Arab militias shifted alliances toward the rebels in order to strengthen their military position and claim legitimacy in the peace process.[103] Splinter rebel groups that did not participate in the peace process also started to attack civilians, humanitarian workers and the AU peacekeepers to enrich their war booty and strengthen their military capabilities. They did this in order to show that they could spoil the peace process unless the mediators invited them to participate in the peace negotiations. Regarding unarmed groups, immediately after the signing of the DPA, violent demonstrations by Darfurins broke out in Darfur's major towns, IDPs camps, refugee camps and in Khartoum against the agreement. The popular demonstrations manifested the feelings of exclusion experienced by Darfurians from the peace agreement that affected their lives.[104]

In this respect, Nilsson's argument that the inclusion of armed and unarmed groups gives legitimacy to a peace process holds weight in the Darfur peace process. Those left-out sections of the society, especially the victimized people in the IDPs camps and refugee camps did not know what had been discussed in the peace negotiations. They did not feel that they had ownership of the process, which affects their lives, because they did not have any say in the peace negotiations. Thus, as the post-DPA popular demonstrations revealed, the Darfur peace process has lacked legitimacy among the people of Darfur.

Exclusion of significant groups within Darfur from the Darfur peace process has also created serious problems related to power and resource-sharing, which are important factors for the success of the efforts. The power-sharing and resource-sharing problem is not limited to the Darfur case; it is often a determining factor in the solution of every civil war or intrastate conflict. As Wallensteen points out, intrastate conflicts "involve a struggle for power and influence in society. This is a way to handle the participation of parties in a society after a war: to give space to a host of actors who have previously been suppressed or excluded from influence."[105] Unless all parties are represented, the peace-process that is intended to put an end to a conflict is likely to fail because it "involves control over government, as government resources can be used to maintain the security dilemma or to transcend it."[106] Thus, ensuring power-sharing and resource-sharing and the security of all parties through representation in the process should be part of any peace process.

Any future Darfur peace agreement that is achieved without inclusion of all key stakeholders and popular participation, like the DPA, may remain a "cold peace deal" — a peace deal incapable of warming up and improving relationships among people. Peace agreements which address the interests of the negotiators may not necessarily address problems and grievances among tribes and communities at the local level. Harold H. Saunders forcefully argues, "A treaty of peace signed by leaders and ratified by parliaments...could not be fully followed through without the participation of citizens."[107] Agreement between the GoS and rebels alone cannot change the relationships among Darfur's people. According to Saunders, "often, governments cannot solve intra-or international problems until citizens change their behavior or relationships ... historic wounds must be healed; misperceptions must be refocused; shared interests must be recognized alongside inevitable differences; in short, enemies must transform stereotypes into human beings with valid human claims."[108] This requires representation of the people in the peace process so that their voices can be heard. The Darfur peace process will remain artificial and shaky unless all Darfurians participate in the process.

4. Fragmentation of the Rebel Movements

Nilsson argues multiplication of rebel groups jeopardizes the hope for durable peace.[109] The increasing number of actors entails an increasing complexity of the process as different parties come to the table with different views and irreconcilable strategic problems. Nilsson's analysis also shows if some rebels sign an agreement and others do not sign, then a great possibility exists that the signatories and non-signatories will engage in conflict in the aftermath of the agreement.[110]

In Darfur, the fragmentation of rebels posed a major challenge to the success of the Darfur peace process. When the Darfur conflict broke out into a violent war in 2002-2003, only two rebel groups — the SLM/A and the JEM — existed in Darfur.[111] However, these two original parent rebel groups — SLM/A and JEM — gradually fragmented into several factions. As of November 2006, twelve rebel factions existed in Darfur.[112] The number of factions has since skyrocketed and as of January 2008, around 27 rebel factions exists in Darfur, more than double the number of rebel factions in 2006.[113]

Disagreements over political agendas for negotiations, power struggles among commanders, and ethnic affiliation have contributed to the fragmentation of rebels.[114] Seeking to undermine rebel unity, the government of Sudan also has incited rebel divisions by infiltrating the rank and file of the rebel groups. The government has used buy-out tactics through separate deals with some factions, igniting further divisions and weakening organized rebel resistance.[115]

Rebel fragmentations started as early as the summer of 2004 when a group of commanders defected from JEM and established their own faction — the National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD). The group demanded representation in the Abuja process, but for fear of further divisions and discord among the rebels, the AU mediators refused to recognize the splinters. [116] Similarly, the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) suffered fragmentations. The SLA dissidents raided Arab villages and provoked neutral Arab tribes to be drawn into the cycle of violence, intensifying race-oriented tribal welfare.[117]

To make matters worse, in the summer of 2004, a rift between JEM and SLM/A resulted in fierce inter-rebel fighting. [118] With the intensification of fighting, rebels suffered from further internal fragmentation. While the leader of the SLM/A, Abdel al-Wahid Nur, negotiated in Abuja, his second commander, Minni Minawi, defected and formed his own faction — SLM/Minawi. When efforts to reconcile the factions failed, the AU recognized Minnawi's faction and gave it a place in the Abuja negotiations.[119] AU's later recognition of splinter groups encouraged divisions because factions wanted to participate in the negotiations as independent bodies and bargain for their own interests. In early 2006 several of Wahid's field commanders defected and demanded recognition from the AU. Finally, however, the AU refused to recognize them fearing further rebel mutation in order to get recognition and bargaining power in the negotiation.[120]

The trend of rebel fragmentation continued in the aftermath of the Darfur Peace Agreement. The International Crisis Group reported that "the DPA had accelerated the break-up of the insurgency into smaller blocs along loose ethnic lines." [121] The rebel non-signatories continued to mutate into further smaller factions, leading to further bloodshed among them. Some officials from JEM and SLM/Abdel Wahid, dissatisfied with their leaders' refusal to sign the DPA, formed their own groups and later signed "a declaration of support for the DPA."[122] Conversely, commanders from SLM/Minawi group who opposed Minawi's signing of the DPA established their own factions. In the aftermath of the DPA, although fighting between the government and the rebels has decreased, the security situation worsened due to fighting among various rebel factions, armed gangsters and bloody tribal warfare.[123] Fighting erupted between the signatory and non-signatory rebels for control of territories and to consolidate their respective positions. Therefore, rebel fragmentation and discord have contributed to the tragic post-DPA security and humanitarian situation in Darfur, and helped to further undermine the already fragile DPA.

Major rebel leaders boycotted the October 2007 Sirte negotiations when the mediators invited splinter rebel to the negotiations. The negotiations could not make progress without the presence of the major rebel leaders. As a result the mediators postponed the negotiations.[124] The key rebel leaders opposed the participation of the new factions fearing erosion of their political leverage and legitimacy and refused to participate. The absentees blamed the UN/AU mediators for encouraging factionalism and fragmentation of rebels by inviting them to negotiations and legitimizing their defections.[125] This is a paradox that the mediators in the Darfur peace process faced throughout the process. The mediators may have encouraged rebel fragmentations because the mediators invited splinter rebels to the negotiations. And yet, excluding the splinter factions from the negotiations may have led the excluded groups to spoil the outcome of the peace process. Therefore, the issues of rebel fragmentation have created a paradox of balancing between ensuring the inclusion of all the rebels to prevent spoiling on one hand and excluding the splinter rebels in order to discourage factionalism on the other hand.

The falling out of the rebels played into the hands of the GoS, which obviously did not want a unified and strengthened front of rebels at the negotiating table.[126] In addition, rebel divisions and fighting amongst themselves weakened their military capabilities against the government and undermined their bargaining position in the peace process. To make matters worse, various splinter rebel groups started to attack humanitarian aid workers, AU peacekeepers and civilians. This reality severely undermined the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur and the international community has started to question the legitimacy of the rebels.[127]

The internal divisions prevented the rebels from having a unified political agenda in the peace process as various factions articulated different and conflicting political views. Laurie Nathan, a member of the AU meditation team at the Abuja peace negotiations, points out, "the rebels were unable to speak with one voice and at times even refused to meet in the same room."[128] The rebels' opinions converged only when they demanded that the government must stop killing civilians and allow humanitarian efforts in the region before starting comprehensive political negotiations.[129]

In addition to internal divisions, the rebels' lack of negotiating experience worked against them at the table. Flint and De Waal say that "the SLA and JEM negotiating teams were catapulted into major negotiations with almost no experience or preparation."[130] The government delegation, full of experts and experienced politicians, maneuvered the process in the government's favor. The International Crisis Group wrote, "Increasing divisions and shifting alliances have been the norm of the rebels, who made little progress at the table against the government's skilled team." [131] Because of the lack of political confidence and disunity, rebels could not make compromises in the negotiations, for fear of being outmaneuvered by the government. Nathan adds that at the Abuja peace negotiations divisions among rebels made them stick to their rigid positions and hampered progress in the process.[132]

5. The Inability of the DPA to address the Power and Resource-sharing Problems and Security Issues

Peter Wallensteen identifies two problems that need to be considered for a successful peace settlement for civil wars or intrastate conflicts. These are the power and resource-sharing and security dilemma of the actors in the conflict.[133] According Wallensteen, addressing issues of power and resources-sharing, and security needs of negotiating parties in peace processes helps achieving a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement. He states very forcefully that "ending violence in a way which removes this security dilemma has to be part of any settlement. Without the parties being secure, subjectively and objectively, a peace agreement is unlikely to be sustained."[134] The DPA of 2006 did not properly address the security dilemma of most of the parties that participated in the Abuja negotiations. The power and resources-sharing and the security provisions of the DPA, which determine the security dilemma of the actors, left most of the rebels worse-off and consequently the two major rebels refused to sign the agreement.

The DPA of May 2006 is the only major agreement in the history of the Darfur peace process. The agreement includes four key areas: power-sharing, wealth-sharing, security arrangements and the Darfur-Darfur dialogue.[135] The first three are the most contentious areas and the parties disagree in most sections. The discrepancies and flaws in its provisions turned the DPA into a self-defeating agreement. The agreement failed to achieve peace and its aftermath witnessed continued conflict, worsened security and humanitarian crisis.[136] The problem with the DPA partly rests with its weak power and resources-sharing provisions and security arrangements that did not fulfill expectations of the rebels.

First, regarding power-sharing provisions, the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the South imposed severe restrictions on the DPA.[137] The mediators used the CPA as a reference for the provisions of the DPA, especially the power sharing provisions. The CPA "established a power-sharing formula for the entire country until national elections in 2009."[138] It allocated 80% of the legislative and executive positions at the national and state level to the NCP (National Congress Party) and the SPLM, leaving only 20% of the positions for opposition parties across Sudan. [139] The CPA is already part of the national constitution and cannot be opened for re-negotiation. This fact left the mediators and drafters of the DPA with very little to satisfy the rebels in terms of power and resources-sharing. These competing priorities of those two peace agreements-the CPA and the DPA-are a unique case that rarely exists in other peace processes.

The rebels demanded the national vice-presidency position for Darfur and the establishment of Darfur as a unified region with its own regional government. But the Sudanese government opposed both demands.[140] The government agreed that Darfur would have a popular referendum in four years time to decide whether its people want to have a unified region instead of three states. To satisfy rebel aspirations for a unified region, the DPA created the Transitional Darfur Authority (TDRA), chaired by a senior assistant, to administer regional issues.[141] Paradoxically, the senior assistant shall be appointed by the national president and his/her power is very limited. On the question of the vice-presidency, the government refused to compromise. The GoS agreed to the creation of a new position of a fourth ranking senior advisor to the president, which obviously did not satisfy the rebels. The advisory position is only nominal as the incumbent's advice to the president is not binding on all issues.[142]

The rebels also demanded adequate representation in the legislative structures at the national and state level, demanding to take a share from the 52% of positions allocated to the ruling party — the National Congress Party (NCP)— by the CPA.[143] However, the NCP opposed these rebel demands as suicidal for it would weaken its political grip over the country.[144] With intense pressure from the mediators, the government made very few concessions. They only stipulated Darfurians should be represented in all national and state levels based on the population size of the region.[145] These provisions did not fulfill the expectations of the rebels because they do not give them the political leverage that they want in order to reverse the economic and political marginalization of Darfur. Also, the DPA did not reduce the executive powers of the institution of presidency. The president in Khartoum would still have considerable power in all affairs at the national and state levels as it had pre-DPA.

Second, on the wealth-sharing section of the DPA, compensation was the most controversial issue. The Darfur rebels demanded separate compensation for lives lost and property destroyed; while the government argued compensation is part of reconstruction and development funding. The government worried that if it accepts the idea of individual compensation, this would acknowledge responsibility for the atrocities and crisis in Darfur.[146] The rebels made compensation a priority in their resource-sharing claims because without compensation the deal would not be satisfying for the IDPs, refugees and all war victims.[147] The government opposed the individual compensation claim, but agreed to the formation of a Compensation Commission and Fund (CCF) with a pledge to commit $30 million for compensation.[148] The agreement also established the Darfur Reconstruction and Development Fund (DRDF) with the mandate to rehabilitate refugees and IDPs who return to their homes.[149] The DRDF provision requires the Government of National Unity (GNU) to contribute $500 million for three years, meaning from 2006 through 2008. In addition, the DPA created a Fiscal and Financial Allocation Monitoring Commission (FFAMC) to manage the transfer of finances from the central government to Darfur. However, the DPA does not define the structural form of the FFAMC.[150] Most of the rebel movements opposed these wealth sharing provisions of the DPA. They wanted more wealth sharing from with Khartoum and demanded higher compensation for victims and clearer details about the FFAMC and DRDF before they signed the agreement.[151]

Third, in regards to security, the DPA security arrangement provisions included disarmament of militias namely the Janjaweed; protection of the IDPs; disarmament, and demobilization of the Darfur rebel forces and their integration into the national army. The DPA failed to include strong provisions that guarantee the disarmament of the Janjaweed militias.[152] Instead, it required the government of Sudan to disarm the militias, which seems infeasible because the government armed and trained them for its own interests.[153] However, the DPA also authorizes the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to monitor the disarmament of the Janjaweed.[154] But the ill-equipped, under-funded and under-trained AMIS forces could not fulfill the task, which requires a widespread monitoring.[155]

The DPA also did not give adequate security guarantees for refugees and IDPs who would return to their homes. The SLM/A faction of Abdel Wahid insisted on overseeing the disarmament of the Janjaweed and protecting the security of the IDPs and their safe return.[156] The government of Sudan and subsequently the mediators rejected this claim, and as a result Abdel Wahid did not sign the DPA.[157]

In summary, the provisions of the DPA could not fulfill the power and resources-sharing and security expectations of the Darfur rebel movements. As explained, the DPA included structurally weak power-sharing, resources-sharing and security provisions that did not satisfy the aspirations of the rebel movements. Moreover, the implementation of these provisions depended on good faith and political will of the Sudanese government. However, the government's lack of political commitment revealed that the implementation of the DPA would face real danger.

The mediators, eager to hammer out a quick agreement, pushed the parties to sign the DPA with all its flaws. The government of Sudan and only one rebel group — SLM/A of Minni Minawi — signed the DPA on May 6, 2008.[158] The two major rebel groups — SLM/A of Abdel Wahid and JEM of Khalil Ibrahim — refused to sign the DPA. The JEM argued that the DPA does not address the root causes of the conflict and demanded amending of the DPA to allow a broad-based power and resources-sharing system. Similarly, Abdel Wahid's SLM/A demanded stronger security arrangements and broader power and resources sharing provisions. However, the GoS and the mediators rejected the demands of the rebels.[159] After the official signing of the DPA on May 5, 2006, the mediators made another deadline hoping that JEM and Abdel Wahid's SLM/A would change their minds and sign the agreement. However, both rebel groups refused to change their position, arguing that the agreement does not adequately address political, economic and security problems that caused the conflict.[160] Without the signature of those key rebels, the DPA could not hold and it lost credibility even before its implementation stage.

V. Conclusion and Recommendations

1. Conclusion

This paper set out to uncover the factors that prompted the failure of the Darfur peace process. It identified five major factors that have contributed to the breakdown of the Darfur peace process. The paper referred to important peace research which offered a theoretical framework for the failure and success of peace processes. These include Darby and McGinty's five principles for a successful peace process; Wallensteen's discussion on power-sharing and resources-sharing, and the security dilemma; Licklider's discussion about inclusiveness of the process and the security dilemma of actors; Zartman's theory of ripeness; Nilsson's concept of inclusiveness; and Stedman's concept of spoilers. Indeed, it is important to briefly review the implication of these theories and principles for the failure of the Darfur peace process. The breakdown of the Darfur peace process largely supports the theories and principles articulated by Darby and McGinty, Wallensteen, Licklider, Nilsson and Stedman. The Darfur peace process did not apply these principles. The implication of the failure to execute these theories and principles in the Darfur peace process proved catastrophic for the prospects of durable peace in Darfur. On the contrary, the mediators in the Darfur peace process misapplied Zartman's theory of ripeness. Therefore, misapplication of the Zartman's ripeness theory, combined with the discussed factors, has contributed to the failure of the peace process.

Even through the Darfur peace process has failed to bring lasting peace to the region, and although there is very little hope of resuming the peace efforts, the suffering of the innocent civilian population of Darfur shall not continue unabated. Indeed, the people of Darfur need peace and support to rebuild their lives. After so much destruction and untold human suffering, the need to find a peaceful solution to the bloody conflict in Darfur is painfully self-evident. Stripped away from their livelihoods and with hundreds of thousands losing their lives, the people of Darfur look for a solution that can bring lasting peace to their conflict-plagued homeland. Thus, the international community and mediators must understand the complexity of the conflict, examine the factors that have undermined the peace efforts, correct past mistakes, and reformulate and re-negotiate the Darfur Peace Agreement in order to bring lasting peace and stability to the region.

2. Recommendations

1. A comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement in Darfur requires restoring security in the region. As the International Crisis Group report of November 2007 revealed, in the post-DPA period, human security in Darfur has deteriorated dramatically.[161] The Darfur peace process cannot bring peace while the security and safety of people is at stake. There is an urgent need to enforce a ceasefire among all warring sides and ensure rapid deployment of the proposed UN-AU hybrid forces (UNAMID) to protect civilians and clear the ground for a political solution. But if there is a push for the peace process before deploying the peace keepers and ensuring the safety of civilians then, sadly, we will again witness tragedy in Darfur. Therefore, the international community must uphold its commitment to protect and ensure the rapid deployment of UNAMID with a strong mandate that will allow it to improve human security and then to start a meaningful longer-term inclusive peace process where all stakeholders are represented and participate. In addition, the international community should exert strong pressure on the government of Sudan to uphold its commitments and facilitate full deployment of UNAMID. Furthermore, to make future peace efforts in Darfur successful, the international community should remain engaged and provide the necessary diplomatic and financial resources to the process.

2. The mediators and other concerned bodies should initiate cross-tribal negotiations and should encourage engagement of religious leaders in the cross-tribal negotiations to supplement future peace efforts in Darfur. This will help to build a sense of mutual trust and confidence among Darfur's tribes and will create favorable ground for negotiations. Tribal leaders and religious leaders often have legitimacy and authority among their communities. They could actually be a force for peace and could do what international mediators have not achieved. Successful peace negotiations require mutual understanding and confidence-building among all stakeholders in the conflict. Cross-tribal negotiations and engagement of religious leaders, therefore, could enhance mutual trust and understanding among the various tribes in Darfur and narrow the social divide created by the conflict.

3. Future Darfur peace negotiations must be inclusive. Unarmed groups including women, tribal leaders, religious leaders, civic associations, civil society and Darfurinas in the diaspora should be consulted and engaged in the peace process. Similarly, Arab militias and some splinter rebel groups have stayed outside of the peace process. They should be invited to participate and make their voices heard in the process. Participation of the unarmed and armed groups in the peace process would enhance legitimacy and success of the peace process. All the armed and unarmed sections of Darfur's society must have ownership on the future peace process.


[1] Don Cheadle and John Prendergast, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond (New York: The Write Element, Inc., 2007), 72. Also see Suliman Baldo, "Darfur's Peace Plan: The View from the Ground," OpenDemocracy.net, (May 24, 2006), http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-africa-democracy/peace-darfur-358... (accessed February 10, 2008).

[2] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled," Conciliation Resources (2006), http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/sudan/dpa-unfulfilled.php (accessed February 5, 2008).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ruth Iyob and Gilbert M. Khadiaglala, Sudan: The Elusive Quest for Peace (London & Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), 154-156.

[5] "Sudan: At Start of Landmark Darfur Talks, Top UN Officials Urge Dialogue to Spur Peace," allAfrica.com, 27 October 2007, http://allafrica.com/stories/200710270024.html (accessed February 22, 2008).

[6] John Darby and Roger MacGinty, "Introduction: What Peace? What Process?," in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes, ed. John Darby and Roger MacGinty (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 2.

[7] Peter Wallensteen, Understanding Conflict Resolution: War, Peace and the Global System (London: SAGE Publications, Ltd., 2002), 133.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Roy Licklider, "Obstacles to Peace Settlements," in Turbulent Peace: The Challenge of Managing International Conflict, ed. Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2001).

[10] I. William Zartman, "The Timing of Peace Initiatives: Hurting Stalemates and Ripe Moments," in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes, ed. John Darby and Roger MacGinty (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 19-21.

[11] Zartman, 19-21.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Desiree Nilsson, "In the Shadow of Settlement: Multiple Rebel Groups and Precarious Peace," Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Report No. 73 (Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2006).

[14] Stephen John Stedman, "Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes," International Security, Vol. 22, No. 2: 5-53, (Fall 1997).

[15] Stephen John Stedman, "Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes."

[16] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled." Also see Roland Marchal, "Chad/Darfur: How Two Crises Merge," Review of African Political Economy Vol. 33, No. 109 (September 2006): 457-482.

[17] Julie Flint and Alex De Waal, Darfur: A Short History of a Long War (London & New York: Zed Books, 2005), 119.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Roland Marchal, "Chad/Darfur: How Two Crises Merge." Also see Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[20] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[21] Iyob and Khadiaglala, 154.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[24] International Crisis Group, "Darfur: The Failure to Protect," Africa Report No. 89 (8 March 2005), 15.

[25] Iyob and Khadiaglala, 155-156.

[26] Alex de Waal, "The DPA and Its National Context," Conciliation Resources (2006), http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/sudan/dpa-context.php (accessed January 15, 2008).

[27] Iyob and Khadiaglala., 156.

[28] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," Africa Briefing No. 39 (20 June 2006), 1.

[29] Stephanie Hanson, "Darfur's Peace Process," Council on Foreign Relations, (June 18, 2007), http://www.cfr.org/publication/13611/darfurs-peace-process.html (accessed April 10, 2008). Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement."

[30] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA," Conciliation Resources (2006), http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/sudan/dpa-failings.php (accessed January 15, 2008).

[31] International Crisis Group, "Darfur: Revitalizing the Peace Process," Africa Report No. 125 (30 April 2007), i.

[32] Ibid.

[33] "Sudan: At Start of Landmark Darfur Talks, Top UN Officials Urge Dialogue to Spur Peace," allAfrica.com, 27 October 2007, http://allafrica.com/stories/200710270024.html (accessed February 22, 2008).

[34] Eric Reeves, "Darfur Peace Talks in Libya Produce Only an Emboldened Khartoum," The Sudan Tribune, Tuesday 13 November 2007, http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article24721 (Accessed February 26, 2008).

[35] Darby and MacGinty, 2.

[36] Licklider, 699.

[37] Adrian Guelke, "Negotiations and Peace Processes," in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes, ed. John Darby and Roger MacGinty (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 53.

[38] Flint & De Waal, 120.

[39] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA," Conciliation Resources (2006), http://www.c-r.org/our-work/accord/sudan/dpa-failings.php, (accessed January 15, 2008).

[40] Laurie Nathan, "No Ownership, No Peace: The Darfur Peace Agreement," Crisis States Working Papers No. 5 (September 2006), 8. Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality," Africa Report No. 134, 26 November 2007.

[41] Wallensteen, 133.

[42] Ibid.

[43] United Nations, "Report of the International Commission of the Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary General," (January 2005), http://www.un.org/News/dh/sudan/com-inq-darfur.pdf (accessed December 10, 2007), 3.

[44] Amir H. Idris, Conflicts and Politics of Identity in Sudan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 78-89.

[45] Fouad Ibrahim, "Strategies for a De-escalation of Violence in Darfur, Sudan," Special Issue of Global Development Studies, Vol. 4 (Winter 2005-Spring 2006), 14-16.

[46] International Crisis Group, "Darfur: The Failure to Protect," 7.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA."

[50] Ibid.

[51] Flint and De Waal., 99.

[52] Hottinger, Julian Thomas. "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[53] Ibrahim, 14-15.

[54] Suliman Baldo, "Darfur's Peace Plan: The View from the Ground." Also see Idris, 78.

[55] Idris, 78-80.

[56] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[57] Laurie Nathan, "No Ownership, No Peace: The Darfur Peace Agreement," 5. Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[58] Flint & De Waal, 121.

[59] Alex De Waal, "I Will Not Sign," London Review of Books Vol. 28, No. 23 (November 30, 2006), http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n23/waal01_.html (accessed February 19, 2008).

[60] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[61] Licklider, 700.

[62] Ibid.

[63] John Paul Lederach, Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (New York: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 21-22.

[64] John Paul Lederach, Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, 21-22.

[65] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[66] Ibid.

[67] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[68] Flint and De Waal, 119-120.

[69] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[70] Alex De Waal, "I Will Not Sign."

[71] Ibid.

[72] Flint and De Waal, 119-120.

[73] Iyob and Khadiagala, 156.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Iyob and Khadiagala, 156.

[76] Laurie Nathan, "No Ownership, No Peace: The Darfur Peace Agreement," 3-7. Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[77] Pierre du Toit, "Rules and Procedures for Negotiated Peacemaking" in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes, ed. John Darby and Roger MacGinty (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 66.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," Sudan Issue Brief, No. 4 (December 2006), 3-4.

[80] Alex De Waal, "I Will Not Sign."

[81] "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, http://allafrica.com/peaceafrica/resources/view/00010926.pdf (accessed March 8, 2008).

[82] Alex De Waal, "I Will Not Sign."

[83] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 3.

[84] Alex De Waal, "I Will Not Sign."

[85] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 3.

[86] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 3-4.

[87] United Nations Mission in Sudan Public Information Office, "Darfur Conflict 'Ripe for Resolution': African Union Chief Mediator," UNMIS Media Monitoring Report, (19 April 2006), http://www.unmis.org/english/cic_documents/mmr/MMR2006/MMR-apr19.pdf (accessed March 17, 2008).

[88] Laurie Nathan, "No Ownership, No Peace: The Darfur Peace Agreement," 8-9.

[89] Zartman, 19.

[90] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA."

[91] John Paul Lederach, "Cultivating Peace: A Practitioner's View of Deadly Conflict and Negotiation," in Contemporary Peacemaking: Conflict, Violence and Peace Processes, ed. John Darby and Roger MacGinty (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 14.

[92] Licklider, 701.

[93] Darby and MacGinty, 2.

[94] Stedman, "Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes."

[95] Licklider, 701.

[96] Nilsson, 109-110.

[97] Ibid.

[98] Lederach. Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, 14.

[99] Iyob and Khadiagala, 153-157.

[100] Stephanie Hanson, "Structuring A Peace Process for Darfur," Council on Foreign Relations, (October 11, 2007), http://www.cfr.org/publication/14455/structuring-a_peace-process-for-dar... (accessed April 3, 2008).

[101] Alex De Waal, "Making Sense of Darfur, Peace Process: Where Next for Darfur's Peace Process?," The Social Science Research Council, (August 8, 2007), http://www.ssrc.org/blog/2007/08/08/where-next-for-darfurs-peace-process/ (accessed April 3, 2008)

[102] Ibid.

[103] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality." Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement."

[104] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[105] Wallensteen, 139.

[106] Ibid, 133.

[107] Harold H. Saunders, A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), 70.

[108] Saunders, 22.

[109] Nilsson, 121-125.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[112] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 5.

[113] Kelly Campbell, "Negotiating Peace in Darfur," United States Institute of Peace, (January 2008), http://www.usip.org/pubs/usipeace-briefings/2008/0110-darfur.html (accessed March 12, 2008)

[114] M. W. Daly, Darfur's Sorrow: A History of Destruction and Genocide (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 298-300. Also see Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[115] International Crisis Group, "Unifying Darfur's Rebels: A Prerequisite for Peace," Africa Briefing No. 32 (6 October 2005), 1-5.

[116] Daly, 299.

[117] International Crisis Group, "Unifying Darfur's Rebels: A Prerequisite for Peace," 1-5.

[118] Daly, 299.

[119] Daly, 300.

[120] Ibid.

[121] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 1.

[122] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 5.

[123] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 1.

[124] Ibid.

[125] Kelly Campbell, "Negotiating Peace in Darfur." Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality."

[126] International Crisis Group, "Unifying Darfur's Rebels: A Prerequisite for Peace," 1-6.

[127] Ibid.

[128] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA."

[129] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA."

[130] Flint and De Waal, 121.

[131] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 2.

[132] Laurie Nathan, "Failings of the DPA."

[133] Wallensteen, 133.

[134] Ibid.

[135] The Darfur-Darfur dialogue is a fourth major section of the DPA. This section was not contentious issue in the negotiations. It is a mechanism intended to incorporate those Darfurian actors who were excluded from the process to meet in Darfur after the signing of the DPA and address issues related to land, refugee problems, communal reconciliation mechanisms and other communal problems that were not dealt by the DPA. However, this provision has never been implemented. See the "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, http://allafrica.com/peaceafrica/resources/view/00010926.pdf (accessed March 8, 2008), 80-85.

[136] Laurie Nathan. "No Ownership, No Peace: The Darfur Peace Agreement." Also see International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality," Africa Report No. 134, (26 November 2007), 1-2.

[137] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7.

[138] Stephanie Hanson, "Structuring A Peace Process for Darfur."

[139] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7.

[140] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7.

[141] "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, 3-18.

[142] Ibid.

[143] Alex De Waal, "Explaining the Darfur Peace Agreement," Friends Committee On National Legislation, (July 2006), http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item-id=1952&issue-id=104 (accessed April 10, 2008)

[144] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7-8.

[145] "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, 3-18.

[146] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7.

[147] Ibid.

[148] "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, 19-28

[149] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 9-10. Also see "The Darfur Peace Agreement," Signed on May 5, 2006, by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Menawi in Abuja, Nigeria, 19-28.

[150] Ibid.

[151] Alex De Waal, "Explaining the Darfur Peace Agreement."

[152] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's Fragile Peace Agreement," 7-8.

[153] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[154] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 6.

[155] Ibid.

[156] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[157] Ibid.

[158] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 3.

[159] Julian Thomas Hottinger, "The Darfur Peace Agreement: Expectations Unfulfilled."

[160] Human Security Baseline Assessment, "No Dialogue, No Commitment: The Perils of Deadline Diplomacy in Darfur," 3.

[161] International Crisis Group, "Darfur's New Security Reality," 1-2.