14-09-2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in collaboration with The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) concluded the Third IGAD High Level Retreat on Mediation today in Addis Ababa with valuable recommendations to developing a Regional Reconciliation Framework and Dialogue Index; as tools that will help prevent and resolve conflict and strengthen conflict transformation for a positive change.
The mediators extensively touched on ways to enhance gender responsive dialogue in the reconciliation process; how the youth can be engaged to strengthen reconciliation processes as well as a faith based approach to dialogue and reconciliation in order to address cross cutting issues like human rights, justice, spiritual healing, forgiveness and so on.
The key recommendations going forward were as follows; In-depth assessment of the historical causes of conflict; In depth assessment of the existing mechanisms on dialogue and reconciliation to determine how well they are working; a regional mechanism to address electoral violence; capacity building in methods to dialogue and in trauma healing; institutional strengthening for effective transitional justice, healing and reconciliation and IGAD to develop a regional policy on reconciliation and dialogue.
There will be numerous consultations henceforth to have in-depth assessments and analysis for IGAD to develop an implementable and impartial Reconciliation Framework and Dialogue Index.
Partnerships and collaborations were also a major highlight to be able to have an inclusive reconciliation framework not forgetting financial and technical expertise and structural capabilities at national and regional levels.
The High Level Retreat is a platform that enables discussions on the role of reconciliation and dialogue in peace processes and is also an avenue for learning and sharing experiences between the IGAD Members of the Roster, IGAD Special Envoys; AU’s Members of the Panel of the Wise with members from other Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) like the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and East African Community (EAC).
The retreat was facilitated by IGAD Mediation Support Unit in partnership with ACCORD and with the financial support from the EU-APSA Support Programme.