The 2008 Kenyan Mediation Process: Lessons and Dilemmas for Conflict Prevention in Africa
This chapter illustrates the dilemmas of peacemaking in Africa through an exploration of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) process during the country’s 2007–2008 electoral crisis. In addition to focusing on the conceptual and practical dilemmas that mediators faced during the peacemaking process, the chapter draws out concrete lessons learnt from the process for international mediation scholars and peacemakers in the field. It argues that although the Kenyan case has been considered as an example of African agency in creating and consolidating peace, in line with the late Ali Mazrui’s call for a Pax Africana, and a successful case of the responsibility to protect (R2P), African efforts were limited by the liberal peacemaking framework chosen by the lead mediator, Ghana’s Kofi Annan. The chapter concludes by exposing the limits of liberal peacemaking processes in bringing about any meaningful political transformation, beyond the accommodation of national elites.