This three-day event in the British High Commission in Nairobi provided an opportunity to hear and discuss the latest research and evidence that should be shaping the UK’s approach to transforming violent conflict and engaging in peace processes. To ensure that our conflict analysis and strategies for supporting stability are as robust as possible, the latest thinking on the difficulty of sustainable inclusive peace processes, the political marketplace, the nature of political deals, and cross-border conflict dynamics was presented by major DFID-funded research projects. PSRP research was represented by Programme Director Christine Bell (University of Edinburgh), Jan Pospisil (ASPR Vienna), Julia Bello-Schünemann (ISS) and Judith Verweijen (Rift Valley Institute / University of Ghent / University of Sussex).
Discussions focused on the relationship between the political marketplace of violent conflict and the opportunities for inclusive deal making on a conceptual level. Particularly fruitful were the debates on the non-economic aspects of the political marketplace, in which peace agreements play a significant part. Discussions then focused on the perspectives of the recently signed Khartoum agreement on the conflict in South Sudan.
In this context, Christine Bell introduced the PA-X database to the HMG East Africa Country Teams. Julia Bello-Schünemann presented the recent ISS forecasting report on political instability in Sub-Sahara Africa with a focus on the situation in Kenya. Country sessions on Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and the DRC, where Judith Verweijen presented parts of her work on the conflict setting in the Kivu provinces for RVI’s Usalama-Project in the framework of PSRP, provided the opportunity for more in-depth discussions on country contexts.
Picture credits: Jan Pospisil, road in Juba, South Sudan