On 06 August 2015 SALO hosted a consensus building dialogue on Burundi, Lesotho, Swaziland and Madagascar. This dialogue focused on these countries within the context of recent multi-lateral interventions in the respective countries.
The unravelling political situation in Lesotho has raised questions about the efficacy of multilateral interventions to resolve domestic conflicts. Zimbabwe and Madagascar, like Lesotho, have come out of SADC-brokered mediation and certain cross-cutting challenges and limitations have been observed thus raising fears about the sustainability of the political settlements upon which current political dispensations in those countries are based. None of the three countries have been able to fully implement SADC-recommended democratic, political and institutional reforms deemed necessary to ensure stability. That hardly four months after holding a SADC-supervised election meant to resolve a late 2014 political crisis, Lesotho is in a crisis after the assassination of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao, means that dialogue to examine and strengthen multilateral interventions is even more pertinent. The situation in Burundi, where the country has disregarded AU proposals to resolve its domestic political crisis, provokes similar questions. The AU’s leverage on Burundi seems limited and the country may plunge into armed conflict with the continental body watching helplessly. The implications of this for the AU’s role and credibility in mediating and preventing conflicts are potentially far reaching.
SALO would like to thank the European Union (EU) through the SA-EU Dialogue Facility for their direct support of this event
and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES); the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Pretoria; Irish Aid and the Embassy of Ireland, Pretoria.