05. Okt 2017 | 19.00 - 20.30 Uhr
Café Playing with Eeels

5 OKT | MEDIATION IN AFRICA: Hope for South Sudan?

Second Teatime: Mediation in Africa

From People to People: Civil Society as Mediation Actors – Hope for South Sudan?

Thursday, 05 October 2017, 19:00 o’clock
@Café Playing with Eeels
Urbanstraße 32
10967 Berlin

The Programme Peace and Security invites you to its second Teatime of the Series Mediation in Africa! Over the course of the next months and together with international experts, we will discuss and analyse challenges and opportunities of (emerging) structures as well as actors on the African continent, that aim at preventing and transforming conflicts with the power of mediation.

From People to People: Civil Society as Mediation Actors – Hope for South Sudan?

In many cases, high-ranking mediation processes between governments and opposition movements can benefit greatly from being accompanied, and ideally supported, by mediation processes on the civil society level. Religious representatives, civil society leaders, and customary authorities often play an important role in these processes – they are much closer to the problem, have better access to conflict stakeholders and can enjoy more legitimacy than governmental officials far away in the capital. Yet, as in the case of the last attempts to bring peace to South Sudan, international actors tend to focus on elite level processes and neglect the local level of conflict and the potential of local level conflict transformation processes. 

In the face of the upcoming Bundestag elections on 24 September 2017 and Polis180’s democracy campaign “Demokratie braucht Dich”, we would like to raise awareness for international affairs and peacebuilding and their impact on European and German politics, as well as learn from international mediation examples for Germany’s and Europe’s political strategies. Together with you and the international expert on mediation and conflict, Michael Jay Arensen, we want to look closer at the challenges and potentials of increased attention to local level mediation processes, in particular in the context of the ongoing civil war in South Sudan: How can local level peace processes be supported? When do we need an elite-driven process? Can local peace processes bring change to South Sudan?

Michael J. Arensen is Senior Project Manager at the Berghof Foundation, focusing on South Sudan. In the last 13 years, he has managed and coordinated humanitarian and peacebuilding programmes for various INGOs in Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea and South Sudan. He has organized and advised different peace dialogues among conflicting ethnic groups in South Sudan including youth leaders (2011), women leaders (2012), and chiefs (2016), and managed a national peace program, which partnered with numerous community based organisations. Michael has done extensive research on the role of youth in violence, the Nuer White Armies, inter-ethnic conflicts, customary authorities, the militarisation of societies, food security, and protection of civilians. He holds degrees from Houghton College and Uppsala University.

We would be happy to see you at the teatime and welcome your contributions.

We would be happy to see you at the teatime and welcome your contributions to a fruitful discussion!

Please register until October 3! If you have any further questions, please e-mail elsa.benhoefer@polis180.org.


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