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FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
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Findings and Analysis
As per the review of literature and studies, there is a delineation of the importance of understanding the context of power sharing. The concept is a set of principles that is practiced by an institution to allow all groups to participate in decision making of common issues (Akinele, 2000). The incentives used to address those that are vulnerable must be understood to prevent the emergence of conflict renewal. Most of the conflict(s) in Africa emerge from inequality and exclusion where some ethnic groups feel segregated from governance which inevitably leads to underdevelopment (Akinele, 2000). Similarly, the elections have often resulted in violence. This is because, despite the countries claim of supporting democracy, they care less to know if the representation is adequate. Rwanda and South Africa are among the African nations that have used as case studies to understanding power-sharing and consociationalism.
Delving further into issues of inequality, there is an understanding that the African countries such as Kenya are ‘suffering’ from ethnic segregation(s). The Luos and Kikuyus of Kenya have been known to have an inescapable conflict(s) arising from a fight for power (Katho, 2013; Nyamato, 2014). These nations are classified under the category whose altercations arise from ethical differences. The North Ireland’s model advocating for consociationalism, however, works to Kenya’s advantage as it encourages the leaders to employ power-sharing strategies. In fact, Raila Odinga was appointed as Kenya’s first Prime Minister in 2008 when he was defeated during the 2007 General Elections. The idea(s) of appointing him was somewhat a ‘leeway’ to the implementation of these power-sharing strategies. Again, when there is applause of only two tribes [Luo and Kikuyu] in Kenya, the minorities remain ‘segregated’ (Katho, 2013; Nyamato, 2014). Violence is inevitable when the minority groups feel like their rights are being ignored and sidelined in oblivion. At this point, there may be an inclusion of Burton’s Human Needs Model that resolves conflict(s) through protecting the needs of people. The minorities are a representation of the violence that ensues when human beings are exposed to unmet needs. Furthermore; segregation in African countries is not only ethnic-affiliated but also placed along the lines of religion, politics, gender and sexual orientation. Countries such as Uganda, for instance, have witnessed violence against the LGBT community. After the 2016 Pride, Uganda was impeded by the police, the 2017 one was filled with threats of violence and arrest. Thriving in such an environment, therefore, is bound to augur retaliation from the LGBT individuals.
Another finding dictates that consociationalism only works in favor of particular nations. It is unfortunate that African countries such as Uganda are under extreme dictatorial rules, therefore, making it difficult to implement these power-sharing strategies. In fact, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has repeatedly arrested his opponent, Kizza Besigye; in an attempt to maintain his poor leadership. Uganda is in-line with Rwanda as they represent the failure(s) of consociationalism and any other form(s) of power-sharing strategies (Traniello, 2008). Power cannot allow some leaders to cooperate and work well with their counterparts. Even from Morton Deutsch’s Cooperative Model; there is a depiction that cooperation leads to win-win outcomes. Resolving to compete with one another leads to win-lose outcomes that do not work in favor of a nation’s developmental nature. For instance; the situation in Kenya now is quite complex as the nation has ‘two’ presidents. The 2017 General Elections in Kenya were disputed by Raila Odinga and his opposition party; forcing the country to have a re-run in the same. While Kenya appointed Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s president, the opposition government also set aside plans to swear in Raila Odinga as the president. Such form(s) of confusion are not aligned with Northern Ireland’s model of conflict resolution as consociationalism does not endorse win-lose outcomes. South Africa is, in fact, the perfect example of countries that implement consociationalism and power-sharing strategies from an effective position(s) (Traniello, 2008). The fact that Rwanda’s government did not succumb to power-sharing strategies is only a projection that democracy and conflict resolution are in-line with one another (Traniello, 2008). The consociation design of the Interim Constitution provided South Africa favorable conditions for power sharing as the leaders were willing to accommodate each, including the minorities. Unfortunately, these factors were missing in Rwanda which led to an unstable environment that eventually led to the genocide that killed almost 1,000,000 people. Again, death was also prevalent in Kenya during the 2007 general election as a result of post-election violence which left thousands of people died while many others were permanently displaced.
Additionally, there is a finding that the majority groups-who are elites- are somewhat inclined toward constant altercations rather than peace-building (Kabanda, 2012). The constant urge to ascertain their powerful nature may involve ignoring the minorities, their needs, and rights. Apart from the genocide in Rwanda, the lower classes in Zimbabwe have also suffered through bulldozing from Mugabe’s regime. Apparently; during his time, Mugabe believed that the poor people were maggots that would only be eliminated if he approved the idea(s) of destroying their homes. It is necessary to delve into the Human Needs Model by Burton as a way of addressing these unmet needs of the poor people (Kabanda, 2012). These elites and majority groups are not affiliated with democratic policies; thus, they make it impossible to instigate power-sharing strategies, as per Northern Ireland’s conflict model.
Understanding the role(s) of Northern Ireland’s consociationalism in Africa also affects other countries such as Sudan; which are under dictatorial rule(s). Sudan has encountered quite some brutal civil wars under dictatorship rule ever since its acquisition of independence in 1956. The country has been under the military officers for most of its history. Bashir’s rule was found to be the most brutal as the leader, just like Uganda’s Museveni, uses military forces to deal with those who opposed him and his government. A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005 with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLAM). Bashir, the leader of SPLA/M, became the president while John Garang who fought for a united country became the vice president. However, studies show that power-sharing does not result in long-term resolution of conflicts. Sudan still faces political, ethnic, and even religious oppression. Lijphart’s consociational arrangements are based on building a consensus in decision making. The study found this method to be useful as it ensured that the majority do not take control and hence mitigating conflicts. Furthermore, according to the study, there was also a finding that it was more complex to solve conflicts through power-sharing particularly in the involvement of an armed force(s). Concessions are quite complex, and the armed force(s) is unwilling to lay down arms unless they feel that their interests will be protected by the new institution(s). Again, this was overtly evident in Northern Ireland where the Irish Republic Army (IRA) retained their weapons until 2005 which appeared much later after the signing of the power-sharing agreement.
Akinele. R. T. (2000). “Power-sharing and conflict management in Africa: Nigeria, Sudan and Rwanda” In Africa development. Vol. XXV. Nr 3&4.
Katho, D. (2013). “Power-sharing in Resolving Africa’s Electoral Conflict.” Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi.
Kabanda, U. (2012). “Consociational Democracy in Africa.” American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences.
Nyamato, N.W. (2014). “Power-sharing as a Mode of Conflict Management in Post-conflict Societies in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities.” Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, University of Nairobi.
Traniello, M. (2008). “Power-Sharing: Lessons from South Africa and Rwanda.” International Public Policy Review.
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