One of the most crucial phases in successful mediation is the launch of negotiations. This is often referred to as entry into the mediation process or getting into mediation. The successful launch of negotiations is therefore a sine qua non for the resolution of a conflict through mediation.
This study applies the theory of ripeness to the Africa Union’s (AU) 10 April 2011 launch of negotiations in the 2011 Libyan conflict in order to assess its utility value as a tool in the successful launching of negotiations. The theory assumes that for the successful launch of negotiations a conflict has to be ripe for resolution, in the sense that all the elements of the theory of ripeness, namely a Mutually Hurting Stalemate (MHS), a Way Out and a Valid Spokesperson (VS), have to be present.
This study argues that the theory of ripeness could have been used by the AU, as a tool to assess whether the 2011 Libyan conflict was ripe for resolution through mediation, prior to its launch of mediation efforts on 10 April 2011. It is further argued that as a result of the AU’s failure to apply the theory of ripeness, its mediation efforts were launched prematurely in that throughout the conflict, parties to the conflict were still determined that victory through unilateral means was a possibility.
Having applied all the elements of the theory of ripeness to the 2011 Libyan conflict, the study concludes that the conflict was not ripe for resolution through mediation at the time of the launch of the AU’s mediation efforts.
Dissertation (MDIPS)--University of Pretoria, 2015.