Namibian independence was the result of more than a decade of mediation. It began with a multiparty mediation effort in 1978 that resulted in a peace agreement between South Africa and SWAPO, yet there was no cessation of hostilities and no implementation of the signed agreement. This was followed by a series of mediation efforts that culminated in a major effort in 1988 which resulted in another agreement, signed by different parties (South Africa, Cuba and Angola). This Trilateral Agreement resulted in the cessation of the hostilities, the implementation of the first agreement (1978) and of the second agreement signed in 1988, which finally led to Namibia s independence.
This study considered the theory on the factors contributing to mediation success and applied it to the 1988 mediation in order to identify the factors that positively contributed to the successful mediation outcome and sustainable peace in Namibia.
This study found that not all the factors identified in the theory impacted on the mediation outcome, and that these factors are not a blueprint when engaging in mediation. The study found that the Namibian case study supports the theory in certain aspects. In instances when the mediator initiates the mediation process at the appropriate time, when the conflict is ripe for resolution, the chances of successful mediation are improved. Furthermore, the study found that mediator skill and strategy improve the chances of mediation success. Prospects for sustainable peace are further enhanced when the mediation outcome is supported by a comprehensive agreement and a detailed implementation plan.
This study identified the need for further study on the role of sponsors during mediation and their continued support after the signing of the agreement.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.