An assessment of the role of regional organisations in maintaining peace and security in Africa: A case study of the South African Development Community (SADC) on the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe 2008-2013
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Conflicts have been on the increase on the African continent in recent years. These have varied in strength with some assuming severe consequences, while others have manifested themselves after a call for elections in a country where some political parties argue that the elections have been rigged resulting in eruptions of political violence. Regional Organisations have played a crucial role in attempting to maintain peace and security in their members states. Efforts by regional organisations in trying to maintain peace and security has also been affected by the internal politics underlying the concerned country. With the complexity that characterises efforts of maintaining peace and security, Africa is reporting a new dispensation of power sharing agreements as a conflict prevention strategy with the latest ones in Kenya 2007 and Zimbabwe in 2008 respectively. Power sharing agreements have been met with mixed reactions with some quarters that it is an insult to democracy where the loser becomes the winner and vice versa forcing the parties into what others call "marriage of conveniences". But with the political violence, the displacements and human suffering that follows the disputed elections and the complexities that comes with securocrats in the country of disputes, it can be noted that power sharing agreements provide diagnosis for peaceful resolution to conflicts although it can be argued that it can be a short term solution to a bigger problem that has prospects of exploding in the near future. This study deliberated on the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe and how SADC contributed to its formation and provides an analysis of the role it has played in the full implementation of the agreement as a peace and security measure. This study has used desktop type of research and structured and unstructured interviews to come up with this study. From the topic under study it has been deduced that SADC as a regional body has managed to a larger extent assisted in the maintenance of peace and security in Zimbabwe. But it has also been noted that the regional block has not done much in ensuring the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement which it is a guarantor. This has been mainly attributed to the complex composition of the GPA principals comprising of three divergent political leaders who want to take much and give less pertaining to the operations of the agreement. From the findings of the research, it can be recommended that SADC should come up with strict enforcement powers to ensure full implementation of agreements and that SADC should also engage civil society organisations that will help with checks and balances of GNUs.