Civil Society Participation in Peacemaking and Mediation Support in the APSA: Insights on the AU, ECOWAS and SADC

Recognising the need to institutionalise mediation capacity and to foster the participation of non-state actors in conflict prevention and peacemaking, the African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), which form the building blocks of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), have established Mediation Support Structures (MSS) and developed partnerships with civil society organisations (CSOs). This report was compiled by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) which is based in Cape Town, South Africa. It offers comparative insights, firstly, on the framework for the inclusion of civil society stakeholders from conflict-affected states in peacemaking. Secondly, on the potential contributions of African non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that specialise in peace and security to the development of mediation support capacity in the AU, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).