Conflict Trends Issue 2 2005
"The major questions that arise from the broad conclusions drawn are the following. How sustainable and durable are the various peace agreements and elected governments? Will the Great Lakes region be able to harness its huge potential to unlock growth, and economic and social development? What will it take for the Great Lakes region to unlock this potential and when is this likely to happen? The sustainability and durability of the peace agreements and political environment in the stable countries are dependent on several variables. The first and most important variable is the political will of the politicians. The politicians hold the key to unlocking the potential of their respective countries. If they display the political will and commitment to building a stable and prosperous nation they are likely to get the support to do just that. They have to be focused on the long term and not merely on the next election. Long term vision and commitment to that vision is vitally important. Politicians who assume their positions merely to exploit their office for personal gain generally have a short term view. The numerous structural impediments that face the countries of this region can only be dealt with in the long term. The second and equally important variable is the political will and commitment of the people generally towards building a stable future. The people of a country in conflict or one with a threatened peace must want peace."