The Role of Track Two Diplomacy in the Democratic Republic of Congo Conflict

  • Sagaren Naidoo


Negotiating a cease-fire and a political solution, at the top political and military level, was an obvious first priority for peace-brokers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) conflict. A flurry of first track and official diplomatic efforts were pursued with the aim of convincing the Kabila government, rebel movements and regional states, to negotiate and implement a cease-fire agreement. Track two diplomacy played a  minimal role in facilitating the signing of a cease-fire agreement. It, however, served as a reconciliatory effort at the civil society level. Track two diplomacy made a critical  contribution to the official peace process by providing the unarmed actors with an  opportunity to voice their position on the conflict. The de facto partitioning of the country during the war made contact between civil society organisations from the occupied zones difficult, if not impossible. Unofficial track two diplomatic efforts  conducted outside the DRC served to provide civil society groups with a platform of  interaction and engagement. These exercises allowed the unarmed forces to achieve greater co-ordination of their programmes and an opportunity to organise themselves into a stronger voice.

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eISSN: 1562-6997