South African Peacebuilding Approaches: Evolution and Lessons

Charles Nyuykonge, Siphamandla Zondi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Since the end of apartheid and the birth of inclusive electoral democracy in 1994, South Africa has foregrounded Pan-Africanism and South–South cooperation as guiding principles. It has framed its foreign policy in terms of opposition to colonialism and imperialism, while emphasizing multilateralism as a framework. While the roles of South Africa in peacebuilding on the continent are diverse, often depending on the circumstances of each case, there are certain common features. These include a preference for negotiated settlements and inclusive political arrangements that involve even spoilers and external actors; an emphasis on reconciliation that includes the establishment of structures like human rights commissions and truth commissions; international donor conferences and contact groups to support the implementation of agreements; and peacekeeping to protect the newly agreed arrangements. South Africa also views its peace efforts as political in nature, thus utilizing various interventions. So while South Africa focused more on mediation and then peacekeeping in Darfur, in Burundi the focus on mediation and peacebuilding was much greater than peacekeeping. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the focus was initially on mediation but later turned to peacekeeping and peacebuilding to help implement the peace agreement and subsequently protect it from armed movements. In Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe, the focus was purely on mediation. This chapter critically reflects on how South African interventions in conflict and post-conflict settings have evolved and what can be learned from them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Peace and Conflict Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRethinking Peace and Conflict Studies
ISSN (Print)1759-3735
ISSN (Electronic)2752-857X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'South African Peacebuilding Approaches: Evolution and Lessons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this