Manual 21375688

Manual 21375688



Examining  the  Role  of  Preventive  Diplomacy  in  South  Africa’s  

Foreign  Policy  towards  Zimbabwe,  2000-­‐2009  




A  dissertation  submitted  in  fulfillment  of  the   requirements  for  the  degree  




  in  the    









DECEMBER  2012  


© U n i i v e r r s i i t t y o f P r r e t t o r r i i a

















Mom,  Dad  and  Peter   with  love   and  to  the  memory  of  

Eddie  Matsangaise,   your  struggle  lives  on.  










The  completion  of  this  dissertation  would  not  have  been  possible  without  the  support  of   so  many  people.  First  and  foremost,  I  would  like  to  thank  Professor  Hussein  Solomon  for   his   unwavering   belief   in   my   capabilities   and   his   valuable   supervision   throughout   the   project.  Hussein,  I  look  forward  to  the  day  we  work  together  again.  To  Seán,  you  took  a   chance  on  me  when  I  most  needed  direction.  I  was  nurtured  and  was  able  to  flourish   under  your  guidance  and  your  patience.  Thank  you  for  helping  me  get  more  of  this  vast   and   beautiful   African   continent   under   my   skin.   Amy   Eaglestone,   you   have   been   my   mentor  for  this  study,  for  work,  for  life.  You  are  my  best  friend  and  I  thank  you  for  your   constant  love  and  support.  To  all  of  you  at  BICCCS,  thank  you  for  giving  me  a  welcoming   home   through   the   long   days   of   the   writing   process.   I   am   grateful   to   all   my   friends   in  

South  Africa  for  being  my  surrogate  family  for  the  past  six  years,  and  to  my  friends  at   home  in  Canada  for  sending  constant  encouragement  while  I’ve  been  so  far  from  that   home.  To  Gabriel,  Jestina  and  Irene,  you  take  risks  every  day  as  you  work  towards  the   respect  of  human  rights  and  the  development  of  a  more  open  and  democratic  society  in  

Zimbabwe.  Your  dedication  and  passion  will  continue  to  inspire  me.  Last  but  not  least,  I   would  like  to  take  this  moment  to  express  my  love  and  gratitude  to  my  beloved  parents   and  brother.  You  believe  in  me  and  love  me  unconditionally.  You  lift  me  up,  dust  me  off,  










  and  give  me  the  strength  to  be  the  person  I  strive  to  be.   iii  







The   recent   political   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   has   attracted   the   attention   of   policymakers,   academics  and  the  media  alike  in  the  neighbouring  countries  of  the  region,  across  the  

African   continent   and   internationally.   While   the   story   of   an   ageing   African   liberation   hero   turned   dictator   who,   through   autocratic   rule,   has   governed   his   country   and   his   people  to  the  ground  in  order  to  maintain  power  is  captivating,  a  key  element  of  the   fascination   is   the   critical   diplomatic   role   played   by   South   Africa   from   2000   onward.  

Foreign   policy   in   post-­‐apartheid   South   Africa   on   paper   is   driven   by   human   rights   and   democracy,  conflict  prevention  and  conflict  resolution  through  peaceful  means,  and  the   promotion  of  African  interests  in  world  affairs.  However,  after  observing  South  Africa’s   involvement   in   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   between   2000   and   2009,   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   appears   to   be   propelled   more   by   African   solidarity   and   sovereignty,   anti-­‐ imperialism,  and  a  softer  interpretation  of  preventive  diplomacy  than  its  international   counterparts.   Thabo   Mbeki’s   preventive   diplomacy   toward   Zimbabwe   during   his   presidency  was  slow  to  produce  results,  lacked  transparency  and  frustrated  many,  yet,   when   examined   under   a   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   lens,   Mbeki’s   policy   did   eventually  garner  success  through  the  signing  of  the  Global  Political  Agreement  (GPA)   and  the  formation  of  an  inclusive  government  in  Zimbabwe.  This  dissertation  examines   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   under  Mbeki’s  leadership  and  determines  the  point  at  which  South  Africa  switched  from   an   approach   of   preventive   diplomacy   to   one   of   conflict   resolution   and   conflict   management.    


The  concept  of  ‘preventive  diplomacy’  is  often  focused  on  government-­‐to-­‐government   relations   or   the   high   level   diplomacy   of   intergovernmental   organizations   such   as   the   iv  


United   Nations   (UN).   Multi-­‐track   diplomacy   expands   on   this   traditional   interpretation   and  considers  the  preventive  diplomacy  contributions  of  a  variety  of  non-­‐state  actors  to   the   practice   of   conflict   prevention.   This   dissertation   uniquely   moulds   the   preventive   diplomacy  theoretical  framework  of  Michael  Lund  with  Kumar  Rupesinghe’s  concept  of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   to   form   a   more   comprehensive   illustration   of   the   role   of   preventive  diplomacy  in  the  approach  of  multiple  actors  towards  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.  

The  more  inclusive  preventive  diplomacy  theoretical  framework  is  then  applied  to  the   conflict  in  Zimbabwe  between  2000  and  2009.    


Through  the  application  of  a  preventive  diplomacy  framework  which  incorporates  the   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   it   is   then   possible   to   observe   the   South   African   government’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe  first  between  2000  and  

2007   and   then   as   mandated   by   SADC   between   2007   and   2009   and   finally   compare   it   with   the   diplomacy   of   multi-­‐track   actors   such   as   the   UN,   Zimbabwe-­‐based   and   South  

African-­‐based   civil   society   organizations,   the   Zimbabwean   Diaspora,   religious   groups,   and  financial  institutions.  The  examination  of  the  larger  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in   the  Zimbabwe  conflict  situation  leads  to  the  understanding  that  each  diplomatic  effort  is   interlinked.   Therefore   the   culminating   event   of   the   South   African   government’s   preventive  diplomacy  approach  in  the  Global  Political  Agreement  could  not  have  been   achieved  without  the  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  of  a  multitude  of  actors  who  were   also  committed  to  preventing  violence  and  finding  a  lasting  solution  to  the  conflict  in  

Zimbabwe.     v  

Key   Concepts:   Conflict,   Conflict   Intervention,   Conflict   Prevention,   Conflict   Resolution,  

Conflict   Management,   Preventive   Diplomacy,   Conflict   Life   Cycle,   Early   Warning,   Track  

One   Track   Two   Diplomacy,   Multi-­‐track   Diplomacy,   Inter-­‐governmental   Diplomacy,  

Governmental   Diplomacy,   Ecumenical   Diplomacy,   Citizen   Diplomacy,   Economic  

Diplomacy,   South   Africa,   Thabo   Mbeki,   ANC,   Zimbabwe,   MDC,   ZANU-­‐PF,   SADC,   AU,  

Foreign   Policy,   UN,   CSOs,   NGOs,   Zimbabwean   Diaspora,   Global   Political   Agreement,  



Inclusive  Government.      






AIPPA   Access  to  Information  and  Protection  of  Privacy  Act  

ANC   African  National  Congress  

AU   African  Union  

BEE   Black  Economic  Empowerment  

CC   Constitutional  Commission  

CCJPZ   Catholic  Commission  for  Justice  and  Peace  in  Zimbabwe  

CHOGM        Commonwealth  Heads  of  Government  Meeting  

CSO   Civil  Society  Organization  

ESAP   Economic  Structural  Adjustment  Programme  

EU   European  Union  

GNU   Government  of  National  Unity  

GPA   Global  Political  Agreement  

IMF   International  Monetary  Fund  

JOC   Joint  Operations  Command  

JOMIC   Joint  Monitoring  and  Implementation  Committee    

MDC   Movement  for  Democratic  Change  

NCA   National  Constitutional  Assembly  

NGO   Non-­‐governmental  Organization  

OAU   Organization  of  African  Unity  

OSISA   Open  Society  Initiative  for  Southern  Africa  

POSA   Public  Order  and  Security  Act  

RF     Rhodesian  Front  

SADC   Southern  African  Development  Community  

SALC   South  African  Litigation  Centre  

SATAWU          South  African  Transport  and  Allied  Workers  Union  

UDI   Unilateral  Declaration  of  Independence   vii  


UN   United  Nations  

UNDP   United  Nations  Development  Fund  

UNHCR            United  Nations  High  Commission  for  Refugees  

UNICEF      United  Nations  Children’s  Fund  

ZANLA  Zimbabwe  National  Liberation  Army  

ZANU   Zimbabwe  African  National  Union  

ZANU-­‐PF      Zimbabwe  African  National  Union  –  Patriotic  Front  

ZAPU   Zimbabwe  African  People’s  Union  

ZCBC   Zimbabwe  Catholic  Bishops  Conference  

ZCC   Zimbabwe  Council  of  Churches  

ZCTU   Zimbabwe  Congress  of  Trade  Unions  

ZEF   Zimbabwe  Evangelical  Fellowship  

ZEF   Zimbabwe  Exiles  Forum  

ZIPRA   Zimbabwe  People’s  Revolutionary  Army  






















ZLHR   Zimbabwe  Lawyers  for  Human  Rights   viii  


Chronology  of  Key  Events  



1964  –  Rhodesian  Front’s  (RF)  Ian  Smith  becomes  Prime  Minister  of  Rhodesia    

1965  –  Unilateral  Declaration  of  Independence  (UDI)  on  11  November.  Economic   sanctions  imposed  by  Britain  

1966  –  Britain  imposes  sanctions  on  all  trade  with  Rhodesia.  UN  imposes  oil  embargo  on  


1968  –  UN  imposes  comprehensive  mandatory  sanctions  on  Rhodesia.  

1969  –  A  new  Rhodesian  constitution  extends  franchise  to  selected  groups.    

1972  –  Guerilla  war  led  by  rival  African  nationalist  groups  ZANU  and  ZAPU  against  white   rule  escalates  as  the  violence  extends  into  urban  areas.    

1975  –  Mozambique  attains  independence  and  closes  border  with  Rhodesia.  Robert  

Mugabe  replaces  Sithole  as  leader  of  ZANU  

1976  –  Patriotic  Front  is  formed  to  unite  ZANU  and  ZAPU.    

1978  –  Internal  settlement  between  Smith,  Muzorewa  (African  National  Council),  Sithole  

(ZANU)  and  Chief  Chirau  (traditional  leader)  for  majority  rule  elections.  Patriotic  Front   boycotts  agreement.  The  new  state  of  Zimbabwe-­‐Rhodesia  formed.  Civil  war  continues.  

1979  –  Lancaster  House  Conference  of  all  parties  brokered  by  Britain  concludes  with  a   peace  agreement  and  a  new  constitution.    

1980  –  ZANU  wins  elections  supervised  by  Britain.  Zimbabwe  attains  independence  on  

18  April  with  Mugabe  as  Prime  Minister.    

1982  –  Mugabe  removes  ZAPU’s  Nkomo  from  cabinet.  Zimbabwe  holds  non-­‐permanent   seat  in  the  UN.    

1982-­‐1987  –  Gukurahundi  Massacres.  Estimated  20,000  civilians  killed  in  Midlands  and  

Matabeleland  provinces  by  government  forces.    

1987  –  Constitutional  amendment  introduces  Executive  Presidency,  centralizing  power.  

Unity  Accord  forms  ZANU-­‐PF  and  ends  violence  but  eliminates  political  opposition.     ix  


1988  –  World  Health  Organization  and  UNICEF  recognize  Zimbabwe’s  accomplishments   in  the  provision  of  water  and  sanitation  to  rural  households.    

1991  –  Harare  Declaration  adopted  by  Commonwealth.  Economic  Structural  Adjustment  

Programme  (ESAP)  introduced.    

1996  –  Largest  strike  of  civil  servants  in  independent  Zimbabwe.    

1997  –  War  veterans  demand  special  compensation  from  government.  General  Strike   incites  government  to  introduce  repressive  laws  restricting  the  right  to  strike.  

-­‐  Formation  of  the  National  Constitutional  Assembly  (NCA).    

1998  –  Economic  crisis  causes  riots  and  strikes.    

1999  –  Formation  of  opposition  Movement  for  Democratic  Change  (MDC).    

2000  –  Government  defeated  in  referendum  on  draft  constitution.  General  elections   take  place  in  an  environment  of  politically  motivated  violence.  ZANU-­‐PF  narrowly  wins   vote.    

2002  –  EU  imposes  sanctions  on  Zimbabwe  and  withdraws  elections  observer  team.  

Mugabe  wins  highly  contested  Presidential  elections  against  a  violent  backdrop.  

Government  introduces  Public  Order  and  Security  Act  (POSA)  and  Access  to  Information   and  Protection  of  Privacy  Act  (AIPPA).  Zimbabwe  suspended  from  Commonwealth  for   one  year.    

2003  –  Zimbabwe  pulls  out  of  Commonwealth.    

2005  –  ZANU-­‐PF  wins  two-­‐thirds  majority  in  parliamentary  polls,  despite  widespread   criticism  of  the  legitimacy  of  the  elections  by  external  observer  teams.  MDC  splits  into   two  factions:  MDC-­‐T  (Tsvangirai)  and  MDC-­‐M  (Mutambara).  

2007  –  March:  Peaceful  rally  in  Harare  suburb  is  violently  disrupted  by  police  and   subjecting  citizens  and  opposition  supporters  to  death,  torture  and  mass  arrests.  SADC   mandates  Mbeki  to  negotiate  a  political  agreement  between  the  three  political  parties.  

Talks  begin  in  South  Africa.    

2008  –  March:  Presidential  and  parliamentary  elections  held.  MDC  declares  victory.  

March-­‐June:  Violent  campaign  against  opposition  supporters  is  the  worst  instance  of   violence  in  Zimbabwe  since  the  Gukurahundi  Massacres.     x  











May:  Zimbabwe  Electoral  Council  (ZEC)  announces  the  need  for  a  presidential  run-­‐off.  

June:  Tsvangirai  withdraws  from  presidential  race.  Mugabe  swears  himself  in  as  

President.  AU  Summit  in  Egypt  mandates  SADC  to  resume  mediation.    

September:  Global  Political  Agreement  (GPA)  signed  by  ZANU-­‐PF  and  two  MDC  parties.    

2009  –  January:  JOMIC  launched  to  monitor  implementation  of  GPA.    

February:  Formation  of  the  Inclusive  Government.    


April:  Zuma  replaces  Mbeki  as  SADC  chief  mediator.   xi  


Table  of  Contents  


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  ......................................................................................................................  III


ABSTRACT  ..............................................................................................................................................  IV


ABBREVIATIONS  .................................................................................................................................  VII


CHRONOLOGY  OF  KEY  EVENTS  ........................................................................................................  IX


CHAPTER  1  ...............................................................................................................................................  3



 ..........................................................................................................................................................  3



Identification  of  the  Research  Theme  .................................................................................................  3

1.2  The  Significance  of  the  Research  Theme  ............................................................................................  7

1.3  The  Formulation  and  Demarcation  of  the  Research  Problem  ................................................  11

1.4  The  Literature  Survey  ...............................................................................................................................  13

1.5  The  Methodological  Aspects  of  the  Study  .........................................................................................  17

1.6  The  Structure  and  Outline  of  the  Study  .............................................................................................  18

1.7  Conclusion  ......................................................................................................................................................  20










CHAPTER  2  ............................................................................................................................................  22













 ............................................  22

2.1  Introduction  ..................................................................................................................................................  22

2.2  Defining  Conflict  ..........................................................................................................................................  24

2.3  A  Conflict  Life  Cycle  ....................................................................................................................................  27

2.4  Conflict  Prevention  and  Early  Warning  Systems  ..........................................................................  29

2.5  Preventive  Diplomacy  ...............................................................................................................................  38

2.6  Examining  Lund’s  Conceptual  Framework  .....................................................................................  42

2.7  Exploring  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox  .........................................................................  50

2.8  Implementing  Preventive  Diplomacy  .................................................................................................  52

2.9  Critiquing  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Framework  through  a  Multi-­‐Track  

Diplomacy  lens  ....................................................................................................................................................  59

2.10  Conclusion  ...................................................................................................................................................  64













CHAPTER  3  ............................................................................................................................................  67











 .................................................................................  67



3.1  Introduction  ..................................................................................................................................................  67

3.2  Emergence  of  an  independent  Zimbabwe  ........................................................................................  68

3.3  Prosperity  to  Crisis  .....................................................................................................................................  73

3.4  The  Decade  of  Decline  ...............................................................................................................................  81

3.5  Shifting  strategies  in  South  Africa’s  foreign  relations  with  Zimbabwe:  An  historical   context  .....................................................................................................................................................................  84





3.6  Conclusion  ......................................................................................................................................................  89



CHAPTER  4  ............................................................................................................................................  91

























2000-­‐2007  ......................................................................................................................................  91

4.1  Introduction  ..................................................................................................................................................  91

4.2  A  State  in  Transition:  From  Rainbow  Nation  rhetoric  to  the  transformation  of  South  

African  foreign  policy  .......................................................................................................................................  92






4.3  A  Second  Transition:  South  African  foreign  policy  under  the  Mbeki  Administration  ..  97

4.4  Treading  Carefully  and  Quietly:  Highlighting  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  in  

Zimbabwe’s  decade  of  decline,  2000  –  2007  .......................................................................................  104

4.5  Conclusion  ...................................................................................................................................................  119




CHAPTER  5  ..........................................................................................................................................  122























2007-­‐2009  ..........................................................  122

5.1  Introduction  ...............................................................................................................................................  122

5.2  A  Regional  Response:  Examining  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  SADC   intervention  in  Zimbabwe’s  decade  of  decline  ...................................................................................  124

5.3  A  Mandated  Mbeki:  The  SADC-­‐led  Zimbabwe  mediation  process,  March  2007  to  

March  2008  ........................................................................................................................................................  130

5.4  The  Conflict  Tipping  Point:  Analyzing  the  role  of  SADC  in  the  March  2008  Presidential   elections  process  ..............................................................................................................................................  137

5.5  The  Last  Straw:  Analyzing  the  role  of  SADC  in  the  June  2008  Presidential  elections  



run-­‐off  ..................................................................................................................................................................  141

5.6  Success  At  Last:  Examining  the  culmination  of  SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach   to  Zimbabwe  through  the  signing  of  the  Global  Political  Agreement  ......................................  143

5.7  Conclusion  ...................................................................................................................................................  145








CHAPTER  6  ..........................................................................................................................................  148
















2000-­‐2009  .........................................................................................  148

6.1  Introduction  ...............................................................................................................................................  148

6.2  Reviewing  Rupesinghe’s  Concept  of  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  .................................................  150





6.3  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  the  United  Nations  in  Response  to   the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  ..................................................................................................................................  152

6.4  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  Zimbabwean  Citizen  Groups  in  

Response  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  ........................................................................................................  158

6.5  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  South  African  Citizen  Groups  in  

Response  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  ........................................................................................................  162




6.6  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  the  Church  in  Response  to  the  

Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  ..........................................................................................................................................  166

6.7  Examining  the  Economic  Diplomacy  Approach  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  ...................  169

6.8  Conclusion  ...................................................................................................................................................  171




CHAPTER  7  ..........................................................................................................................................  174



 .........................................................................................................................................................  174





Introduction  ..............................................................................................................................................  174

A  Review  of  the  Key  Findings  .............................................................................................................  175












Originality  of  the  Research  .................................................................................................................  182



Explaining  the  Selected  Parameters  of  the  Research  .............................................................  183



Incorporating  Recent  Developments  .............................................................................................  184


The  Way  Forward  –  Proposing  areas  of  possible  further  research  ..................................  187


Conclusion  ..................................................................................................................................................  188





BIBLIOGRAPHY  ..................................................................................................................................  190




Chapter  1  





1.1 Identification  of  the  Research  Theme  


In  July  2012,  after  a  highly  contentious  race,  South  Africa’s  Home  Affairs  minister  and   former   Minister   of   Foreign   Affairs,   Nkosazana   Dlamini-­‐Zuma   was   elected   chair   of   the  

African  Union.  This  is  the  second  time  South  Africa  has  been  placed  at  the  helm  of  the   regional   body   and   Dlamini-­‐Zuma’s   appointment   symbolizes   a   revival   of   South   Africa’s   foreign  policy  and  leadership  on  the  continent.  Former  President  Thabo  Mbeki  served  as   chair  during  the  transition  period  in  2002  as  the  Organization  of  African  Unity  (OAU)  was   replaced  by  the  AU.  Mbeki  brought  to  the  position  his  deeply  entrenched  pan-­‐Africanist,   anti-­‐imperialist   outlook   and   was   driven   by   his   vision   of   South   Africa   leading   the   continent  in  an  African  Renaissance  era.  Standing  beside  him  during  this  time  was  his   foreign  policy  second-­‐in-­‐command,  Dlamini-­‐Zuma  who  shared  Mbeki’s  dreams  and  who   will   undoubtedly   carry   this   vision   through   in   her   new   position.   The   African   National  

Congress   (ANC)   leadership,   who   eagerly   campaigned   around   her   great   success   as   a   foreign  minister,  hails  the  recent  nomination  of  South  Africa’s  longest  serving  minister   as  the  head  of  the  AU.  This  claimed  success  could  only  be  primarily  attributed  to  South  

Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   under   Mbeki   and   Dlamini-­‐Zuma’s   leadership,   which   has   been   the   most   vexing,   most   complex   and   longest   of   the   country’s   foreign   engagements.  As  South  Africa  intends  to  play  a  larger  role  on  the  African  continent  in   terms  of  preventing  and  resolving  Africa’s  conflicts,  it  is  important  that  we  understand  

South  Africa’s  experience  in  Zimbabwe  and  draw  critical  lessons  from  that  experience.  

This  dissertation  attempts  to  contribute  to  this  end.    



In   February   2009,   the   Government   of   National   Unity   (GNU)   was   formed   in   Zimbabwe   comprising   three   feuding   political   parties,   the   Zimbabwe   Africa   National   Union   –  

Patriotic  Front  (ZANU-­‐PF),  the  Movement  for  Democratic  Change  (MDC)  Tsvangirai  and   the   MDC   Mutambara.   The   formation   of   the   new   inclusive   government   followed   the   signing  of  the  Global  Political  Agreement  (GPA)  in  September  2008  by  the  leaders  of  the   three  parties.  The  regional  body,  the  Southern  African  Development  Community  (SADC)   brokered   the   negotiations   that   led   to   the   political   transition   with   the   South   African   government   leading   the   mediation   process.   This   event   marked   the   first   time   that  

Zimbabwe’s   President   Robert   Mugabe   shared   power   as   the   head   of   state   for   nearly   three   decades.   Although   images   of   celebrating   Zimbabwean   citizens   flashed   across   television   screens   around   the   world,   an   overwhelming   and   uncomfortable   feeling   of   uncertainty  hung  over  the  scene.  Zimbabweans  had  been  searching  for  a  resolution  to   their  intrastate  political  conflict  for  more  than  a  decade  and  have  greatly  suffered  in  the   long  wait  for  peace.    


By  October  2008,  Zimbabwe’s  inflation  rose  to  a  world  record  height  of  231  million  per   cent  (McGreal,  9  October  2008).  Months  later,  in  January  2009,  only  6  per  cent  of  the   population   was   employed   in   the   formal   sector   (AFP,   29   January   2009).   Between   the   years  2008  and  2009  a  cholera  outbreak  cost  the  lives  of  over  4,000  Zimbabweans  and   infected   over   98,000,   making   it   the   worst   cholera   epidemic   on   the   entire   African   continent  in  the  past  15  years  (BBC  News,  26  May  2009).  In  February  2009,  ahead  of  the   official   formation   of   the   inclusive   government,   the   country’s   economy   was   officially   dollarized,  which  helped  to  stabilize  the  crippled  economy  to  a  degree  (The  New  York  

Times,  9  February  2009);  however,  for  many  ordinary  Zimbabweans,  in  both  urban  and   rural  areas,  access  to  foreign  currency  remains  a  serious  challenge.  Zimbabwe  was  once   known  as  the  ‘bread  basket’  of  the  region  but  after  nearly  a  decade  of  severe  political   and  economic  intrastate  conflict  the  country  became  more  commonly  referred  to  in  the  

  local  and  international  media  as  Southern  Africa’s  ‘basket  case’  (Madslien  2009).    



These  dire  conditions  that  characterized  Zimbabwe  between  2000  and  2009  are  direct   symptoms  of  a  breakdown  of  good  governance.  Bad  policy  decisions  and  the  fear  of  a   rising  political  opposition  on  the  part  of  ZANU-­‐PF  led  to  a  collapsed  economy,  politically   motivated   violence   against   opposition   supporters   and   ordinary   citizens,   and   an   undermined  judicial  system.  The  consequences  created  by  the  internal  crisis  have  come   to   affect   far   more   than   those   living   within   state   borders.   The   conflict   situation   in  

Zimbabwe   has   sent   ripples   of   instability   across   the   Southern   African   region.   This   is   illustrated  by  the  migration  of  millions  of  Zimbabwean  refugees  and  asylum  seekers  to  

South   Africa,   Botswana,   and   Namibia;   the   eruption   of   xenophobic   violence   targeting  

Zimbabweans   in   those   countries;   the   false   but   widely-­‐held   belief   that   foreigners   are   responsible  for  the  majority  of  crime  in  host  countries;  among  other  strains.  Zimbabwe’s   political   conflict   also   led   to   damaging   economic   consequences.   During   the   conflict,   a   reduction  in  foreign  investment  was  felt  due  to  a  negative  perception  of  the  region  held   by   international   investors.   The   economic,   diplomatic   and   moral   sanctions   imposed   on  

Zimbabwe   by   members   of   the   international   community   have   similarly   had   a   negative   effect  on  the  region’s  economy  and  foreign  relations.    


At   first   glance,   the   enactment   of   the   GPA   offered   some   hope   that   the   political   and   economic   crises   in   Zimbabwe   could   be   resolved.   For   example,   under   the   inclusive   government,   three   commissions   (human   rights,   elections   and   media)   were   created   through   a   ‘public’   participation   process,   with   Parliament   playing   a   central   role.   These   bodies   are   expected   to   spearhead   the   reform   process   of   important   state   institutions,   such  as  the  media  and  the  elections  commission.  Notwithstanding  these  achievements,   the   new   government   is   beset   by   profound   problems.   Policy-­‐makers   of   all   three   ruling   political   parties   in   Zimbabwe   are   motivated   by   the   fear   of   losing   power,   the   resulting   financial   benefits,   and   the   fear   of   international   prosecution   for   political   and   financial   corruption,  all  of  which  hinder  them  from  fully  implementing  the  provisions  outlined  in   the  GPA.  The  country  requires  physical  reconstruction  and  reforms  in  the  political  and   security  sectors,  however,  the  inclusive  government  in  its  infancy  got  off  to  a  rocky  start  


  as  the  political  leaders  opted  to  bask  in  their  own  self-­‐interest  and  ignored  the  urgent   needs  of  ordinary  citizens.  In  April  2009,  only  two  months  after  the  implementation  of   the  inclusive  government,  it  was  reported  that  all  but  one  of  the  new  MDC  ministers  had   accepted  an  official  Mercedes  Benz,  which  epitomizes  the  elitist  rule  of  the  past  three  

  decades  under  Mugabe’s  leadership  (Raath  2009).    

Zimbabwe’s   decline   did   not   happen   over   night.   Over   a   period   of   ten   years,   poor   governance,   lingering   and   unresolved   remnants   of   a   colonial   history,   draconian   policy   decisions,   and   a   disregard   of   human   rights,   to   name   but   a   few   contributing   factors,   combined   to   cause   Zimbabwe’s   near   downfall.   With   such   devastating   effects   on   ordinary  citizens  in  Zimbabwe  and  the  ripple  effect  in  neighbouring  countries,  how  could   policymakers   in   Zimbabwe   and   in   the   Southern   African   region   allow   the   situation   to   deteriorate   to   such   a   degree?   What   kind   of   preventive   measures   were   made   and   by   who?   And   at   what   time   did   these   efforts   move   beyond   preventive   diplomacy   and  

  become  conflict  resolution  and  conflict  management  initiatives?    

The  answers  to  the  above  questions  form  the  theme  of  this  research.  The  aim  of  this   dissertation  is  to  examine  the  preventive  diplomatic  measures  taken  by  South  African   government   policymakers,   led   by   former   South   African   President   Thabo   Mbeki,   in   an   attempt  to  halt  the  escalation  of  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  and  the  efforts  taken  to  resolve   the  political  crisis.  The  period  between  2000  and  2007  will  be  examined  with  a  primary   focus   on   the   role   preventive   diplomacy   in   the   South   African   government’s   approach.  

This  will  be  followed  by  an  assessment  of  the  period  between  2007  and  2009,  during  the  


Mbeki-­‐led  SADC  mediation  process  between  the  disputing  political  parties  in  Zimbabwe.  

Preventive  diplomacy  will  be  the  key  theoretical  concept  used  to  evaluate  South  Africa   and   SADC’s   involvement   in   Zimbabwe,   as   well   as   the   contributions   of   other   actors   throughout  the  conflict.    



The   term   preventive   diplomacy   refers   to   the   action   taken   to   prevent   disputes   from   arising  between  two  or  more  parties,  to  prevent  existing  disputes  from  escalating  into   conflicts,   and   to   limit   the   spread   of   the   latter   when   they   occur   (Du   Plessis   2003:   13).    

Michael   Lund’s   (1996)   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework   will   serve   as   the   foundation   for   the   Zimbabwe   case   study.   Through   the   incorporation   of   Kumar  

Rupesinghe’s   (1997)   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   into   Lund’s   framework,   the   dissertation   will   also   evaluate   the   preventive   actions   taken   by   other   key   role   players,   such   as   the   United   Nations,   local   Zimbabwean   and   South   African-­‐based   civil   society   organizations,  the  church,  and  the  business  community.  It  is  only  when  both  Lund  and  

Rupesinghe’s   two   theories   are   merged,   that   this   dissertation   will   complete   the   larger   picture  of  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  approaches  of  various  actors  in  the   conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  The  determination  of  preventive  diplomacy  success  will  contribute   to   a   more   effective   application   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   the   prevention   of   future   conflicts.    


What   sets   this   study   apart   from   others   is   first   its   unique   focus   on   the   Zimbabwean   situation.   Lund’s   (1996)   theoretical   framework   has   been   used   to   illustrate   the   role   of   preventive  diplomacy  in  conflict  situations  in  Central  Europe,  Latin  America,  Haiti,  and   the   Democratic   Republic   of   the   Congo,   but   has   never   been   applied   to   the   unique  

Zimbabwe  context.  Furthermore,  the  blending  of  both  preventive  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐ track   diplomacy   concepts   has   not   yet   been   applied   by   any   study.   This   study   will   contribute   to   the   academic   research   on   preventive   diplomacy   by   presenting   a   more   inclusive   concept   that   acknowledges   the   contributions   to   conflict   prevention   through  

  the   use   of   government-­‐to-­‐government,   or   Track   One   diplomacy,   as   well   as   the   many   components  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.    

1.2  The  Significance  of  the  Research  Theme  


At   the   time   of   writing,   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   continues   unresolved,   even   after   the   formation  of  the  inclusive  government  and  the  extensive  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  


  of   the   South   African   government,   SADC,   and   other   multi-­‐track   actors.   Because   of   this   unsettled  conflict  there  is  significant  interest  in  determining  whether  South  Africa  and   the   other   actors   have   exhausted   all   the   necessary   diplomatic   tools   to   prevent   and   resolve   the   political   conflict,   or   whether   something   more   could   have   been   done.   The   purpose  of  this  dissertation  is  to  outline  the  preventive  diplomacy  steps  taken   by  the  

South   African   government,   and   later   SADC,   toward   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   and   determine  where  these  efforts  succeeded  and  where  they  failed,  therefore  making  this   study  a  critical  contribution  to  the  literature  on  the  intrastate  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  This   study   is   not   solely   relevant   to   research   on   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   to  

Zimbabwe,  but  also  to  the  academic  field  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  general.    


The   response   to   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   has   not   always   been   positive.   Since   the   beginning   of   the   current   Zimbabwe   crisis   –   which   is   generally   considered   as   the   period   following   the   constitutional   referendum   of   February   2000   when   President   Mugabe   lost   his   bid   for   a   proposed   constitutional   revision   to   a   large   majority  of  the  Zimbabwean  people  –  the  South  African  government  has  been  criticized   in  Zimbabwe,  at  home  in  South  Africa  and  abroad  for  its  lack  of  transparency  during  the   negotiations  process  and  its  ostensive  denial  of  the  severity  of  the  crisis  in  its  neighbour   country.  Harsher  critique  states  that  former  South  African  President  Mbeki   supported   the  Mugabe  stranglehold  on  power  through  his  policy  of  ‘quiet  diplomacy’.  To  the  South  

African   public,   Mbeki   failed   on   two   fronts:   first,   by   allowing   his   priorities   of   pan-­‐

Africanism  and  anti-­‐imperialism  to  triumph  over  his  beliefs  in  the  democracy  and  human   rights  of  the  region;  and  second,  by  continuing  to  supply  Zimbabwe  with  key  resources   such  as  electricity  and  oil,  despite  the  failure  of  Zimbabwe  to  pay  for  these  commodities  

(McKinley  2004:  359).  According  to  SAIIA’s  Foreign  Policy  Monitor,  while  some  members   of   the   international   community   imposed   economic   sanctions   on   the   country,   in   2006  

Zimbabwe   was   South   Africa’s   second   largest   trading   partner   and   exports   from   South  


Africa  to  the  country  reached  R7,410.6  million  (SAIIA  2008:  2).    



As  demonstrated  through  the  nine  years  of  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  foreign   policy   approach   under   the   leadership   of   Mbeki,   it   is   clear   that   there   are   no   quick-­‐fix   solutions  to  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.  Preventive  diplomacy  efforts  were  applied  early  on   to   the   situation,   which,   we   will   discover   later   in   the   dissertation,   is   one   of   the   most   important  factors  for  the  success  of  preventive  diplomacy.  However,  the  conditions  on   the   ground   in   Zimbabwe   continued   to   deteriorate.   When   an   escalation   of   conflict   in  

Zimbabwe  could  no  longer  be  averted  in  March  2007,  SADC  stepped  up  its  involvement   and  mandated  Mbeki  to  lead  the  disputing  political  parties  in  a  process  of  mediation.  

The   South   African   preventive   diplomacy   foreign   policy   was   therefore   renewed   and   supported   by   the   region   through   the   SADC   mandate.   It   is   the   recent   interest   and   investment  of  the  Southern  African  region  in  this  specific  conflict  that  also  contributes   to  the  significance  of  this  particular  research  theme.  


The  Zimbabwe  conflict  peaked  in  the  period  between  the  March  2008  elections  and  the  

June  2008  presidential  run-­‐off,  where  politically  motivated  violence  targeting  opposition   supporters  wreaked  havoc  across  the  country.  In  response  to  this  outbreak  of  violence,   the   unacceptable   self-­‐proclaimed   presidency   of   Mugabe,   and   the   pressure   from   disgruntled  members  of  the  international  community,  the  SADC-­‐mandated  Mbeki  finally   intensified   his   preventive   diplomacy   approach.   As   a   result,   a   power   sharing   deal   was   signed   on   15   September   2008   and   was   enacted   in   February   2009,   representing   the   critical   switch   in   approaches   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   resolution   and  

  conflict  management.    

While  the  path  toward  peaceful  democratic  change  in  Zimbabwe  is  painstakingly  slow,   the  key  actors  involved  in  the  process  remain  committed  to  finding  a  lasting  solution  to   the   conflict.   Some   political   analysts,   such   as   University   of   Johannesburg’s   Professor  

David  Moore,  argue  that  the  successful  implementation  of  the  GPA  is  the  responsibility   of   those   who   brokered   the   deal,   including   South   Africa’s   former   president   and   chief   negotiator  Thabo  Mbeki  and  his  mediation  team  (Moore  2009).  Therefore,  with  Mbeki  


  removed   from   the   SADC   process,   the   responsibility   has   been   shifted   to   South   Africa’s  

Zuma   Administration   to   safeguard   a   smooth   and   peaceful   transition   to   democracy   in  

Zimbabwe.   The   interest   in   comparing   Mbeki’s   foreign   policy   with   that   of   Jacob   Zuma   also  enhances  the  significance  of  this  research  theme.    


The   lack   of   transparency   and   information   sharing   on   behalf   of   the   South   African   government   regarding   its   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   have   left   members   of   civil   society,  the  media,  the  general  public,  and  the  international  community  questioning  the   process.   Despite   the   formation   of   the   inclusive   government   in   Zimbabwe,   ‘quiet   diplomacy’   has   become   a   term   that   implicates   not   enough   was   done   by   the   South  

African   government   in   its   mediation   efforts,   or   that   Mbeki   sympathized   with   and   supported   Mugabe.   In   order   to   address   the   major   criticisms   aimed   at   Mbeki’s   preventive  diplomacy  foreign  policy,  this  dissertation  will  examine  the  main  motivations   behind   Mbeki   and   the   South   African   government’s   policy   decisions.   Such   motivations   include   South   Africa’s   post-­‐apartheid   shift   in   foreign   policy   and   reconstruction   of   a   national  identity,  the  influence  of  the  principle  of  solidarity  in  African  politics,  and  the  

  dream  of  a  realized,  South  African-­‐led  African  Renaissance.    

Examining   empirical   evidence   alone   in   this   case   study   falls   short   of   determining   alternative   solutions   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe,   which   is   why   this   dissertation   will   employ   the   theoretical   framework   of   preventive   diplomacy   and   examine   its   role,   relevance  and  success  in  responding  to  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.  The  theory  and  the  practice   of  preventive  diplomacy  are  based  on  the  acknowledgement  of  all  parties  involved  that   the   human,   political   and   economic   costs   of   war   and   post-­‐war   reconstruction   far   outweigh   the   costs   of   conflict   prevention.   The   theory   originates   in   the   multilateral   structure  of  the  United  Nations  (UN)  (Du  Plessis  2003:  11).  The  term  was  first  coined  in  

1960  by  the  then  UN  Secretary  General  Dag  Hammarskjöld  and  gained  prominence  in  

1992   by   Boutros   Boutros-­‐Ghali   in   his   Agenda   for   Peace   document   (Solomon   2003:   3).  

However,   it   was   Lund   (1996)   who   first   placed   the   theory   in   a   coherent,   practical  


  framework  and  presented  several  case  studies  that  demonstrated  either  the  success  or   failure  of  this  method  of  peace  building.  This  dissertation  will  apply  Lund’s  framework  of   preventive   diplomacy   in   the   examination   of   the   preventive   steps   taken   by   the   South  

African   government,   as   well   as   other   actors,   in   the   attempt   to   resolve   the   crisis   in  



Traditionally,   the   practice   of   preventive   diplomacy   is   considered   to   be   limited   to   governments  and  international  institutions  such  as  the  UN;  however,  what  makes  this   case   study   unique   is   the   extension   of   Lund’s   theory   to   include   an   examination   of   the   contribution  of  non-­‐state  actors  in  the  practice  of  preventive  diplomacy.  It  is  imperative   to  critically  assess  the  efforts  of  state  and  international  bodies,  but  this  dissertation  will   also   carefully   consider   the   efforts   made   by   actors   such   as   civil   society   organizations  

(CSOs),   including   non-­‐governmental   organizations   (NGOs).   Often   during   a   conflict   policies  are  implemented  via  a  top-­‐down  approach,  however,  increasingly  analysts  are   becoming   interested   in   understanding   the   process   by   which   the   “downstairs”,   or   grassroots  organizations,  sets  the  agenda  for  “upstairs”,  mainly  national  governments.  

Rupesinghe  (1997)  describes  this  concept  as  “multi-­‐track  diplomacy”.  He  explains  that   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   provides   “new   alternatives   which   give   non-­‐state   actors   an   opportunity  to  voice  their  grievances,  thereby  either  helping  to  prevent  the  outbreak  of   violence,   or   being   effective   in   containing   and   resolving   violent   conflicts   (Rupesinghe,  

1997:  11).”  Furthermore,  Rupesinghe  acknowledges  that  NGOs,  because  of  their  small   size,   independence   and   flexibility,   can   play   a   unique   and   significant   role   in   the   multi-­‐ track  approach  (1997).  The  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  will  be  discussed  further  in  

Chapter  Six  of  this  dissertation,  but  what  can  be  highlighted  at  this  time  is  that  the  key   to  successful  preventive  diplomacy  is  the  simultaneous  and  complementary  use  of  both  


Track  One  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  methods.    


1.3  The  Formulation  and  Demarcation  of  the  Research  Problem  



This  study  will  aim  to  examine  two  important  questions:  What  is  the  role  of  preventive   diplomacy  in  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  during  the  period  of  2000   and  2009?  And  when  did  diplomatic  efforts  cease  to  be  preventive  in  nature  and  switch   to  peacemaking  and  conflict  resolution  methods?  To  answer  these  questions  the  study   will  explore  several  key  issues  that  include:  whether  preventive  diplomacy  was  applied   in   a   timely,   consistent   and   decisive   manner   on   the   part   of   the   South   African   foreign   policy-­‐makers  and  other  actors  to  resolve  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe;  the  conditions  that   drove   a   multitude   of   state   and   non-­‐state   actors   into   the   Zimbabwe   conflict;   the   motivations   behind   the   preventive   actions   taken   by   the   actors   involved;   the   different   approaches   taken   by   the   various   actors   in   preventing   conflict   in   Zimbabwe;   the   conditions   that   inspired   a   mass   movement   of   non-­‐state   actors   to   attempt   to   set   the   agenda   for   policy-­‐makers;   and   the   efficacy   of   the   non-­‐state   actors   influence   on   the   policy-­‐makers  involved.  A  concluding  point  in  the  study  will  measure  the  extent  to  which   the  Zimbabwe  experience  has  proven  to  support  the  need  for  preventive  diplomacy  in   resolving  international  conflicts.  It  will  determine  the  gaps  in  the  preventive  and  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy  theoretical  frameworks  and  will  suggest  how  these  gaps  can  be  filled  in  

  order  for  the  theories  to  be  more  widely  applicable.    

At   its   core,   this   dissertation   will   argue   that   the   method   of   preventive   diplomacy   as   applied   to   Zimbabwe   succeeded   in   its   culmination   through   the   GPA,   but   will   also   acknowledge  that  the  continued  politically  motivated  violence  and  arrests,  the  blatant   disregard  of  international  treaties  and  obligations,  and  the  failure  to  fully  implement  the  

GPA   indicates   that   Zimbabwe   has   much   more   to   achieve   before   the   country   can   be  

  considered  truly  at  peace  and  moving  toward  legitimate  democratic  reform.    

The   dissertation   is   demarcated   by   the   following   salient   theoretical   concepts:   conflict,   conflict   prevention,   preventive   diplomacy,   peacemaking,   peace   building,   Track   One,  

Track  Two  diplomacy,  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  negative  peace,  positive  peace,  and  foreign   policy.   For   the   purposes   of   this   study,   the   primary   focus   will   be   on   the   concept   of  


  preventive  diplomacy  and  the  role  it  plays  in  responding  to  conflict  or  the  threat  of  an   escalation  in  existing  conflict.  Once  the  key  concepts  have  been  examined  and  analyzed,   it  will  then  be  possible  to  apply  these  theories  to  the  responses  of  various  actors  to  the   current  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  and  determine  whether  these  initiatives  were  successful  

  preventive  measures  or  failed  attempts  to  resolve  the  conflict.  Furthermore,  the  study   will   be   limited   to   covering   the   years   of   Mbeki’s   Presidency,   2000   to   2008,   and   will   conclude  with  the  signing  of  Zimbabwe’s  GPA  in  September  2008  and  the  formation  of   the  inclusive  government  in  early  2009.  

1.4  The  Literature  Survey  


Researching  this  subject  requires  an  appraisal  of  a  diverse  range  of  literature  that  spans   from  international  political  theory  concepts  to  historical  analyses  of  the  Zimbabwe  crisis   and   the   South   Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   relationship.   It   must   also   include   literature   on   South  

African   foreign   policy   as   well   as   current   affairs   coverage   and   analysis   of   the   political   dynamics   in   South   Africa,   Zimbabwe,   and   in   the   SADC   region,   more   generally.   It   is   necessary   to   begin   with   a   literature   survey   on   the   theoretical   concepts   of   conflict,   its   structure,   conflict   resolution,   and   conflict   management.   The   sources   that   provide   a   comprehensive   study   of   these   topics   include   Mitchell   (1981),   Schmidt   and   Kochan  

(1972),   Matthews,   Rubinoff   and   Stein   (1984),   Miall,   Ramsbotham,   and   Woodhouse  

(1999),   Rupesinghe   (1992),   Habib   (1987),   Lund   (1996).   These   sources   provide   an   overview  and  introduction  to  conflict  studies.  They  also  address  the  themes  of  conflict   resolution  theory  in  international  relations,  the  structure  of  international  conflict,  how   to   manage   international   conflict,   third-­‐party   mediation   efforts,   and   achieving   peace  

  through  peaceful  means.    

In   the   chapter   “The   Varieties   of   Intervention:   Conditions   for   Success”,   Crocker   (2000)   explores   a   variety   of   conflict   types   and   situations,   which   involved   third   party   intervention.   Crocker   emphasizes   the   importance   of   examining   both   military   and  


  nonmilitary  forms  of  intervention  and  discusses  the  wide  range  of  possible  intervening   actors   in   the   contemporary   global   system.   Crocker   addresses   the   difficulty   in   defining   success  of  interventions  by  third  parties.  He  also  suggests  lessons  about  the  necessary   conditions   for   success,   such   as   explicit   implementation   strategies   to   support   peace   agreements,   round-­‐the-­‐clock   commitment   by   those   intervening   parties,   and   regional   intervention   to   ease   the   burden   of   single-­‐handed   efforts.   Finally,   he   stresses   the   importance   of   timing   and   preemption.   Other   sources   highlighting   the   timing   of   intervention   and   early   warning   include   Miall,   Ramsbotham,   and   Woodhouse   (1999),  

Solomon  (2003),  Van  Walraven  (1998),  Davies  and  Gurr  (1998),  Lund  (1996),  Adelman  

(1998),  Rupesinghe  (1997),  Ramcharan  (1991),  Dmitrichev  (1998),  and  Sutterlin  (1998).    


For  the  purpose  of  this  study,  a  comprehensive  account  of  preventive  diplomacy  will  be   of   the   utmost   importance.   The   main   source   informing   the   formation   of   this   study’s   theoretical   framework   is   Lund   (1996).   Lund   presents   both   an   historical   review   of   preventive   actions   taken   by   states   and   other   organized   groups   as   well   as   a   historiography   of   the   development   of   preventive   practice   and   analysis.   After   careful   consideration  of  the  work  of  others,  Lund  (1996:  384-­‐385)  provides  his  own  definition  of   preventive   diplomacy   that   includes   deliberate   governmental   or   nongovernmental   actions   and   policies   to   keep   states   or   groups   within   states   from   threatening   or   using   violence   or   coercion   as   the   means   to   settle   interstate   or   national   political   disputes.    

Lund   presents   his   theoretical   framework,   which   will   be   used   in   this   dissertation   to   examine   the   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   within   South   African   foreign   policy   toward  

Zimbabwe.  His  framework  demonstrates  how  preventive  diplomacy  measures  are  most  

  effective   when   applied   during   the   peace   and   conflict   level   of   unstable   peace.   Finally,  

Lund   also   provides   a   preventive   diplomacy   “toolbox”,   which   includes   a   list   of   policies   and  instruments  that  can  be  used  by  a  multitude  of  governmental  and  non-­‐state  actors   to  prevent  violent  conflict.  



Other   sources   on   preventive   diplomacy   considered   include   Solomon   ed.   (2003),   Du  

Plessis   (2003),   Boutros-­‐Ghali   (1992),   Ramcharan   (1991)   and   (2008),   Chabal   (2005),  

Brown   and   Rosencrance   (1999),   Ackerman   (2003),   and   Rupesinghe   (1997).   Together   these  sources  present  an  in-­‐depth  look  at  the  theory  of  preventive  diplomacy,  its  origins   and   the   application   of   the   theory   in   international   conflict   situations.   Solomon,   Du  

Plessis,   and   Chabal   in   particular,   provide   discussions   on   the   application   of   preventive   diplomacy  theory  to  African  conflicts  more  specifically,  but  do  not  feature  Zimbabwe  as   a  case  study.



As  this  study  will  argue  for  the  importance  of  incorporating  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  within   the   practice   of   preventive   diplomacy,   it   will   require   an   extensive   examination   of   the   literature   on   this   theory.   The   two   main   sources   on   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   that   will   be   cited  in  this  study  are  Rupesinghe  (1997)  and  Diamond  and  McDonald  (1996).  In  order   to   emphasize   the   impact   the   grassroots   level   in   society   had   on   official   diplomatic   relations   in   the   Zimbabwe   case   study,   the   dissertation   will   carefully   consider   these   works.  Both  studies  serve  as  an  expansion  of  the  Track  One,  Track  Two  paradigm  that   explains  approaches  to  peace  making  as  either  government-­‐to-­‐government  interactions   or  methods  of  diplomacy  outside  the  formal  government  sector.  When  the  concept  of  

Track  Two  diplomacy  ceased  to  cover  the  necessary  scope,  the  variety  and  the  depth  of   citizen   involvement,   the   theory   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   was   introduced.   Multi-­‐track   diplomacy   presents   a   conceptual   framework   to   view   the   process   of   international   peacemaking   as   a   web   of   interconnected   parts   that   operate   together   (awkwardly   or   gracefully)  for  a  common  goal:  the  world  at  peace  (Diamond   and  McDonald  1996:  1).  


Civil  society,  the  NGO  community,  faith-­‐based  organizations,  the  corporate  sector  and   ordinary  citizens  have  played  a  significant  role  in  placing  pressure  on  the  governments   involved  in  the  Zimbabwe  crisis  and  will  be  taken  into  account  in  this  study  under  the   theoretical  framework  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.    



The   study   also   requires   a   comprehensive   understanding   of   the   conflict   situation   in  

Zimbabwe   and   how   it   has   developed   over   time.   Sources   that   provide   an   in-­‐depth   assessment  of  the  current  political  situation  in  Zimbabwe  and  South  Africa’s  diplomatic   role   therein   include   Phimister   and   Raftopoulos   (2004),   Alden   and   le   Pere   (2004),  

Raftopoulos   and   Savage   eds.   (2004),   Laakso   (2002),   Hamill   (2002),   Davies   (2008),  

Hughes   and   Mills   (2003),   Schoeman   and   Alden   (2003),   Landsberg   (2004)   and   (2010),  

Gevisser  (2007),  Gumede  (2007),  Johnson  (2009),  Raftopoulos  and  Mlambo  eds.  (2009),  

Masunungure  (2011),  Dzinesa  and  Zambara  (2011),  and  Moore  (2009)  and  (2010).    


Relevant  reports  from  internationally  renowned  organizations  will  also  be  cited.  These   sources   will   include   reference   to   reports   written   between   2000   and   2009   by   such   organizations   as   the   International   Crisis   Group,   Open   Society   Initiative   for   Southern  


Africa  (OSISA)  and  the  Solidarity  Peace  Trust.    

Important  sources  outlining  official  South  African  government  foreign  policy  include  the  

South  African  Government  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs’  White  Paper  defining  South  

African   foreign   policy   (Department   of   Foreign   Affairs,   1996)   and   the   White   Paper   on  

South   African   Participation   in   International   Peace   Missions   (Department   of   Foreign  

Affairs,  1999).  Interpretations  and  analysis  of  official  foreign  policy  include  contributions   from   the   African   National   Congress   (ANC,   1994),   and   Landsberg   (2010).   Responses   by   the  Tripartite  Alliance  to  the  South  African  government’s  specific  foreign  policy  toward  

Zimbabwe   include   Umsebenzi   Online   (2004),   Vavi   (2004),   ANC   Today   (2004),   and  

COSATU   (2004).   This   study   will   also   consider   official   statements   and   reports   from   the  


African  Union,  SADC  and  the  Commonwealth  issued  between  2000  and  2009.    

Speeches   delivered   by   former   President   Mbeki   during   his   time   in   office   and   official   communications   made   by   the   Department   of   Foreign   Affairs   during   the   Mbeki  

Administration’s  foreign  policy  relations  with  Zimbabwe  will  also  be  cited.  These  include   among  others,  Speech  at  the  Opening  of  the  Zimbabwe  Trade  Fair,  Bulawayo,  Zimbabwe  



(2000),  ANC  Today’s  Letter  from  the  President  (2001),  Statement  on  the  Imposition  of  

Targeted  Sanctions  on  Zimbabwe  (2002),  Briefing  by  the  South  African  Observer  Mission  

(SAOM)  in  Zimbabwe  (2002),  Interim  Statement  by  the  South  African  Observer  Mission   to   the   Zimbabwean   Presidential   Elections   (2002),   Statement   on   the   Elections   in  

Zimbabwe   (2002),   Statement   by   the   South   African   Government   on   the   Situation   in  

Zimbabwe  (2002),  President  Mbeki’s  Comments  on  Zimbabwe  delivered  during  SA-­‐DRC  

BNC   (2008),     and   President   Mbeki’s   Comments   on   Zimbabwe:   MDC   to   pull   out   of  

Presidential  run-­‐off  Election  (2008).    


In  2001,  then  President  Mbeki  composed  a  document  addressed  to  Zimbabwe  President  

Mugabe,   which   was   circulated   to   ANC   branches.   In   the   discussion   document   Mbeki   names  the  document  a  “humble  contribution  to  the  work  that  ZANU-­‐PF  must  carry  out”  

(2001).   The   document   illustrates   Mbeki’s   personal   advice   to   his   Zimbabwean   counterpart  and  this  source  will  be  used  in  order  to  better  understand  Mbeki’s  personal  

  thoughts  on  how  Zimbabwe  could  bring  an  end  to  its  own  conflict.    

The   various   efforts   and   contributions   to   resolving   Zimbabwe’s   political   conflict   that   include   the   participation   of   both   government   and   non-­‐state   entities   have   not   been   examined   together   in   one   study.   The   purpose   of   this   dissertation,   therefore,   is   to   expand  on  the  current  knowledge  of  the  preventive  diplomacy  approach  taken  by  the  

South   African   government   toward   Zimbabwe   in   its   foreign   policy   and   to   additionally   highlight  the  preventive  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  efforts  of  non-­‐governmental  actors.  Thus   its   aim   is   to   determine   where   these   various   contributors   succeeded   and   where   they  

  failed   in   order   to   learn   from   the   experience   when   applying   similar   methods   to   future   conflict  situations.    


1.5  The  Methodological  Aspects  of  the  Study  



The  methodological  aspects  elucidate  the  approach  to  the  study,  the  methods  used,  and   the  levels  of  analysis  of  the  study.  The  approach  to  this  study  will  be  both  theoretical   and   empirical   in   nature.   The   research   will   begin   by   examining   available   literature   on   conflict   and   conflict   prevention   and   will   employ   Lund’s   (1996)   theoretical   model   of   preventive  diplomacy.  Following  this,  the  framework  will  be  evaluated  as  to  whether  or   not   Lund’s   is   an   applicable   theory   for   this   particular   case   study.   The   study   will   then   highlight   the   importance   of   integrating   the   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   to   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   frameworks   and   practice.   Although   recognizing   that   other   actors   can   play   a   significant   role   in   preventive   diplomacy,   Lund   does   not   accentuate  the  necessary  value  of  non-­‐state  actors  in  conflict  prevention.  Rupesinghe’s   theory   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   as   well   as   the   contributions   made   by   Diamond   and  

McDonald  will  be  discussed  and  emphasized  as  a  key  concept  in  which  to  present  a  way   forward  in  the  current  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  relationship.  Reactions  and  contributions   made  by  civil  society,  including  NGOs  and  other  actors  will  similarly  be  placed  within  the  

  framework  of  a  combined  preventive  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  

1.6  The  Structure  and  Outline  of  the  Study  


The   structure   of   the   dissertation   is   comprised   of   seven   chapters.   The   dissertation   commences  with  a  consideration  of  the  research  problem,  the  aims  and  objectives  of   the  research,  the  research  questions  that  the  dissertation  attempts  to  answer,  a  review   of   the   literature   that   informs   the   study,   and   an   explanation   of   the   methodology   that  

  forms  the  foundation  of  the  study.    

The  second  chapter  consists  of  the  theoretical  and  conceptual  framework,  providing  a   thorough  examination  of  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy  theory.  Preventive  diplomacy  will   be   placed   in   the   context   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   a   comprehensive   international   relations   approach   that   includes   not   only   government-­‐to-­‐government   interactions   but   also  the  involvement  of  several  other  non-­‐state  actors.  Rupesinghe’s  (1997)  theory  of  


  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  as  expressed  in  his  own  work  and  in  Diamond  and  MacDonald’s  

(1996)   Multi-­‐Track   Diplomacy:   A   Systems   Approach   to   Peace   is   introduced   in   this   chapter  in  order  to  highlight  the  importance  of  non-­‐state  actors  in  conflict  prevention  in   general  and  in  the  case  of  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  in  particular.  


Chapter   Three   provides   the   context   of   the   study   first   through   the   delineation   of   the   current   crisis   in   Zimbabwe,   and   second,   through   an   overview   of   the   development   of  

South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  relations  over  time.  The  chapter  will  analyze  Zimbabwe’s  recent   turbulent   history   and   its   near   collapse   through   the   examination   of   Zimbabwe’s   emergence   as   an   independent   state,   the   years   of   promise   and   prosperity,   the   factors  

  leading  to  the  crisis,  and  the  decade  of  decline,  which  followed.    

Examined   under   a   preventive   diplomacy   theory   lens,   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   responses   to   Zimbabwe’s   internal   conflict   between   the   years   of   2000   and   2007   is   assessed  in  Chapter  Four.  This  evaluation  includes  the  responses  from  the  South  African   government  in  comparison  to  the  preventive  diplomacy  approach  employed  by  the  EU,   the  Commonwealth  and  other  responses  of  members  of  the  international  community.  

The   chapter   concludes   by   determining   whether   such   measures   taken   by   the   South  

African   government   during   this   period   were   successful   in   securing   a   lasting,   peaceful  

  resolution  to  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  

Chapter   Five   primarily   focuses   on   the   period   between   2007   and   2009,   in   which   the  

South  Africa  government’s  preventive  diplomacy  foreign  policy  approach  was  renewed   through   a   SADC   mandate.   However,   SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   involvement   in   the  

Zimbabwe  conflict  since  2000  as  highlighted  to  provide  the  necessary  background.    The   chapter   then   concentrates   specifically   on   SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   and   achievements  in  the  period  between  March  2007  and  March  2008,  the  period  through  

Zimbabwe’s   March   2008   presidential,   parliamentary   and   municipal   elections   and   the  

June   2008   run-­‐off   are   also   highlighted.   The   fifth   chapter   concludes   by   discussing   the  


  culminating  event  of  SADC  and  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  and  explains   why   the   signing   of   the   Global   Political   Agreement   marked   the   point   at   which   the   approach   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   shifted   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   management  and  conflict  resolution.    


The  sixth  chapter  examines  the  role  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  as  outlined  by  Rupesinghe  

(1997),   in   the   responses   of   other   actors   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe.   The   chapter   examines  the  preventive  diplomacy  of  the  UN,  Zimbabwean  civil  society  organizations  

(CSOs),   South   African   CSOs,   the   Zimbabwean   Diaspora,   religious   groups   and   church   leaders,  and  further  discusses  the  diplomacy  of  economics.  In  presenting  the  multi-­‐track   diplomacy  of  other  actors,  Chapter  Six  contributes  a  more  complete  examination  of  the   role  of  preventive  diplomacy  toward  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  


The  concluding  chapter  first  reviews  the  key  findings  of  the  dissertation  and  reflects  on   the  various  drawn  conclusions.  Chapter  Seven  then  briefly  highlights  the  integration  of   the  theoretical  framework  within  the  empirical  research  of  the  study.  Emphasis  is  placed   the   originality   of   the   research   and   determines   how   this   study   contributes   to   other   research   in   this   field.   The   specific   parameters   of   the   study   are   explained   in   order   to   justify  why  the  time  period  of  the  years  2000  to  2009  was  particularly  chosen  for  the   purpose  of  this  study.  The  chapter  then  examines  several  recent  developments  of  the  

Zimbabwe  conflict  and  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  foreign  relations  in  order  to  determine   whether  the  analysis  of  this  study  continues  to  apply  to  the  current  situation  at  the  time   of   writing.   Finally,   the   chapter   concludes   by   proposing   areas   of   possible   research   to   expand  on  this  study,  both  in  the  theoretical  realm  of  preventive  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy,  and  in  the  empirical  study  of  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  foreign  relations  

  and  the  intrastate  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  


1.7  Conclusion  



The   research   theme   of   this   dissertation   has   important   relevance   to   several   academic   disciplines  and  similar  studies  could  be  carried  out  in  the  field  of  political  science,  peace   studies,  diplomacy  studies,  and  strategic  studies.  This  study,  however,  is  situated  in  the   realm   of   international   relations   and   focuses   on   the   effectiveness   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe.   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework   is   be   used   and   expanded   to   include   the   concept   of  

  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  and  its  application.    

Much   research   has   been   conducted   on   the   theory   of   preventive   diplomacy   but   it   has   never   been   applied   to   the   Zimbabwe   case   study   in   particular.   Rather,   focus   has   been   placed   on   comparing   South   Africa’s   involvement   in   Zimbabwe   to   the   constructive   engagement   method   used   by   the   Reagan   Administration   during   apartheid   (Davies  

2009).   This   study   fills   the   research   gap   by   linking   the   theory   of   preventive   diplomacy   with  the  actions  taken  by  governments  and  non-­‐state  role  players  in  their  attempts  to   prevent  further  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  In  addition,  this  study  will  highlight  the  relevance   of  the  theory  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  and  will  present  examples  in  the  Zimbabwe  case  

  study   where   non-­‐state   actors   were   key   contributors   to   the   process   of   preventive   diplomacy  and  were  successful  in  setting  the  agenda  for  the  governments  involved.    




The   conclusions   drawn   in   this   dissertation   are   not   only   aimed   at   complementing   the   established  academic  research  on  the  above-­‐mentioned  topics  but  equally  aim  to  make   a  significant  contribution  to  the  more  practical  application  of  preventive  diplomacy.  It  is   the  aim  and  objective  of  this  dissertation  to  demonstrate  that  over  the  course  of  2000   to   2009   the   South   African   government,   SADC,   and   other   multi-­‐track   actors   applied   preventive  diplomacy  to  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  and,  while  at  times  this  policy  failed  to   prevent  all  outbreaks  of  violence,  the  combined  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  ultimately   succeeded  in  finding  a  settlement  between  the  disputing  political  parties  in  Zimbabwe.  





Chapter  2  


A  Theoretical  Framework  of  Conflict  and  Preventive  Diplomacy  




2.1  Introduction  

The  first  chapter  presented  a  concise  overview  of  the  recent  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  and  

South  Africa’s  involvement  therein.  It  was  determined  that  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy   toward  Zimbabwe  began  as  one  of  preventive  diplomacy.  Certain  strategic  steps  were   taken   by   South   Africa   with   the   intent   of   preventing   the   conflict   from   escalating.  

However,   when   preventive   diplomacy   measures   began   failing   to   produce   positive   results  and  the  situation  across  the  border  continued  to  deteriorate,  the  regional  body,  

SADC,  intervened  and  mandated  South  Africa  to  lead  a  mediation  process  between  the   disputing  political  parties.  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  policy  was  thus  renewed   under  the  SADC  mandate.  When  an  agreement  was  eventually  met  in  the  form  of  the  

GPA   and   an   inclusive   government   was   formed,   South   Africa   and   SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   shifted   to   one   of   conflict   resolution   and   conflict   management.  

Chapter  One,  therefore,  introduced  the  broad  research  themes  of  preventive  diplomacy   and   conflict   resolution.     The   limitations   of   general   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   were   acknowledged,  and  the  theme  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  was  introduced.    These  terms   were   briefly   defined   and   applied   to   the   South   African   foreign   policy   position   on  


Zimbabwe  so  as  to  demonstrate  the  importance  of  the  themes  to  the  study.    

The   research   problem   of   this   study   investigates   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in  

South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   during   the   period   2000   to   2009.   This   time   period   was   specifically   selected   because   it   was   during   this   era   that   Zimbabwe   experienced  a  renowned  political  and  economic  decline.  It  was  also  during  this  time  that   then  South  African  President  Thabo  Mbeki  became  the  world  leader  expected,  and  later  


  mandated,  to  deal  with  the  intrastate  conflict  in  South  Africa’s  neighbour  to  the  north.  

This  study  further  seeks  to  determine  the  turning  point  when  South  Africa’s  diplomatic   efforts  ceased  to  be  preventive  in  nature  and  thus  switched  to  conflict  resolution  and   conflict   management   methods.   While   unpacking   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward  

Zimbabwe,   the   study   also   highlights   the   limitations   of   Track   One   diplomacy   and   therefore  examines  the  multi-­‐track  efforts  that  include  other  actors  not  bound  by  the  

  constricting  government-­‐to-­‐government  relationship.      

The  literature  survey  found  in  Chapter  One  presented  a  selection  of  the  various  primary   and   secondary   sources   that   inform   this   study.   The   majority   of   the   sources   used   are   secondary   due   to   the   nature   of   the   research   problem.   Sources   currently   available   relating  to  this  particular  topic,  however,  do  not  link  the  preventive  diplomacy  theory   with  a  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  foreign  relations  case  study.  Neither  do  current  available   sources  link  the  preventive  diplomacy  theory  with  the  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  

Therefore,   this   study   expands   on   the   existing   knowledge   of   the   South   African   foreign   policy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe  as  well  as  contributes  to  the  larger  body  of  literature  

  of   preventive   diplomacy   by   presenting   a   unique   case   study   that,   until   this   time,   has   remained  overlooked.    

This  chapter  will  introduce  and  explain  the  theoretical  framework  that  will  be  used  to   analyze  the  research  problem  of  this  study.  The  chosen  theoretical  framework  is  based   on   Lund’s   (1996)   conceptual   framework   of   preventive   diplomacy.   Lund   has   presented   his   theoretical   framework   in   his   work,   Preventing   Violent   Conflicts:   A   strategy   for  

preventive  diplomacy  (1996).  This  framework  will  form  the  basis  of  analysis  of  the  South  

Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   case   study   to   be   examined   in   Chapters   Four,   Five,   and   Six.  

Furthermore,  Rupesinghe’s  (1997)  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  will  be  introduced   in  this  chapter  as  a  complementing  addition  to  Lund’s  framework  and  will  be  referred  to   more   specifically   in   Chapter   Six,   which   analyzes   the   effects   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   efforts  of  other  actors  involved  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.    




This  chapter  begins  by  defining  the  term  conflict  as  it  relates  to  the  research  themes  and   the  particular  case  study.  This  chapter  will  then  introduce  the  theoretical  framework  of   preventive  diplomacy  as  defined  by  Lund.  Once  thoroughly  explained,  Lund’s  framework   will  be  critiqued.  The  preventive  diplomacy  theoretical  framework  will  be  placed  in  the   context   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   in   order   for   the   study   to   present   a   comparison   between  Track  One  diplomacy,  or  government-­‐to-­‐government  relations,  and  multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   which   can   include   among   others   the   conflict   prevention   efforts   made   by  

  inter-­‐governmental   organizations   and   civil   society   groups,   among   other   non-­‐state   actors.    Finally,  concluding  remarks  will  be  made  on  the  importance  of  this  theoretical   framework  for  Chapters  Four,  Five,  and  Six,  which  will  lead  into  the  third  chapter:  the   historical  background  to  the  current  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.  


2.2  Defining  Conflict  

Understanding  the  current  political  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  is  not  easy.    In  fact,  grasping  a   solid  understanding  of  the  entirety  of  any  conflict  situation  is  highly  problematic.  This  is   because   conflict   is   not   a   singular   incident   with   predictable   outcomes   and   solutions.   A   conflict  is  a  complex  and  dynamic  process,  which  grows  or  diminishes  according  to  the   actions  of  each  participating  group  or  individual.  Once  a  conflict  is  initiated  its  nature  is   also   nearly   impossible   to   fathom   as   it   can   suddenly   shift   and   sway   in   surprising   directions.    Conflict  can  draw  in  new  participants  with  new  perspectives  and  goals,  and  it   can  lead  to  unanticipated  outcomes  that  either  widen  or  narrow  the  conflict  itself.    But   before  one  can  begin  to  understand  a  given  conflict’s  nature  in  order  to  manage  it,  one   must  first  break  down  the  complex  concept  into  a  basic  definition.    


Conflict  can  be  defined  as  a  situation  in  which  two  or  more  parties  desire  goals,  which   they   perceive   as   being   obtainable   by   one   or   the   other   but   not   obtainable   by   both.    

Matthews,  Rubinoff  and  Stein  (1984:  2)  refer  to  conflict  as  competition  among  groups  


  for  scarce  goods,  such  as  territory  or  resources,  or  the  pursuit  of  mutually  incompatible   values   and   purposes.   An   earlier   interpretation   by   Schmidt   and   Kochan   (1972:   363)   defines  conflict  as  “overt  behavior  arising  out  of  a  process  in  which  one  unit  seeks  the   advancement   of   its   own   interests   in   its   relationship   with   the   others.”   According   to  

Mitchell  (1981:  15),  conflict  is  any  situation  in  which  two  or  more  social  entities  perceive   that  they  possess  mutually  incompatible  goals.  Mitchell  (1981)  explains  conflict  as  the   actual  behavior  of  an  opposing  party  preventing  the  other  party  from  reaching  its  goals.  

The   absence   of   such   conflict   behavior   results   in   a   cooperative   relationship   between  

  parties  or  a  condition  of  peaceful  coexistence.    

Conflicts  are  never  static  and  each  conflict  situation  takes  on  its  own  unique  energy  and   character   that   changes   over   time   as   participants   alter   strategies   and   react   to   each   other’s  actions.  More  directly,  every  conflict  is  different  and  so  it  could  be  argued  that  it   is   unrealistic   to   try   and   explain   conflict   theoretically.   Theory   does   remain   valuable,   however,  if  the  framework  can  accommodate  for  the  complexity  of  conflict  and  if  it  is   relatively  structurally  abstract  so  that  an  extensive  range  of  conflict  situations  can  apply.  

Mitchell  (1981:  15)  admits  that  the  term  ‘conflict’  comes  with  considerable  ambiguity   yet   argues   that   any   conflict   or   dispute   is   fundamentally   comprised   of   three   structural   components:   a   conflict   situation,   conflict   behavior,   and   conflict   attitudes   and   perceptions.   These   three   dimensions   of   conflict   are   not   separate   entities   but   are   all   intrinsically   connected   –   continuously   reinforcing   and   transforming   each   other   as   the   conflict   evolves.   Mitchell’s   triadic   framework   consequently   succeeds   in   apprehending   the   innate   complexity   of   conflict   and   can   be   implemented   when   examining   either   a  

  minor  dispute  between  individuals  or  a  major  international  conflict  situation.  

Conflict  is  a  dynamic  process  and  consists  of  many  different  types.  In  fact,  according  to  

Miall,   Ramsbotham,   and   Woodhouse   (1999:   29)   the   overall   state   of   existing   conflict   typology  is  in  a  state  of  confusion  because  there  are  as  many  typologies  of  conflicts  as   there  are  conflict  analysts.  The  criteria  of  determining  conflict  types  vary  incredibly  and  


  while   some   are   based   on   an   analysis   of   conflict   parties,   conflict   issues   determine   another   type,   while   yet   other   types   are   defined   by   conflict   causes.   This   section   will  

  introduce  a  few  basic  differentiations.    

Miall,  Ramsbotham,  and  Woodhouse  (1999:  12)  draw  a  distinction  between  two  types   of  conflict:  symmetric  and  asymmetric.  Symmetric  conflicts  are  disputes  that  transpire   between  relatively  similar  parties;  whereas  asymmetric  conflicts  occur  in  situations  of   unbalanced   power   between   dissimilar   parties,   such   as   a   majority   and   a   minority   or   a   government   and   rebel   forces.   The   root   of   an   asymmetric   conflict   does   not   lie   in   a   difference   in   ideas   or   interests   but   instead   lies   more   in   the   actual   structure   of   the   relationship  and  the  roles  that  each  party  plays.  Therefore,  the  only  way  to  change  the   structure  of  the  relationship  is  through  conflict.  The  structure  in  asymmetric  conflicts  is   such  that  the  party  in  power  always  wins  and  the  disadvantaged  party  always  loses.  In   order   to   resolve   this   type   of   conflict,   the   structure   must   be   changed,   but   not   in   the   favour   of   the   party   in   power.   The   current   conflict   in   question   in   Zimbabwe   can   be   characterized   as   an   asymmetric   conflict.   The   former   ruling   ZANU-­‐PF   party   disallowed   any   form   of   political   dissent   and   overtly   oppressed   the   leading   opposition   party’s   members   and   supporters   through   intimidation   and   violence.   There   are   no   win-­‐win   solutions   to   this   type   of   conflict   as   there   are   costs   imposed   on   both   parties.   In   asymmetric  conflict  it  is  common  for  a  third  party  to  join  forces  with  the  disadvantaged   party  to  bring  about  a  resolution.    


Because   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   can   be   considered   an   internal   or   intrastate   conflict   as   opposed  to  an  interstate  conflict,  it  is  important  to  recognize  Rupesinghe’s  outlining  of   types   of   internal   conflicts.   He   distinguishes   the   various   types   of   internal   conflicts   that   generally  result  in  serious  or  violent  hostilities  (Rupesinghe  1992:  13-­‐14).  These  include:   ideological   conflicts   which   occur   between   the   state   and   insurgent   movements   where   the  social  inequality  between  classes  is  dominant;  governance  and  authority  conflicts,   which   concern   the   distribution   of   power   in   society   and   where   demands   from   the  


  opposition   are   for   regime   change   and   control   over   resources;   racial   conflicts,   South  

Africa,   for   example,   during   apartheid;   environmental   conflicts,   which   are   resource-­‐ based  over  land,  water,  etc.;  and  finally,  identity  conflicts,  where  the  dominant  aspect  is   ethnic,  religious,  tribal  or  linguistic  differences  and  the  devolution  of  power.    


Habib  (1987)  distinguishes  between  latent,  perceived,  affective,  and  manifest  varieties   of   conflict.   According   to   Habib   (1987:   808),   latent   conflict   encompasses   potential   sources   of   conflicting   behavior   such   as   allocation   of   scarce   resources,   divergence   of   goals,  poor  communication,  and  drives  for  sovereignty  or  power.    Perceived  conflict  is  a   cognitive   state   that   describes   an   individual’s   perception   or   cognizance   of   being   in   conflict   with   another.   Anxiety,   stress,   tension   and   hostility   characterize   affective   conflict.  Manifest  conflict  refers  to  the  overt  activity  or  behavior  dimension  of  conflict   that  can  range  from  the  passive  resistance  to  the  use  of  military  force.  These  types  of   conflict  range  from  the  most  hidden  (latent)  to  the  most  blatant  (manifest)  forms.    It  is   important  to  highlight  that  because  manifest  conflicts  are  open  confrontations  they  are   most  easy  to  recognize  and  respond  to  timeously.  It  is  the  latent  conflicts  that  are  more   difficult  to  detect  because  they  can  simmer  under  the  surface  for  extended  periods  of   time   before   exploding   into   manifest   conflict.   In   order   to   respond   more   effectively   to   latent   conflicts,   we   must   rely   more   heavily   on   conflict   prevention   methods   and   early  

  warning  systems,  which  will  be  discussed  in  Section  2.4  of  this  chapter.    


2.3  A  Conflict  Life  Cycle  

Just   as   there   are   numerous   varieties   or   types   of   conflict,   a   single   conflict   undergoes   numerous   stages   in   its   lifespan.   The   term   used   to   describe   these   dynamic   stages   of   conflict  is  aptly  named  the  conflict  life  cycle.    As  defined  above,  conflicts  are  complex,   dynamic   processes   that   are   never   static.   The   conflict   life   cycle   is   made   up   of   several   stages,   each   of   various   intensities,   through   which   parties   in   a   conflict   can   pass   more   than   once   before   the   conflict   is   settled   or   resolved.   It   is   critical   to   have   a   good  


  understanding   of   the   conflict   cycle   in   order   to   effectively   employ   different   conflict   prevention  and  conflict  management  methods  at  the  various  stages  of  conflict.  


Contemporary  research,  as  demonstrated  by  Lund  (1996)  and  Miall,  Ramsbotham,  and  

Woodhouse   (1999),   documents   a   life   cycle   that   is   common   to   most   international   conflicts.   Although   not   all   conflicts   necessarily   pass   through   each   of   the   mentioned   stages  in  the  life  cycle,  it  is  important  to  consider  each  stage  carefully  because  with  the   commencement  of  one  stage  then  the  next  becomes  more  and  more  likely  to  occur.  The   frameworks  describing  the  various  stages  in  a  conflict  life  cycle  assist  in  the  analysis  of   conflict   evolution   and   thus   aid   in   determining   an   appropriate   conflict   prevention  


According   to   Lund   (1996:   38-­‐39),   there   are   five   main   stages   of   conflict:   war,   crisis,   unstable  peace,  stable  (or  cold)  peace,  and  durable  (or  warm)  peace.  War  is  sustained   fighting   between   organized   armed   forces.   The   stage   of   war   can   vary   between   low-­‐ intensity,  continuing  conflict  and  civil  disorder,  to  a  situation  of  all-­‐out  “hot”  war.  The   second   stage   of   conflict   is   crisis,   which   is   tense   confrontation   between   armed   forces   that  are  mobilized  and  ready  to  fight.  These  forces  may  engage  in  threats  and  occasional   low-­‐level  clashes  but  have  not  yet  wielded  any  significant  amount  of  force.  When  in  this   second  stage,  a  conflict  is  very  prone  to  move  to  war.  The  third  stage  is  unstable  peace,   which   is   a   situation   where   violence   is   either   absent   or   irregular   but   where   the   relationship  between  parties  is  characterized  by  suspicion  and  tension.  Stable  (or  cold)   peace   is   a   relationship   of   cautious   communication   and   limited   cooperation   between   parties   and   marks   the   fourth   stage   of   conflict.   In   this   stage   the   prospect   of   war   or   confrontation  is  low  as  disputes  are  generally  resolved  in  nonviolent  ways.  The  final  and   fifth   stage   of   conflict   is   durable   (or   warm)   peace,   which   involves   a   high   level   of   cooperation   and   reciprocity.   Effectively   it   is   the   absence   of   self-­‐defense   measures   among  parties.  This  “positive  peace”  stage  can  be  sustained  through  a  relationship  of  


  shared   values,   goals,   and   institutions,   such   as   democratic   political   systems,   and   economic  interdependence.    


These   five   levels   or   stages   of   conflict   outline   the   nuances   in   various   aspects   of   the   relationship   between   parties.   According   to   Lund   (1996:   40),   each   level   involves   some   degree  of  conflict  but  of  significantly  different  intensity  and  forms  of  expression.  When   a  conflict  is  at  one  of  these  five  stages  it  has  the  propensity  to  move  to  the  next  stage  or   slip   back   into   a   previous   stage   on   the   conflict   life   cycle   spectrum.   In   other   words,   a   conflict   at   any   stage   can   either   escalate   or   de-­‐escalate   and   shift   to   another   stage,   depending  on  the  existing  conditions.  It  is  critical  for  both  scholars  and  policy-­‐makers  to   grasp  a  good  understanding  of  the  conflict  life  cycle  and  the  implications  of  each  stage   of  conflict  in  order  to  develop  effective  conflict  prevention  strategies  that  can  avert  a   conflict  from  escalating  toward  violence  and  rather  direct  a  conflict  toward  a  stage  of   durable  peace.      



2.4  Conflict  Prevention  and  Early  Warning  Systems  

While  conflict  resolution  has  developed  as  a  specialized  field  in  the  post-­‐Cold  War  era,   the   study   of   conflict   prevention   has   come   into   the   fore   even   more   recently.   Past   research   focused   too   narrowly   on   the   causes   and   nature   of   conflict,   rather   than   how   conflicts  are  prevented.  Yet,  according  to  Miall,  Ramsbotham,   and  Woodhouse  (1999:  

95),   preventing   violent   conflict   has   been   a   central   objective   of   the   conflict   resolution   enterprise  from  its  start  in  the  late  1950s.  Therefore,  the  concept  of  conflict  prevention   is   not   new.   While   human   history   is   replete   with   conflict   situations,   it   is   also   rich   with   tales  of  conflict  interventions  and  prevention.  It  can  be  said  that  the  practice  of  conflict   prevention  has  existed  for  as  long  as  humankind  has  made  attempts  to  avoid  man-­‐made   calamities  (Solomon  2003:  2).  However,  one  more  formal  example  extends  back  to  the   early   nineteenth   century   when   the   Concert   of   Europe   was   established   in   order   to   lay   international  relationship  ground  rules  and  sustain  peace  between  the  great  powers  of  



Europe.  With  the  end  of  the  Second  World  War  the  United  Nations  was  founded  in  1945   according  to  its  Charter’s  Preamble  in  order  to  “save  succeeding  generations  from  the   scourge   of   war”   by   “effective   collective   measures   for   the   prevention   and   removal   of   threats  to  peace.”    


The  concept  of  conflict  prevention  has  grown  out  of  the  policy  of  conflict  intervention.  

Van  Walraven  (1998:  2)  suggests  that  the  nature  of  post-­‐Cold  War  conflict  interventions   by  inter-­‐governmental  institutions  has  differed  greatly  than  the  approaches  made  by  the   two   nuclear   superpowers   during   the   Cold   War.   He   states,   “Intervention   [is]   now   dictated,  not  by  the  narrow  interests  of  some  dominant  states,  but  by  a  humanitarian  or   enlightened  purpose:  the  alleviation  of  human  suffering  (Van  Walraven  1998:  2).”  After   witnessing  the  devastating  carnage  of  conflicts  such  as  Angola,  Bosnia,  Rwanda,  Somalia   and   Liberia,   which   exposed   the   deficiencies   of   government   and   international   organization  intervention,  scholars  and  policy-­‐makers  began  to  realize  the  importance   of  intervening  in  a  conflict  earlier,  before  it  could  escalate  to  higher  levels  of  intensity  in   the  conflict  cycle.  Not  only  would  an  early  intervention  potentially  save  human  life  and   human   capital,   it   would   also   be   cost   effective.   Conflict   prevention,   when   applied   timeously,  can  save  a  lot  of  money  and  resources,  considering  the  exorbitant  price  for   subsequent   humanitarian   relief,   protection,   physical   reconstruction,   and   rebuilding   of   economic   and   sociopolitical   systems   (Miall   Ramsbotham,   &   Woodhouse   1999:   95   and  

Davies  &  Gurr  1998:  2).  The  research  question  then  became,  could  these  recent  conflicts   have  been  avoided?  The  answer  was  clear:  the  destructive  outcomes  to  these  conflicts   were   due   to   the   lack   of   early   and   effective   international   action.   As   Lund   (1996:   14)   states,  “the  longer  that  crises  are  allowed  to  fester,  the  harder  they  are  to  resolve.”  So   whether   inspired,   as   Van   Walraven   (1998)   points   out,   by   the   alleviation   of   human   suffering,   or   by   the   more   practical   consequences   of   high   monetary   costs   of   reconstruction,  governments,  UN  agencies,  international  organizations  and  NGOs  more   often   agree   on   the   benefits   of   anticipating   a   crisis   and   responding   with   preventive   action  before  the  conflict  explodes.    




Simply  put,  arguments  for  early  intervention  have  come  to  outweigh  the  excuses  to  not   get  involved.  It  is  clear  in  this  current  globalized  world  that  international  and  intrastate   conflicts  can  have  serious  implications  and  can  cause  destabilizing  global  effects,  such  as   the  influx  of  refugees  and  the  negative  impact  on  the  regional  or  global  economy.  Lund  

(1996:   21-­‐24)   warns   that   non-­‐involvement   is   no   longer   a   strategic   stance   to   current   international   and   intrastate   conflicts.   Firstly,   it   is   difficult   for   a   third   party   not   to   get   involved  when  exposed  to  the  mass  media  portrayals  of  human  suffering,  which  can  also   sway   public   opinion   to   demand   a   government   or   an   international   organization   to   respond.   Secondly,   and   as   previously   mentioned,   the   financial   and   political   costs   of   nonintervention  are  significantly  higher  than  the  costs  of  prevention  early  on  in  a  given   conflict.   Lund   (1996:   23)   suggests   that   the   amount   the   United   States   has   paid   in   the  

1990s   to   repair   only   a   few   war-­‐ravaged   sub-­‐Saharan   African   countries   through   peacekeeping,   relief   aid,   and   reconstruction   has   far   exceeded   the   amounts   it   would   otherwise  likely  have  contributed  to  peacetime  development  assistance  for  all  the  sub-­‐

Saharan  countries  combined.  Thirdly,  nonintervention  can  bring  about  a  loss  of  status   and   influence   to   a   third   party   government   or   international   organization.   If   one   major   international   player   opts   out   of   conflict   intervention,   a   new   and   aspiring   leader   will   emerge   and   exert   its   influence   in   managing   conflicts   on   their   own   terms.   Therefore,   there  is  much  more  to  gain  both  politically  and  economically  through  early  intervention   in  a  conflict  as  opposed  to  noninvolvement.      


In   order   to   effectively   act   to   prevent   the   outbreak   of   violence,   clear   forewarning   of   impending  trouble  is  required  such  as  an  early  warning  system  or  tool  that  reveals  the   factors  and  indicators  that  could  spark  this  conflict  shift.    The  concept  of  early  warning   originates   in   the   sphere   of   military   relations   and   intelligence   and   the   prediction   and   management   of   natural   humanitarian   disasters   (Adelman   1998:   45).   For   example,   the  

Food  and  Agricultural  Organization  (FAO)  developed  the  first  early  warning  system  that   was   designed   to   enable   the   FAO   to   locate   food   supplies   to   prevent   famine   (Adelman  



1998:  45).  According  to  Adelman,  the  first  type  of  early  warning  system  was  designed  to   enable   action   to   be   taken   to   deter   an   enemy’s   threat   or   mitigate   its   effects   and   the   second  was  concerned  with  taking  action,  but  to  prevent  or  mitigate  suffering  of  others  

(Adelman:  45).  Van  Walraven  (1998:  3)  explains  that  “if  put  into  practice,  [early  warning]   would  involve  the  collection  of  data  on  the  basis  of  uniform,  systematized  procedures;   their   analysis   according   to   a   proper   scientific   methodology;   and,   if   it   would   be   concluded  that  those  data  pointed  to  a  high  probability  of  impending  violent  conflict,   the  transmission  of  a  warning  to  political  decision-­‐makers  (Adelman  1998:  52).”  further   defines  early  warning  as  “the  communication  of  information  on  a  crisis  area,  analysis  of   that   information,   and   development   of   potential,   timely,   strategic   response   options   to   the  crisis.”  With  this  early  warning  information  at  hand,  ideally  decision-­‐makers  would   then   take   the   necessary   steps   or   early   action   to   prevent   the   conflict   from   reaching   a  

  phase  of  violence  or  from  escalating  to  increased  levels  of  violence.    

There  is  much  debate  on  the  concept  of  early  warning  and  its  link  to  preventive  action.  

Dorn   states,   “Early   identification   and   early   warning   are   the   first   steps   toward   conflict   prevention.”   This   is   a   starting   point.   However,   some   analysts   prefer   to   define   early   warning  solely  in  terms  of  information  sharing,  while  others  view  early  warning  as  both   situation   monitoring   and   communicating   an   alert   (Adelman   1998:   52).   Therefore,   one   school  of  thought  sees  early  warning  as  information  gathering  and  the  second  sees  it  as   including  action.  The  two  key  analysts  embroiled  in  this  debate  are  Kumar  Rupesinghe,   the   Secretary   General   of   International   Alert   and   Chair   of   the   International   Peace  

Research  Association’s  Commission  on  Internal  Conflicts  and  their  Resolution,  and  B.G.  


Ramcharan,  a  member  of  the  UN  Secretariat  for  thirty-­‐two  years  and  served  as  UN  High  

Commissioner  for  Human  Rights.  Rupesinghe  is  of  the  school  that  believes  early  warning   must  include  action,  which  stands  in  contrast  to  Ramcharan,  who  clearly  distinguishes   early  warning  from  preventive  diplomacy,  while  linking  the  two.    



Early  warning  as  a  practice  on  its  own  has  suffered  illegitimacy  claims  over  recent  years   due  to  the  debate  and  the  close  link  between  early  warning  and  preventive  action.  The   focus   on   successful   preventive   results   has   led   to   the   misunderstanding   that   a   lack   of   preventive  action  was  caused  by  a  failure  in  early  warning  (Dmitrichev  1998:  221).  When   this  is  recognized  the  common  explanation  given  for  the  failure  is  the  lack  of  political   will,   which   brings   the   debate   into   the   political   realm.   Dmitrichev   (1998:   221)   explains   that   once   this   particular   debate   enters   the   political   sphere   it   raises   sensibilities   and   concerns  over  the  role  of  organizations  being  more  than  what  may  suit  the  mandates  of  

“response”  agencies  when  conducting  early  warning  studies  and  therefore  puts  NGOs  at   risk  of  exceeding  their  welcome  by  host  states  if  they  are  seen  in  this  negative  light.  But   no   matter   what   side   of   the   debate   you   are   on   it   is   generally   agreed   that   both   the   collection   of   early   warning   data   and   preventive   action   are   critical   in   the   process   of   preventive  diplomacy  and  conflict  prevention.  The  success  of  early  warning  and  conflict   prevention  depends  highly  on  the  building  and  strengthening  of  close  collaborative  links   between   early   warning   researchers   and   practitioners   (normally   found   in   the   private   sector,   such   as   universities)   and   those   in   a   position   to   influence   public   policy  


(international   organizations   and   NGOs)   and   policy   makers   or   governments   (Davies   &  

Gurr  1998:  2).    

Although  early  warning  encompasses  a  more  policy-­‐oriented  aspect  of  conflict  studies,   the  concept  should  be  practiced  at  multiple  levels  of  society,  including  at  the  levels  of   national  governments,  inter-­‐governmental  and  international  organizations  such  as  the  

United   Nations   (UN),   the   African   Union   (AU)   and   the   Southern   African   Development  

Community   (SADC),   and   non-­‐governmental   organizations   (NGOs).   However,   international  organizations  are  often  too  preoccupied  with  confronting  and  reacting  to   existing   conflicts   to   respond   to   potential   or   imminent   conflicts.   There   has   been   much   discussion  and  lip  service  paid  to  conflict  prevention  and  early  warning  mechanisms  by   government  officials  and  diplomats,  however,  Van  Walraven  (1998:  19)  asserts,  “While   early   warning   and   conflict   prevention   have   become   part   of   the   vocabulary   of  


  international   diplomacy,   this   does   not   automatically   mean   that   inter-­‐governmental   organizations  and  their  member  states  have  actually  designed  and  pursued  strategies  of   conflict   prevention.”   This   dissertation   will   determine   in   the   coming   chapters   whether   the  South  African  government’s  foreign  policy  toward  the  political  conflict  in  Zimbabwe   was  a  true  act  of  preventive  diplomacy  or  merely  another  example  of  lip  service  paid  to   the  concepts  and  ideas  underlying  conflict  prevention  and  early  warning.    


Unfortunately,  standardized  early  warning  systems  or  methods  are  rare  and  so  policy-­‐ makers,   peacekeepers   and   third   party   mediators   must   adapt   their   own   preventive   approaches   in   any   given   conflict   situation.   Furthermore,   governments   often   lack   the   political  will  to  practice  and  invest  in  early  warning.  Few  organizations  can  claim  success   in   developing   and   implementing   conflict   prevention   strategies.   To   date,   the   UN   has   been  the  leading  organization  in  the  field  of  early  warning.  Sutterlin  (1998:  121)  explains   that   because   the   principal   purpose   of   the   UN,   as   defined   in   its   Charter,   is   the   maintenance   of   peace   and   international   security,   the   UN   is   therefore   mandated   to   prevent  conflict  that  would  jeopardize  peace  in  any  country  or  region  across  the  world.  

Therefore,   in   order   to   successfully   fulfill   this   extensive   mandate,   the   UN   requires   a   system   of   early   warning.   Sutterlin   (1998:   121)   observes   that   the   necessity   for   early   warning   has   “long   been   recognized   in   the   United   Nations,   since   it   is   inherent   in   the   concept   of   preventive   diplomacy,   something   that   every   Secretary-­‐General   since   Dag  

Hammarskjöld   has   explicitly   favoured   and   that   both   the   General   Assembly   and   the  

Security   Council   have   supported.”   He   clarifies,   “The   concept   of   preventive   diplomacy,   however,  encompasses  both  warning  and  preventive  action  (Sutterlin  1998:  121).”  With  

  this   said,   we   can   recall   the   differing   opinions   of   Rupesinghe   and   Ramcharan   on   the   distinction   of   early   warning   and   preventive   diplomacy.   The   concept   of   preventive   diplomacy   will   be   further   explored   and   defined   in   the   subsequent   sections   of   this   chapter.    



In  1996,  in  his  capacity  as  Director  of  the  Africa  1  Division  of  the  Department  of  Political  

Affairs  of  the  United  Nations  Secretariat,  Ramcharan  explained  that  early  warning  is  in   an  experimental  period  but  that  it  is  growing  and  therefore  has  its  starts,  its  trials  and   stoppages  (Van  Walraven  1998:  176).  The  now  disbanded  UN  Office  for  Research  and   the   Collection   of   Information   (ORCI)   played   a   critical   role   in   early   warning   and   conducted   valuable   work   towards   the   establishment   of   a   common   early   warning   methodology.   The   ORCI   reached   out   to   the   academic   community   for   assistance   in   launching  a  comprehensive  database  and  to  work  on  developing  indicators  of  potential   conflict   and   violence.   The   office   also   began   a   computerized   system   into   which   information  on  every  country  in  the  world  could  be  fed  and  further  classified  according   to   standardized   indicators.   The   ORCI   staff   attempted   to   work   on   trends   that   could   possibly  propagate  conflicts  in  certain  regions,  but  unfortunately  more  recently  the  ORCI   was   disbanded   and   the   UN   has   since   decreased   its   efforts   in   the   development   of   indicators  and  a  system  of  early  warning  (Van  Walraven  1998:  177).    


Other  UN  agencies,  such  as  the  United  Nations  High  Commission  for  Refugees  (UNHCR)   rely   heavily   on   early   warning   systems.   The   UNHCR’s   Centre   for   Documentation   and  

Research   (CDR)   conducts   research   on   the   parameters   and   indicators   for   monitoring   country   situations.   The   CDR   has   carried   out   important   activities   that   relate   to   early   warning  such  as  field  monitoring,  information  collection  through  the  Country  of  Origin  

Information   Project,   information   dissemination   through   REFWORLD,   an   authoritative   resource  on  human  rights  and  refugee-­‐related  information,  and  finally  policy  research  

(Dmitrichev  1998:  227-­‐228).    


Perhaps   more   relevant   to   the   Zimbabwe   internal   conflict,   is   the   role   SADC   plays   in   conflict   prevention.   At   a   symposium   on   conflict   prevention   and   early   warning,   which   was  held  on  26  November  1996  at  the  Netherlands  Institute  of  International  Relations  in  

The   Hague,   E.T.   Manyika   spoke   in   his   capacity   as   Deputy   Secretary   for   Political   and  

Economic  Affairs  at  the  Zimbabwean  Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs  and  the  SADC  contact  


  point   for   the   Southern   African   Community’s   Organ   on   Politics,   Defence   and   Security  

(Van  Walraven  1998:  177-­‐78).  Manyika  argued  that  the  SADC  member  states  effectively   used   the   experience   gained   during   liberation   struggles   to   then   attempt   to   prevent   conflicts   in   the   region   from   developing   into   full-­‐scale   civil   wars   (Van   Walraven   1998:  

177-­‐78).  His  examples  of  success  stories  were  preventive  measures  in  the  Kingdom  of  

Lesotho,  where  after  an  unconstitutional  takeover  of  power  Presidents  Mandela  (South  

Africa),   Matsire   (Botswana)   and   Mugabe   (Zimbabwe)   intervened   to   prevent   civil   war;   and   in   Swaziland   where   the   monarchy   was   (and   still   is)   opposed   to   democratization,  

SADC  launched  an  intervention.  These  examples,  however,  are  not  very  persuasive.  One   participant  at  the  symposium,  for  example,  argued  that  in  the  case  of  Swaziland,  it  was   not   so   much   that   the   SADC   organ   acted   to   prevent   conflict,   but   that   South   Africa’s  

President   at   the   time,   Nelson   Mandela,   worked   single-­‐handedly   to   sway   the   Swazi   monarchy   (Van   Walraven   1998:   177-­‐78).   What   can   be   drawn   by   Mr.   Manyika’s   contribution,   however,   is   that   the   SADC   body   recognizes   the   need   for   conflict   prevention  in  Southern  Africa  and  has  officially  mandated,  from  1996,  the  SADC  Organ   on   Politics,   Defence   and   Security   to   prevent   conflict   in   the   region.   Chapters   Four   and  


Five   of   this   dissertation   will   delve   deeper   into   SADC’s   preventive   role   in   the   current  

Zimbabwe  conflict.  

At   the   very   same   symposium,   N.   Hinton,   a   representative   of   the   International   Crisis  

Group   (ICG),   explained   the   advantages   NGOs   have   over   governments   in   the   field   of   conflict  prevention  and  early  warning  due  to  their  non-­‐political  nature  (Van  Walraven  

1998:  179).  The  ICG’s  membership  includes  former  prime  ministers,  presidents,  foreign   ministers,   senior   businessmen   and   journalists   and   its   directive   is   to   identify   countries   that  are  on  the  verge  or  in  the  middle  of  a  crisis  situation.  Its  involvement  includes  high-­‐ level  advocacy,  in  order  to  prevent  a  crisis  or  mediate  through  a  conflict.  The  ICG  as  an   organization  believes  that  because  conflict  differs  from  country  to  country  and  region  to   region,   an   application   of   an   early   warning   or   conflict   prevention   strategy   across   the   world   as   a   whole   would   be   impossible,   and   therefore,   the   ICG   commits   itself   to   a  


  particular   country   in   crisis   for   the   long-­‐term   in   order   to   comprehensively   study   the   nature   and   structure   of   the   country’s   unique   conflict   and   thus   apply   more   effective   methods  of  conflict  prevention.  One  success  story  shared  by  Hinton  is  the  example  of  

ICG’s  collaborative  intervention  in  Sierra  Leone  in  1994.  The  ICG  implemented  a  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy  approach  by  working  together  with  the  United  Nations,  several  national   governments  and  major  media  houses,  such  as  CNN  and  the  BBC,  to  ensure  firstly  that   sufficient   funds   were   available   for   a   smooth   and   democratic   elections   process,   and   secondly,   that   the   events   around   the   elections   were   covered   for   the   duration   of   the   electoral   cycle.   The   ICG   also   encouraged   the   UN   to   pay   more   attention   to   initiating   peace  talks  between  the  Sierra  Leonean  government  and  rebel  groups,  because  from  its   research   the   ICG   recognized   that   a   successful   election   would   not   be   enough   to   bring   about   lasting   peace.   It   is   this   form   of   long-­‐term   commitment   and   involvement   that   is  

  ideal  in  preventive  diplomacy.    

Van  Walraven  (1998:  180)  highlights  the  gaps  in  the  research  around  conflict  prevention   and  early  warning.  He  observed  that  in  the  symposium’s  Clingendal  Occassional  Paper,   the  role  of  NGOs  had  not  been  included  in  the  report  and  in  fact  a  more  comprehensive   analysis  on  the  roles  NGOs  play  in  the  field  of  early  warning  and  conflict  prevention  is   needed.  Rupesinghe  (1997)  expresses  the  same  sentiment  in  The  General  Principles  of  

Multi-­‐Track  Diplomacy.  Indeed,  NGOs  play  a  very  critical  role  in  the  collection  of  early   warning  information  and  in  mediating  in  crisis  situations,  as  they  have  the  advantage  of   being   apolitical   and   being   situated   on   the   ground   in   conflict   countries.   Increasingly,   organizations  such  as  the  UN,  AU,  SADC  and  national  governments  are  relying  heavily  on   the  contributions  and  analysis  provided  by  the  NGO  community.  For  example,  according   to   the   Director   of   the   Zimbabwe   Lawyers   for   Human   Rights   (ZLHR),   Irene   Petras,   the  

2011   South   Africa-­‐led   SADC   mediation   team   for   Zimbabwe   was   in   regular   communication   with   ZLHR   to   receive   reliable   information   on   human   rights   violations   and  legal  human  rights  cases  that  exist  in  the  country  (Personal  Communication,  Irene  

Petras,   2   December   2011).   It   is   critical   for   those   governments   and   international  


  organizations  involved  in  conflict  prevention  and  conflict  mediation  to  keep  their  doors   open   for   dialogue   with   relevant   NGOs.   In   conclusion,   it   is   important   for   this   study   to   highlight   the   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   efforts,   which   is   not   limited   to   the   state-­‐focused   approach,  but  which  includes  the  contributions  made  by  NGOs  and  other  members  of  

  civil  society  in  the  field  of  conflict  prevention  and  early  warning.    


2.5  Preventive  Diplomacy  


As  mentioned  previously  in  this  chapter,  the  idea  of  preventive  diplomacy  surfaced  in   the  1950s  through  the  desire  of  conflict  resolution  practitioners  to  prevent  rather  than   merely   react   to   violent   conflict.   Former   United   Nations   Secretary-­‐General   Dag  

Hammarskjöld  first  articulated  the  term  preventive  diplomacy  in  1960.  He  was  referring   to  a  Cold  War  context  but  foresaw  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  political  as  well  as  the   economic  spheres.  His  concept  held  and  subsequently,  all  of  his  successors  have  been   proponents   and   practitioners   of   preventive   diplomacy.   While   Boutros   Boutros-­‐Ghali’s  

(1992)  acclaimed  An  Agenda  for  Peace  is  the  most  cited  document  in  the  field,  Javier  

Pérez   de   Cuéllar   called   for   a   comprehensive   global   watch   during   his   term   and   Kofi  

Annan   sought   to   develop   inter-­‐agency   collaboration   in   the   implementation   of   preventive   strategies   and   the   development   of   a   “culture   of   prevention”   (Ramcharan  

2008:  xvi).  Needless  to  say,  the  idea  of  preventive  diplomacy  has  informed  UN  practice   specifically   and   has   spread   to   form   the   basis   of   foreign   policy   practiced   by   national  

  governments  across  the  world.    

The   term   preventive   diplomacy   combines   two   critical   components   of   diplomatic   relations:  both  official  and  unofficial.  First,  it  includes  the  notion  of  prevention,  which  is   the  act  of  avoiding  or  keeping  away  from  risk  and  danger.  This  can  include  the  measures   taken  to  prevent  a  conflict  situation  from  escalating  to  heightened  forms  of  tension  and   violence.  Secondly,  the  term  includes  the  concept  of  diplomacy.  A  simple  definition  of   diplomacy,   referencing   Encyclopaedia   Britannica,   is   the   “established   method   of  


  influencing   the   decisions   and   behavior   of   foreign   governments   and   peoples   through   dialogue,  negotiation,  and  other  measures  short  of  war  or  violence.”  While  traditionally   the  understanding  of  diplomacy  is  limited  to  official  relations  between  sovereign  states,   a  modern  interpretation  of  diplomacy  includes  the  international  activities  and  unofficial   diplomacy  carried  out  by  international  organizations,  regional  bodies  and  NGOs.  When   these  two  definitions  are  combined  the  concept  of  preventive  diplomacy  becomes  the   method   used   by   states   or   international   organizations   and   civil   society   to   avoid   and   prevent   the   escalation   of   conflict,   particularly   through   the   practice   of   dialogue   and  


In   An   Agenda   For   Peace:   Preventive   Diplomacy,   peacemaking   and   peace-­‐keeping,  

Boutros  Boutros-­‐Ghali  (1992:  2)  defines  preventive  diplomacy  as  an  “action  to  prevent   disputes  from  arising  between  parties,  to  prevent  existing  disputes  from  escalating  into   conflicts  and  to  limit  the  spread  of  the  latter  when  they  occur.”  He  first  distinguishes   preventive  diplomacy,  which  is  a  method  that  “seeks  to  resolve  disputes  before  violence   breaks  out,”  from  peacemaking  and  peace-­‐keeping,  which  are  “required  to  halt  conflicts   and   preserve   peace   once   it   is   attained   (1992:   2).”   One   would   think   that   preventive   diplomacy  could  not  then  be  useful  in  conflict  situations  that  have  reached  a  later  stage   in  the  conflict  cycle.  However,  he  does  continue  to  state  that,  “the  most  desirable  and   efficient  employment  of  diplomacy  is  to  ease  tensions  before  they  result  in  conflict  –  or,   if  conflict  breaks  out  to  act  swiftly  to  contain  it  and  resolve  its  underlying  causes  (1992:  

2).”   This   way   Boutros-­‐Ghali   recognizes   that   preventive   diplomacy   remains   a   relevant   method  even  after  a  full-­‐blown  conflict  is  realized.    


An   Agenda   for   Peace   (1992:   1)   was   written   as   a   report   of   the   UN   Secretary-­‐General   following  a  summit  meeting  of  the  UN  Security  Council  with  the  purpose  of  providing   analysis  and  recommendations  on  ways  the  capacity  of  the  UN  for  preventive  diplomacy   could  become  strengthened  and  more  efficient.    Writing  as  a  leader  of  the  UN,  Boutros-­‐

Ghali   (1992:   2)   limits   the   practice   of   preventive   diplomacy   within   the   realm   of   the  



United   Nations   when   he   writes,   “Preventive   diplomacy   may   be   performed   by   the  

Secretary-­‐General   personally   or   through   senior   staff   of   specialized   agencies   and   programmes,   by   the   Security   Council   or   the   General   Assembly,   and   by   regional   organizations  in  cooperation  with  the  United  Nations.”  The  former  Secretary-­‐General  of   the  UN  did  not,  at  the  time,  consider  the  preventive  diplomacy  method  to  be  applied  by   any  group  or  individual  without  the  close  guidance  and  collaboration  of  his  international   organization  of  sovereign  states.  Twenty  years  after  the  presentation  of  this  document,   we  see  a  very  different  application  of  preventive  diplomacy;  one  which  includes  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy  of  national  governments,  international  organizations,  NGOs  and  other   members  of  civil  society.  This  modern  interpretation  will  be  discussed  further  in  2.9  of  

  this  chapter.  

Although  Boutros-­‐Ghali’s  An  Agenda  for  Peace  can  be  seen  in  hindsight  as  rather  limiting   and   exceedingly   focused   on   the   role   of   the   UN   as   the   central   actor,   this   document   should  be  recognized  as  the  tipping  point  that  led  the  study  and  practice  of  preventive   diplomacy   to   shift   from   one   generation’s   philosophy   to   that   of   a   second   generation.  

Anton  du  Plessis  introduces  the  origins  of  preventive  diplomacy  through  the  comparison   of   what   he   terms   first   generation   preventive   diplomacy   and   second   generation   preventive   diplomacy   (Du   Plessis   2003:   11-­‐15).   First   generation   preventive   diplomacy,   he  describes,  was  strictly  linked  to  UN  efforts  of  either  the  quiet  facilitation  of  discussion   and   mediation   of   conflicting   parties   led   by   the   UN   Secretary-­‐General   or   the   UN   field   operations   that   were   often   political   in   nature   and   based   on   military   force   (Du   Plessis  

2003:  11).  Du  Plessis  (2003:  11)  argues  that  first  generation  preventive  diplomacy  did   not  flourish  firstly  because  at  the  time  it  was  unclear  what  the  method  actually  entailed.  

Making   reference   to   Kantian   philosophy,   Du   Plessis   (2003:   12)   concludes   that   the   ambiguity  resulted  in  an  idiographic,  which  focuses  on  an  in-­‐depth  understanding  of  a   specific   case   study,   rather   than   a   nomothetic   approach,   which   tends   to   generalize.  

Secondly,   first   generation   preventive   diplomacy   waned   was   because   the   term   itself   failed  to  articulate  the  public’s  understanding  of  the  UN’s  function  (Du  Plessis  2003:  12).  



Finally,  Du  Plessis  (2003:  11-­‐12)  explains  that  relating  the  concept  of  diplomacy,  which   was   generally   understood   as   unaggressive,   to   the   concept   of   war   prevention,   which   distinctly   requires   hostile   behavior   did   not   resonate   among   people   at   the   time.    

Therefore,   preventive   diplomacy   during   its   first   generation   of   existence   as   a   concept   was  limited  to  the  activities  of  UN,  its  Secretary-­‐General  and  the  Security  Council  and   was  not  a  widely  accepted  term  known  by  the  public  or  used  by  others  in  the  field  of  

  conflict  prevention.    

 Second   generation   preventive   diplomacy   arguably   came   into   being   in   1992   with   An  

Agenda  for  Peace,  which  named  preventive  diplomacy,  peacemaking  and  peacekeeping   as   the   UN’s   main   objective.   Although   still   declaring   the   UN   as   the   custodian   of   preventive  diplomacy,  there  was  mention  of  the  involvement  of  regional  organizations   working  in  cooperation  with  the  UN.  In  fact,  in  some  circumstances,  “the  United  Nations   may  well  need  to  draw  upon  the  specialized  skills  and  resources  of  various  parts  of  the  

United  Nations  system;  such  operations  may  also  on  occasion  require  the  participation   of  non-­‐governmental  organizations  (Boutros-­‐Ghali  1992:  3).”  The  Cold  War  had  recently   ended   and   analysts   of   the   time   believed   in   a   “new   world   order”   but   new   era   of   insecurity   and   conflict   appeared.   With   a   rise   in   smaller,   hot   conflicts   across   the   globe   came  the  realization  that  if  the  causes  were  detected  sooner  and  an  appropriate  early   warning   response   was   applied   some   of   these   disputes   could   be   prevented   before   reaching  more  advanced  stages  of  conflict.  This  would  save  not  only  human  life  but  also   the   financial   burden   that   comes   hand   in   hand   with   humanitarian   responses   and   reconstruction.    


Preventive   diplomacy   thus   became   more   popularized   and   applied   in   its   second   generation   because   it   developed   into   a   more   comprehensive   approach   to   peace   and   security.   The   UN   continued   its   preventive   diplomacy   activities   but   others   quickly   followed   suit.   As   Du   Plessis   (2003:   14-­‐15)   points   out,   the   Bush   and   Clinton   administrations  of  the  United  States,  regional  and  multilateral  organizations  such  as  the  




Organization  of  American  States  (OAS),  the  Organization  for  African  Unity  (OAU)  and  the  

Association   of   Southeast   Asian   Nations   (ASEAN),   as   well   as   NGOs,   academic   and   research   institutions   and   private   foundations   all   propagated   the   notion   of   preventing   conflict   through   political   means.   The   South   African   government’s   White   Paper  

Discussion  Document  on  South  African  Foreign  Policy  (South  Africa   DFA  1996)  reflects   the  same  sentiments:  


Conflict  prevention  and  peace-­‐making  are  of  substantial  concern  to  South  Africa  in  the  

African   context…Preventive   Diplomacy   has   become   an   essential   and   fundamental   consideration   in   the   international   context   for   political   leaders   and   diplomats.   Once   conflict   occurs,   diplomacy   is   faced   with   a   new   challenge,   which   is   more   difficult,  

  traumatic   and   costly   –   both   materially   and   in   terms   of   human   life   –   namely   devising   appropriate  peace-­‐making  and  peace-­‐keeping  operations  (South  Africa  DFA:  6.1,  5).  

Delayed,  messy  and  expensive  responses  to  international  conflict  were  on  their  way  out   and   preventive   diplomacy   was   the   sexier   alternative.   Preventive   diplomacy   protected   interests,  saved  money,  enhanced  political  status  and  saved  lives.  To  the  public  it  was  an   easy  and  attractive  sell.    

2.6  Examining  Lund’s  Conceptual  Framework  


In   his   work   Preventing   Violent   Conflicts:   A   Strategy   for   Preventive   Diplomacy,   Lund  

(1996)   provides   historical   case   studies   of   successful   and   failed   efforts   at   preventive   diplomacy  and  a  “tool  kit”  for  implementing  the  method.  Lund  illuminates  the  debate   among  analysts  and  practitioners  to  find  a  working  definition  of  preventive  diplomacy.  

He  acknowledges  the  first  generation  preventive  diplomacy  thinking  that  only  considers   the  involvement  of  a  high-­‐level  official  such  as  the  UN  Secretary-­‐General  to  end  a  war  or   contain  an  international  crisis.  This  understanding  generally  links  preventive  diplomacy   strictly   to   wars.   Yet   to   others,   Lund   (1996:   31)   observes,   preventive   diplomacy   is   associated   with   the   contributions   made   unofficially,   through   Track   Two   diplomacy,   by  

NGOs   and   other   actors   that   promote   dialogue   and   mediation   behind   closed   doors.   A  


  more   flexible   viewpoint   accepts   that   preventive   diplomacy   can   address   one-­‐sided   conflicts   such   as   genocide   or   the   repression   of   human   rights   (Lund   1996:   31),   this  

  making  Lund’s  framework  a  more  practical  model  to  consider.    

If  finding  an  accepted  definition  was  not  difficult  enough,  preventive  diplomacy  is  often   confused  with  peacemaking,  conflict  management  and  peacekeeping.  Lund   (1996:  31)   additionally  points  to  the  many  commonly  used  similar  terms  that  flood  foreign  policy   conversations   such   as   preventive   action,   preventive   engagement,   preventive  

deployment,   conflict   prevention   and   crisis   prevention.   Lund   does   brave   the   confusion   and  offers  his  own  definition  of  our  phrase  of  focus.  Lund   (1996:  37)  determines  that  

  preventive  diplomacy  is:  

Action  taken  in  vulnerable  places  and  times  to  avoid  the  threat  or  use  of   armed  force  and  related  forms  of  coercion  by  states  or  groups  to  settle  the   political  disputes  that  can  arise  from  the  destabilizing  effects  of  economic,   social,  political,  and  international  change.  


This   will   remain   the   accepted   definition   for   the   purpose   of   this   dissertation.   Lund’s   definition  and  conceptual  framework  has  been  chosen  predominantly  because  it  is  the   most  appropriate  framework  currently  available  that  can  be  applied  to  the  Zimbabwe   conflict   and   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   attempts   to   prevent   the   country’s   further   deterioration.    Moreover  Lund’s  concept  has  an  inherent  inclusion  of  various  types   of   diplomatic   efforts   such   as   political,   economic,   and   military   among   others   that   can   be   implemented   by   governments,   multilateral   international   organizations,   NGOs,   private   citizens  or  a  combination  thereof.  Furthermore,  as  Lund  (1996:  37)  suggests  preventive   diplomacy  can  also  be  carried  out  by  the  disputants  themselves.    His  theory  therefore   accommodates   for   the   study’s   inclusion   of   Rupesinghe’s   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy.  Lund  appreciates  that  some  analysts  would  prefer  to  use  the  terms  “conflict   prevention”   or   “crisis   prevention”   so   as   to   avoid   reference   to   the   word   “diplomacy,”   however,  in  order  to  include  the  wide  range  of  actions  the  word  denotes,  Lund  stands   by  the  Hammarskjöld-­‐Boutros-­‐Ghali  tradition  in  terminology.    




Lund  explores  this  particular  area  of  conflict  research  and  presents  his  own  theoretical   framework,  which  provides  a  narrower  focus  than  is  offered  in  Agenda  for  Peace.    For  

Lund  (1996:  37),  the  core  of  the  concept  of  preventive  diplomacy  is  that  “proaction  is   better   than   reaction,   that   crises   can   be   better   addressed   as   they   emerge   rather   than   when   they   have   already   deepened   and   widened.”   Therefore   the   core   of   preventive   diplomacy  is  about  timing;  the  stage  at  which  a  conflict  has  reached  when  intervention   is  made.  The  type  of  proaction  can  take  many  forms  and  intervention  can  take  place  at   any  stage  of  the  conflict  life  cycle,  as  long  as  an  intervention  is  made  in  a  timely  and   effective   manner   that   keeps   conflicts   from   escalating   to   unmanageable   levels   of   prolonged   violence.   Lund   builds   his   theoretical   framework   around   this   core   issue   and   thus  provides  a  structure  that  facilitates  an  accurate  evaluation  of  conflict,  which  at  the   same  time  indicates  the  strategic  moments  in  the  conflict  life  cycle  where  intervention   would  be  most  efficacious.      


Lund’s   theoretical   framework   describes   the   place   or   stage   in   the   full   life   history   of   a   conflict  at  which  preventive  diplomacy  can  be  engaged  in  relation  to  actions  taken  at   other   points   in   a   conflict.   He   combines   the   progression   of   conflict   with   different   strategies  of  prevention  and  management.  In  his  diagram  The  Life  History  of  a  Conflict,  

Lund   (1996:   38)   recommends   different   prevention   and   management   measures   depending   on   the   intensity   of   violence   and   the   stage   the   conflict   has   entered.   Lund’s   framework   is   three-­‐dimensional   and   includes   the   evolution   of   conflict   through   five   stages   and   the   characteristic   problems   to   each   stage,   the   length   or   life   cycle   of   a   conflict,   and   a   list   of   conflict   prevention   and   management   strategies   relating   to   each   stage  that  can  be  implemented.    


The  framework  begins  with  the  far  left  column  of  the  diagram,  which  presents  the  five   levels  or  stages  of  peace  or  conflict  that  exist  between  parties.  The  stages  describe  the   shifts  that  can  take  place  within  the  parties’  relationships  as  they  evolve.  Lund  (1996:  



38)   includes   the   parties’   “awareness   of   differences,   separate   identities,   political   polarization,  value  congruence,  mutual  trust,  and  hostile  behavior.”  Each  of  the  stages   involves   some   level   of   conflict   but   encompass   different   intensity   and   manifestation.  

Even  from  the  stage  of  Durable  Peace  a  conflict  can  emerge,  just  as  a  conflict  that  has  

  already  subsided  can  re-­‐escalate.    

The  first  of  the  five  stages  of  peace  or  conflict  described  in  Lund’s  theoretical  framework   is   Durable   (or   Warm)   Peace.   Although   this   stage   does   not   appear   to   belong   in   a   life   history  of  conflict,  Lund  argues  that  conflict  can  grow  out  of  a  time  of  peace.  Durable   peace  describes  a  just  order  and  Lund  gives  the  example  of  the  relationship  between   the  United  States  and  Great  Britain  during  the  20 th

 century  to  illustrate  this  stage  on  the   conflict   life   cycle.   The   parties   in   this   stage   enjoy   strong   cooperation   and   reciprocity.  

Lund   highlights   that   although   at   this   stage   there   is   a   virtual   absence   of   self-­‐defense   measures  among  parties,  it  may  include  a  military  alliance  against  a  common  threat.  The   relationship  between  parties  is  based  on  shared  values  and  goals,  economic  similarities   and   interdependence,   and   parallel   institutions,   such   as   democratic   political   systems.  

Therefore   a   “positive   peace”   exists   and   should   any   disagreements   arise   they   are   addressed   through   institutionalized   settlements.   According   to   Lund,   the   intrastate   or   domestic  form  of  this  stage  ranges  from  processes  of  national  reconciliation  (i.e.  South  

Africa   in   mid-­‐1990s)   to   the   establishment   of   a   legitimate   constitutional   democracy,   where  there  is  a  natural  shifting  in  political  representation  and  a  sense  of  social  justice.  

When   durable   or   warm   peace   is   shared   between   countries   (i.e.   the   current   Canada-­‐

United   States   relationship)   there   is   very   minimal   risk   of   the   relationship   deteriorating  

  into  conflict  or  repression.    

The  second  stage  of  peace  or  conflict  is  Stable  (or  Cold)  Peace,  which  describes  a  basic   order  relationship.  Parties  relating  in  this  stage  engage  in  partial  cooperation  (i.e.  trade   relations)   and   cautious   communication.   Lund   (1996:   37)   proposes   the   relationship   between  the  United  States  and  China  in  the  mid-­‐1990s  as  an  example  of  two  countries  


  in   stable   peace.   Domestically,   this   is   a   stage   of   national   stability   but   tensions   are   not   buried   deep   below   the   surface.   For   example,   this   could   involve   competition   between   national  and  at  times  hostile  political  factions  (i.e.  South  Africa  in  1994).  A  stable  peace   is  characterized  by  goal  variance  and  a  lack  of  military  cooperation;  however,  disputes  at  

  this  stage  are  largely  resolved  predictably  and  through  non-­‐violent  means.    

Lund’s   third   stage   of   peace   or   conflict   is   termed   Unstable   Peace.   At   this   point   in   the   conflict  life  cycle  tension  and  suspicion  between  parties  is  heightened,  however  violence   is  either  infrequent  or  nonexistent.  Lund  (1996:  37)  describes  this  stage  as  a  “negative   peace”   because   “although   armed   force   is   not   deployed,   the   parties   perceive   one   another   as   enemies   and   maintain   deterrent   military   capabilities.”   For   example,   at   the   time  of  writing  the  relationship  between  the  United  States  and  Iran  can  be  described  as   one   of   unstable   or   “negative”   peace.   Crisis   or   war   is   possible,   however   a   balance   of   power  keeps  aggression  between  parties  at  bay.  Domestically,  this  stage  of  conflict  can   be  illustrated  by  government  repression  (i.e.  Mugabe’s  repression  of  the  opposition  in  

March  2007  in  Zimbabwe).    


Lund   (1996:   37)   names   his   fourth   stage   of   peace   or   conflict   Crisis,   which   is   a   “tense   confrontation   between   armed   forces   that   are   mobilized   and   ready   to   fight   and   may   engage   in   threats   and   occasional   low-­‐level   skirmishes   but   have   not   exerted   any   significant  amount  of  force.”  Lund  (1996:  37)  reminds  us  of  the  Cuban  missile  crisis  of  

1962,   where   the   world   was   on   the   brink   of   war,   as   an   example   of   the   crisis   stage   of   conflict.  At  the  domestic  level,  the  crisis  phase  would  describe  a  situation  of  continuing  

  political  violence  between  two  competing  factions.  

Finally,  Lund’s  fifth  stage  of  peace  or  conflict  is  War.  This  stage  describes  the  prolonged   and   violent   unrest   between   organized   armed   forces   of   the   involved   parties.   It   can   include  low-­‐intensity  but  unceasing  conflict  or  civil  disorder  but  can  also  rise  to  the  level   of   what   Lund   (1996:   37)   describes   as   an   “all-­‐out   hot   war”.   The   internal   conflict   in  



Somalia  in  early  1992  is  given  as  an  example  of  a  low-­‐intensity  conflict  during  the  War   stage.  An  example  of  the  extreme  side  of  this  fifth  stage  is  the  Second  World  War.    


Lund’s   theoretical   framework   maps   the   progression   of   disputes   as   they   evolve   into   violent  conflicts.  This  evolution  is  dependent  on  two  critical  factors:  the  intensity  of  the   conflict,  which  is  illustrated  by  the  vertical  axis  of  Lund’s  diagram,  and  the  length  of  the   conflict  over  time,  which  is  evident  by  the  horizontal  axis.  Lund  uses  a  curved  line  that   stretches  from  left  to  right  of  the  diagram  and  forms  an  arc  to  explain  the  escalation  and   diminution  of  the  intensity  of  a  given  conflict  over  time.  Lund  (1996:  38)  describes  his   diagram   as   “oversimplified”   to   characterize   an   “ideal   type”   life   history   of   a   conflict.  

Therefore,  Lund  does  acknowledge  the  complexities  of  every  conflict  but  has  simplified   his  diagram  in  order  to  serve  the  purpose  of  accommodating  a  wide  variety  of  conflict   types  in  his  preventive  diplomacy  theoretical  framework.  The  model  is  adaptable  in  that   it   permits   analysts   to   identify   several   different   types   of   conflict   interventions   that  

  correspond  to  the  diagram’s  different  levels  of  conflict  intensity.    

Located  within  the  theoretical  framework’s  arc  are  contemporary  examples  of  conflicts   that  are  then  designated  to  Lund’s  various  stages  of  peace  or  conflict.  Located  outside   and   around   the   arc   are   the   commonly   used   terms   for   different   types   of   conflict   interventions.  These  terms  are  captured  through  the  use  of  two  parallel  series.  The  “P”   series  includes  preventive  diplomacy,  peacemaking,  peace  enforcement,  peacekeeping,   and   peace   building.   The   “P”   series   terms   are   generally   used   in   discussions   associated   with   the   work   of   the   United   Nations.   The   “C”   series   are   generally   employed   in   the   academic   literature   on   conflict   and   include   conflict   prevention,   crisis   management,   conflict   management,   conflict   mitigation,   conflict   termination,   and   conflict   resolution.  

Terms  from  both  series  can  be  used  but  Lund  (1996:  38)  advises  analysts  to  consider  the   importance   of   first   understanding   that   the   terms   form   sequences   of   related   but  

  different  conflict  interventions,  each  applicable  to  different  stages  of  a  conflict.    



Let  us  recall  that  the  key  to  Lund’s  theoretical  framework  is  the  timing  of  the  application   of  preventive  diplomacy  and  according  to  his  framework  preventive  diplomacy  is  most   effective   at   the   stage   of   unstable   peace.   Preventive   diplomacy   is   most   commonly   employed   when   the   relationships   between   the   involved   parties   are   at   risk   of   shifting   from   stable   (cold)   peace   to   unstable   peace.   Therefore,   the   practice   of   this   conflict   prevention   method   can   apply   to   situations   that   have   had   no   recent   encounters   with   conflict   and   also   to   post-­‐conflict   situations   where   violence   or   coercion   have,   for   the   most  part,  been  put  at  bay  but  the  efforts  of  post-­‐conflict  peace  building  have  failed  to   move  the  conflict  into  stable  peace  and  away  from  the  risk  of  re-­‐escalation  (Lund  1996:  

41).  This  said,  Lund  (1996:  41)  indicates  that  preventive  diplomacy  is  especially  effective   at  the  level  of  unstable  peace  in  order  to  prevent  a  conflict  from  escalating  to  a  deeper   stage  of  crisis.    


Once   Lund   establishes   that   preventive   diplomacy   is   most   operative   when   used   at   the   level  of  unstable  peace  he  differentiates  the  practice  from  two  other  well-­‐known  forms   of   diplomacy   and   conflict   intervention   with   which   it   is   often   confused.   These   are   peacetime  diplomacy  (or  peacetime  politics),  which  is  located  on  Lund’s  diagram  in  the   stable   peace   stage;   and   crisis   management   (or   war   diplomacy),   which   is   located   on  

Lund’s  diagram  in  the  crisis  stage  of  peace  or  conflict.    


Peacetime  diplomacy  is  the  form  of  diplomacy  that  is  enjoyed  by  states  that  have  stable   and  relatively  positive  relations  in  the  environment  of  peacetime  international  relations   and   conventional   national   foreign   and   defense   policies.   Such   countries   or   parties   engaged   in   peacetime   diplomacy   may   not   necessarily   be   exemplary   democratic   countries   or   parties,   however   there   exists   a   basic   order   because   the   worth   of   safeguarding  this  stable  order  and  positive  relationship  is  more  important  than  reaching   desirable  outcomes  by  resorting  to  dispute  or  conflict  to  the  parties  involved.  Because   of  this  conscious  and  joint  effort  to  sustain  the  relationship,  there  is  less  of  a  chance  of   rising   tensions   and   violence   to   emerge   when   parties   are   participating   in   peacetime  


  diplomacy.  Whereas  crisis  management  (or  war  diplomacy)  is  engaged  when  the  parties   involved  have  already  reached  the  level  of  high  confrontation;  the  threat  of  violent  force   by   one   or   more   party   is   realistic   and   the   full   eruption   of   aggression   is   predicted.  

Appendix   B   encapsulates   the   differences   between   these   two   forms   of   diplomacy   as   compared   with   the   medium   term   to   short   term   role   preventive   diplomacy   plays   to   resolve  disputes.  


As  indicated  by  Lund’s  diagram,  preventive  diplomacy  operates  between  peacetime  and   crisis   management.   Preventive   diplomacy   is   not   applicable   in   conditions   of   ordinary   foreign  relations  and  typical  development  activity  nor  is  it  effective  when  a  conflict  has   reached  a  stage  of  war.  Preventive  diplomacy  is  best  employed  at  a  stage  of  unstable   peace.   Lund   (1996:   42)   explains   further   that   preventive   diplomacy   “concentrates   specifically   on   troubled,   unstable   places   and   at   times   where   the   potential   is   high   or   rising   that   regimes   or   peoples   will   take   up   arms   or   use   other   forms   of   coercion   to  

“resolve”  emerging  political  differences.    The  shift  between  stable  (or  cold)  peace  and   unstable   peace   transpires   when   the   basic   order   of   the   relationship   is   disrupted   and   undergoes   rapid   changes.   This   disruption   can   include,   among   others,   a   dramatic   economic   downfall,   a   transferal   in   political   power   or   the   rise   of   a   military   force.   The   disruption  then  effectively  restricts  the  ability  of  existing  institutions  and  normal  conflict   resolution  paths  to  peacefully  address  the  dispute.  This  is  the  point  between  peacetime   and  crisis  management.  


Lund  (1996:  42)  clarifies  that  preventive  diplomacy  is  not  engaged  in  every  dispute  or   conflict   of   interest,   but   instead   it   is   employed   when   “policies,   institutions,   and   procedures   between   states   and   groups   at   the   local,   national,   or   regional   levels   that   could  handle  disagreements  and  maintain  a  process  of  orderly  resolution  either  do  not   exist,  are  breaking  down,  or  fail  to  regulate  political  disputes  and  conflicts  of  interests,”   which  creates  a  significant  risk  that  an  eruption  of  widespread  violence  or  other  forms   of  coercion  will  materialize  between  the  conflicting  parties.    





2.7  Exploring  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox  

The   previous   section   explored   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework.   It   described  his  diagram  of  the  stages  of  peace  and  conflict  and  differentiated  preventive   diplomacy   with   the   practices   of   peacetime   and   crisis   diplomacy,   both   of   which   are   frequently   confused   with   preventive   diplomacy.   Missing   in   this   discussion   are   the   practical  examples  of  the  types  of  actions  used  in  the  preventive  diplomacy  approach.  

To  complement  his  conceptual  framework,  Lund  (1996:  203-­‐205)  also  provides  analysts   with   his   “Preventive   Diplomacy   Toolbox”   in   order   to   present   the   variety   of   types   of   instruments  (or  “tools”),  and  intervention  implementers  for  preventing  violent  conflict.  


Lund’s   “Toolbox”   is   divided   into   three   different   approaches:   military   approaches,   nonmilitary   approaches,   and   development   and   governance   approaches.   According   to  

Lund  (1996:  203),  the  military  approach  to  preventive  diplomacy  can  include  restraints   on  the  use  of  armed  force  or  the  threat  or  use  of  armed  force.  Techniques  employed   when  restraining  the  use  of  armed  force  consist  of  arms  control  regimes  (including  their   monitoring);   confidence-­‐building   measures;   nonaggression   agreements;   preemptive   peacekeeping   forces   (for   deterrence   and   containment);   demilitarized   zones,   “safe   havens,”   or   peace   zones;   arms   embargoes   or   blockades;   non-­‐offensive   defense   force   postures;  an  military-­‐to-­‐military  programs.  Methods  used  when  applying  the  threat  or   the  use  of  armed  force  includes  deterrence  policies;  security  guarantees;  maintaining  or   restoring  local  or  regional  “balances  of  power”,  and  the  use  or  threat  of  limited  shows  of  


The  second  method  to  preventive  diplomacy  is  a  nonmilitary  approach,  which  involves   either  coercive  diplomatic  measures  (without  the  use  of  armed  force)  or  non-­‐coercive   diplomatic  measures  (without  armed  force  or  coercion).  Coercive  diplomatic  measures   include   diplomatic   sanctions   comprising   of   withholding   of   diplomatic   relations,  


  recognition  as  state,  or  membership  in  multilateral  organizations;  economic  sanctions;   moral  sanctions  comprised  of  condemnations  of  violations  of  international  law;  and  war   crimes   tribunals   or   trials.   Tactics   used   when   implementing   non-­‐coercive   diplomatic   measures   can   take   a   non-­‐judicial   approach   and   include   international   appeals   (moral   suasion  to  conflicting  parties  to  urge  accommodation);  propaganda  (directed  at  violators   of  international  principles);  fact-­‐finding  missions,  observation  teams,  on-­‐site  monitoring   of   human   rights   abuses   and   instances   of   violence;   bilateral   negotiations   between   opposed  parties;  third-­‐party  informal  diplomatic  consultations  by  official  entities;  track-­‐ two   diplomacy   by   nonofficial,   nongovernmental   parties;   conciliation;   third-­‐party   mediation;  commission  of  inquiry  or  other  international  inquiries;  conciliatory  gestures,   concessions   (unilateral   or   reciprocal);   nonviolent   strategies   by   oppressed   groups;   and   economic  assistance  or  political  incentives  to  induce  parties’  cooperation.  Non-­‐coercive   diplomatic  measures  can  also  take  the  form  of  judicial  or  quasi-­‐judicial  methods  such  as   mechanisms   for   peaceful   settlement   of   disputes;   arbitration   (binding   decision   by   a  

  permanent  tribunal);  and  adjudication.    

Finally,  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox  presents  a  development  and  governance   approach,   which   is   further   divided   into   three   strategies:   policies   to   promote   national   economic   and   social   development;   promulgation   and   enforcement   of   human   rights,   democratic,   and   other   standards;   and   national   governing   structures   to   promote   peaceful   conflict   resolution.   The   first   strategy   of   national   economic   and   social   development   promotion   policies   include   preventive   economic   development   aid   (in   conflict-­‐prone  states  or  areas);  preventive  private  investment  (in  conflict-­‐prone  states  or   areas);   economic   trade   (with   conflict-­‐prone   states   or   areas);   economic   integration   to   achieve   interdependency;   economic   reforms   and   standards;   bilateral   cooperative   programs   (in   social,   cultural,   educational,   scientific,   technological,   or   humanitarian   affairs.)   The   second   strategy   is   the   promulgation   and   enforcement   of   human   rights,   democratic,   and   other   standards   and   involves   political   conditionality   attached   to   economic   aid;   international   human   rights   standard   setting;   election   monitoring;   and  


  military-­‐to-­‐military  consultations  regarding  military  professionalism  and  role  of  military   in  society.  Lund’s  third  development  and  governance  approach  is  to  promote  peaceful   conflict  resolution  through  national  governing  structures.  This  approach  is  comprised  of   power   sharing,   federalism,   federation,   confederation,   autonomy,   partition,   secession,   and  trusteeships  or  internationally  sponsored  protectorates.  It  is  important  to  note  that   once   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach   selects   and   succeeds   in   this   method,   the   approach   then   switches   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   resolution.   This   will   become  evident  in  Chapter  Five,  however,  as  indicated  by  Lund’s  third  development  and   governance  approach,  the  national  government  structures  to  promote  peaceful  conflict   resolution,  when  SADC  brokers  a  power  sharing  settlement,  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  

  shifts  from  preventive  diplomacy  to  conflict  resolution.  

Lund’s  “toolbox”  succeeds  in  presenting  a  wide  variety  of  methods  that  can  be  engaged   by  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach.  It  is  not  meant  to  suggest  that  one  method  is  more   important  or  more  effective  than  the  other.  In  fact,  several  different  methods  listed  in   the  toolbox  may  be  applied  in  an  effort  to  prevent  the  escalation  of  one  given  conflict.  It   is   critical   to   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   to   first   comprehensively   assess   the   conflict   situation   and   determine   the   priorities   and   then   carefully   select   the   methods   relevant  to  the  conflict.  Whether  a  military  and  coercive,  nonmilitary,  or  developmental   and  governance  approach  is  taken,  it  is  important  that  the  strategy  is  undertaken  in  a   deliberate   and   consistent   manner   in   order   for   preventive   diplomacy   to   be   most   effective.  Now  that  the  various  approaches  and  techniques  have  been  outlined,  the  next   section   will   examine   the   key   elements   of   successfully   implementing   preventive   diplomacy.    



2.8  Implementing  Preventive  Diplomacy  

Policymakers  cannot  always  rely  on  theoretical  frameworks  and  hypothetical  concepts   that   have   not   been   tried   and   tested.   Instead   policymakers   require   specific   policy  


  guidelines  that  derive  from  a  systematic  assessment  of  the  processes  that  have  helped   to  prevent  conflicts  in  the  past  and  of  those  approaches  that  have  failed  (Lund   1996:  

51).  After  evaluating  several  post-­‐Cold  War  successful  and  failed  preventive  diplomacy   attempts   in   eastern   Europe,   sub-­‐Saharan   Africa,   and   Latin   America,   Lund   is   able   to   deconstruct  preventive  diplomacy  as  a  concept,  offer  opinions  on  what  defines  success   or   failure   in   the   realm   of   preventive   diplomacy,   recommend   a   five-­‐step   system   policymakers   can   consider   when   applying   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach,   and   finally,  offering  explicit  guidelines  that  fill  the  gap  in  preventive  diplomacy  literature.    


When  deconstructing  the  concept  of  preventive  diplomacy,  Lund  (1996:  78)  outlines  the   preventive  agents,  instruments  and  motivations  that  help  to  explain  the  type  of  actors   that   tend   to   be   most   involved   in   preventive   diplomacy,   the   policy   instruments   that   actors  engage,  and  the  reasons  why  actors  prefer  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach  in   the  first  place.  Lund  concludes  that  preventive  diplomacy  is  a  multilateral  approach  that   is  not  limited  or  claimed  by  one  country,  international  organization,  NGO  or  individual   alone.  Derived  from  his  case  studies,  Lund  summarizes  that  actors  have  included  major   world   powers,   such   as   the   United   States,   middle-­‐power   countries,   such   as   Canada,   neighbouring   states,   regional   organizations,   NGOs,   eminent   individuals,   and   in   some   cases,  efforts  were  initiated  by  the  disputants  themselves  or  local  third  parties.  In  nearly   every  conflict  situation,  one  actor  takes  the  stage  more  prominently  than  others,  but  is   important   to   note   that   there   are   numerous   other   actors   working   behind   the   scenes   providing   a   wide   variety   of   assistance   and   support   such   as   fact-­‐finding   or   monitoring,   diplomatic   leverage,   and   preventive   peacekeeping   deployments,   to   name   only   a   few.  

Some   actors,   such   as   NGOs,   prefer   to   operate   discreetly   in   order   to   protect   the   preventive   diplomacy   process   and   therefore   there   is   not   always   a   great   deal   of   information  on  their  involvement.  Because  of  this  inclusive  framework,  Lund’s  concept   has  been  selected  to  showcase  the  efforts  made  to  prevent  the  Zimbabwe  crisis  from   escalating.  It  is  not  only  South  Africa’s  involvement    (through  Thabo  Mbeki’s  leadership)   that  illustrates  the  larger  picture  of  the  situation.  As  Lund’s  framework  suggests,  many  


  other  actors  participated  in  the  preventive  diplomacy  approach  in  the  Zimbabwe  case,   such   as   SADC,   the   AU,   bodies   of   the   UN,   Britain,   the   United   States   and   the   EU,   the  

Commonwealth,  local  Zimbabwean  NGOs,  South  African-­‐based  civil  society  and  NGOs,   to  name  but  a  few.        


Much   like   the   involvement   of   actors,   no   sole   intervention   “tool”   dominates   in   the   preventive  diplomacy  approach,  but  rather  a  wide  variety  of  preventive  instruments  are   used  and  consist  of  rewards,  penalties,  and  assistance  (Lund  1996:  79).  One  can  refer  to   the  carrot  and  stick  analogy  when  describing  preventive  instruments.  The  “carrots”  used   include  economic  assistance,  diplomatic  recognition  of  newly  formed  states,  and  offers   of  membership  in  regional  economic  organizations  and  trade  agreements.  The  “sticks”   are   more   hardline   methods   and   include   the   threat   or   use   of   economic   sanctions,   withdrawal   of   development   aid,   moral   condemnations   of   human   rights   violations,   warnings   of   military   actions,   and   deterrence   through   preventive   peacekeeping.   In   addition   to   “carrot   and   stick”   mechanisms,   another   form   of   preventive   diplomacy   instrument   is   to   provide   the   opportunity   to   facilitate   mediation   and   negotiations   between   the   disputants,   such   as   bilateral   negotiations,   fact-­‐finding   or   monitoring   missions,   peace   conferences,   track-­‐two   or   multi-­‐track   informal   dialogues,   and   binding   arbitration.  The  Zimbabwean  case  study  demonstrates  Lund’s  amalgamation  of  tools,  as   the  multitude  of  actors  involved  engaged  both  “carrots”  and  “sticks,”  and  a  combination   thereof  throughout  their  preventive  action.  


The  intervention  of  a  third  party  actor  to  deter  a  conflict  situation  is  not  simply  an  ad   hoc  reaction  to  the  threat  of  violence  or  because  leaders  of  third  parties  have  received   pressure  by  their  domestic  constituents  or  the  media.  Furthermore,  not  every  threat  of   conflict   escalation   receives   an   automatic   third   party   response.   Third   party   actors   get   involved  in  preventive  diplomacy  when  national  or  international  leaders  determine  that   the   dispute   in   question   holds   a   wider   regional   significance   and   has   a   damaging   geopolitical   or   symbolic   impact.   A   triggering   event,   such   as   riots   or   a   declaration   of  


  independence,  may  have  been  required  for  a  third  party  to  act,  however,  the  event  is   comparatively   insignificant   because   it   did   not   directly   effect   the   third   party.   Third   parties   choose   to   intervene   because   of   the   potential   local   and   regional   or   secondary   effects   of   conflict   intensification.   For   the   purpose   of   this   study,   Thabo   Mbeki   and   the  

South   African   government   will   serve   to   illustrate   the   primary   third   party   role   in   the  

Zimbabwe  intervention.  


Policymakers   are   concerned   with   effectiveness   of   their   actions.   The   outcome   of   a   conflict   situation   can   depend   on   factors   subject   to   human   manipulation   such   as   the   aims,  attitudes,  and  behavior  of  the  leaders  of  the  disputants;  the  type  of  settlement;   the   weapons   and   resources   available   at   their   disposal;   the   channels   available   for   resolving   the   dispute;   and   the   skill   and   experience   of   mediators   (Lund   1996:   83).  

Reflecting  on  his  cases  studies,  Lund  (1996:  83)  determines  that  there  are  five  factors   that   are   most   often   present   in   conflict   situations   in   which   emerging   political   disputes   were  handled  through  peaceful  means  and  were  absent  in  those  disputes  that  resulted   in  the  use  of  armed  force.  The  five  factors  that  can  determine  a  successful  and  peaceful   preventive   diplomacy   approach   are:   the   timing   of   third-­‐party   intervention;   a   multifaceted   approach,   where   third   parties   act   in   coordination   with   other   relevant   actors  and  make  use  of  several  varied  instruments  in  their  efforts;  the  support  of  the   preventive  process  from  major  players,  such  as  international  and  regional  powers  and   neighbouring  states;  the  level  of  moderation  shown  by  the  disputing  leadership  in  their   views,   actions,   and   policies;   and   finally,   the   level   of   state   autonomy   among   the   disputants  that  can  make  use  of  procedures  and  institutions  through  which  disputes  can   be  negotiated  and  agreements  enforced  (Lund  1996:  85-­‐86).  For  example,  the  military   and  security  forces  of  an  autonomous  state  or  group  are  bound  by  the  constitution  and   act  independently  of  the  partisan  aims  of  political  parties.  The  success  of  a  preventive   diplomacy   effort   is   largely   determined   by   these   five   factors,   without   which   cause   the   process  to  struggle  and  may  lead  to  violent  and  military  action.  Another  factor  that  can  


  be  considered  as  contributing  to  a  preventive  diplomacy  success  story  is  a  strong  civil   society,  which  can  exert  pressure  to  prevent  a  political  dispute  from  becoming  violent.      


In  order  for  preventive  diplomacy  to  reach  its  full  potential  certain  intertwining  issues   must   be   considered.   Lund   shares   his   ideas   of   policymaking   and   implementation   in   an   organized   and   deliberate   five-­‐step   system.   Once   again   he   presents   five   key   issues:   a)   early   warning   –   or   identifying   where   and   when   tensions   and   disputes   are   likely   to   escalate   into   violent   conflicts;   b)   deciding   priorities   –   or   determining   which   of   these   potential   conflicts   warrant   responses;   c)   devising   effective   interventions   –   or   deciding   what  preventive  responses  are  the  most  timely  and  cost-­‐effective  for  the  given  conflict   situation;  d)  mobilizing  will  and  resources  –  or  determining  how  political,  bureaucratic,   and  material  support  can  be  obtained;  and  e)  linking  international  actors  in  a  coherent   system  –  or  concluding  what  is  needed  to  organize  an  ongoing,  coordinated  system  for   preventive  diplomacy  (Lund  1996:  108).      


As  mentioned  previously,  early  detection  and  early  warning  of  a  possible  conflict  does   not   always   lead   to   action   by   a   third   party.   It   is   the   responsibility   of   policymakers   to   decide   whether   or   not   to   respond.   Therefore   it   is   important   that   official   mechanisms   designed  to  consistently  gather  and  interpret  information  be  developed  and  accessible   to   policymakers.   With   regards   to   early   warning,   Lund   (1996:   118-­‐121)   offers   several   guidelines.   First,   he   suggests   the   creation   of   comprehensive,   post-­‐Cold   War   relevant,   and   user-­‐friendly   early   warning   system   that   makes   analytical   links   between   problem   indicators  and  the  range  of  options  available  to  particular  policymakers  and  preventive   diplomacy   implementers   at   specific   levels.   Special   focus   should   address   vulnerable   developing  nations,  however  each  region  should  be  analyzed  in  terms  of  the  problems   likely   to   be   encountered   over   the   long   term   and   medium   term,   such   as   economic,   political,  cultural,  and  technological  forces  and  their  impacts  on  the  strength  of  states   and   their   relations   with   other   countries   in   the   international   community.   Regularized   early   warning   procedures   need   to   be   further   institutionalized   by   the   United   Nations,  


  major  world  powers,  and  regional  organizations  and  the  various  processes  from  all  of   these   bodies   should   be   more   closely   coordinated.   More   interactive   procedures   are   needed   that   link   the   aggregated   early   warning   information   with   decision-­‐making   and   the  implementation  of  preventive  responses.  Official  early  warning   systems  must  also   incorporate  the  expertise  and  resources  of  NGOs  and  the  academic  community.  Finally,  

Lund   suggests   that   policymakers,   diplomats   and   staffs   of   multilateral   organizations   should  be  encouraged  to  pursue  further  training  and  participate  in  simulation  exercises   in  the  analysis  of  complex  conflicts.    


Policymakers  must  prioritize  which  potential  conflict  zones  identified  by  early  warning   systems   warrant   a   response.   According   to   the   guidelines   proposed   by   Lund,   when   deciding  on  priorities  policymakers  must  answer  the  following  questions:  a)  What  are   the  most  important  goals  and  interests  that  the  would-­‐be  preventer  wishes  to  preserve,   defend,  or  expand?  b)  What  trends  and  forces  in  the  regions  of  the  world  are  most  likely   to  threaten  the  attainment  of  those  goals  in  the  near  future?  c)  Which  of  these  risks  and   threats  is  most  important  regarding  the  specified  goals?  d)  Are  the  short-­‐term  costs  of   trying  to  prevent  a  conflict’s  escalation  worth  more  than  the  long-­‐term  costs  of  ignoring   it,   and   therefore,   must   this   threat   be   addressed?   Lund   (1996:   127)   admits   that   this   process   of   deciding   priorities   is   not   fixed   and   can   be   modified,   however,   such   a   deliberative   process   is   absolutely   necessary   to   protect   preventive   diplomacy   decision-­‐ making   from   the   more   short-­‐term   aims   and   pressures   presented   by   the   media   and   public   opinion.   Clearly   the   Zimbabwe   situation   warranted   a   response   from   the   South  

African   government   and   the   SADC   region   given   the   extensive   involvement   of   South  


Africa  between  2000  and  2009.    

Once   policymakers   are   made   aware   of   the   potential   eruption   of   conflicts   through   an   early   warning   system,   national   and   regional   interests   have   been   articulated,   and   a   preventive   response   to   a   particular   dispute   has   been   prioritized   and   warranted,   they   must  then  decide  on  the  most  effective  mode  of  intervention.  To  assist  policymakers  in  


  this   difficult   decision,   Lund   suggests   that   whatever   the   circumstances,   successful   preventive   diplomacy   depends   on   making   strategic   decisions   on   timing,   tasks   and   methods,   sequencing   interventions,   and   plans   for   disengagement.   With   regards   to   timing,   early   action   is   preferable   and   preventive   diplomacy   is   most   effective   when   action  is  taken  when  there  already  exists  an  interest  and  willingness  of  the  disputants  to   find   a   peaceful   resolution.   With   regards   to   determining   the   tasks   and   methods   of   intervention  and  sequencing  interventions  most  effectively,  Lund  advises  policymakers   conduct  a  needs  assessment  of  the  pre-­‐conflict  situation  to  see  what  is  required  to  keep   violence  at  bay  as  well  as  a  review  of  the  full  range  of  policy  tools  available  to  intervene.  

In  order  to  ascertain  an  appropriate  disengagement  strategy,  Lund  (1996:  162)  reminds   policymakers  that  preventive  diplomacy  does  not  aim  to  achieve  good  societies  but  to   prevent  various  destructive  forms  of  violent  resolution  to  political  disputes.  Therefore,   because  the  preventer  must  exit  the  situation,  priority  must  be  to  strengthen  traditional   mechanisms  for  dispute  resolution  that  draw  on  local  history  and  customs,  rather  than  

  replacing  these  with  new,  externally  imposed  mechanisms.    

Engendering  the  necessary  national  and  international  political  will  to  act  decisively  and   engage   in   preventive   efforts   can   be   very   difficult.   There   is   often   a   concentration   on   domestic  issues  before  looking  to  get  involved  internationally  due  to  budget  restraints   and  a  lack  of  national  interest.  To  counter  this  apathy,  citizens  can  be  informed  of  the   predicted   gains   and   risks   in   both   instances   of   preventive   action   and   inaction.   Aiming   these  education  campaigns  at  political  elites  may  cause  them  to  reallocate  some  budget   resources  toward  preventive  action.  Finally,  a  lack  of  support  for  preventive  action  can  

  derive   from   poor   knowledge   of   the   exorbitant   costs   of   recent   UN   peacekeeping   missions.   It   must   be   explained   that   preventive   action   can   be   cheaper,   less   risky   and   require   less   resources   if   the   burdens   of   interventions   are   shared   with   other   governments  and  multilateral  organizations.    



In  an  ideal  world  where  conflicts  are  more  often  prevented  and  quelled  than  erupting   and  leading  to  violence  Lund  envisions  an  eventual  linking  of  international  actors  in  a   coherent,   ongoing,   coordinated   system   for   preventive   diplomacy.   This   system   could   take  several  forms:  a  UN-­‐centered  system,  regional  organizations  to  be  used  as  hubs,  an  

NGO-­‐led  preventive  network,  and  the  leadership  of  individual  states.  After  considering   various  case  studies  it  is  made  clear  that  each  of  these  proposed  systems  on  their  own   has  its  advantages  and  disadvantages,  its  strengths  and  its  weaknesses.  However,  what  

Lund   advocates   for   is   a   multilateral   approach   to   preventive   diplomacy   where   the  

  principal   players   work   together   in   a   deliberate   and   coordinated   manner   to   prevent   conflict   across   the   world.   This   is   a   rather   vague   proposal,   however,   its   purpose   is   to   stimulate  debate  in  the  hopes  that  a  more  effective  system  of  preventive  diplomacy  is   eventually  established.    


2.9  Critiquing  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Framework  through  a  Multi-­‐Track  

Diplomacy  lens  

There  are  few  theoretical  frameworks  in  the  existing  literature  that  can  compare  to  the   comprehensive   exploration   of   the   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy   as   exemplified   by  

Lund’s   Preventing   Violent   Conflicts:   A   Strategy   for   Preventive   Diplomacy   (1996).   Lund   succeeds  in  presenting  a  practical  and  logical  definition  of  the  term  that  analysts  have   been   debating   since   its   arrival   on   the   conflict   studies   scene   in   1960.   His   framework   includes  a  structured  analysis  of  the  conflict  life  cycle,  its  various  stages  of  peace  and   conflict,  and  prevention  methods  that  can  be  applied  at  each  stage  of  the  cycle.  Modern   day   case   studies   are   evaluated   and   Lund   determines   in   which   incidents   a   preventive   diplomacy  approach  succeeded  and  where  in  others  it  failed.  The  timing  of  intervention   by  involved  parties  becomes  the  most  critical  factor  for  Lund  that  results  in  a  successful   application   of   the   framework   in   real   conflict   situations.   However,   Lund   expands   his  

  theory  to  include  other  central  factors  that  make  or  break  a  preventive  intervention.    



Concerned   that   the   current   literature   on   preventive   diplomacy   leaves   policymakers   wanting   for   practical,   implementable   and   verified   policy   guidelines,   Lund   devotes   a   significant   portion   of   his   work   to   outlining   the   five   pertinent   issues   that   must   be   considered  in  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach,  and  offers  explicit  guidelines  for  further   action.     Policymakers   can   now   refer   to   Lund’s   conceptual   framework   as   their   own   personal  handbook  when  engaging  in  preventive  diplomacy.    


While  Lund’s  framework  may  be  the  most  complete  example  of  how  to  practically  apply   and  evaluate  the  preventive  diplomacy  theory,  another  conceptual  aspect  should  also   be  considered  for  the  purpose  of  this  study.  Although  Lund  notes  on  several  occasions   the  significance  of  a  strong  civil  society  and  the  involvement  of  nongovernmental  actors   in  the  practice  and  success  of  preventive  diplomacy,  his  focus  remains  largely  on  Track  

One  diplomacy  and  does  not  delve  into  the  growing  debate  around  the  value  of  multi-­‐ track   diplomacy.   Practical   examples   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   responses   to   the   case   study  will  be  examined  in  Chapter  Six  of  this  dissertation,  however  the  next  section  will   briefly  introduce  the  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  in  order  to  broaden  the  scope  of  


Lund’s  framework  for  the  purpose  of  this  study.    

One   theoretical   way   of   examining   the   process   of   achieving   international   peace   is   through   multi-­‐track   diplomacy.   The   term   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   was   popularized   by  

Rupesinghe   (1997)   and   refers   to   the   contributions   of   a   variety   of   actors   at   different   levels  of  a  conflict  that  work  together  effectively  to  attain  peace.  Rupesinghe’s  concept   is  based  on  the  appreciation  that  diverse  efforts  in  peacemaking  can  complement  each   other   and   form   part   of   a   larger   framework   of   initiatives.   He   links   his   concept   with   preventive   diplomacy   as   he   explains   that   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   is   “the   application   of   peacemaking  from  different  vantage  points  within  a  multi-­‐centred  network.  At  the  heart   of   this   preventive   action   plan   is   the   concept   of   ‘positive   peace’,   which   was   explored   previously  in  the  discussion  of  Lund’s  conflict  lifecycle.  The  multi-­‐track  approach  tries  to   highlight   the   combination   of   elements   that   can   work   together   successfully   to   bring  


  together   a   conjuncture   of   forces,   thereby   creating   the   ingredients   for   a   successful   process   (Rupesinghe   1997:   1).”     The   concept   extends   from   the   Track   One,   Track   Two   model,  which  speculates  that  government-­‐to-­‐government  actions  between  official  state   representatives  is  not  the  only  process  that  can  prevent  conflicts  from  escalating,  secure   international  cooperation,  and  resolve  disputes  in  the  international  arena;  and  it  is  often   not  the  most  effective  method.    


The  expression  “Track  Two”  was  devised  in  the  early  1980s  by  Joseph  Montville  of  the  

Foreign  Service  Institute  to  describe  methods  of  diplomacy  that  were  outside  the  realm   of  the  formal  nation  state  structure  (Diamond  &  McDonald  1996:  1).  The  informal  and   unofficial  actions  initiated  by  non-­‐state  actors  (private  citizens  or  groups)  form  the  basis   of   Track   Two   diplomacy.   According   to   Diamond   and   McDonald   (1996:   2),   Track   Two   diplomacy  action  has  three  broad  objectives:  a)  To  reduce  or  resolve  conflict  between   groups  or  countries  by  improving  communication,  understanding,  and  relationships;  b)  

To  decrease  tension,  anger,  fear,  or  misunderstanding  by  humanizing  the  “face  of  the   enemy”  and  give  disputants  direct  personal  contact  with  one  another;  and  c)  To  affect   the  thinking  and  action  of  Track  One  by  addressing  the  root  causes,  feelings,  and  needs   and  by  exploring  diplomatic  options  without  prejudice,  thereby  laying  the  groundwork   for   more   formal   negotiations   or   for   reframing   policies.   In   comparison   with   Lund’s   interpretation   of   preventive   diplomacy,   the   Track   Two   diplomacy   model   adds   a   significant  human  element  to  the  process  and  considers  communication,  understanding,   and  the  emotions  of  actors  over  tactical  diplomatic  activity.  It  also  recognizes  the  value   of  non-­‐state  actors’  involvement  in  conflict  prevention  and  resolution;  that  individuals   and  groups  outside  the  jurisdiction  of  government  offer  expertise  and  certain  skills  that   can  benefit  the  conflict  prevention  process.  


Rupesinghe   (1997)   asserts   the   need   for   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   in   modern   day   conflict   prevention   and   argues   that   that   there   is   no   viable   system   currently   in   place   that   is   capable   of   tackling   internal   conflicts.   He   contends   that   “the   prevention,   management  


  and   resolution   of   internal   conflicts   (intrastate   conflicts)   require   a   fundamentally   different   approach   to   that   of   interstate   conflicts…The   objective   should   be   to   harness   capabilities   of   inter-­‐governmental   organizations,   state   and   non-­‐state   systems   in   a   coordinated   and   complementary   manner.   Within   this   framework,   citizen-­‐based   diplomacy   and   non-­‐governmental   organizations   have   an   important   role   to   play  

(Rupesinghe   1997:   2-­‐3).”   In   his   assessment   of   the   need   for   multi-­‐track   approach  

Rupesinghe  highlights  several  challenges  to  resolving  internal  conflicts:  the  principle  of   state  sovereignty;  access  to  the  conflict  and  its  actors;  asymmetry,  or  the  imbalance  of   power  relations  between  the  disputants;  a  lack  of  political  will;  the  power  of  the  media   and   the   lack   of   in-­‐depth   coverage;   and   the   difficult   transformation   of   a   culture   of  

  violence  (Rupesinghe  1997:  5-­‐11).    

Rupesinghe   (1997)   identifies   six   different   diplomacy   tracks   that   participate   in   the   conflict   prevention   process,   which   include:   governmental   diplomacy   (led   by   national   government  representatives);  inter-­‐governmental  diplomacy  (led  by  organizations  such   as  the  UN  or  the  EU);  second  track  diplomacy  (also  known  as  unofficial  or  semi-­‐official   diplomacy  and  involves  individuals  or  small  interested  groups  as  mediators);  ecumenical   diplomacy  (led  by  religious  organizations);  citizen  diplomacy  (or  the  involvement  of  local   people  from  different  sectors  of  society);  and  economic  diplomacy  (involving  the  World  

Bank   or   the   International   Monetary   Fund   at   the   global   level   or   international   corporations  and  large  multi-­‐national  companies  at  a  regional  or  local  level).  Together   these   six   tracks   make   use   of   multiple   tools,   similar   to   those   mentioned   in   Lund’s  

“toolbox”,  in  order  to  make  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  effective.  Rupesinghe’s  (1997:  21-­‐25)   multi-­‐track   tools   include:   peace   missions   and   monitors,   special   envoys,   training   workshops,   capacity-­‐building,   learning   from   comparative   experiences,   economic   assistance   or   political   packages,   human   rights   standard-­‐setting,   conflict   resolution   institution-­‐building,  police  and  military  training,  computer  networking  for  early  warning  

  systems,  and  mobilizing  the  media  for  conflict  resolution.    



Diamond  and  McDonald  (1996:  3)  discuss  the  reasons  why  the  interest  and  practice  of   multi-­‐track  diplomacy  has  grown  in  recent  years.  Modern  media  is  adept  at  spreading   awareness   among   populations   that   the   world   is   an   interdependent   global   village   through   the   images   of   human   suffering,   natural   disasters,   and   war   that   can   be   witnessed  through  television  broadcasts.  As  a  result,  there  is  a  growing  understanding   that  one  person’s  or  groups’  actions  can  have  an  impact  that  flows  across  the  confines   of   national   borders.   Secondly,   a   growing   impression   among   people   has   emerged   that   the   world   is   not   able   to   manage   and   resolve   large-­‐scale   international   conflicts.   Too   many   conflicts   that   exist   in   the   world   today   have   lasted   for   generations,   such   as   the  

Israeli-­‐Palestine   conflict,   and,   as   Rupesinghe   suggests,   Diamond   and   McDonald   also   believe  that  there  are  not  the  mechanisms  in  place  to  successfully  solve  these  conflicts.  

There  is  an  increasing  loss  of  confidence  in  the  capability  of  the  United  Nations,  which  is   the   body   that   is   supposed   to   be   leading   the   world   in   conflict   resolution   processes.  

Diamond  and  McDonald  (1996:  3)  expose  the  two  most  serious  constraints  of  the  UN’s   effectiveness:  the  Security  Council  is  a  political  body  with  a  veto  option  that  allows  the  

United  States,  the  United  Kingdom,  France,  Russia,  or  China  to  deflect  debates  or  action   on  any  situation;  and  the  UN  Charter  prohibits  the  UN  from  intervening  in  any  situation   considered   to   be   in   the   realm   of   domestic   affairs.   Finally,   as   advanced   weaponry   becomes   more   and   more   accessible   to   impulsive   groups   around   the   world   the   inevitability  of  conflict  is  rife.  If  the  Cuban  missile  crisis  taught  us  anything,  it  is  the  clear   apprehension   that   in   one   quick   moment   the   world   we   live   in   can   be   completely   destroyed.  Therefore,  the  interest  in  conflict  prevention  and  peace  has  become  a  top   priority  for  most.    


Like  Rupesinghe,  Diamond  and  McDonald  conclude  that  the  Track  Two  phrase  fell  short   of  reflecting  the  diversity  and  scope  of  citizen  involvement.  The  concept  of  multi-­‐track   diplomacy  was  developed  to  define  and  describe  a  more  accurate  representation  that   incorporates   the   efforts   of   all   actors   that   can   contribute   to   conflict   prevention   and   peacemaking.  Expanding  on  Rupesinghe’s  model,  according  to  Diamond  and  McDonald’s  



(1996:  4)  model,  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  is  comprised  of  nine  different  tracks  that  play  a   role  in  the  complicated  system  of  peacemaking.  The  nine  tracks  include:  government,  or   peacemaking   through   diplomacy;   nongovernment/professional,   or   peacemaking   through   conflict   resolution;   business,   or   peacemaking   through   commerce;   private   citizen,   or   peacemaking   through   personal   involvement;   research,   training,   and   education;   or   peacemaking   through   learning;   activism,   or   peacemaking   through   advocacy;   religion,   or   peacemaking   through   faith   in   action;   funding,   or   peacemaking   through   providing   resources;   and   communications   and   the   media;   or   peacemaking  

  through  information.    

Individually,   each   of   the   nine   tracks   possesses   their   own   philosophy,   motivation,   attitudes,   diversity,   and   culture,   among   other   divisive   factors.   However,   none   of   the   tracks   can   exist   without   the   others   and   often   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   encompasses   the   collaborative  and  coinciding  activities  of  various  tracks.  Therefore,  central  to  the  study   of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  is  the  consideration  of  the  interdependency  between  all  tracks,   rather   than   the   examination   of   each   of   the   nine   (or   six)   tracks   independently.   This   concept   presented   by   Rupesinghe   and   Diamond   and   McDonald   expands   on   and   complements  Lund’s  theory  of  preventive  diplomacy;  and  for  the  purpose  of  this  study,   which  will  address  Track  One  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  efforts  to  prevent  an  escalation  

  of  the  Zimbabwe  conflict,  Lund’s  theoretical  framework  will  be  placed  within  a  context   of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  

2.10  Conclusion  


This  chapter  encompasses  a  wide  range  of  theoretical  concepts  in  order  to  prepare  for   the   selected   case   study.   It   begins   by   defining   the   complex   and   dynamic   process   of   conflict.  We  discover  that  there  are  as  many  types  of  conflict  as  there  are  the  numbers   of   analysts   that   study   the   concept.   Different   typologies   are   explained   and   include  


  symmetric  versus  asymmetric;  intrastate  versus  interstate;  and  the  distinctions  between   latent,  perceived,  affective,  and  manifest  forms  of  conflict.      


The   conflict   life   cycle   is   introduced   along   with   its   five   levels   or   stages.   The   chapter   continues   to   link   the   concept   of   conflict   prevention   with   early   warning   systems   and   discusses   the   current   debate   around   this   controversial   association.   This   leads   to   the   exploration  of  preventive  diplomacy  as  both  a  theory  and  practice,  which  began  as  the   idea   that   initially   informed   UN   action   specifically   and   has   spread   to   form   the   basis   of   foreign  policy  and  action  practiced  by  national  governments  and  non-­‐state  actors  across   the  world.    


Chapter   Two   introduces   and   examines   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   conceptual   framework,  the  use  for  his  preventive  diplomacy  “toolbox,”  and  his  guidelines  for  the   successful   application   of   the   theory   to   real   conflict   situations.   As   practical   as   Lund’s   framework  is  to  describe  South  Africa’s  attempts  to  prevent  a  further  escalation  of  the  

Zimbabwe  conflict,  in  order  to  conduct  an  accurate  and  more  complete  analysis,  Lund’s   theory   was   placed   within   the   context   of   Rupesinghe’s   multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   which   expands   on   Lund’s   concept   to   include   a   variety   of   unique   actors   and   actions   located   outside   the   formal   government-­‐to-­‐government   system   that   provide   unique   expertise   and  background  thus  benefiting  the  process  of  conflict  prevention.  This  more  inclusive   theoretical   framework,   considering   the   combining   of   Lund’s   application   with   the   concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  will  be  used  as  the  basis  for  analysis  in  Chapters  Four,  

Five,  and  Six.  However,  before  we  can  begin  to  examine  the  role  preventive  diplomacy   plays  in  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  between  the  years  of  2000  and  

2009,   we   must   first   assess   the   various   factors   leading   to   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe   and   explain   the   long-­‐standing   and   complicated   relationship   between   South   Africa   and  

Zimbabwe  that  directly  impacts  and  influences  the  decisions  taken  by  South  African  and   regional   policymakers   in   their   attempts   to   quell   the   intrastate   conflict.   While   Chapter  

Two  provided  the  study  with  a  theoretical  base,  Chapter  Three  provides  the  necessary  



























  historical  background  to  set  the  scene  for  the  larger  discussion  around  the  function  of   preventive  diplomacy  in  the  current  Zimbabwe  context.        



Chapter  3  


An  Historical  Overview  the  Zimbabwe  Conflict  



3.1  Introduction  


The   previous   chapter   introduced   the   theoretical   framework   that   will   function   as   the   base  of  this  dissertation,  supporting  the  case  study  throughout.  In  order  to  determine   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   between   2000   and   2009,   this   dissertation   will   rely   on   Lund’s   concept   of   preventive   diplomacy  complemented  by  Rupesinghe’s  model  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  as  the  main   theoretical   structure.   Just   as   important   as   establishing   the   theoretical   base   of   the   dissertation  is  to  analyze  the  historical  background  that  explains  first,  how  the  conflict  in  

Zimbabwe   emerged   over   time,   and   second,   the   historical   context   of   South   Africa-­‐

Zimbabwe   relations.   The   South   African-­‐Zimbabwe   relationship   will   be   streamlined   through   the   historical   development   of   this   third   chapter.   Similarly,   the   theory   of   the   lifecycle   of   conflict   and   its   various   stages   that   was   developed   in   Chapter   Two   will   be  

  linked  throughout  this  chapter.    

What   makes   the   story   of   Zimbabwe   so   captivating   is   that   as   the   southern   African   country  endured  a  difficult  war  of  liberation  and  survived  the  trying,  early  post-­‐colonial   years  (early  1980s)  it  showed  such  great  potential  to  be  a  beacon  in  the  region,  capable   of  inspiring  neighbouring  nations  to  overcome  the  challenges  left  by  colonialism  and  to   become  strong,  independent  states.  Alas,  the  story  of  Zimbabwe  is  a  tragic  one  that  is   comprised  of  power  struggles,  greed  and  paranoia,  bloodshed,  and  a  steady  record  of   detrimental  missteps  leading  to  its  great  decline.  This  chapter  will  sketch  the  details  of  

Zimbabwe’s   recent   turbulent   history   and   its   downfall   through   the   examination   of  

Zimbabwe’s  emergence  as  an  independent  state,  the  years  of  prosperity,  the  build  up  to  


  crisis,  and  the  decade  of  decline,  which  followed.  As  previously  mentioned,  this  chapter   will  also  explore  the  relationship  between  Zimbabwe  and  South  Africa  during  the  years   of   Zimbabwe’s   internal   conflict;   particularly   noting   the   shift   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   management   and  


3.2  Emergence  of  an  independent  Zimbabwe  


This   story   will   begin   in   the   mid-­‐1960s   in   the   heat   of   the   Cold   War   and   a   time   when   decolonization   was   rapidly   spreading   across   the   African   continent.   In   addition   to   the   white  population  who  emigrated  from  the  UK  after  the  Second  World  War  and  those   liberal   whites   that   immigrated   to   Rhodesia   from   South   Africa   after   1948,   another   movement   of   whites   who   feared   an   uncertain   future   of   African   majority   rule   flowed   south  into  Rhodesia.  A  white  stronghold  was  therefore  maintained  in  the  midst  of  the  

African  independence  era  of  the  1950s  and  ‘60s.  Rhodesia’s  white  population,  however,   was   unable   to   attain   Rhodesian   independence,   which   forced   Prime   Minister   Winston  

Fields  to  resign  and  hand  the  reigns  over  to  the  first  Rhodesian-­‐born  Prime  Minister,  Ian  

Douglas  Smith.  Smith  also  struggled  to  negotiate  with  Britain,  whose  government  would   only  grant  independence  on  its  own  terms:  ‘no  independence  before  majority  rule’;  and   so   on   11   November   1965   Smith   chose   the   path   of   a   unilateral   declaration   of   independence  (UDI).  This  pronouncement  brought  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  to  a  level  of  

  unstable  peace,  where  violence  is  either  absent  or  irregular.    

Congruently,   another   struggle   transpired   within   the   country.   A   split   in   the   African   nationalist  movement  led  to  the  establishment  of  two  major  factions  comprised  of  the   banned   political   parties   of   the   Zimbabwe   African   People’s   Union   (ZAPU)   and   the  

Zimbabwe   African   National   Union   (ZANU).   There   are   several   proposed   causes   for   the   split  that  include  a  frustration  felt  by  some  African  nationalists  over  ZAPU  leader  Joshua  

Nkomo’s   acceptance   of   the   1961   Constitution,   some   believed   the   decision   signified   a  

“selling-­‐out”   of   the   nationalist   movement’s   values;   a   clash   in   personalities   between  



Nkomo  and  ZANU  leader  Ndabaningi  Sithole;  and  the  dispute  over  the  prioritization  of  a   government   in   exile   (Nkomo’s   vision)   versus   the   conviction   that   the   leadership   must   strengthen  the  party  from  within  Zimbabwe  for  greater  effect  (Mlambo  2009:  111-­‐112).    

To   further   fuel   the   tension,   diverging   Cold   War   external   forces   influenced   the   two   factions.  ZAPU  was  aligned  to  Moscow,  whereas  the  Chinese  supported  ZANU.  Finally,   although  not  exclusively,  there  is  an  ethnic  base  to  consider,  as  ZAPU’s  stronghold  was   positioned  in  the  Matabeleland  provinces,  traditionally  the  home  of  the  Ndebele  tribe,   and   ZANU   drew   its   support   from   the   country’s   majority   ethnic   group,   the   Shonas.  

Despite  the  division  in  the  movement  and  despite  the  prevailing  tensions  along  lines  of   race   and   ethnicity,   African   nationalism   was   on   the   rise   and   consequently   sparked   a   protracted,  complex,  and  later  violent  power  struggle  to  transform  the  political,  social   and  economic  situation  of  the  former  British  colony.    


Britain   promptly   cut   all   diplomatic   ties   with   Salisbury   in   response   to   the   UDI   and   introduced  economic  sanctions,  which  terminated  trade  between  the  two  countries  and   encouraged   the   international   community   to   follow   suit.   By   1968,   aware   that   the   landlocked   country’s   economy   was   highly   dependent   on   external   economic   relations,   the   UN   imposed   comprehensive   sanctions   on   the   southern   African   country   with   the   hopes  that  the  pressure  would  force  Smith  to  reverse  the  UDI  (Mtisi  2009:  127).  The  UDI   government   survived   this   period   by   strictly   centralizing   the   Rhodesian   economy,   investing   in   the   local   manufacturing   industry,   and   evading   sanctions   by   establishing   pseudo-­‐state  bodies  that  oversaw  the  trade  of  certain  commodities  (Mtisi  2009:  133).  

However,   the   principal   contributor   to   the   survival   of   the   Rhodesian   Front’s   (RF)   leadership  under  Smith  was  the  inability  of  the  international  community  to  successfully   implement   the   sanctions.   Some   countries   simply   continued   trading   with   Rhodesia,   others  never  ratified  the  sanctions  agreement,  and  further  still,  motivated  by  a  climate   of  political  rivalry  in  Europe,  other  countries  such  as  France  and  Spain  refused  to  assist  

Britain  as  a  matter  of  principle  (Mtisi  2009:  133).  Among  the  most  significant  of  these   countries   keeping   the   Rhodesian   economy   afloat   was   South   Africa,   which   could   be  


  considered   at   the   time   a   “lifeline   for   the   beleaguered   Rhodesian   economy,   becoming   the  main  source  of  investment  finance,  the  main  market  both  primary  and  secondary   exports   and   the   transit   route   for   much   of   the   trade   traffic   of   Rhodesia   (Pangeti,   as   quoted   by   Mtisi   2009:   134).”   Indeed,   South   Africa,   Rhodesia’s   closest   ally,   was   not   involved   solely   for   UDI   solidarity,   but   was   instead   acting   in   its   own   interests   in   containing  communism.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  South  African  apartheid  government   was  under  increasing  economic  and  international  political  pressure  for  its  racist  order   and  therefore  Vorster  responded  through  a  policy  of  rapprochement  with  other  African   states.   Entering   into   amicable   relationships   with   majority-­‐ruled   governments,   he   believed,   would   provide   him   the   opportunity   to   convince   others   of   the   logic   behind  

South   Africa’s   separate   development   policy   and,   therefore,   stop   the   perceived   communist  threat  against  his  country  (Landsberg  2010:  36).  It  must  also  be  noted  that   this   survival   of   the   RF   government   and   its   economy   was   not   advancing   the   aims   of  

African  nationalism,  but  instead  was  driven  firstly  by  the  preservation  of  white  security   and  control,  and  secondly,  by  the  fear,  like  South  Africa,  that  African  nationalism  was   the   Trojan   horse   for   communism   in   the   region   given   the   liberation   factions’   ties   with  


Moscow  and  Beijing.  

The   UDI   pronouncement   marked   a   turning   point   in   Zimbabwe’s   turbulent   history.  

However,   it   was   the   constitution   of   1969   that   instigated   the   initial   strides   towards   majority   rule.   The   constitution   made   some   concessions   such   as   including   minority   groups  (Asians  and  Coloureds)  on  the  ‘A’  voters’  roll.  It  can  be  argued,  however,  that  this   was  merely  an  RF  political  ploy,  as  Asians  and  Coloureds  were  excluded  from  the  access   to  European  land  according  to  the  Land  Tenure  Act  of  the  same  year  (Mtisi  2009:  123).    

The   RF   used   a   strategy   of   ‘inclusive   exclusion’   that   incorporated   other   racial   groups  

(Africans,   Asians,   and   Coloureds)   within   government   structures   but   which   prevented   them  from  shaping  policy  (Mtisi  2009:  123).  Therefore,  the  ruling  RF  party  trusted  that  if  

Africans  were  tangibly  involved  in  the  processes  of  state  administration  it  would  defer   the  more  aggressive  African  nationalist  resistance.  However,  over  the  course  of  the  UDI  


  period   the   RF   was   forced   to   frequently   reposition   its   stance   until   the   party’s   initial   outright  rejection  of  majority  rule  fell  away  to  instead  acknowledge  the  possibility  of  a   change   in   favour   of   the   nationalists.   Although   the   conflict   remained   in   a   stage   of   unstable   peace   both   between   the   RF   government   and   the   British   and   between   the  

African  nationalist  movement  and  the  RF  movement,  attitudes  were  beginning  to  shift   ever  so  slightly.    


As   the   white   RF   party   continued   negotiating   their   authority,   the   African   nationalist   movement  turned  to  violence  for  their  cause  of  liberation  and  received  supplementary   military  backing  from  Tanzania  and  Zambia.  The  nationalists  were  additionally  involved   in   training   for   armed   struggle   in   both   Ghana   and   Algeria.   The   once   latent   conflict   became  manifest  as  it  quickly  shifted  through  the  phases  of  unstable  peace  to  crisis  and   then  to  war.  As  the  stakes  of  the  liberation  struggle  were  raised  with  the  violent  means,   so  too  did  the  frictions  between  the  factions  of  the  African  nationalist  movement.  ZANU   emerged   as   a   viable   contender.   The   party   evolved   toward   the   idea   of   a   strong   centralized   rule,   as   they   believed   that   they   were   the   only   party   representing   the   interests   of   the   majority,   but   ingeniously   at   the   same   time   maintained   strong   connections  with  the  country’s  rural  base.  A  substantial  push  surfaced  for  incarcerated  

Robert   Mugabe   to   replace   Sithole   as   the   ZANU   party   leader,   which   Mozambique’s  


Samora  Machel  called  a  “coup  in  prison”.    

The  year  1975  brought  independence  to  both  Angola  and  Mozambique,  which  made  a   significant  impact  on  the  situation  in  Rhodesia  mainly  because  Smith  had  lost  vital  and   strategically   located   allies   to   the   African   nationalist   movement.   The   political   and   economic   ties   between   the   RF   and   South   African   governments   therefore   increased   considerably.  A  quick  resolution  to  the  Rhodesian  conflict  was  of  great  interest  to  South  

African   Prime   Minister   John   Vorster   for   the   preservation   of   apartheid.   At   this   point,   however,  South  Africa’s  efforts  had  failed  to  attain  international  support  and  convince   the   West   that   it   was   an   anti-­‐communist   agent   (Landsberg   2010:   44).   Therefore,   as  


  mentioned   above,   Vorster   changed   tactics   to   then   establishing   better   relations   with   southern  African  states  ruled  by  their  majorities,  such  as  Zambia.  Vorster  and  Zambian  

President  Kenneth  Kaunda  together  attempted  to  negotiate  an  entente  between  Smith   and   the   African   nationalists   in   Rhodesia.   US   Secretary   of   State   Henry   Kissinger   also   became   involved   and   the   combined   pressure   resulted   in   Smith   shifting   policy   and   releasing  African  nationalist  political  prisoners  (Landsberg  2010:  44).  However,  despite   the   negotiations   between   Smith   and   selected   leaders   of   the   African   nationalist   movement,  the  conflict  did  not  shift  away  from  the  stage  of  war.  The  violent  struggle   persisted   during   this   time,   primarily   because   important   factions   of   the   African   nationalist  movement  were  excluded  from  negotiations.      


In  1978,  as  if  selecting  methods  straight  from  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox,  the   combination  of  a  peak  in  international  political  and  economic  pressure  and  the  Patriotic  

Front,  a  joint  military  front  between  ZANU  and  ZAPU  forces,  showing  genuine  signs  of   winning  the  war  concluded  with  an  Internal  Settlement  –  the  formation  of  a  coalition   government  between  Smith  (RF),  Muzorewa  (African  National  Council),  Sithole  (ZANU),   and   Chief   Chirau   (traditional   leader)   –   and   a   new   state   named   Zimbabwe-­‐Rhodesia  

(Mtisi  2009:  164).  The  Internal  Settlement  may  have  appeared  to  establish  majority  rule   but  it  failed  to  bring  about  peace  as  the  signatories  left  out  a  key  constituency  in  the  

Patriotic  Front.  The  liberation  war  then  reached  its  most  destructive  height,  which,  in  a   period   of   roughly   one   year,   saw   the   vicious   clash   between   Muzorewa’s   and   Sithole’s   guerrilla  fighters,  the  use  of  increasingly  sophisticated  weaponry,  and  the  fatal  shooting   down  of  two  airplanes  (Mtisi  2009:  164).    At  the  Commonwealth  Heads  of  Government  

Meeting   (CHOGM)   in   Zambia   in   August   1979,   African   states,   led   by   Nigeria   (Britain’s   biggest  African  trading  partner),  insisted  that  it  was  Britain’s  obligation  to  resolve  the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe-­‐Rhodesia   (Mtisi   2009:   165).     It   was   clear   that   the   international   community,  those  in  the  region,  and  the  warring  factions  themselves  were  exhausted  by   the  struggle.  The  RF  government  had  ultimately  lost  its  asymmetric  conflict  and  it  was   time  for  a  genuine  transfer  of  power  and  a  return  to  peace.    




The   Lancaster   House   Conference   of   1979   irreversibly   put   an   end   to   the   war   and   the   conflict   returned   to   a   stage   of   unstable   peace.   The   settlement   stipulated   that   the   minority  white  population  would  retain  20  of  the  100  seats  in  Parliament  for  the  next   seven   years;   a   debt   of   $200   million   would   be   passed   down   to   the   new   state   of  

Zimbabwe;  the  liberation  forces  would  be  integrated  into  the  state  army;  and  elections   had  to  be  held  within  three  months  of  the  conference  to  nominate  a  new  leader  (Mtisi  

2009:   165).   The   Lancaster   House   Constitution   was   also   introduced   at   this   time   and   it   was  not  without  its  flaws.    The  most  contentious  issue  was  the  question  over  land.  It   constituted  that  land  had  to  be  bought  on  the  condition  of  willing-­‐seller-­‐willing-­‐buyer,   however,   having   recently   inherited   a   $200   million   debt,   this   was   out   of   reach   for   the   young  country  (Nkomo  as  quoted  by  Sachikonye  2004:  6).  In  order  to  move  the  process   along,   Britain   and   America   promised,   without   providing   great   detail,   to   purchase   the   white-­‐owned  lands  for  African  tillers.  Although  the  new  Constitution  was  signed  and  a   ceasefire   was   instated,   this   unsettled   issue   of   land   would   come   back   to   haunt   the   western  nations  in  the  decades  to  follow.    


In   the   three   months   leading   up   to   Zimbabwe’s   first   majority   rule   elections   the   once   conveniently  joined  partnership  of  the  ZANU  and  ZAPU  parties  crumbled  and  the  two   parties   became   ZANU-­‐PF   and   PF-­‐ZAPU.   The   elections   saw   the   Mugabe-­‐led   ZANU-­‐PF   party  attain  57  seats  and  winning  a  significant  majority.  Nkomo’s  PF-­‐ZAPU  followed  and   secured  20  seats.  Finally  the  Muzorewa-­‐led  United  African  National  Council  won  a  mere  

3  seats  (Mtisi  2009:  166).  On  18  April  1980  Zimbabwe  celebrated  its  Independence  Day  

  and  Robert  Mugabe  was  inaugurated  as  the  new  country’s  first  Prime  Minister.    

3.3  Prosperity  to  Crisis  


The  fledgling  state  faced  tremendous  challenges  in  its  infancy.  According  to  Muzondidya  

(2009:   167),   the   main   challenges   included   post-­‐war   reconstruction;   reforming   the   inherited  colonial  political  economy;  the  democratization  of  the  inherited  authoritarian  



  colonial  state  and  its  institutions;  and  nation  building  in  a  society  deeply  divided  along   race,  class,  ethnicity,  gender  and  geographical  lines.  The  ZANU  government  was  virtually   building  a  state  from  scratch.  To  begin,  confronting  the  onerous  task  of  nation  building   necessitated  an  earnest  attempt  at  reconciliation.    Apropos,  Mugabe  gallantly  declared  

  that  he  was  ‘drawing  a  line  through  the  past’  and  in  his  inaugural  speech  to  the  nation   he  introduced  his  reconciliation  policy:  

Henceforth   you   and   I   must   strive   to   adapt   ourselves,   intellectually   and   spiritually  to  the  reality  of  our  political  change  and  relate  to  each  other  as   brothers  bound  one  to  the  other  by  a  bond  of  comradeship.  If  yesterday  I   fought  you  as  an  enemy,  today  you  have  become  a  friend  and  ally  with  the   same  national  interests,  loyalty,  rights  and  duties  as  myself.  If  yesterday  you   hated  me,  today  you  cannot  avoid  the  love  that  binds  you  to  me  and  me  to   you.   Is   it   not   folly,   therefore,   that   in   these   circumstances   anybody   should   seek   to   revive   the   wounds   and   grievances   of   the   past?   The   wrongs   of   the   past   must   now   stand   forgiven   and   forgotten.   (Mugabe   1980   as   quoted   by  

Raftopoulos  2004:  x)  

This  uplifting  but  much  calculated  public  assertion  chartered  the  course  for  a  decade  of   unification  strategies  led  by  a  strong,  centralized  state  and  ZANU-­‐PF  at  the  helm.  As  for   tackling  other  challenges,  reversing  the  oppressive  system  of  the  past  and  delivering  a   prosperous,  all-­‐inclusive,  non-­‐racial,  and  cooperative  society  would  prove  most  difficult  

  for  the  new  Zimbabwe  administration.    

In  the  first  decade  of  independence,  the  government  of  Zimbabwe  made  some  progress   in   the   social   and   economic   spheres,   which   included   improved   access   to   health   and   education,   development   in   infrastructure,   and   agricultural   productivity.   Perhaps   the   most  notable  and  lasting  achievement  was  the  prioritization  placed  on  transforming  the   education   system   throughout   the   country.   The   government,   with   the   financial   assistance  of  foreign  donors,  expanded  educational  facilities  across  both  rural  and  urban   areas,   reaching   locations   once   overlooked   by   the   previous   leadership.   The   number   of   education  facilities  nearly  doubled,  increasing  80  per  cent  between  1980  and  1990.  The   enrolment   in   primary   schools   rose   remarkably   from   82,000   in   1979   to   2,216,878   in  



1985,  and  in  secondary  schools  during  the  same  period  enrolment  rose  from  66,000  to  

482,000   (Mlambo   as   quoted   by   Muzondidya   2009:   168).   Not   only   did   the   facility   and   enrolment  numbers  rise  exponentially,  but  also  due  to  the  passion  shown  by  the  new   government   in   this   particular   sphere   early   on,   the   high   quality   of   the   transformed  

Zimbabwean  education  system  would  be  evident  for  generations  to  come.  Similarly,  the   government   placed   priority   on   the   expansion   and   improvement   of   health   care   for   its   citizens.  For  its  achievements  in  the  provision  of  safe  drinking  water  and  sanitation  to   rural   households,   Zimbabwe   received   honorable   recognition   by   the   World   Health  

Organization  and  UNICEF  (Musemwa  as  quoted  by  Muzondidya  2009:  168).  Through  the   rapid   and   durable   improvements   in   the   education   and   health   care   sectors   alone,   the  

  young  Zimbabwe  shone  bright  beside  its  southern  African  neighbours.    

The  government  introduced  a  policy  of  Black  Economic  Empowerment  (BEE)  in  order  to   involve  the  population  majority  in  the  development  of  the  economy.  However,  as  good   as   this   strategy   looked   on   paper,   in   later   years,   the   BEE   policy   was   contaminated   by   corruption   and   patrimonial   politics,   resulting   in   privileges   for   family,   friends   and   loyal   supporters  of  the  ruling  party.  In  order  to  tackle  racial  inequality  and  rural  poverty  the   government  relied  on  its  new  land  ownership  policies  and  introduced  (initially)  a  gradual   land   resettlement   programme,   positive   pricing,   and   opened   up   access   to   credit   and   marketing  services  for  farmers.  In  the  first  few  years  of  independence,  Zimbabwe’s  rural   agricultural  production  improved  and  communal  farmers  became  the  largest  producers   of  maize  and  cotton  (Muzondidya  2009:  168).  Zimbabwe  was  on  the  brink  of  developing   its  eminent  reputation  as  the  breadbasket  of  the  region.  Advances  in  working  conditions  

  and   workers’   wages   also   emerged   during   this   time.   The   improvements   across   the   educational,  health  and  economic  spheres  can  be  mainly  attributed  to  strong  political   interest   and   the   rapid   (but   fleeting)   economic   growth   of   the   early   years   of   independence.  



At  first  glance  during  the  first  decade  of  Zimbabwean  democracy  it  would  appear  that   the  new  government  had  succeeded  in  resolving  many  of  the  tensions  of  the  recent  past   and  managed  to  shift  its  conflict  to  a  stage  of  durable  peace.  It  was  also  able  to  build  a   positive   reputation   outside   its   borders.   During   the   first   decade   of   independence,  

Zimbabwe  chaired  the  Organization  of  African  Unity  (OAU),  which  was  the  predecessor   of   the   African   Union,   the   Non-­‐Aligned   Movement   (NAM),   and   the   Frontline   States.   It   was   further   chosen   in   1982   to   hold   one   of   the   non-­‐permanent   seats   in   the   United  

Nations  Security  Council  for  two  years  (Muzondidya  2009:  188)  However,  in  reality,  one   had   only   to   scratch   the   surface   to   find   a   well   of   brewing   trouble.   According   to  

Muzondidya   (2009:   169),   many   of   the   gains   made   during   this   time   were   “limited,   unsustainable  and  ephemerally  welfarist  in  nature.”  The  country  experienced  droughts,   high  interest  rates  and  oil  prices,  escalating  pressure  from  the  IMF  and  the  World  Bank   to  repay  its  large  debts,  a  growth  in  unemployment,  and  an  estimated  3  per  cent  of  the   population  (mostly  white  farmers  and  a  small  black  elite)  sustained  its  ownership  and   control   of   the   majority   of   the   country’s   resources   and   gross   domestic   income  

(Muzondidya   2009:   169-­‐170).   As   we   will   discover   later   in   this   section,   part   of   the   country   was   trapped   in   a   stage   of   war   for   most   of   the   1980s.   These   problematic   economic   and   social   conditions   combined   with   the   absence   of   any   successful   reconciliation  outcomes  did  not  bode  well  for  a  peaceful  and  viable  young  democracy.    


The  two  most  discernible  and  enduring  tribulations  that  plagued  the  new  state  during   its   first   decades   of   independence   were   the   ‘land   question’   and   political   opposition   disguised   as   ethnic   divisions.   Historically,   land   has   long   been   a   problematic   issue   in  

Zimbabwe.   According   to   Sachikonye   (2004:   5),   the   expropriation   of   land   was   “a   significant   aspect   of   the   process   of   colonial   conquest   and   of   modernization   through   large-­‐scale   commercial   agriculture…   It   was   a   major   social   engineering   programme   undertaken   by   the   colonial   state.   The   consequences   of   that   programme   of   modernization   and   social   engineering   would   reverberate   well   beyond   independence.”  

As   mentioned   previously,   the   Lancaster   House   negotiations   left   the   ‘land   question’  


  unanswered.  Deeply  burdened  by  debt,  the  government  was  in  no  position  to  buy  back   land   through   the   willing-­‐seller-­‐willing-­‐buyer   agreement   for   those   who   had   been   dispossessed   in   the   past.   Britain   and   the   United   States   also   fell   through   on   their   promises  to  purchase  the  land.  Notwithstanding  the  challenges,  the  government  went   ahead  with  revealing  its  land  reform  programme,  in  which  the  resettlement  of  the  poor   and   landless   was   of   top   priority.   The   goal   of   the   programme   was   to   resettle   162,000   households  on  9  million  hectares  of  land,  which  would  have  transferred  23  per  cent  of   households   from   overcrowded   communal   lands   to   newly   government   purchased   land  

(Sachikonye   2004:   7).   However,   this   objective   was   never   met.   By   1989,   only   approximately  48,000  households  had  been  successfully  resettled  and  even  much  fewer   households   received   land   during   the   1990s   due   to   a   slow-­‐down   in   the   land   reform   process  (Sachikonye  2004:  7-­‐8).  What  was  laudable  about  this  dismal  outcome  of  land   reform  during  the  1980s  and  1990s  was  that  the  process  itself  was  relatively  peaceful   and  orderly,  keeping  any  conflict  over  land  latent,  which  is  in  stark  contrast  to  the  rapid  

  and  violent  land  occupations  of  the  next  decade.    

As  the  Lancaster  House  Constitution  left  the  land  question  hanging,  it  similarly  hindered   a   peaceful   transition   period   by   delivering   no   resolution   to   the   political   tension   and   conflict   among   the   once   warring   factions.   Eppel   (2004:   44)   calls   to   mind   that   the   liberation  forces  had  been  divided  since  1963,  at  what  time  ZAPU  split  into  two  parties  

ZAPU   and   ZANU,   and   each   new   party   controlled   their   own   guerilla   armies:   the  

Zimbabwe   People’s   Revolutionary   Army   (ZIPRA)   and   the   Zimbabwe   African   National  

Liberation  Army  (ZANLA)  respectively.  The  tensions  between  the  two  militias  escalated   in   the   1970s.   The   Lancaster   Constitution   stipulated   an   almost   impossible   task   of   integrating  the  armed  forces,  uniting  ZIPRA,  ZANLA,  and  the  Rhodesian  army  into  one   national  army  and  as  could  be  predicted  within  the  first  year  of  independence,  violent   clashes  broke  out  in  Bulawayo  between  ZIPRA  and  ZANLA  forces.  Recalling  the  elections   results  of  1980,  ZAPU  was  the  only  prominent  opposition  to  the  new  ruling  party  and  it   was   evident   that   the   conflict   was   politically   motivated.   Between   1981   and   1982,   the  


  conflict  spread  from  Bulawayo  although  the  scattered  fighting  remained  primarily  in  the  

Matabeleland   provinces,   in   western   Zimbabwe,   known   as   both   a   stronghold   for   the  

ZAPU   party   and   the   area   most   populated   by   the   Ndebele   tribe.   The   government   was   facing  its  first  general  elections  in  1985  and  before  the  country  could  reach  the  polls  the  


ZANU-­‐PF  party  made  sure  to  defeat  the  only  potential  opposition  to  their  rule.    

In  the  years  between  1982  and  1987,  the  situation  in  Matabeleland  deteriorated  to  a   point   of   politically   driven   massacre   and,   considering   the   ethnic   divide   involved   in   the   manifest   conflict,   genocide.   It   was   known   as   ‘Gukurahundi’,   which   in   the   Shona   language   means,   ‘the   early   rain   that   washes   away   the   chaff’,   or   in   other   words,   any   person  who  dares  to  challenge  Mugabe  and  the  ZANU-­‐PF  leadership.  In  retrospect,  the   events   of   Gukurahundi   call   to   mind   the   similarly   motivated   ZANU-­‐PF   urban-­‐based   onslaught  in  2005,  known  as  Operation  Murambatsvina,  or  “Get  rid  of  the  filth”,  which   will   be   explored   further   in   the   next   chapter.     With   the   purpose   of   eliminating   the   political  opposition  that  was  widespread  in  the  provinces  of  Matabeleland  and  part  of   the   Midlands,   the   government   of   Zimbabwe   assembled   the   ‘5   Brigade’,   which   was   strategically  made  independent  of  the  national  army  and  was  uniquely  accountable  only   to  Mugabe.  The  brigade,  comprised  primarily  of  Shona-­‐speaking  former  ZANLA  guerillas  

(and   later   involved   ZANU-­‐PF   Youth   militias),   and   trained   especially   by   the   North  

Koreans,   massacred   thousands   of   civilians   and   tortured   further   thousands   within   the   first   weeks   of   deployment   (Eppel   2004:   44-­‐45).   Eppel   (2004:   45)   recounts   that   as   the   soldiers  of  the  Fifth  Brigade  pillaged  and  slaughtered  innocent  citizens,  victims  were  told  

“they  were  being  punished  because  they  were  Ndebele  –  that  all  Ndebeles  supported  

ZAPU,   and   all   ZAPU   supporters   were   dissidents”,   which   intertwined   the   political   motivation  behind  the  atrocities  with  ethnicity.  


By  1987,  an  estimated  number  of  20,000  civilians  had  been  killed  by  government  forces   in   the   Matabeleland   and   Midlands   provinces   (Muzondidya   2009:   179),   and   tens   of   thousands  more  were  abducted,  tortured  and  mutilated,  raped,  detained  in  camps,  and  


  had  their  homesteads  and  property  burned  to  the  ground.  Worse  still,  through  the  use   of   strictly   controlled   state   media,   movement   curfews   and   roadblocks,   the   rest   of   the   country  was  not  informed  of  the  extent  of  the  violence  in  the  western  provinces  of  their   country.  The  international  community,  particularly  the  United  Kingdom,  was  much  more   aware   of   the   genocide   taking   place   in   Zimbabwe   but   was   eager   to   appease   the   anti-­‐

Soviet  Mugabe,  while  keeping  an  eye  on  the  purportedly  Soviet-­‐aligned  ANC  in  South  

Africa.   An   even   bleaker   and   race-­‐based   theory   surrounding   the   international   community’s   response   to   the   ‘Gukurahundi’   massacre   posits   that   because   not   many   white  farmers  were  affected  by  the  violence  and  instead  the  violence  was  perpetrated   by  an  African  government  against  black  African  citizens,  it  did  not  invoke  any  significant  

  international  intervention.  

The   ‘Gukurahundi’   massacre   allowed   the   ruling   party   to   eradicate   its   only   opposition   and  indoctrinate  citizens  across  the  country  to  support  ZANU-­‐PF.  The  Unity  Accord  of  

1987  may  have  brought  an  end  to  the  atrocities,  but  it  also  served  as  the  final  stage  in   the  elimination  of  ZAPU.  ZANU-­‐PF  gave  the  opposition  party  a  few  seats  in  government,   ceremoniously   merged   the   two   parties,   and   allowed   a   blanket   amnesty   for   all   perpetrators,  which  effectively  led  to  the  creation  of  a  one-­‐party  state  (Eppel  2004:  46).  

Therefore,   as   the   new   state   of   Zimbabwe   received   international   praise   for   its   reconciliation  efforts,  its  advances  in  health  care  and  education,  and  while  it  sat  on  the  

United   Nations   Security   Council,   the   same   government   led   a   devastating   campaign   murdering   over   20,000   of   its   own   civilians   all   for   the   sake   of   one   party   maintaining   political  power.    


The   country   moved   further   toward   its   great   decline   in   the   1990s.   During   this   decade,  

Zimbabwe   experienced   a   weakening   economy,   a   series   of   droughts,   and   the   implementation   of   the   IMF/World   Bank   Economic   Structural   Adjustment   Programme  

(ESAP)   in   1991.   ESAP   resulted   in   severe   hardships   for   workers   and   the   poor,   reduced   school   enrolments,   and   health   services   had   fallen   by   30   per   cent   (Muzondidya   2009:  



189).  However,  Davies  suggests  that  the  adoption  of  ESAP  resulted  in  the  creation  of  a   different   mode   of   securing   wealth,   and   therefore   a   considerate   number   of   people   benefited  from  the  policy  (Davies  2004:  31).  While  the  elite  benefited  by  the  new  policy,   the   rest   of   the   country   plummeted   in   a   downward   economic   spiral.   According   to  

Gumede   (2007:   218),   Zimbabwe’s   fiscus   was   being   drained   by   a   failing   military   intervention   in   the   Democratic   Republic   of   the   Congo,   which   some   estimate   cost   the   country   1   million   USD   per   day   and   resulted   in   5.5   million   people   per   day   relying   on   international  aid  to  survive  by  2004.    


Workers  and  the  unemployed  responded  to  the  economic  crisis  with  strike  action  that   was   initially   easily   suppressed   by   the   police   but   by   1996   an   eight-­‐week   public   sector   strike   was   recorded   as   the   largest   strike   organized   by   civil   servants   in   post-­‐ independence  Zimbabwe  (Muzondidya  2009:  194).  Several  other  strikes  and  food  riots   followed,  including  a  General  Strike  in  1997,  and  demonstrated  the  widespread  support   of   the   Zimbabwe   Congress   of   Trade   Unions   (ZCTU)   and   the   labour   movement.   Civil   society  groups,  women’s  groups,  and  churches,  rallied  together  to  publicly  demonstrate   against  the  government’s  questionable  policies  and  intent.  The  ruling  party  was  under   threat   and   the   government   responded   by   introducing   repressive   laws   to   control   the   population.   During   this   decade,   the   government   introduced   laws   such   as   the   Labour  

Relations  Act,  which  restricted  the  workers’  right  to  strike;  the  Presidential  Powers  Act,   used  to  suspend  strike  action  by  employing  the  brute  force  of  the  army  and  police;  and   other  laws  that  strengthened  its  control  over  the  media,  the  law,  and  the  security  forces  

(Muzondidya  2009:  196-­‐197).  The  country  found  itself  once  again  in  a  stage  of  unstable  


Despite   the   powerful   clout   of   government   authoritarianism,   the   labour   movement   gained  momentum  and  the  ZCTU  preemptively  expanded  its  political  ideology  to  include   constitutional   reform.   From   this   rising   debate,   the   National   Constitutional   Assembly  

(NCA)  was  established,  officially  strengthening  labour  within  civil  society  as  one  highly  


  competitive   force.   At   the   same   time,   ZANU-­‐PF   was   also   struggling   with   internal   pressures  from  its  former  freedom  fighters.  A  radical  wing  of  the  war  veterans,  led  by  

Dr.   Chenjerai   ‘Hitler’   Hunzvi,   was   gaining   recognition   that   demanded   quicker   land   redistribution,   including   20   per   cent   for   themselves,   and   financial   compensation   for   their   contribution   to   the   liberation   war.   According   to   Nyathi   (2004:   71),   Hunzvi   organized  the  war  veterans  into  an  effective  lobbying  force  and  even  used  violence  and   the  threat  of  violence  against  Mugabe  and  the  ruling  party.  Buckling  under  the  pressure,  

Mugabe   circumvented   his   Cabinet   and   succumbed   to   the   high   demands.   In   1997,   he   awarded  50,000  war  veterans  with  cash  payouts,  free  education  and  healthcare  for  their   families,  and  life-­‐long  pension  payments,  a  decision  that  contributed  to  the  collapse  of   the  Zimbabwean  economy  but  that  secured  the  loyalty  of  the  war  veterans  directly  to  

Mugabe  (Nyathi  2004:  71).    


Meanwhile  the  ZCTU  and  NCA  worked  diligently  together  for  constitutional  reform  and   the  fruit  of  their  labour  gave  way  to  the  birth  of  a  new  political  party  in  September  1999,   the   Movement   for   Democratic   Change   (MDC).   The   MDC,   led   by   its   party   president  

Morgan   Tsvangirai   (former   ZCTU   leader),   would   quickly   become   the   “most   successful   opposition   party   in   post-­‐colonial   Zimbabwe   (Raftopoulos   2009:   204)”.   It   is   also   important   to   note   that   organizations   such   as   the   ZCTU   and   the   NCA   received   a   significant   amount   of   foreign   funding   during   the   late   eighties   and   nineties.   This   contributed   to   the   ruling   party   developing   an   opinion   that   all   opposition   activity   was   funded  by  the  proverbial  “west”  and  therefore  any  activists  attached  to  the  opposition   movement   were   dubbed   “puppets   of   imperialism”.   To   this   day,   the   ZANU-­‐PF   party  

  continues  to  view  opposition  parties,  unions  and  NGOs  in  this  light.    

3.4  The  Decade  of  Decline  


Over  the  course  of  1999  the  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  joint  pressure  of  the  MDC,  the  NCA,   and   the   trade   unions   calling   for   constitutional   change   amplified,   compelling   the   government  to  call  a  national  referendum  to  resolve  the  matter.  ZANU-­‐PF  put  forward  


  their  draft  of  an  amended  constitution,  but  the  new  MDC  party  rallied  the  growing  civil   society   members   and   campaigned   for   a   “No”   vote.   The   referendum   was   held   in   mid-­‐

February   2000   and   a   clear   54   per   cent   of   the   1.3   million   citizens   who   cast   their   vote   rejected   the   government’s   draft   constitution   (Raftopoulos   2009:   210).   As   Raftopoulos   illustrates,  “As  a  multi-­‐class,  cross-­‐racial  alliance,  the  MDC  and  its  allies  confronted  the   state  with  a  language  of  democratization,  a  discourse  that  resonated  in  large  sections  of   the   population   and   turned   the   constitutional   referendum   into   a   plebiscite   on   ZANU  

(PF)’s   rule   since   1980   (Raftopoulos   2009:   211)”.   The   emergence   of   the   popular   MDC   party   and   the   groundbreaking   results   of   the   2000   referendum   demonstrated   the   first   real   opposition   to   Mugabe’s   firm   grip   on   power   in   twenty   years.   The   government’s   vicious  retaliation  that  followed  would  mark  the  beginning  of  the  country’s  decade  of   decline,  or  what  is  more  commonly  branded  as  the  ‘crisis  in  Zimbabwe’.    


We   recall   the   way   in   which   ZANU   responded   to   the   political   opposition   of   ZAPU   in  

Matabeleland  during  the  mid-­‐1980s.  In  2000,  once  more,  Mugabe’s  authority  was  being   threatened   and   he   was   not   about   to   tolerate   civil   society,   the   trade   unions   and   the   increasingly  popular  new  MDC  party  any  further  victories  after  the  successful  “NO”  vote   campaign.  Only  weeks  after  the  referendum  results  were  announced,  the  government   launched  a  violent  and  fast-­‐tracked  programme  of  land  occupations.  Cunningly  turning   the  land  grievances  of  the  war  veterans  to  his  advantage,  Mugabe  directed  Hunzvi  and   the   “so-­‐called   war   vets,   some   no   more   than   teenagers   and   thus   patently   not   former   freedom  fighters  at  all,  [to  swarm]  onto  commercial  farms  to  peg  their  claims.  Mugabe   and   ZANU-­‐PF   openly   supported   the   use   of   brute   force   to   drive   not   only   the   white   owners,  but  also  hundreds  of  their  loyal  black  workers,  off  the  land  (Gumede  2007:  219-­‐

220)”.  As  an  even  further  reward  for  their  loyalty,  Mugabe  allocated  massive  tracts  of  

  land  to  the  war  veterans  (Nyathi  2004:  72).    

A  debate  exists  around  the  motivation  for  the  post-­‐2000  land  occupations.  Raftopoulos  

(2009:  212)  explains  that  some  analysts  believe  the  land  grabs  were  meant  to  deal  with  


  issues  such  as  the  struggles  within  areas  of  peasant  farming  or  the  effects  of  rural-­‐urban   migration,   however,   he   continues,   “The   need   to   contain,   coerce   and   demobilize   the   structures  and  support  of  the  opposition  played  a  central  role  in  the  politics  of  land  after  

2000,  and  a  key  characteristic  of  this  process  was  the  restructuring  of  the  state  itself.”  

Consequently,   the   intrastate   conflict   shifted   back   to   a   stage   of   crisis,   bordering   on   conditions  of  war.  Even  Mugabe  referred  to  his  party’s  actions  toward  the  land  question   and  his  fight  against  the  “new  imperialism”  during  this  decade  as  the  Third  Chimurenga,   or   liberation   war.   The   politics   of   ZANU-­‐PF   thereafter   became   increasingly   autocratic,   racially  prejudiced  and  fixated  on  the  great  triumph  the  party  had  delivered  to  end  the   liberation  struggle  and  free  Zimbabwe  from  the  evils  of  colonialism.    


Over   the   next   eight   years,   the   ruling   party   tightened   its   grip   on   most   facets   of  

Zimbabwean  society.  The  ruling  party  commanded  the  land  redistribution  process  and   thus  the  agricultural  sector;  the  national  finances  through  the  Reserve  Bank;  the  judicial   system   through   the   office   of   the   Attorney   General;   the   security   forces,   whose   elite   members  were  awarded  leadership  in  key  state  positions;  the  media,  although  excluding   the  American  sponsored  radio  stations  such  as  Studio  7,  Voice  of  the  People,  and  Radio  

SW   Africa;   and   most   notoriously,   the   elections   directorate.   The   history   of   elections   in   independent   Zimbabwe   has   had   an   atrocious   record.   In   1985,   the   ZAPU   party   was   eliminated  through  a  systematic  campaign  of  murder  and  torture.  Throughout  the  1990s   any  political  opposition  effort  was  proficiently  crushed  through  the  use  of  intimidation  


By   the   year   2000,   ZANU-­‐PF   had   no   change   in   sentiment   when   confronted   by   an   opposition  in  the  form  of  the  MDC.  The  country’s  economy  was  in  serious  decline  as  a   result  of  disastrous  economic  decisions  made  by  Mugabe,  including  in  the  disregard  of   property   rights   and   the   war   veterans’   payoff.   Additionally,   the   ruling   party   had   now   faced  its  first  major  defeat  in  the  constitutional  referendum.  In  the  lead  up  to  the  2000   general   elections,   once   again   Mugabe   remunerated   the   War   Veterans   Association   to  


  campaign  for  the  ruling  party  and  the  Association  used  the  funds  to  hire  unemployed   youth   to   assist   the   war   vets   in   violently   occupying   farms   owned   by   MDC   supporters  

(Laakso   2002:   448).   A   reign   of   terror   began   to   characterize   the   ZANU-­‐PF   elections   campaign,  as  its  paid  supporters  “beat,  raped,  intimidated  and  killed  alleged  supporters   of   the   MDC…7000   teachers   fled   their   schools   for   the   towns…About   10,000   peasants   were  displaced.  The  veterans’  groups…threatened  to  go  back  to  war  if  ZANU-­‐PF  lost  the   elections  (Laakso  2002:    449).”  Despite  the  presence  of  foreign  elections  observers  and   journalists  keeping  close  watch  of  the  process,  the  ruling  party  succeeded  in  retaining  its   power.   However,   it   was   clear   that   ZANU-­‐PF   was   losing   popularity   and   there   is   much   evidence  to  indicate  that  manufactured  results  assured  a  ZANU-­‐PF  win.  The  ruling  party   won,  against  a  close  competition,  only  62  seats  over  the  57  seats  secured  by  the  MDC  

(Laakso  2002:  455).  


The   conditions   for   opposition   party   members,   its   supporters,   and   their   families   only   worsened   in   the   elections   of   2002,   2005,   and   2008.   Zimbabwe’s   decade   of   decline   is   characterized   by   the   ruling   party’s   increasing   use   of   violence   and   intimidation   to   maintain  power  against  a  growing  opposition;  the  introduction  of  the  Public  Order  and  

Security  Act  (POSA)  and  the  Access  to  Information  and  Protection  of  Privacy  Act  (AIPPA)   by  government  to  tighten  its  control  over  the  population;  gross  human  rights  violations   perpetrated  with  impunity  by  ruling  party  supporters;  great  economic  decline  resulting   in   hyperinflation   and   the   loss   of   the   Zimbabwean   currency;   international   sanctions   against  key  ZANU-­‐PF  officials;  the  suspension  and  eventual  exit  of  Zimbabwe  from  the  

Commonwealth;   and   SADC   mediation   efforts   led   by   South   Africa.   These   critical   moments  in  Zimbabwe’s  recent  history  in  the  context  of  South  Africa’s  foreign  relations   with  the  country  will  be  covered  in  depth  in  Chapter  4  of  this  dissertation.    



3.5  Shifting  strategies  in  South  Africa’s  foreign  relations  with  Zimbabwe:  An  historical   context  



This  section  will  briefly  examine  the  historical  context  of  South  Africa’s  foreign  relations   with   Zimbabwe,   as   South   Africa’s   role,   using   preventive   diplomacy   methods,   in   the   attempt  to  avert  a  deepening  crisis  in  Zimbabwe  between  the  years  2000  and  2009  is   the  topic  of  discussion  of  the  fourth  chapter.  However,  South  Africa’s  foreign  relations   with  Zimbabwe  began  long  before  2000.  As  previously  revealed,  South  Africa  played  a   major  role  during  the  period  of  UDI  in  Zimbabwe.  The  South  African  government  was   the  RF’s  leading  ally  in  the  1960s  and  1970s  and  played  a  significant  role  in  keeping  their   neighbour’s   economy   afloat.   However,   to   be   accurate,   the   distinction   must   be   made   between  the  role  of  the  South  African  government  at  this  time  and  that  of  the  African  

National   Congress   (ANC)   of   South   Africa,   because   the   ANC,   on   the   contrary,   was   instrumental  in  assisting  Zimbabwe’s  African  nationalist  movement.  As  the  ANC  is  the   political   party   that   has   led   South   Africa   from   1994   to   the   present   day   and   its   policies  

  being  the  main  focus  of  this  dissertation,  it  is  imperative  to  examine  the  roles  of  both.      

The  apartheid  government,  under  the  leadership  of  Prime  Minister  John  Vorster  (1966-­‐

78),   had   a   keen   political   and   economic   interest   in   Zimbabwe.   First,   if   South   Africa’s   northern  neighbour  maintained  its  rule  by  the  white,  RF  government  and  managed  to   quell  the  rise  of  the  African  nationalist  movement,  this,  Vorster  believed,  could  help  to   sustain  South  Africa’s  own  racially  separatist  policies  and  white-­‐domination.    He  actively   engaged   with   Zambian   President   Kenneth   Kaunda   and   US   Secretary   of   State   Henry  

Kissinger  to  resolve  the  conflict  in  Rhodesia  by  making  small  concessions  to  the  African   nationalist   movement   but   supporting   the   RF   rule.   However,   despite   these   combined   efforts,  the  future  of  Zimbabwe  was  not  to  correspond  with  Vorster’s  vision.  The  power   of   the   African   nationalist   movement,   though   divided,   continued   to   rise   until   it   succeeded  in  delivering  Zimbabwe’s  independence  in  1980.    


While   the   South   African   apartheid   government   was   supporting   the   RF   leadership   and   economy,   the   ANC   of   South   Africa   supported   and   assisted   Zimbabwe’s   African   nationalist   movement.   Traditionally,   the   ANC’s   closest   ally   in   the   movement   was   the  



ZAPU   party   led   by   Joshua   Nkomo.   There   were   many   similarities   common   to   the   two   parties.   The   ANC   and   ZAPU   shared   the   same   culture   and   language,   both   their   headquarters  were  in  Lusaka  when  in  exile,  and  the  two  parties  were  members  of  the   same  Moscow-­‐aligned  group  of  liberation  movements  (Gevisser  2007:  431).  However,   future  South  African  President,  Thabo  Mbeki  was  among  the  few  who,  at  the  time,  had   correctly  analyzed  the  situation  in  Zimbabwe  and  was  not  alarmed,  some  say  he  even   approved,  when  Mugabe  won  the  1980  leadership  race  (Gevisser  2007:  433).  As  Mbeki   had  predicted  “the  1980  election  results  reflected…Zimbabwe’s  demographic  divisions:  

Mugabe’s  support  was  from  the  majority  Shona,  while  Nkomo’s  was  from  the  minority  

Ndebele.  The  Ndebele  are  the  Nguni-­‐speaking  descendants  of  Mzilikazi,  Shaka’s  break-­‐ away   general,   and   the   link   between   ZAPU   and   the   ANC   was   thus   affective   as   well   as   ideological  (Gevisser  2007:  433)”.    


However,  the  ANC’s  future  relationship  with  ZANU-­‐PF  was  cultivated  as  early  as  the  late  

1970s  through  Mbeki’s  foresight.  Gevisser    (2007:  433)  explains  the  logic  behind  Mbeki’s   vision,    

Mbeki  had  accepted  –  as  few  of  his  comrades  were  able  to  –  the  ethno-­‐ political   arithmetic   of   Zimbabwe:   Mugabe,   and   not   Nkomo,   would   ultimately   gain   control   of   the   country,   and   thus   of   South   Africa’s   route   home.  Mbeki  was  also  interested  in  befriending  ZANU  because  it  was  far   more  effective  than  ZAPU:  while  Nkomo  prepared  for  a  classically  Leninist   working-­‐class   struggle,   Mugabe   had   understood   that   his   country   was   overwhelmingly   rural,   and   had   engineered   a   Chinese-­‐style   peasant   insurrection   that   sustained   his   guerrillas   as   they   penetrated   deep   into  



While   Mbeki   managed   to   maintain   unofficial   contact   with   ZANU   during   Zimbabwe’s   liberation  war,  the  ANC  as  an  organization  kept  its  allegiance  with  ZAPU,  thus  causing   certain  animosity  between  Mugabe’s  ZANU  and  the  ANC.  According  to  Mbeki,  the  ANC   erred   when   it   rejected   several   of   ZANU’s   advances,   such   as   Mugabe’s   proposition   for   military   cooperation   (Gevisser   2007:   433-­‐434).   Mbeki’s   persistent   attempts   at   developing  a  good  relationship  with  Mugabe  and  the  ANC’s  stubborn  resolve  to  discard  

ZANU   will   become   very   relevant   in   the   policies   of   the   South   African   government  


  between  2000  and  2008,  and  in  2009  when  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  switches  from   preventive  diplomacy  to  conflict  resolution  under  the  leadership  of  Jacob  Zuma.      


The  ANC  was  then  forced  to  shift  its  strategy  towards  the  new  Zimbabwe  and  repair  its   relationship   with   the   ruling   ZANU   party   in   1980.   The   ANC   was   represented   at  

Zimbabwe’s   independence   celebrations,   after   which   Mugabe   invited   ANC   President  

Oliver   Tambo   to   send   an   ANC   team   to   assess   the   independence   of   Zimbabwe   for   the   purposes  of  their  cause  in  South  Africa  (Gevisser  2007:  434).  Mbeki  was  sent  on  this  first   official  ANC  mission  to  the  independent  Zimbabwe,  which  helped  the  future  president   realize  that  “while  the  ‘military  route’  home  was  through  Angola  and  Mozambique,  the  

‘peaceful  route’  home  would  be  through  Zimbabwe,  because  South  Africa  could  travel   freely  here  (Gevisser  2007:  435)”.  Since  the  visit,  the  understanding  between  the  two   parties  grew  and  culminated  with  Mugabe  extending  the  most  generous  olive  branch  to   the  exiled  party:  The  ANC’s  military  wing,  Umkhonto  we  Sizwe  (MK),  was  promised  to  be   allowed   to   operate   in   Zimbabwe   and   receive   assistance   from   the   Zimbabwean   army,   while   the   ANC’s   “above-­‐ground   diplomatic   work   would   mask   its   secret   military   operations   (Gevisser   2007:   436).”     Mbeki   worked   closely   during   this   time   with  

Emmerson  Mnangagwa,  the  future  Zimbabwe  minister  of  state  security;  the  significance   of  this  early  rapport  will  be  discussed  later  in  this  section.  The  gratitude  to  ZANU  felt  by   the  ANC  for  permitting  its  members  to  work  freely  within  Zimbabwe’s  borders  became  a   key  factor  in  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  relations  two  decades  later.    


However,   the   promises   made   to   the   ANC   by   ZANU   did   not   all   come   to   fruition.   The   economy   under   the   new   government   of   Zimbabwe   continued   to   rely   heavily   on   the   support   of   South   Africa   and   thus   ZANU   had   to   cooperate   in   some   way   with   the   apartheid  government.  In  response  to  the  offer  made  by  ZANU  to  the  ANC,  the  South  

African   security   forces   struck   back   by   assassinating   the   ANC’s   representative   to  

Zimbabwe,   Joe   Gqabi.   The   South   African   government   also   decisively   made   serious   cutbacks   in   its   economic   support   to   the   country.   These   coercion   tactics   worked   and  


  consequently   the   relationship   between   ZANU   and   the   ANC   collapsed   (Gevisser   2007:  

437).  Mbeki  quit  his  post  in  Zimbabwe  to  return  to  headquarters  in  Lusaka  to  strategize   with  the  ANC  leadership  their  own  plan  forward  for  South  Africa’s  liberation  struggle.  

Chris  Hani,  the  leader  of  the  South  African  Communist  Party  (SACP)  replaced  him  and   became  the  MK’s  chief  of  staff.  A  reduced  ANC  presence  remained  in  Zimbabwe  during   the  1980s;  however,  with  the  altered  relationship  even  the  MK  forces  were  not  spared   during  ZANU’s  Gukurahundi.  According  to  Gevisser  (2007:  437),  the  MK  was  still  heavily   involved  with  ZAPU  at  the  time  and  when  the  Five  Brigade  attacked  ZAPU  commanders,   the  entire  MK  command  in  Matabeleland  was  imprisoned  and  many  were  tortured.  The   initial   promise   made   by   Mugabe   to   the   ANC   was   now   completely   broken   and   ANC  

  personnel  had  no  choice  but  to  withdraw  from  the  country.  

In  1989,  the  world  watched  the  fall  of  the  iron  curtain  and  in  terms  of  African  politics,   the   end   of   the   Cold   War   was   a   significant   game-­‐changer.   African   countries   were   no   longer   seen   by   the   world’s   super   powers   as   strategic   pawns   and   for   South   Africa,   suddenly  the  tides  turned  in  favour  of  the  liberation  movement.  Consequently,  during   the   period   between   the   late   1980s   and   much   of   the   1990s,   South   Africa’s   attention   logically  turned  away  from  Zimbabwe  as  it  suffered  through  the  worst  of  its  liberation   struggle,  a  period  of  intense  negotiations,  and  then  relished  in  the  euphoria  of  a  free   and  democratic  South  Africa  under  the  leadership  of  Nelson  Mandela.  Moving  forward,   between   the   years   2000   and   2007,   under   the   ANC   and   Mbeki   leadership,   attention   returned  to  the  neighbour  to  the  north.  In  fact,  by  far  the  foremost  concern  in  the  South  

African  government’s  foreign  policy  throughout  the  decade  between  2000  and  2010  was   its   relations   with   Zimbabwe.   South   Africa’s   involvement   in   Zimbabwe   can   be   characterized  by  a  series  of  missed  opportunities  and  blunders,  which  ultimately  served   to  prolong  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe  rather  than  preventing  its  escalation.  In  the  first  years   of   his   presidency,   Mbeki   was   focused   on   the   African   Renaissance,   the   transition   between  the  Organization  of  African  Unity  (OAU)  and  the  African  Union,  and  Nepad,  all  



  of  which  formed  the  core  inspiration  for  his  administration’s  foreign  policy,  and  all  of   which  contributed  to  the  errors  he  made  in  his  dealing  with  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.    

3.6  Conclusion  


The   purpose   of   this   chapter   was   to   lay   the   foundation,   as   Chapter   Two   achieved   regarding   the   theoretical   framework,   of   historical   context   to   root   the   dissertation’s   examination  of  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  action  toward  Zimbabwe  between   the  years  2000  and  2009.  Without  the  necessary  historical  background,  one  would  have   great  difficulty  understanding  how  the  once  praised  and  promising  country  of  Zimbabwe   could  fall  to  such  ruin  in  only  two  decades.  Without  an  explanation  of  the  relationship   between  South  Africa  and  Zimbabwe  over  time,  one  would  also  struggle  to  make  sense   of   the   behavior   and   the   decisions   taken   by   the   South   African   government   in   the   handling  of  the  Zimbabwe  situation  throughout  the  Mbeki  presidency.    


In  this  chapter  we  followed  the  story  of  Zimbabwe  as  the  RF  movement  fought  for  its   autonomy   against   its   colonial   master,   Britain.   We   reviewed   the   formation   of   the   UDI   and   the   rise   of   the   African   liberation   movement.   We   noted   the   transformation   of  

Zimbabwe’s   conflict   lifecycle   as   the   conditions   shifted   between   unstable   peace,   crisis   and  war.  As  Zimbabwe  gained  its  independence  and  attained  world  recognition  for  its   early  accomplishments  in  health,  education  and  regional  leadership,  a  hot  war  raged  in   the  western  part  of  the  already  troubled  country  as  the  ZANU  party  fatally  stamped  out   its  political  opposition.  From  this  point  onward,  the  story  of  Zimbabwe  is  one  of  tragic   downfall.   First   the   economy   began   to   deteriorate   and   soon   after   the   refusal   of   a   despotic  government  to  accept  any  form  of  dissent  led  the  ruling  party  to  terrorize  its  

  own  citizens.    

In  this  chapter  we  examined  how  the  relationship  between  South  Africa  and  Zimbabwe   developed   over   time,   keeping   in   mind   the   distinction   between   the   role   of   the   South  

African  apartheid  government  and  that  of  the  exiled  ANC,  both  of  which  had  radically  


  opposing   interests   in   Zimbabwe.   The   differing   views   within   the   ANC   regarding   its   relations  with  Zimbabwe  were  also  highlighted.  While  the  majority  of  the  ANC  initially   sided  with  ZAPU,  a  party  that  shared  its  language  and  culture,  an  exiled  experience  in  

Zambia,   and   ideological   training   in   Moscow,   there   were   others   such   as   Thabo   Mbeki   who  took  a  different  stance  and  was  able  to  envision  the  value  of  establishing  a  good   relationship  with  ZANU.  But  despite  all  Mbeki’s  convincing  his  fellow  party  leaders  and   his  efforts  to  strengthen  the  ANC’s  relations  with  ZANU,  the  chapter  ends  with  a  fallout   between  the  two  liberation  movements  before  South  Africa  embarks  on  its  own  journey  

  to  independence.  

This   assessment   of   Zimbabwe’s   rise   and   fall   and   South   Africa’s   relationship   with   its   neighbour   north   of   the   Limpopo   River   through   the   liberation   struggle   passed   the   celebrations   of   independence,   provides   the   groundwork   necessary   for   the   next   discussion   of   this   dissertation.     We   will   see   that   South   Africa’s   shared   history   with  

Zimbabwe   plays   a   major   role   in   the   future   relationship   between   the   two   countries.  

While  acting  in  the  interest  of  the  state  but  also  remembering  the  initial  camaraderie   shown  by  Mugabe  and  ZANU  in  the  early  years  of  Zimbabwe’s  independence,  Mbeki  and   his   team   in   South   Africa’s   Department   of   Foreign   Affairs   would   not   forget   its   history   with  Zimbabwe  and  would  allow  this  memory  to  shape  its  foreign  policies.  Chapter  Four,  






  therefore,  will  pick  up  where  the  historical  overview  has  left  off  and  will  examine  South  

Africa’s   foreign   policy   responses   preventive   action   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   from  


2000  to  2009.    




Chapter  4  




A  Foreign  Policy  Transformed:  Examining  the  transformation  of  South  Africa’s   post-­‐apartheid  foreign  policy  and  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  relations   with  Zimbabwe,  2000-­‐2007  

4.1  Introduction  


With   the   foundations   laid   of   a   theoretical   framework   and   an   historical   review   that   explains   both   how   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   emerged   over   time   and   the   historical   context  of  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  relations,  this  chapter  will  proceed  with  an  analysis  of  

South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  responses  to  Zimbabwe  during  the  latter’s  period  of  crisis.  

South  Africa  became  a  state  in  transition  from  1994  and  the  transition  was  experienced   first   in   the   concerted   efforts   made   by   the   young   democracy   to   break   away   from   the   recent   history   of   apartheid   and   then   again   in   the   transfer   of   leadership   from   Nelson  

Mandela  to  his  deputy  president,  Thabo  Mbeki  in  1999.  It  is  important  to  emphasize  the   unique  conditions  surrounding  South  Africa’s  transition,  as  we  explored  in  the  previous   chapter;  it  was  a  transition  that  employed  a  very  different  manner  of  transferring  power   than   in   the   case   of   Zimbabwe.   South   Africans   owned   their   transition   process   and   because   the   transition   took   place   strictly   within   South   Africa,   with   all   South   African   actors,  the  terms  were  not  dictated  to  South  Africa.  This  experience  came  to  influence  

South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   in   Zimbabwe,   as   South   Africa   was   ideologically   opposed   to   outside   interference   in   the   form   that   the   West   saw   fit   regarding  Zimbabwe.    


This  chapter  will  begin  by  highlighting  the  foreign  policy  standards  that  were  set  during   the  Mandela  leadership  that  strived  to  establish  a  new  national  identity  at  home  and   introduce   a   transformed   South   Africa   to   be   accepted   and   welcomed   onto   the  


  international   stage.   The   chapter   will   then   examine   the   transition   period   between  

Mandela   and   Mbeki,   characterized   as   an   extension   of   a   transformed   foreign   policy.  


Mbeki’s  distinctive  influences  and  his  ambitions  will  also  be  considered.    

Even  before  receiving  the  SADC  mandate  to  intervene  in  Zimbabwe  in  2007,  the  South  

African  government  was  heavily  involved  throughout  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.  As  illustrated   in  Chapter  Three,  the  two  neighbouring  countries  share  a  long  history  whose  events  of   the  past  predominantly  influence  the  present  day  relationship.  The  first  aim  of  Chapter  

Four   is   to   provide   an   overview   of   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   transformation   from   response-­‐based   conflict   management   to   conflict   prevention,   or   preventive   diplomacy.  

The  second  aim  is  to  analyze  the  preventive  diplomacy  steps  South  Africa  took  to  avert  a   worsening  situation  in  Zimbabwe  before  being  given  the  SADC  directive.  The  theoretical   framework  developed  in  the  second  chapter  and  the  historical  background  presented  in   the  third  chapter  together  will  inform  the  study  as  it  follows  South  Africa’s  preventive  

  diplomacy  toward  Zimbabwe  from  2000  to  2007.        

4.2  A  State  in  Transition:  From  Rainbow  Nation  rhetoric  to  the  transformation  of  

South  African  foreign  policy  


The  story  of  the  South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  relationship  concluded  in  the  previous  chapter   at  the  end  of  South  Africa’s  honeymoon  period  and  the  end  of  Mandela’s  term  in  office.  

However,   it   was   the   era   of   Mandela’s   leadership   that   decisively   set   the   tone   for   the   future   of   South   Africa’s   international   relations.   As   Deputy   President   and   one   of   the  

ANC’s   top   authorities   on   international   relations,   Mbeki   played   a   very   key   role   in   formulating  much  of  Mandela’s  foreign  policy.  Therefore,  a  smooth  continuity  ensued  in  

South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  development  and  execution  when  Mbeki  assumes  the  role   of  President  of  the  Republic  in  1999.  The  Mandela  Administration  (1994-­‐1999)  has  been   characterized  as  a  ‘transformative’  period  for  South  Africa  (Houston  and  Muthien  2000).  

The  new  democracy  during  its  first  five  years  placed  its  emphasis  on  making  a  dramatic   departure   from   the   apartheid   era   and   finding   its   unique   place   in   the   world.   From   a  


  political  standpoint,  Schraeder  (2001:  230)  posits  that  South  Africa  is  an  ideal  case  study   that   demonstrates   foreign   policy   transformation   in   the   post-­‐Cold   War   era,   as   he   considers  the  country  “serves  as  the  embodiment  of  the  democratic  changes  that  have   swept  the  African  continent  since  the  fall  of  the  Berlin  Wall  in  1989.”  In  his  inaugural   address  Mandela  (1994)  inspired  the  fragile  nation  to  unite  and  transform  by  declaring,  

We   enter   into   a   covenant   that   we   shall   build   the   society   in   which   all   South   Africans,  

both  black  and  white,  will  be  able  to  walk  tall,  without  any  fear  in  their  hearts,  assured   of  their  inalienable  right  to  human  dignity  –  a  rainbow  nation  at  peace  with  itself  and  

the  world”.  From  the  outset,  it  was  clear  that  foreign  policy  would  be  based  on  national   interests,   therefore   intrinsically   linking   the   foreign   policy   and   domestic   politics   of  


Mandela’s  rainbow  nation.    

It   was   also   with   the   inception   of   the   new   ANC-­‐led   government   that   lasting   policy   decisions,  particularly  regarding  its  foreign  policy,  were  founded.  The  government’s  new   approach   to   foreign   policy   was   three-­‐pronged.   Human   rights   and   democracy,   preemptive   and   preventive   action,   and   the   promotion   of   African   interests   in   world   affairs  would  concurrently  guide  South  Africa’s  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  (now  the  

Department  of  International  Relations  and  Cooperation).  To  illustrate  this  transformed   approach,   just   months   before   the   first   multi-­‐racial,   multi-­‐party,   democratic   elections,  

Mandela   (1993)   wrote,   “Human   rights   will   be   the   light   that   guides   our   foreign  

policy…South   Africa   will   immediately   become   a   full-­‐fledged   member   of   the   family   of  

nations  who  holds  human  rights  issues  central  to  foreign  policy.”  Furthermore,  the  new   government  announced  that  it  was  no  longer  interested  in  practicing  a  reactive  foreign   policy,  but  “rather  sought  to  remould  its  national  identity  and  restrategise  its  global  role   by  pursuing  a  pro-­‐active  approach  (Landsberg  2010:  80)”.  In  1996,  the  Department  of  

Foreign  Affairs  released  a  Green  Paper  outlining  South  Africa’s  new  approach  to  foreign   policy   (DFA   1996).   Within   the   document   peace   making   and   conflict   prevention   are   highlighted   as   being   cornerstones   and   main   preoccupations   of   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy,   and   it   further   states,   “Preventive   diplomacy   has   become   an   essential   and  


  fundamental   consideration   (South   Africa   DFA   1996).”   This   decisive   shift   from   a   response-­‐based  foreign  policy  to  one  of  preventive  diplomacy  will  play  a  key  role  in  the  

Mbeki  leadership  particularly  and  will  feature  prominently  in  this  chapter.  Foreign  policy   priorities  at  this  time  were  also  placed,  more  than  any  other  region,  on  the  rest  of  the  

African   continent.   In   his   1993   Foreign   Affairs   article,   Mandela   (1993)   speaks   to   South  

Africa’s  African  destiny  and  more  specifically  its  destiny  linked  to  the  region  of  southern  

Africa.   In   1996,   Deputy   Foreign   Affairs   Minister   Aziz   Pahad   confirmed   this   notion   by   stating   that,   “South   Africa’s   future   is   inextricably   linked   to   that   of   Africa…   This   is   our  

national   interest   (Pahad   as   quoted   by   Landsberg   2010:   88).”   This   African   focus   too   would  come  to  characterize  the  Mbeki  presidency.    


While   the   advancement   of   human   rights   and   democracy,   the   emphasis   on   preventive   diplomacy,  and  the  promotion  of  African  interests  in  world  politics  together  formed  the   basis   of   South   Africa’s   new   approach   to   foreign   policy,   the   ANC   government   also   considered  other  influences  that  were  not  necessarily  officially  acknowledged  but  had  a   notable  impact  on  the  country’s  foreign  relations.  The  Mandela  Administration  took  the   past  solidarity  garnered  by  the  ANC  during  the  liberation  struggle  in  earnest  and  allowed   this  perceived  indebtedness  to  weigh  significantly  on  present  external  relationships.  The   solidarity   between   African   countries   during   the   1970s   and   1980s,   for   example,   were   based   on   anti-­‐colonialism   and   the   fight   for   independence.   However,   the   solidarity   between   African   states   in   a   post-­‐independence   context   has   stubbornly   held   onto   the   anti-­‐colonial   sentiment   and   has   thus   solidified   the   bonds   developed   in   the   past   irrespective   of   a   government’s   human   rights   record   or   authoritarian   governance   practices  (Sachikonye  2004:  655).  Schoeman  and  Alden  (2003:  12)  refer  to  this  policy  as   the  diplomacy  of  solidarity.    


For  example,  despite  his  infamous  reputation  as  a  butcher  of  his  own  people,  Mandela   awarded  Indonesian  dictator  Suharto  with  South  Africa’s  highest  medal  of  honour,  the  

Order   of   Good   Hope,   on   account   of   his   past   support   of   the   ANC   (BBC   News,   22  



November   1997).   Similarly,   when   criticized   by   the   West   for   his   and   then   Foreign  

Minister   Alfred   Nzo’s   diplomatic   visit   to   Libya   in   1997,   Mandela   gave   a   public,   hard-­‐ hitting  response  by  stating  “Those  that  yesterday  were  friends  of  our  enemies  have  the   gall  today  to  tell  me  not  to  visit  my  brother  Gadaffi;  they  are  advising  us  to  be  ungrateful   and  forget  our  friends  of  the  past  (London  Evening  Post,  18  April  2011).”  The  powerful   influence   of   past   solidarity   for   the   ANC’s   cause   during   the   fight   against   apartheid   on   current  foreign  relations  also  impacted  on  South  Africa’s  approach  to  Zimbabwe.  In  the   previous   chapter   it   was   acknowledged   that   the   ANC   had   a   more   natural   tie   to  

Zimbabwe’s  ZAPU  party,  however,  it  was  the  ZANU-­‐PF  party  that  initially  permitted  ANC   exiles  to  operate  with  Zimbabwe.  Furthermore  in  1980  it  was  Mugabe  who  welcomed  

South   African   government   officials   to   visit   the   country   and   assess   the   state   of   democracy.  Just  as  Indonesia  and  Libya’s  past  backing  of  the  ANC  impacted  the  Mandela  

Administration’s   foreign   policy   in   the   1990s,   so   too   does   Zimbabwe’s   past   pledges   of   support   and   camaraderie   influence   the   South   African   government   approach   to   the  

  handling  of  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe  between  2000  and  2007.  

McKinley  (2004:  357-­‐364)  points  to  the  political  economy  as  another  motivator  of  South  

Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe.   McKinley   (2004,   357)   stipulates   that   class   interests   and   the   emergence   of   South   African   economic   hegemony   on   the   continent   combine  to  drive  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy.    He  refers  to  South  Africa’s  estimated  R1   billion  rescue  package  offered  to  Zimbabwe  before  the  country’s  national  parliamentary   elections   in   2000,   which   can   be   interpreted   as   a   preemptive   decision   by   Pretoria   to   prevent   a   further   decline   of   the   Zimbabwean   economy   in   the   interests   of   the  

Zimbabwean  people,  South  Africa  and  the  region  (McKinley  2004:  358).  McKinley  (2004,  

358-­‐359)   further   argues   that   the   real   beneficiaries   of   such   a   financial   lifeline   are   the  

South   African   government-­‐controlled   financial   institutions   such   as   electricity   conglomerate   Eskom   and   the   oil   corporation   Sasol.   Therefore,   national   economic   interests  play  a  critical  role  in  influencing  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy.    This  analysis  not   only  points  to  an  economic  influence  on  foreign  policy,  but  also  supports  the  argument  


  that   South   Africa’s   external   relations   with   Zimbabwe   are   motivated   by   the   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy.   Economic   assistance   is   featured   as   a   nonjudicial,   noncoercive  

  diplomatic  measure  in  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox  (Lund  2006:  204).    

Considering   both   South   Africa’s   official   foreign   policy   and   its   informal   but   effective   influences,  the  new  and  transformed  foreign  policy  was  put  to  the  test  first  during  the  

Mandela  presidency.  Most  notably  for  this  early  period,  the  transformed  foreign  policy   was   employed   in   South   Africa’s   intervention   in   Nigeria   between   1994   and   1995  

(Landsberg  2010:  104).  When  the  1993  elections  in  Nigeria  turned  from  a  results  dispute   to  great  civil  unrest,  South  Africa  responded  quickly  to  prevent  an  escalation  in  the  crisis   through  dialogue  and  mediation  efforts,  and  therefore  choosing  preventive  diplomacy   over  force.  Although  South  Africa  went  a  step  further  in  1995  when  Mandela  called  for   more   punitive   measures   through   the   introduction   of   sanctions   and   the   suspension   of  

Nigeria   from   the   Commonwealth,   both   of   which   remain   in   the   realm   of   preventive   diplomacy.  This  hard-­‐hitting  stance  was  not  widely  popular  among  other  African  state   leaders   and   even   among   some   members   of   the   ANC,   who   believed   they   were   not   consulted,   and   resulted   in   a   minor   isolation   of   South   Africa   among   its   African   counterparts   (Hamill   2002:   36).   It   was   indeed   a   bold   move   in   the   new   direction   of   foreign  policy  that  focused  on  human  rights  and  democracy,  and  preventive  diplomacy.  

South  Africa  would  similarly  respond  proactively  to  conflicts  in  the  Democratic  Republic   of   Congo,   Angola,   and   Lesotho   during   the   Mandela   presidency   with   some   success.  

Although   the   intervention   in   Lesotho,   which   began   with   the   engagement   of   non-­‐ coercive   preventive   diplomacy   methods   but   shifted   to   a   military   response,   presented   the   first   lesson   learned   by   the   young   democracy   that   there   are   at   times   limits   to   the   preventive  diplomacy  approach.    


Under   Nelson   Mandela’s   leadership,   South   Africa   ultimately   achieved   its   goals   of   establishing  a  new  national  identity,  far  removed  from  the  recent  legacy  of  apartheid,   and  in  entering  the  international  stage  as  an  accepted  and  respected  player.  The  new  


  national   identity   was   largely   defined   by   the   country’s   1996   constitution,   which   enshrined  human  dignity,  equality  and  human  rights  in  the  lives  of  South  Africans  of  all   walks  of  life,  and  protected  by  the  highest  court  in  the  land,  the  Constitutional  Court.  

Through   its   new   approach   to   foreign   policy   and   having   already   achieved   success   as   a   mediator  in  several  conflict  situations,  South  Africa  also  emerged  an  influential  leader   on  the  continent  and  a  visible  world  player.  Of  course,  many  South  Africans  will  disagree   that  during  this  time  the  country  had  accomplished  all  it  needed  to,  however,  on  paper   the  foundations  were  laid  for  a  very  promising  future.    


The  realization  of  South  Africa’s  unique  transformation  was  not  fortuitous.  According  to  

Alden  and  Le  Pere  (2004:  283),  “South  Africa’s  dramatic  rehabilitation  from  international   pariah  during  the  apartheid  years  to  bastion  of  African  democracy  is  itself  the  product  of   a   very   carefully   crafted   transition.”   The   early   emphasis   placed   on   human   rights   and   democracy,   foreign   policy   supporting   multilateral   channels,   and   South   Africa’s   confidence   as   a   leader   on   the   continent   merged   and   continues   to   influence   foreign   policy  conduct  today  (Alden  and  Le  Pere  2004:  283).  Solidarity  shown  by  other  countries   during  the  struggle  against  apartheid  as  well  as  national  economic  interests  also  serve  as   important   factors   in   South   Africa’s   current   foreign   relations.   The   first   five   years   of   democracy  in  South  Africa  was  also  an  era  where  the  rhetoric  and  branding  of  a  rainbow   nation   facilitated   the   creation   of   a   new   national   identity   at   home   and   came   to   be   revered   around   the   world   and   Mandela,   father   of   that   rainbow   nation,   reached   icon  



4.3  A  Second  Transition:  South  African  foreign  policy  under  the  Mbeki  Administration  

In  1999,  inheriting  the  legacy  of  Mandela  and  the  euphoria  of  the  rainbow  nation  could   be  seen  as  a  tough  act  to  follow  but  nonetheless  motivating.  The  truth,  some  analysts   will  argue,  is  that  the  triumphs  and  the  rhetoric  of  the  rainbow  nation  was  exactly  that:   only  embellished  rhetoric  (Johnson  2009:  320).  By  1999  it  was  time  for  South  Africa  to  


  get   down   to   business,   so   to   speak,   and   finally   begin   to   right   the   wrongs   left   by   apartheid.   The   rainbow   nation   hype   was   not   the   only   thing   Mbeki   inherited.   As  

Thompson   (Thompson   1999:   83)   observes,   “The   new   South   Africa   that   Mandela   bequeathed  to  Thabo  Mbeki  [was]  beset  with  many  serious  problems.”  The  remnants  of   apartheid   still   remained   after   five   years   of   democracy   in   South   Africa   and   presented   serious   challenges   for   the   Mbeki   Administration.   Abject   poverty   was   the   plight   of   the   vast  majority  of  South  Africans.  Mbeki  coined  the  term  the  “two  economies”  to  describe   the   inequality   in   the   social   and   economic   realms   of   the   country,   and   therefore   real   transformation  and  economic  development  on  the  home  front  would  become  a  great   motivator  for  both  Mbeki’s  domestic  and  foreign  policy.    


Another   challenge   facing   Mbeki   was   the   inefficiency   of   certain   government   departments,  most  importantly  for  Mbeki’s  objectives  being  the  Office  of  the  President   and  the  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs.  Mbeki  initiated  a  restructuring  of  the  Presidency,   which,   as   Alden   and   Le   Pere   (2004:   288)   explain,   brought   the   process   of   policy   formation,   implementation   and   monitoring,   especially   that   of   foreign   policy,   directly   under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  President’s  office.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  analysts  often   personalize   the   political   decisions   made   by   the   South   African   government   during   this   period   as   Mbeki’s   own   policies,   for   Mbeki   ultimately   controlled   the   administration's  

  policy-­‐making  process.  

With  the  challenges  left  over  from  the  apartheid  structure  and  with  much  of  the  foreign   policy   direction   now   controlled   by   the   Presidency,   the   Foreign   Affairs   ministry   was   negatively  affected.  Johnson  highlights  Mbeki’s  early  blunders  in  his  weak  attempts  to   rectify  the  Foreign  Affairs  situation.  Firstly,  under  Mbeki’s  direct  leadership,  many  of  the   skilled  white  foreign  affairs  officials  were  dismissed,  as  were  those  experts  working  for   the   former   South   African   Foundation,   which   had   been   used   as   a   specialized   foreign   service  focused  on  trade  (Johnson  2009:  321).  Secondly,  during  the  Mbeki  presidency,   ambassadorships   became   rewards   for   party   loyalty,   a   professional   diplomatic   corps  


  ceased  to  exist,  and  Foreign  Affairs  officials  in  embassies  abroad  became  notorious  for   inappropriate   behavior,   spanning   from   financial   fraud   to   sexual   harassment   (Johnson  

2009:   321-­‐322).   Finally,   aware   of   her   past   difficulties   in   directing   the   Department   of  

Health,   Mbeki   appointed   Dr.   Nkosazana   Dlamini-­‐Zuma   as   Minister   of   Foreign   Affairs.  

According   to   Johnson   (2009:   321-­‐322),   within   months   of   her   appointment   the  

Department’s  staff  became  demoralized  as  Dlamini-­‐Zuma  “kept  desk  officers  in  the  dark   about   her   dealings   with   countries   in   their   regions,   disregarded   the   briefs   she   was   given…and  micro-­‐managed  her  department  so  that  all  foreign  postings  and  promotions   had   to   come   through   her,   with   resulting   long   delays   and   vacancies   in   key   foreign   missions.”   The   Foreign   Minister’s   strong-­‐willed   and   single-­‐handed   management   and   leadership   skills   would   also   be   felt   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe.  

Later  in  the  chapter  we  will  observe  that  while  Mbeki  worked  hard  behind  the  scenes,  it   was  often  the  public  statements  made  by  Dlamini-­‐Zuma  that  stirred  media  criticism  and   that  served  to  undermine  Mbeki’s  sensitive  process  of  preventive  diplomacy.    


At  first  glance,  the  disconcerting  conditions  of  the  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  may   cause  one  to  suspect  Mbeki  had  other  things  on  his  mind.  In  part  this  is  true,  although  

Mbeki  is  known  as  a  ‘foreign  policy  president’  and  through  his  restructuring  of  the  office   of  the  President  he  maintained  control  of  foreign  policy  formation.  Mbeki  had  a  much   larger  vision  that  surpassed  the  day-­‐to-­‐day  management  of  the  Foreign  Affairs  ministry.  

Mbeki  believed  that  post-­‐1994  South  Africa  was  the  embodiment  of  what  is  known  as   the  African  Renaissance.  The  African  Renaissance,  popularized  by  Mbeki,  is  a  vision  of   the   continent’s   political   renewal   founded   on   democratic   principles   and   Africa’s   economic   revival   that   is   sustainable,   free   from   the   burden   of   debt   and   placed   prominently  within  the  world  economy.  The  vision  is  attained  through  certain  definitive  

African   foreign   policy   interests   and   has   emerged   as   the   foreign   policy   model   most   characteristic   of   the   Mbeki   Administration.   A   clear   understanding   of   the   features   and   objectives  of  the  African  Renaissance  is  critical  for  the  purposes  of  this  dissertation  as  it  


  assists  in  the  comprehension  of  the  South  African  government’s  foreign  policy  decisions   regarding  Zimbabwe  between  2000-­‐2009.    


According   to   Bongmba   (2004,   294-­‐304),   the   main   components   of   the   African  

Renaissance   include   the   politics   of   an   African   cultural   identity,   a   post-­‐nationalist   ideology   that   strives   for   the   renewal   of   the   entire   continent   and   not   just   of   single   nations,  and  the  promotion  of  democracy  and  development.  As  Schraeder  (2001:  233)   further   explains,   there   are   six   principal   concerns   of   the   African   Renaissance.   The   first   concern   is   regional   integration   and   development,   as   shown   by   South   Africa’s   prioritization  of  SADC  and  the  AU,  and  the  second  aim  is  the  support  for  nuclear  non-­‐ proliferation,   which   has   been   met   by   South   Africa   in   the   dismantling   of   its   nuclear   weapons   programme   and   the   country’s   promotion   of   the   global   Nuclear   Non-­‐

Proliferation   movement   (Shraeder   2001:   233).   The   respect   of   territorial   integrity   and   state   sovereignty   is   the   third   concern   of   the   African   Renaissance   and   is   illustrated   by  

Mandela’s   refusal   to   sever   diplomatic   ties   with   Libya   (as   discussed   in   the   previous   section)  and  Cuba,  despite  the  demands  of  the  United  States  (Shraeder  2001:  233).  The  

  fourth  objective  is  the  peaceful  resolution  of  conflicts,  which  is  demonstrated  by  South  

Africa’s  foreign  policy  shift  from  reaction  to  preventive  diplomacy  (Shraeder  2001:  233).    

The   African   Renaissance   premise   of   a   peaceful   continent   paired   with   the   fourth   objective  stated  above  motivated  Mbeki  to  douse  the  flames  of  African  conflicts  flaring   up  all  around  him.  Early  on  in  his  presidency,  Mbeki  facilitated  the  end  of  civil  wars  in   the  DRC  and  Burundi,  and  led  mediation  teams  in  the  conflicts  of  Ivory  Coast,  Eritrea,   the  Sudan,  Somalia,  and  later  his  main  focus  would  be  on  Zimbabwe.  The  fires  raged  on   faster  than  he  could  put  them  out,  and  yet  he  persisted,  guided  by  the  dream  of  the  

African   Renaissance.   The   promotion   of   human   rights   and   democracy   is   the   African  

Renaissance’s  fifth  concern,  which  is  clearly  a  shared  value  as  outlined  in  South  Africa’s  

1996  constitution  (Shraeder  2001:  233).  Finally,  the  African  Renaissance  embraces  the   liberal   economic   model   of   free   trade   and   investment,   which   is   indicative   of   Mbeki’s  


  prioritization   of   foreign   trade   and   the   government’s   support   of   national   and   regional   businesses   (Shraeder   2001:   233).   It   is   quite   clear   that   the   South   African   government,   especially  under  the  Mbeki  Administration,  aspires  to  embody  the  vision  of  the  African  

Renaissance   through   its   foreign   policy   and   national   identity   and   lead   the   continent   toward   a   complete   realization   of   this   vision.   Preventing   an   escalation   of   conflict   in  

Zimbabwe   and   assisting   the   opposing   factions   in   finding   a   resolution   to   their   political  

  crisis  was  very  much  a  part  of  this  plan  for  South  Africa.    

Furthermore,   Schraeder   (2001:   234-­‐235)   highlights   two   additional   foreign   policy   strategies  central  to  the  African  Renaissance  and  refined  by  the  Mbeki  Administration,   which   are   the   principle   of   universality   and   asserting   a   leadership   role   in   multi-­‐lateral   organizations.  The  principle  of  universality  refers  to  the  willingness  to  form  diplomatic   relationships  with  countries  irrespective  of  their  domestic  or  foreign  policies  (Shraeder  

2001:  234).  For  example,  the  South  African  government  decision  to  prioritize  national   economic   interests   in   their   foreign   relations   explains   the   current   Sino-­‐South   African   relationship.  The  democratic  model  of  Taiwan  was  not  as  significant  to  the  South  African  

  government   as   the   monetary   benefits   gained   by   establishing   good   relations   with   the   authoritarian  administration  of  Beijing.    

Similarly,  the  young,  democratic  South  Africa  was  quick  to  grasp  the  African  Renaissance   strategy  of  assuming  top  positions  in  international  multi-­‐lateral  organizations  and  placed   emphasis   particularly   on   African   institutions   and   organizations   representing   the   interests  of  the  ‘South’  (the  South  referring  to  developing  nations  of  the  world  and  the  

North   referring   to   industrialized   nations).   Within   months   of   the   first   democratic   elections,  South  Africa  gained  re-­‐admission  to  the  British  Commonwealth  of  Nations  and   resumed  its  seat  in  the  United  Nations.  Shortly  thereafter  South  Africa  joined  the  G77,   the   Organization   of   African   Unity   (OAU),   later   the   Southern   African   Development  

Community  (SADC),  and  joined  the  Non-­‐Aligned  Movement  (NAM).  The  country  rejoined  

United  Nations  Specialized  Agencies  such  as  ILO,  WHO  and  FAO,  initiated  negotiations  


  with  the  European  Union,  and  concluded  diplomatic  relations  with  78  states  in  the  first   two   years   of   a   democratic   leadership   (South   Africa   DFA   1996).   South   Africa’s   international   leadership   role   only   expanded   further   under   the   Mbeki   Administration.  

Therefore,  it  is  clear  that  South  Africa’s  “crafted  transition”  was  based  primarily  on  the   values  of  the  African  Renaissance;  values  that  would  continue  to  shape  and  inspire  the  

Mbeki   Administration’s   worldview   and   foreign   policy   approach.   The   aim   to   assume   leadership  positions  in  international  multi-­‐lateral  organizations  played  a  significant  role   in   the   South   African   government’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   toward   Zimbabwe.  

Mbeki   used   his   position   in   the   Commonwealth   to   participate   in   a   troika   that   would   make  recommendations  on  policy  toward  Zimbabwe.  Similarly,  as  Mbeki  chaired  the  UN  

Security   Council   in   2007,   he   succeeded   in   preventing   the   Council   from   discussing  

Zimbabwe’s  human  rights  violations  (Johnson  2009:  339).  


The  dream  of  South  Africa  leading  the  continent  to  its  Renaissance  encouraged  Mbeki’s   preoccupation  with  South  Africa’s  involvement  in  the  African  Union,  formerly  the  OAU,   and   the   advancement   of   his   own   proposition,   the   New   Partnership   for   Africa’s  

Development   (Nepad).   Nepad   is   a   pan-­‐Africanist   programme   of   action   to   eradicate   poverty   and   achieve   sustainable   development,   and   depends   on   the   foundations   of   democratic   governance   across   the   continent   (Bongmba   2004:   297-­‐298).   Together   this   triad  of  interrelated  themes  formed  the  cornerstone  of  Mbeki’s  foreign  policy  (Johnson  

2009:   323).   In   2001,   just   two   years   into   his   presidency,   the   OAU   became   the   AU   and  

Mbeki  was  elected  to  oversee  the  transition  as  chair  of  the  regional  body;  South  Africa   thus  observing  a  key  strategy  of  the  African  Renaissance.  The  AU  structure  developed   rapidly,   one   could   even   say   that   it   took   on   too   much   at   once,   modeling   itself   after   a   combination  of  the  European  Union  (EU)  and  the  UN.  Institutions  were  set  up  such  as   the  Pan-­‐African  Parliament  (PAP),  the  African  Court  of  Justice,  the  Peace  and  Security  

Council,  the  Economic,  Social  and  Cultural  Council,  and  an  AU  Commission.  An  African  


Monetary  Fund  and  an  African  Investment  Bank  were  also  established.    



The   concern   by   many   onlookers   was   the   incredible   costs   needed   to   support   such   a   complex   structure.   The   AU   inherited   the   debts   of   the   OAU   and   from   its   infancy   was   highly   dependent   on   foreign   donors.   Yet   despite   the   many   obstacles,   Mbeki   was   determined   to   make   the   AU   a   success   and   he   wanted   that   success   to   be   credited   to  

South   Africa’s   leadership   in   the   organization.   Despite   the   aspiration   for   a   united   continent  through  the  AU  and  the  African  Renaissance,  the  dominance  of  South  Africa  in   the  AU  instigated  some  sentiments  of  rivalry  among  African  heads  of  state.  Mugabe,  for   example,  did  not  enthusiastically  appreciate  Mbeki’s  leadership  role  in  the  AU,  as  it  led   to  the  eclipse  of  Zimbabwe  by  South  Africa  at  the  continental  level  and  thus  the  eclipse   of  Mugabe’s  leadership  by  Mbeki  on  an  individual  level.    


Although  some  analysts  argue  that  Mbeki  achieved  very  little  during  his  AU  presidency  

(Johnson  2009:  326),  Mbeki,  adhering  to  his  vision  of  the  African  Renaissance,  focused   on  the  symbolism  of  the  regional  organization  and  placed  South  Africa  at  the  very  heart   of  it.  He  similarly  clung  to  his  Nepad  initiative  in  order  to  demonstrate  to  the  world  that  

South  Africa  could  lead  a  united  continent  out  of  the  shackles  of  colonialism  and  on  to   independently  and  successfully  addressing  the  critical  challenges  facing  Africa,  such  as   poverty  and  development.  However,  the  efforts  of  the  Mbeki  Administration  to  prevent   and  resolve  the  conflicts  in  the  region  often  hindered  the  fulfillment  of  its  grand  foreign   policy   program   for   Africa.   According   to   Alden   and   Le   Pere   (2004:290),   “Even   in   those   circumstances   –   Zimbabwe   in   particular   –   where   South   African   interests   were   most   directly   effected   and   leverage   was   assumed   to   be   considerable,   the   range   of   actions   available   that   would   not   exact   costs   in   terms   of   SADC   unity,   domestic   politics   and  

  relations  with  all-­‐important  G-­‐8  countries,  turned  out  to  be  far  fewer  than  policy  makers   in   Pretoria   had   anticipated.”   The   Mbeki   Administration   faced   a   serious   challenge   in   realizing   the   African   Renaissance   when   having   to   balance   the   demands   of   various   important  players  within  and  outside  the  continent  of  focus.    



Nevertheless,  in  1999,  elected  as  both  President  of  the  ANC  and  the  second  President  of   the   newly   democratic   South   Africa,   Thabo   Mbeki   inherited   the   country’s   transformed   foreign   policy   approach   as   well   as   its   increasingly   recognized   role   as   the   African   continent’s   go-­‐to   peacemaker.     He   was   inspired   by   his   own   vision   of   South   Africa   spearheading   an   African   Renaissance   and   envisaged   his   country   playing   a   major   leadership  role  in  the  African  Union.  Having  acted  as  South  Africa’s  chief  representative   in  foreign  affairs  and  top  mediator  in  the  country’s  involvement  in  conflict  prevention   and  conflict  resolution,  Mbeki  adeptly  grasped  the  reigns  as  President  and  soon  turned   the  country’s  foreign  policy  attention  back  to  its  neighbour  north  of  the  Limpopo  River.  

Zimbabwe   was   to   become   the   top   foreign   policy   priority   country   for   South   Africa  

  throughout  Mbeki’s  leadership  between  1999  and  2008.    

4.4  Treading  Carefully  and  Quietly:  Highlighting  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  in  

Zimbabwe’s  decade  of  decline,  2000  –  2007    


This  section  will  examine  the  South  African  government  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe   between   2000   and   2007   through   a   preventive   diplomacy   lens.   First   it   is   important   to   keep  in  mind  the  historical  background  of  the  two  countries  that  was  developed  in  the   third   chapter.   Secondly,   the   impact   of   the   African   Renaissance   vision   on   President  

Mbeki’s   leadership   style   and   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   transformation   that   were   briefly  explored  in  the  previous  section  must  be  considered.  Finally,  we  must  also  recall  

Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework   and   Rupesinghe’s   contribution   to   the   understanding   of   conflict   and   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   that   were   analyzed   in   the   second  chapter  of  this  dissertation.  The  consideration  of  these  critical  aspects  will  result   in  a  more  comprehensive  understanding  of  how  and  why  the  South  African  government  

  responded  the  way  it  did  to  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.    

In   Chapter   Two   we   examined   Lund’s   (1996,   38-­‐39)   Stages   of   Peace   or   Conflict.   We   learned  that  when  a  conflict  is  at  one  of  these  stages  it  has  the  tendency  to  move  to  the   next   stage   or   slide   back   into   a   previous   stage   on   the   conflict   life   cycle   spectrum.  



Therefore,  a  conflict  at  any  stage  can  either  escalate  or  de-­‐escalate  and  shift  to  another   stage,   depending   on   the   existing   conditions.   Between   the   years   2000   and   2007,  

Zimbabwe’s   intrastate   conflict   fluctuated   between   the   parameters   of   unstable   peace   and  crisis.  Recalling  Rupesinghe’s  (1992:  13-­‐14)  outline  of  the  types  of  internal  conflicts,   which  was  also  discussed  previously  in  the  second  chapter,  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  can   be  considered  a  governance  and  authority  conflict,  which  concerns  the  distribution  of   power  in  society  and  where  demands  from  the  opposition  are  for  regime  change  and   control   over   resources.   Furthermore,   the   case   study   of   Zimbabwe   uniquely   demonstrates  a  trend  of  conflict  escalation  during  the  country’s  electoral  cycles.  We  will   observe  through  this  chapter  a  dipping  back  to  a  stage  of  unstable  peace  in  between  

  elections  in  our  country  of  focus.    

In  the  beginning  of  the  year  2000,  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  was  approaching  a  level  of   unstable   peace.   The   conditions   throughout   the   country   were   tense   due   to   a   severe   economic  crisis,  where  strike  action  debilitated  the  workforce  in  the  cities  and  droughts   impeded  agricultural  production  in  the  rural  areas.  Although  violence  was  either  absent   or  sporadic,  typical  of  this  stage  of  conflict,  a  negative  peace  prevailed  as  the  formation   of  the  MDC  party  in  1999  and  its  successful  campaign  of  rejecting  ZANU-­‐PF’s  proposed   constitution   during   a   national   referendum   in   2000   combined   to   present   the   first   real   political   challenge   to   the   ruling   party’s   leadership.   Taking   into   account   this   political   threat   and   considering   parliamentary   elections   were   to   take   place   later   that   year  

Mugabe  unleashed  a  pre-­‐election  terror  campaign  through  his  fast-­‐tracked  programme   of  land  occupations.  The  conflict  pushed  the  limits  of  its  unstable  peace  phase,  as  the   government  employed  war  veterans  to  use  brute  force  against  white  farm  owners,  black   farm   workers,   and   ultimately   those   supporters   of   the   political   opposition.   This   intensification   of   conflict   occurred   in   Mbeki’s   second   year   of   his   Presidency   and   the   conditions  on  the  ground  in  Zimbabwe  presented  the  South  African  government  with  an   opportunity   to   once   again   implement   its   transformed   foreign   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy.    




As   mentioned   in   the   second   chapter,   Lund   (1996:   21-­‐24)   cautions   policy   makers   that   non-­‐involvement  is  no  longer  a  strategic  decision  in  current  international  and  intrastate   conflicts  because  the  political  and  economic  costs  of  non-­‐involvement  or  late  reaction  to   a  conflict  far  exceed  the  costs  of  conflict  prevention.  Due  to  the  gravity  of  the  situation   in   a   neighbouring   country   and   the   potential   ramifications   at   home,   the   South   African   government  decided  to  intervene  and  became  increasingly  involved  between  the  years  

2000  and  2009.  The  Mbeki  Administration  selected  a  preventive  diplomacy  method  by   reaching  out  to  its  counterpart  and  reminding  Zimbabwe’s  ruling  party  of  their  mutual   goals.  Some  analysts  have  also  referred  to  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach   as  “quiet  diplomacy”,  as  the  handling  of  the  situation  is  sensitive  and  quiet  in  nature,  as   opposed   to   vociferous   diplomacy   of   the   megaphone   variety   (Landsberg   2004:   10).  

According   to   Lund   (1996:   41),   preventive   diplomacy   is   most   commonly   employed   and   most   successful   during   the   stage   of   unstable   peace;   therefore   South   Africa’s   initial   intervention  came  at  an  opportune  moment.  Recalling  Lund’s  toolbox  (1996:  204),  the  

South   African   government   at   this   initial   stage   engaged   non-­‐coercive   diplomatic  

  measures,  specifically  through  the  use  of  the  tool  of  moral  suasion.    

In  May  of  2000,  Mbeki  made  use  of  the  moral  suasion  tool  when  delivering  a  speech  at   the  opening  of  the  Zimbabwe  Trade  Fair  in  Bulawayo  and  stated:  


“I  am  pleased  to  take  this  opportunity  publicly  to  salute  President  Mugabe,   the  rest  of  the  leadership  and  the  people  of  Zimbabwe  for  what  they  did  to   ensure   [South   Africa’s]   liberation   from   apartheid   tyranny…As   neighbours   and  peoples  who  have  shared  the  same  trenches  in  the  common  struggle  for   freedom,   it   is   natural   that   we   must   now   work   together   to   build   on   the   victory   of   the   anti-­‐colonial   and   anti-­‐racist   struggle…[by]   achieving   a   better   life   for   the   masses   of   our   people;   protecting   the   achievements   we   have   scored   to   ensure   that   ours   is   a   region   of   freedom,   democracy,   peace   and   stability…  (Mbeki  in  South  Africa  DFA  2000)”  


Mbeki  first  finds  common  ground  and  cleverly  binds  the  two  countries  together  as  anti-­‐ colonialist,   liberation   struggle   survivors.   In   doing   so   he   demonstrates   the   solidarity  


  principle   that   drives   South   African   foreign   policy,   as   was   discussed   previously   in   this   chapter.  He  then  diplomatically  advises  the  ruling  party  that  the  main  goal  for  the  two   countries   now   is   to   build   a   better   life   for   their   citizens   and   protect   the   freedom,   democracy,  peace  and  stability  of  the  SADC  region,  all  of  which  are  key  elements  to  the   achievement   of   the   African   Renaissance.   Mbeki’s   speech   is   an   excellent   example   of   preventive  diplomacy  as  it  establishes  trust  and  partnership  between  the  two  countries  

–one  country  embroiled  in  intrastate  conflict  and  the  other  as  a  third  party  mediator  –   at  an  opportune  moment  in  order  to  avert  a  further  escalation  of  the  conflict.    


Zimbabwe  had  maintained  its  electoral  system  since  independence  in  1980,  making  it   one  of  the  oldest  official  multi-­‐party  systems  on  the  continent,  but  on  the  other  hand  it   had  also  maintained  the  same  ruling  party  (Laakso  2002:  441).  The  2000  elections  were   especially   significant   because   they   were   the   first   in   Zimbabwe’s   independent   history   where   an   opposition   party   was   given   a   genuine   opportunity   to   contest   ZANU-­‐PF’s   power.  At  this  point,  we  must  recall  that  we  have  determined  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe   has   a   tendency   to   escalate   to   a   stage   of   crisis   during   an   election   cycle.   News   of   the   violent  land  invasions  attracted  international  media  attention  and  international  donors,   such  as  the  EU  and  the  US,  who  then  decided  that  under  such  conditions  the  elections   could  not  be  free  and  fair.    


The  Mbeki  Administration  took  a  less  aggressive  stance,  dismissed  the  criticism,  openly   declared  that  the  conditions  were  suitable  for  free  and  fair  elections,  and  conclusively   sent  their  own  observation  team  (Laakso  2002:  451).  In  doing  so  Pretoria  opted  again   for   a   preventive   diplomacy   solution   by   approaching   their   neighbour’s   situation   delicately   and   not   publicly   condemning   the   ruling   party’s   authority,   thus   respecting  

Zimbabwe’s  sovereignty  and  demonstrating  regional  solidarity.  The  values  of  the  African  

Renaissance  are  apparent  in  this  approach.  However,  the  decision  to  send  South  African   representatives   to   observe   the   elections,   which   is   another   non-­‐coercive   diplomatic   measure  as  well  as  a  development  and  governance  approach  featured  in  Lund’s  toolbox,  


  served  as  a  subtle  intimation  that  ZANU-­‐PF  was  being  watched.  The  final  election  results   were   contentious   with   a   narrow   ZANU-­‐PF   victory   but   it   was   a   clear   indication   that   support   for   the   ruling   party   was   weakening.   The   EU   delegation   was   the   most   critical,   whereas   the   South   African   parliamentary   observer   team   confidently   stated   that   “the   chances  of  rigging  were  negligible  and  the  results  reflected  the  will  of  the  Zimbabwean   people  (Laakso  2002:  457).”  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach  in  2000  can   be  credited  as  moderately  successful,  as  the  elections  process  in  Zimbabwe  concluded  in   relative  peace  with  no  definite  worsening  of  the  conflict.  


Between   2000   and   2002,   the   South   African   government   continued   its   preventive   diplomacy,  or  quiet  diplomacy,  approach  to  the  situation  in  Zimbabwe.  During  this  time,   the   Mbeki   Administration   engaged   a   preventive   diplomacy   strategy   of   conciliation   in   exchange   for   the   ruling   party’s   promise   to   adhere   to   democratic   norms.   Conciliatory   gestures   are   featured   as   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures   in   Lund’s   (1996,   204)   preventive  diplomacy  toolbox.  According  to  Hughes  and  Mills  (2003:  11),  it  was  during   this   time   that   the   South   African   government   acted   as   a   significant   creditor   to   its  

Zimbabwean  counterpart  and  permitted  a  R80  million  debt  to  South  African  company  

Eskom  (electricity),  an  increased  Telkom  (telecommunications)  credit  line  of  R60  million,   an  extended  overdraft  from  the  South  African  Reserve  Bank,  and  credit  reassurance  to   the   Zimbabwean   iron   and   steel   parastatal,   Zisco.   The   use   of   South   Africa’s   economic   leverage  over  Zimbabwe  was  highly  criticized  at  home  and  abroad  and  such  decisions   caused   a   negative   effect   on   foreign   investor   confidence   and   the   national   currency   of  

South   Africa   (Johnson   2009:   341).   Other   analysts,   however,   argue   that   through   this   economic   rescue   package,   South   African   government-­‐controlled   financial   institutions   were   the   real   beneficiaries,   as   part   of   the   package   included   over   twenty   investment   projects  in  Zimbabwe  that  enriched  South  Africa’s  state-­‐owned  corporations  (McKinley  

2004:   358-­‐359);   thus   pointing   to   the   national   economic   interest   influence   on   South  

Africa’s   foreign   policy   that   was   discussed   previously   in   this   chapter.   Nevertheless   the   fact  remains  that  the  Mbeki  Administration  at  no  point  swayed  from  its  foreign  policy  


  commitment   of   preventive   diplomacy.   Indeed,   such   economic   assistance   packages,   conciliatory  gestures,  and  political  incentives  are  all  included  as  non-­‐coercive  diplomatic  

  measures  in  Lund’s  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox.      

In  2001,  Mbeki  wrote  a  document  entitled  How  Will  Zimbabwe  Defeat  Its  Enemies?  A  

discussion  document  conveying  his  views  on  how  he  believed  ZANU-­‐PF  should  act  under   the  circumstances  the  ruling  party  faced  at  the  time  (Mbeki  2001).  The  document  was   timeously  circulated  to  the  ANC  in  2001  as  the  2002  Zimbabwean  elections  approached.  

This  document  was  made   more  widely  available  in   2008   by   New   Agenda,   2 nd


(2008:  56-­‐75)  and  served  to  enlighten  the  critics  of  the  Mbeki  Administration’s  handling   of   the   Zimbabwe   crisis,   some   of   whom   went   as   far   as   to   suggest   that   Mbeki   in   fact   endorsed  Mugabe’s  authoritarian  policies.  The  document  is  also  valuable,  therefore,  in   illustrating  how  Mbeki  was  bound  by  ANC  and  South  African  government  foreign  policy   and,   as   an   individual,   would   perhaps   have   responded   differently   to   the   situation   in  

Zimbabwe.   Interestingly,  it  was  in  2001,  the  same  year  as  writing  the  document,  that  

Mbeki  first  acknowledged  that  there  was  a  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.  On  the  BBC’s  Hard  Talk   programme   Mbeki   stated   that   South   Africa   could   not   afford   a   complete   economic   collapse  in  Zimbabwe  and  said,  “We’ve  got  to  find  a  way  out  of  this  crisis,  it  is  critical  

(BBC  News,  6  August  2001).”  


Through   the   document,   Mbeki   first   truthfully   acknowledges   that   Zimbabwe   is  

“confronted  by  a  number  of  problems  that  require  urgent  solutions”  (Mbeki  2001).  In   the  discussion  document  Mbeki  situates  these  problems  in  what  he  terms  the  Second  

Phase  of  the  National  Democratic  Revolution;  the  first  phase  being  the  independence   struggle   against   white   minority   rule   and   the   establishment   of   an   independent   democratic   state;   and   the   second   phase   referring   to   the   many   tasks   ahead   of   newly   democratic   states,   such   as   addressing   poverty,   building   the   economy,   entrenching   democracy,  and  securing  its  place  in  the  region  and  the  rest  of  the  world  (Mbeki  2001).  



The  goals  of  the  second  phase  of  the  National  Democratic  Revolution  parallel  the  goals   of  South  Africa’s  transformed  foreign  policy  approach.    


Throughout   the   document   Mbeki   analyzes   the   mistakes   made   by   the   ruling   party   in  

Zimbabwe  that  include  state  corruption,  an  alienation  of  the  masses  from  the  system  of   governance,  economic  mismanagement,  and  the  use  of  force  against  its  people  (Mbeki  

2001).   Although   criticized   in   the   media   for   failing   to   condemn   the   Zimbabwe   government’s   blatant   disrespect   for   human   rights   and   democracy,   Mbeki   writes   that  

Zimbabwe  has  become  “an  opponent  of  the  democratic  institutions  of  governance  and   democratic   processes…for   whose   establishment   many   militants   lay   down   their   lives  

(Mbeki   2001)”.   Mbeki   warns   Mugabe   that   if   these   malpractices   continue,   the   global   response   will   only   worsen   (Mbeki   2001).   Finally,   the   document   reveals   that   Mbeki   offered  Zimbabwe  a  way  out  of  its  predicament,  a  way  that  is  based  on  re-­‐establishing   the  ruling  party’s  leadership  by  defending  the  fundamental  interests  of  its  citizens  and   rebuilding   the   collapsed   relationships   between   Zimbabwe   and   the   international   community  (Mbeki  2001).  Ultimately,  the  document’s  most  significant  worth  is  that  it   clearly  demonstrates  Mbeki’s  informed  view  of  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe  and  his  genuine   willingness  to  assist  the  ruling  party  of  Zimbabwe  to  make  changes  for  the  benefit  of  the  

Zimbabwean   people,   the   region,   and   the   reestablishment   of   a   democratic   and   economically  stable  participant  on  the  global  stage;  all  of  which  adhere  to  the  values  of   the  African  Renaissance  and  South  Africa’s  transformed  foreign  policy.    


Despite  Mbeki’s  apparent  personal  good  intentions  and  political  will,  as  well  as  South  

Africa’s   conciliatory   preventive   policy,   an   escalation   of   the   intrastate   conflict   nevertheless   developed   in   the   lead   up   to   Zimbabwe’s   presidential   elections   of   March  

2002.  By  this  time,  the  ruling  party  in  Zimbabwe  had  reorganized  the  state  structures  in   such   a   way   that   compromised   the   independence   of   the   judiciary,   isolated   alleged   opposition  supporters  within  the  civil  service,  and  allowed  for  the  passing  of  repressive   legislation   such   as   the   Public   Order   and   Security   Act   (POSA)   and   the   Access   to  



Information   and   the   Protection   of   Privacy   Act   (AIPPA)   (Raftopoulos   2009:   213-­‐214).  

These  conditions  combined  with  a  rise  in  political  violence  against  opposition  supporters   in  the  elections  campaigning  period,  caused  other  multi-­‐track  players  such  as  the  EU  to   respond   by   imposing   targeted   sanctions   on   the   ZANU-­‐PF   government   in   Zimbabwe.  

Sanctions   are   also   a   tool   of   preventive   diplomacy,   which   demonstrates   the   use   of   preventive   diplomacy   by   multi-­‐track   actors.   These   particular   sanctions   included   international   travelling   restrictions   for   Mugabe   and   19   members   of   his   cabinet,   the   freezing  of  the  leadership’s  assets  in  the  EU,  as  well  as  a  drastic  cut  in  development  aid  

  funding  (BBC  News,  18  February  2002).    

The   tight   restrictions   then   placed   on   the   European   observer   team   by   the   Zimbabwe   government  rendered  the  observers  ineffective  and  they  were  subsequently  withdrawn.  

In   the   meantime,   the   South   African   government   relied   on   less   punitive   preventive   diplomacy  methods  through  participation  in  the  multi-­‐track  SADC  Parliamentary  Forum   and  the  South  African  Observer  Mission  (SAOM)  elections  observer  teams.  Within  the   first  week  of  observation,  the  SAOM  publicly  condemned  the  violence  witnessed  by  the   team   and   pledged   to   “intensify   their   efforts…to   construct   democracy   and   enhance   a   culture  of  respect  for  human  rights  (South  Africa  DFA  2002a).”  In  its  Statement  on  the  

Imposition   of   Targeted   Sanctions,   Pretoria   proclaimed   their   concern   that   this   method   will   only   compound   the   situation   and   asserted   their   commitment   to   assisting   in   the   creation  of  “a  climate  conducive  to  free  and  fair  elections  (South  Africa  DFA  2002b).”  

Pretoria  evidently  disagreed  at  this  point  with  the  more  retributive  form  of  preventive   diplomacy   being   used   by   other   multi-­‐track   actors.   Although   the   South   African  

  government  was  criticized  for  continuing  to  engage  a  less  punitive  preventive  diplomacy   approach,  which  was  deemed  ineffective,  nevertheless,  Pretoria  was  consistent  in  using   preventive   diplomacy   methods   in   an   effort   to   avert   a   further   escalation   of   conflict   in  




Prior  to  the  2002  Zimbabwean  election,  the  intrastate  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  attracted  a   parallel   multi-­‐track   response.   The   Commonwealth   Heads   of   Government   Meeting  

(CHOGM)  convened  in  Coolum,  Australia  and  discussed  several  proposals  of  Zimbabwe’s   suspension   from   the   organization.   While   Britain,   Australia,   New   Zealand   and   Canada   supported   the   suspension   initiative,   the   South   African   government   rallied   the   African   membership   to   oppose   the   bid   (Johnson   2009:   346).   CHOGM   agreed   that   a   three-­‐ member   commission,   which   included   Mbeki,   John   Howard   of   Australia   and   Olusegun  

Obasanjo   of   Nigeria,   would   make   the   decision   on   behalf   of   the   Commonwealth   following  their  special  observer  mission  of  the  2002  elections.  When  Mugabe’s  victory   was  announced,  many  in  the  international  community  regarded  the  results  fraudulent.  

The  Norwegian  mission,  for  example,  reported  that  the  poll  lacked  ‘integrity’  and  ‘failed   to   meet   the   key   broadly   accepted   criteria   for   elections’   (Hamill   2002:   35).   The  

Commonwealth   observer   mission   openly   stated   that   the   conditions   in   Zimbabwe   ‘did   not  adequately  allow  for  a  free  expression  of  the  will  by  the  electors’  (Hamill  2002:  35).  

According  to  the  SADC  Parliamentary  team,  the  electoral  process  ‘could  not  be  said  to   adequately   comply   with   the   norms   and   standards   for   elections   in   the   SADC   region’  

(Hamill  2002:  35).  Therefore,  multi-­‐track  actors  such  as  the  EU,  the  Commonwealth  and  

SADC  stuck  to  a  more  hardline  preventive  diplomacy  approach  regarding  Zimbabwe  and   did   not   hesitate   to   condemn   elections   results   they   did   not   deem   free   and   fair.   There   were  a  few  noted  members  of  South  Africa’s  observer  team  that  challenged  the  SADC   consensus,   such   as   Brigalia   Bam,   chairperson   of   South   Africa’s   Independent   Electoral  

Commission,  who  did  not  agree  that  the  elections  could  be  declared  free  and  fair  (City  

Press:  17  March  2002).  However,  overall  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach   remained   nearly   consistently   conciliatory.   Mbeki   has   been   known   to   declare,   “No   diplomacy  is  loud”  (Gumede  2007:  227).  Pretoria  appeared  confident  that  this  approach  

  would  prove  most  effective  when  dealing  with  the  ZANU-­‐PF  government.    

The  reports  drawn  by  other  elections  observer  teams  left  the  Mbeki  Administration  in  a   very   unusual   predicament.   As   a   member   of   the   Commonwealth   and   SADC,   both   of  


  whose   observer   teams   faulted   Zimbabwe’s   2002   elections   process,   it   was   almost   expected   of   South   Africa   to   concur   with   these   conclusions.   However,   in   a   further   attempt  to  tread  carefully  in  its  preventive  diplomacy  relations  with  Zimbabwe’s  ruling   party,   SAOM’s   50-­‐person   observer   mission   reported   that   although   the   elections   consisted   of   certain   faults   such   as   “an   environment   that   not   only   caused   legislative   uncertainty  but  also  threatened  the  integrity  of  the  electoral  process  (South  Africa  DFA  

2002a)”  or  that  “campaigning  was  characterized  by  polarization,  tension  and  incidents   of  violence  and  intimidation  (South  Africa  DFA  2002a)”,  it  was  the  mission’s  conclusion   that  the  elections  be  considered  legitimate  (South  Africa  DFA  2002c).  Although  selecting   the   tool   of   moral   suasion   through   the   observer   report,   South   Africa’s   preventive  

  diplomacy  was  in  stark  contrast  with  the  preventive  efforts  of  other  multi-­‐track  actors.  

Despite  Mbeki’s  fierce  objections,  the  Commonwealth  suspended  Zimbabwe  from  the   organization  for  one  year,  to  be  revisited  one  year  later  in  2003,  a  decision  that  even   garnered   Obasanjo’s   approval.   At   this   point   in   the   conflict,   for   some   analysts   it   was   difficult   to   make   sense   of   South   Africa’s   interpretation   of   preventive   diplomacy.  

However,  after  publicly  announcing  that  ZANU-­‐PF  and  the  MDC  were  engaged  in  talks   behind   the   scenes,   there   was   a   sign   of   hope   that   the   South   African   government’s   preventive  diplomacy  policy  was  indeed  working  (Gumede  2007:  230).    In  fact,  Pretoria   began   brokering   secret   negotiations   between   the   two   disputing   parties   in   Zimbabwe   from  2002  with  the  aim  of  setting  an  agenda  for  formal  negotiations  as  well  as  reaching   a  settlement  on  a  new  constitution  (International  Crisis  Group  2007a:  12  and  Gumede  

2007:   235).   The   Mbeki   Administration   was   committed   to   a   quiet,   less   aggressive   preventive   diplomacy   policy   with   the   aim   to   use   its   unique   political   and   economic   leverage  to  persuade  Mugabe  to  work  with  the  MDC  and  return  Zimbabwe  to  a  peaceful  

  and  democratic  state.  Unfortunately  for  South  Africa,  Mugabe  was  not  taking  the  bait.    

One   year   later,   leading   up   to   the   2003   CHOGM,   a   public   statement   by   South   African  

Foreign  Minister,  Dlamini-­‐Zuma  enticed  international  media  when  she  announced  that  



South  Africa  would  “never”  condemn  its  Zimbabwean  counterpart,  not  “as  long  as  this   government  is  in  power”  (BBC  News,  5  March  2003).  The  publicity  around  the  statement   did   little   to   convince   a   growing   disapproving   public   that   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   surrounding  Zimbabwe  was  the  most  appropriate  approach.  This  was  not  the  first  time   that  the  Foreign  Minister’s  public  statements  served  to  undermine  the  process  of  the  

Mbeki  Administration.  However,  as  Landsberg  explains,  even  after  such  a  statement  is   made,  “Pretoria  chose  a  strategy  of  quiet  or  gentle  persuasion,  engaging  the  Mugabe   government  behind  the  scenes  through  diplomatic  means  and  mediation  and  seeking  to   move   it   onto   a   path   of   negotiated   settlement   with   the   opposition   MDC   (Landsberg  

2010:  158).”  According  to  Gumede  (2007:  230),  “the  ANC  would  want  to  see  ZANU-­‐PF   and  the  MDC  sharing  power,  at  least  in  the  short  term.  The  concept  is  not  unlike  the   government  of  national  unity  that  ruled  South  Africa  in  the  immediate  post-­‐apartheid   period,   but   Mbeki   would   want   such   a   structure   to   exclude   Mugabe   and   be   led   by   someone   new   and   moderate.”   As   noted   previously   in   this   chapter,   South   Africans   owned  their  unique  transition  process  and  this  concept  would  inform  Pretoria’s  vision   for  Zimbabwe’s  own  process  of  transition.  The  South  African  foreign  policy  of  preventive   diplomacy   was   slow   to   show   progress   and   was   conducted   for   the   most   part   behind   closed   doors,   but   nonetheless   it   was   a   carefully   calculated   approach   and   the   Mbeki  

Administration   was   confident   that   their   interpretation   of   preventive   diplomacy   would  

  be  the  policy  most  successful  in  finding  a  lasting  solution  to  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.    

CHOGM  assembled  again  to  discuss  Zimbabwe’s  re-­‐admittance  in  March  2003,  however   the  continuing  deterioration  of  the  state  indicated  that  the  ruling  party  had  not  met  any   of   the   Commonwealth’s   conditions   for   re-­‐admittance,   such   as   the   reinstatement   of   human  rights  and  democracy.  Independently  of  the  Commonwealth  Australia  and  New  

Zealand   had   imposed   sanctions   on   Zimbabwe   by   this   time   (Johnson   2009:   352).   John  

Howard  proposed  to  the  other  troika  members  that  a  further  extension  of  Zimbabwe’s   suspension   until   the   next   year’s   CHOGM   be   implemented   (Johnson   2009:   353).  

According   to   Johnson   (2009,   353),   Mbeki   presumed   that   if   he,   as   an   active   troika  


  member,  did  not  attend  the  Commonwealth  meeting,  the  organization  could  not  move   on  Howard’s  proposal.  However,  after  receiving  a  presentation  that  outlined  Mugabe’s   human   rights   atrocities   and   the   violence   implicit   in   the   land   reform   programme,   the  

Commonwealth   agreed   to   suspend   Zimbabwe   for   another   year   in   Mbeki’s   absence.  

Mbeki’s   preferred   policy   approach   was   thus   defeated   twice   at   a   multi-­‐lateral   level,   which  resulted  in  a  damaged  South  African  international  reputation  and  Mbeki  losing  his   leverage   to   push   forward   his   Nepad   proposal,   one   of   his   African   Renaissance-­‐inspired   plans  for  the  continent.  However,  the  South  African  government  remained  steadfast  in   its   preventive   diplomacy   policy   decision,   refusing   to   make   use   of   other   more   hard-­‐ hitting   preventive   diplomacy   tools   as   found   in   Lund’s   (1996:   204)   toolbox,   such   as  

  economic  and  diplomatic  sanctions.  

As   discussed   in   Chapter   Two,   the   key   to   a   successful   preventive   diplomacy   approach,   according  to  Lund  (1996:  79),  is  that  no  sole  intervention  tool  dominates  and  it  is  rather   the   employment   of   a   wide   variety   of   preventive   instruments   consisting   of   rewards,   penalties,   and   assistance   that   leads   to   success.   At   this   point,   however,   the   Mbeki  

Administration  clung  to  already  tried  and  tested  tactics  in  its  attempts  to  avert  further   degeneration   of   Zimbabwe’s   economic   and   political   spheres.     For   example,   Pretoria   proposed  further  economic  assistance  in  offering  its  counterpart  with  a  substantial  line   of  credit  amounting  to  R6.6  billion  to  help  reduce  its  foreign  debt  and  thus  make  funds   available  for  the  purchase  of  essential  supplies  such  as  medicine,  fuel  and  fertilizers  if   certain  conditions  were  met  (Landsberg  2010:  158).  Mugabe  refused  to  comply  with  the   agreement.   Similarly,   South   Africa   used   its   non-­‐permanent   member   seat   on   the   UN  

Security  Council  to  block  a  vote  to  condemn  the  human  rights  violations  in  Zimbabwe  on   the   premise   that   the   Zimbabwean   government   had   assured   it   would   ease   its   most  

  draconian  laws  (Johnson  2009:  355).    

The  US  launched  the  Iraq  war  in  2003.  This  aggressive  military  policy  presented  a  greater   threat  to  the  plans  of  the  Mbeki  Administration  and  Mugabe’s  grip  on  power.  The  war  


  denoted   that   if   the   countries   of   the   “North”   showed   enough   political   will   to   enforce   regime  change  in  Zimbabwe,  a  western-­‐led  military  intervention  was  possible  (Johnson  

2009:   355).   With   motivation   to   apprehend   such   a   scenario   and   resolve   the   conflict   in  

Zimbabwe  through  South  African-­‐led  preventive  diplomacy,  Mbeki  tried  once  more  to   reverse  the  Commonwealth’s  suspension  of  Zimbabwe.    He  publicly  pledged  to  bring  the   two  feuding  political  parties  back  to  the  negotiating  table  by  his  own  June  2004  deadline  

(Mangwende,   22   January   2004),   however   this   day   passed   to   no   avail.   Mbeki’s   multi-­‐ lateral   efforts   failed   once   more   to   convince   his   counterparts   in   the   Commonwealth   against   suspension,   and   while   CHOGM   was   in   progress   Mugabe   took   matters   into   his   own  hands  and  voluntarily  removed  his  country  from  the  Commonwealth.  


Mbeki   was   re-­‐elected   for   a   second   term   of   office   in   April   2004   and   by   2005,   South  

Africa’s   foreign   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy   toward   Zimbabwe   had   achieved   little   success.   The   mistake   lay   in   the   insistence   on   only   engaging   soft   preventive   tools   and   repeating  those  methods  even  after  they  proved  ineffective.  2005  was  another  election   year  for  Zimbabwe  and  both  political  and  economic  conditions  reached  an  all-­‐time  low,   pushing  the  parameters  of  the  conflict  stage  of  unstable  peace  and  threatening  a  shift  to   a  stage  of  crisis.  According  to  Gumede  (2007:  231),  it  was  at  this  point  that  Mbeki  finally   altered   his   initial   reluctance   toward   the   MDC,   as   it   was   becoming   clear   that   his   investment  in  Mugabe  was  running  dry,  and  thus  persuaded  Morgan  Tsvangirai  to  run  in   the  2005  elections  after  the  MDC  in  August  2004  had  announced  that  it  would  abstain   from  the  race.  This  was  also  the  instance  when  Mbeki  publicly  acknowledged  that  ‘quiet   diplomacy’  was  no  longer  generating  the  projected  results.  In  July  2004,  Mbeki  publicly   stated  that  his  policy  had  so  far  failed  to  resolve  Zimbabwe’s  political  crisis,  however,  he   would   “press   on   with   his   [preventive]   diplomatic   efforts   in   Zimbabwe   despite   fierce   criticism,  because  he  still  believed  there  was  no  alternative  to  dialogue  (The  Star:  2  July  

2004).”   The   2005   parliamentary   elections   thus   had   the   potential   of   being   a   defining   moment   for   a   new   democratic   disposition   for   Zimbabwe   and   a   final   triumph   for   the   many   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   on   the   part   of   the   South   African   government.  



Unfortunately,   this   much   desired   end   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   did   not   materialize   and  with  a  green  light  from  the  South  African  Observer  Mission,  ZANU-­‐PF  came  out  on   top  of  yet  another  national  election.  This  left  the  Mbeki  Administration  and  its  policy  of   preventive  diplomacy  back  at  square  one.    


Immediately  following  the  elections  a  split  occurred  within  the  internal  structures  of  the  

MDC  party,  which  was  triggered  by  an  argument  over  whether  or  not  the  MDC  should   participate  in  elections  for  the  Senate,  and  Tsvangirai’s  inability  to  convince  the  MDC’s  

National  Executive  Committee  on  the  issue.  The  dispute  gave  rise  to  a  new  MDC  faction   led  by  Welshman  Ncube  (later  to  be  led  by  Aurthur  Mutambara).  The  split  weakened  the  


Without   a   strong   opposition,   Mugabe   launched   another   campaign   of   terror,   which   is   known   as   Operation   Murambatsvina,   loosely   translated   from   the   Shona   language   as  

‘clean  out  the  trash’.  The  process  was  motivated  by  a  desire  to  decrease  the  number  of   urban  poor  and  was  based  on  “an  assumption  that  those  pushed  out  of  the  urban  areas   could  ‘return’  to  homes  in  the  rural  areas,  but  by  2001  half  of  them  were  urban-­‐born   and   did   not   have   a   rural   home   to   return   to   (Raftopoulos   2009:   221).”   The  

Murambatsvina  programme,  which  was  denounced  worldwide,  resulted  in  over  90,000   housing  structures  being  demolished,  which  directly  affected  over  133,000  households   and  left  over  500,000  people  homeless  (Tibaijuka  2005:  32).  The  effects  of  this  policy  of   destruction  combined  with  an  historical  backdrop  of  large  payouts  to  the  war  veterans   and  a  failed  land  reform  process  caused  Zimbabwe’s  economic  and  political  conditions   to  spiral  rapidly  out  of  control.  This  pushed  the  conflict  close  to  a  stage  of  crisis,  which   according   to   Lund   (1996:   41)   is   not   the   most   ideal   stage   for   preventive   diplomacy   to   succeed.    By  2006,  Zimbabwe’s  GDP  per  capita  fell  47  per  cent  lower  than  it  had  been  at   independence   (Raftopoulos   2009:   219).   Formal-­‐sector   employment   dropped   from   1.4   million   in   1998   to   998,000   in   2004   and   an   estimated   85   per   cent   of   all   Zimbabweans   were   living   below   the   Poverty   Datum   Line   by   2006   (Raftopoulos   2009:   219-­‐220).   The  


  crisis,   as   predicted,   spilled   into   neighbouring   countries   in   the   region   and   South   Africa   was   most   affected   not   only   by   the   Zimbabwean   government’s   failure   to   repay   its   massive  debts,  but  also  by  way  of  the  influx  of  economic  migrants  and  political  asylum   seekers  searching  for  refuge  within  South  African  borders.    


The   South   African   government’s   attempts   to   prevent   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   from   escalating  from  a  stage  of  unstable  peace  to  that  of  crisis  had  unmistakably  failed.  Until   the  SADC  mandate  of  2007,  the  South  African  government  slowly  disengaged  itself  from   further   preventive   diplomacy   attempts.   Public   statements   made   by   South   African   foreign  affairs  official  and  the  president  himself  tended  to  center  around  a  new  policy   that  supported  Zimbabweans  finding  solutions  to  Zimbabwean  problems.  It  appeared  as   if  the  Mbeki  Administration  had  lost  hope  in  its  preventive  diplomacy  strategy.      


In  March  2007,  in  the  streets  of  the  Highfield  suburb  of  Zimbabwe’s  capital  city,  a  prayer   service   was   violently   interrupted   by   the   police.   The   MDC   top   leadership,   including  

Tsvangirai,  leaders  of  civil  society  groups,  and  fifty  other  people  who  were  in  attendance   were   arrested   and   subsequently   ruthlessly   beaten   and   some   tortured   (Raftopoulos  

2009:   227).   The   violence   of   March   2011   served   as   a   serious   warning   signal   that   resonated   across   the   country,   the   region,   and   internationally.   The   event   sparked   a   reaction   from   the   media   and   members   of   the   international   community   who   raised   serious  concerns  of  a  possible  escalation  of  the  conflict  from  beyond  a  stage  of  crisis.  

This  shocking  display  of  repression  of  the  opposition  and  the  incessant  impunity  enjoyed   by   the   ruling   ZANU-­‐PF   party   can   be   seen   as   a   final   straw   for   the   patience   of   the   international   donor   community   in   dealing   with   political   violence   in   Zimbabwe   and   provided   the   necessary   incentive   for   SADC   to   make   a   more   serious   commitment   to   preventing  a  furthering  of  the  crisis  in  its  troublesome  member  country.  Within  weeks   of   the   violent   outbreak   in   the   streets   of   Harare,   an   Extraordinary   Summit   of   SADC   convened  in  Tanzania  on  29  March  and  mandated  South  African  President  Thabo  Mbeki   to   facilitate   an   official   dialogue   between   the   disputing   political   parties   of   Zimbabwe  





(Raftopoulos  2009:  227).  Finally,  the  regional  body  took  a  proactive  stance  and  initiated   a  regionally  supported  and  monitored  method  of  intervention  in  order  to  once  and  for   all  halt  the  escalation  of  violence  and  cultivate  the  required  conditions  for  peaceful  and   credible  elections  that  would  ultimately  lead  Zimbabwe  toward  a  period  of  transition.        


4.5  Conclusion  

Between   the   years   of   2000   and   2007,   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe,   spearheaded   by   the   ruling   ZANU-­‐PF   party,   steadily   deteriorated   from   a   point   of   unstable   peace   to   crisis,   leaving  the  country  in  March  2007  on  an  arguable  brink  of  civil  war.  It  was  a  conflict  that   necessitated   the   attention   of   its   neighbours   in   the   region,   the   continent,   and   the   international  community.  If  left  to  its  own  devices  Zimbabwe  may  have  experienced  a   more  rapid  descent  to  a  failed  state  ranking.  Having  gained  significant  experience  in  the   realm  of  conflict  prevention,  peace  making,  and  conflict  resolution  through  the  1990s,   the  post-­‐apartheid  South  African  government  was  best  situated  to  play  an  instrumental  

  role  in  the  prevention  of  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.      

As   has   been   highlighted   in   this   chapter,   South   Africa   emerged   in   the   1990s   from   an   autocratic,  apartheid  state  to  a  vibrant,  young  democracy  that  quickly  became  a  strong   leader   on   the   African   continent   and   an   important   player   on   the   international   stage.  

During   the   Mandela   presidency,   the   South   African   government   carefully   crafted   a   transition  period  for  the  country  and  within  this  transition  process  South  Africa’s  foreign   policy   was   transformed.   The   new   South   African   foreign   policy   was   based   on   human   rights  and  democratic  principles,  and  the  promotion  of  African  interests  in  world  affairs.  

Most   importantly   for   the   purposes   of   this   dissertation,   South   African   foreign   policy   shifted   during   this   time   from   a   response-­‐based   strategy   to   a   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy  in  order  to  circumvent  an  escalation  in  conflicts  within  the  SADC  region  and   across   the   continent.   The   change   in   policy   was   motivated   first   by   the   new  


  democratically  elected  government’s  desire  to  mold  a  new  national  identity  and  second,   by  the  aim  to  present  a  reformed  version  of  the  country  that  would  be  accepted  and  

  respected  within  the  region  and  around  the  globe.      

The   Mbeki   Administration   furthered   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   transformation   through  its  leader’s  personal  aspirations  of  establishing  South  Africa  as  the  frontrunner   of  the  African  Renaissance  and  solidifying  South  Africa’s  leadership  role  in  multi-­‐lateral   organizations  representing  the  SADC  region,  the  African  continent,  and  the  rest  of  the   developing  world.  As  the  South  African  government  equipped  itself  with  a  new  strategy   in  foreign  policy,  it  managed  to  test  its  new  policy  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  mediating   conflict  situations  in  countries  such  as  Burundi,  the  DRC,  and  Nigeria.  However,  no  other   country  would  try  to  test  the  limits  of  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  than  that  of  



It   was   critical   that   this   chapter   begin   by   discussing   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   transformation   and   the   motivations   and   aspirations   driving   the   new   approach   to   the   young   democracy’s   international   relations.   Through   the   examination   of   the   restructuring  of  the  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  and  the  Office  of  the  President,  the   new   emphasis   placed   on   preventive   diplomacy,   and   the   inspiration   of   the   African  

Renaissance  and  the  principle  of  solidarity,  the  first  half  of  this  chapter  aimed  to  prepare   for  the  more  focused  discussion  of  South  Africa’s  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  under  

  the  Mbeki  Administration.    

The  second  half  of  the  chapter  examined  the  various  preventive  diplomacy  steps  taken   by  South  Africa  in  its  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  between  the  years  of  2000  and  

2007.  The  chapter  followed  such  interventions  as  Zimbabwe’s  2000  elections  through  to   the  disastrous  consequences  of  ZANU-­‐PF’s  Operation  Murambatsvina  in  2005.  By  2007,   the   conditions   on   the   ground   in   Zimbabwe   made   it   blatantly   clear   that   South   Africa’s   attempts   to   prevent   an   escalation   of   the   crisis   and   resolve   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe  


  were  failing.  With  the  state-­‐sponsored  police  brutality  hurled  upon  opposition  and  civil   society  leaders  at  Highfield  in  March  2007  and  gruesome  images  of  MDC  party  president  

Morgan   Tsvangirai’s   body   badly   beaten   across   the   international   media,   it   sparked   the   need   for   pertinent   policy   makers   to   alter   their   strategy   in   approaching   the   Zimbabwe   crisis.   Shortly   after   the   Highfield   incident,   the   SADC   heads   of   state   assembled   and   concluded  that  the  best  way  forward  in  ending  the  political  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  was  to   engage  sincere  mediation  efforts.  SADC  appointed  South  Africa  and  its  President  Thabo  

Mbeki   as   the   chief   mediator   in   this   process   that   would   be   strictly   monitored   by   the   regional   body.   The   fifth   chapter   will   pick   up   where   this   chapter   has   left   off   and   will   examine  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  South  Africa’s  new,  SADC-­‐mandated  foreign  




























  policy  between  the  years  of  2007  and  2009.    




Chapter  5  




A  Necessary  Shift:  Examining  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  South  Africa’s   foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  as  SADC  facilitator,  2007-­‐2009  

5.1  Introduction  


In  order  to  comprehensively  examine  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  South  Africa’s   foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  a  theoretical  framework  forming  the  basis  of  the  study   was   first   presented   and   explained.   This   was   followed   by   a   compulsory   review   of   the   historical   background   of   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   and   the   historical   development   of  

South   Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   relations.   The   previous   chapter   began   by   analyzing   the   transformation   and   expansion   of   South   Africa’s   post-­‐apartheid   foreign   policy,   while   highlighting   the   new   policy   objectives   and   the   different   motivations   driving   the   transformed   strategy.   It   then   placed   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   within  a  preventive  diplomacy  context.  At  certain  points  of  the  fourth  chapter,  succinct   comparisons   were   featured   between   South   Africa’s   softly-­‐softly   preventive   diplomacy   approach  and  the  more  hard-­‐hitting  prevention  efforts  of  other  actors  such  as  the  EU   and  the  Commonwealth.    


The   South   African   preventive   diplomacy   approach   between   2000   and   2007   did   not   produce  the  results  the  Mbeki  Administration  anticipated.  Mbeki  believed  that  through  

South   Africa’s   perceived   economic   and   political   leverage   South   Africa   was   best   positioned,  of  all  the  actors  involved,  to  prevent  an  escalation  of  the  conflict  and  return  

Zimbabwe  to  a  state  in  which  democratic  standards  are  upheld  and  human  rights  and   the  rule  of  law  are  respected.  However,  Mbeki  further  believed  that  in  order  for  South  

Africa’s   unique   leverage   to   remain   effective,   the   South   African   government   had   to   maintain  access  to  the  ruling  party  in  Zimbabwe.  Therefore,  the  South  African  approach  


  to  its  preventive  diplomacy  policy  was  quieter  in  nature  as  compared  to  the  loud,  public   condemnation   that   has   been   demonstrated   by   the   EU,   the   United   States   and   the  

Commonwealth.  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach  consisted  of  behind-­‐the-­‐ scenes  mediation  that  first  acknowledged  the  past  solidarity  shown  to  the  ANC  by  the   ruling   ZANU-­‐PF   party   during   apartheid,   and   secondly   that   deliberately   never   publicly   criticized  the  ZANU-­‐PF  leadership  so  as  to  preserve  amicable  relations  necessary  for  the  

  continuation  of  a  mediation  process.    

The  aggressive  approach  to  preventive  diplomacy  of  primarily  Western  nations,  which   included  targeted  sanctions  on  members  of  the  ZANU-­‐PF  leadership,  and  the  preventive   diplomacy  approach  taken  by  South  Africa  were  both  observed  in  the  previous  chapter.  

However,   by   2007   neither   approach   garnered   the   desired   success   and   Zimbabwe’s   intrastate   conflict   continued   to   rapidly   deteriorate.   This   chapter   will   examine   South  

Africa’s   renewed   preventive   diplomacy   approach   as   mandated   by   SADC   from   March  

2007   to   September   2009,   which   focused   primarily   on   dialogue   between   the   disputing   parties  through  mediation.  The  chapter  will  begin  with  an  overview  of  the  SADC  regional   response   through   a   preventive   diplomacy   lens.   It   is   important   to   discern   the   way   in   which  SADC  employed  various  instruments  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  years  leading   up  to  the  2007  mandate.  The  chapter  will  then  explain  why  March  2007  necessitated  a   shift   in   policy   from   the   region   and   will   focus   specifically   on   the   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   and   achievements   in   the   period   between   March   2007   and   March   2008.   An   assessment   of   the   role   of   SADC   through   Zimbabwe’s   March   2008   presidential,   parliamentary   and   municipal   elections   and   the   June   2008   run-­‐off   will   also   be   highlighted.   Finally,   the   chapter   will   conclude   by   discussing   the   culminating   event   of  

SADC  and  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  and  explain  why  the  signing  of  the  

Global   Political   Agreement   marked   the   point   at   which   the   approach   to   the   conflict   in  

Zimbabwe   shifted   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   management   and   conflict  




5.2   A   Regional   Response:   Examining   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   the   SADC   intervention  in  Zimbabwe’s  decade  of  decline  


SADC  has  employed  a  preventive  diplomacy  policy  toward  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  that   has  mirrored  South  Africa’s  approach  through  the  first  six  years  of  the  crisis.  While  SADC   is  a  regional  body  consisting  of  13  member  states,  South  Africa  is  by  far  the  largest  and   most  influential  member  and  therefore  SADC,  to  a  large  extent,  tends  to  follow  South  

Africa’s  lead.  According  to  Schoeman  and  Alden  (2003:  12),  SADC  has  reiterated  South  

Africa’s  strategy  of  “good  neighbourliness…where  the  diplomacy  of  solidarity  has  largely   determined  the  region’s  policy  toward  Zimbabwe.”  They  further  state,  “The  SADC  region   has   followed   the   classical   African   example   vis-­‐à-­‐vis   Zimbabwe   of   refusing   to   criticize  

Mugabe  openly,  insisting  that  its  problems  were  internal  and  should  be  addressed  by  

‘the  people  of  Zimbabwe’  (Schoeman  &  Alden  2003:  12).”  SADC’s  traditional  viewpoint   was  also  challenged  by  the  growing  reality,  through  the  rise  of  the  MDC,  that  the  next   elections   in   Zimbabwe   could   result   in   the   region’s   first   political   defeat   of   a   liberation   movement   (CMI   Brief   2010:   2).   However,   as   a   regional   body   made   up   of   13   member   states,  SADC  is  bound  to  experience  division  and  differing  opinions  on  how  to  approach   a  situation  such  as  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.  We  will  explore  the  implications  that  such  a  

  division  had  on  preventive  diplomacy  actions  later  in  the  chapter.    

As   mentioned   in   Chapter   Four,   SADC   was   involved   as   early   as   Zimbabwe’s   2000   parliamentary  elections  through  its  SADC  Parliamentary  Forum  observation  team.  The   act   of   initiating   fact-­‐finding   missions,   observation   teams   and   on-­‐site   monitoring   of   human  rights  abuses  or  instances  of  violence  fall  under  Lund’s  (1996:  204)  noncoercive   diplomatic   measures   and   are   considered   tools   of   preventive   diplomacy.   Election   monitoring   is   also   a   preventive   diplomacy   tool   representing   a   development   and   governance  approach  more  generally  and  the  promulgation  and  enforcement  of  human   rights,   democracy,   and   other   standards,   more   specifically   (Lund   1996:   205).   SADC’s   participation   in   Zimbabwe’s   2000   elections   similarly   fulfills   Rupesinghe’s   concept   of  


  multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   which   expands   from   the   traditional   Track   One,   Track   Two   diplomacy  (government-­‐to-­‐government  interaction),  and  includes  the  efforts  of  regional   and   international   organizations   among   various   other   actors   (Rupesinghe   1997).   While  

Zimbabwe’s  1980  elections  under  the  temporary  rule  of  the  United  Kingdom  featured   international   observers,   the   2000   elections   were   the   first   in   Zimbabwe’s   independent   history   where   election   observers   sent   by   foreign   governments   and   agencies   were   present  (Laakso  2002:  438).  The  political  and  economic  tensions  in  the  southern  African   country  by  this  time  had  escalated  to  a  point  that  caused  concern  for  the  SADC  regional  


As   an   organization,   it   is   implicit   that   SADC   underwent   a   similar   deliberate   process   of   policymaking  and  implementation  as  described  by  Lund  (1996:  107-­‐167).  The  escalating   crisis   in   Zimbabwe   was   first   identified   by   SADC   as   a   conflict   that   could   turn   violent.  

Secondly,   the   crisis   was   a   decided   priority   that   warranted   a   response   from   SADC.  

Thirdly,  SADC  devised  effective  interventions  and  considered  the  timing  as  important  for   its  preventive  diplomacy  action,  evident  by  its  establishment  of  an  observing  presence   at  the  2000  elections.  Fourthly,  SADC  mobilized  the  necessary  will  and  resources  to  form   its   SADC   Parliamentary   Forum   observer   team,   which   had   the   previous   experience   of   monitoring   both   Namibia   and   Mozambique’s   elections   in   1999   (SADC   Parliamentary  

Forum  2005).  Finally,  although  not  specifically  organized  by  the  regional  body,  SADC  was   inherently  part  of  a  network  of  international  actors  involved  in  a  system  of  preventive  


The  impact  of  SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach  on  the  future  of  the  conflict  in  this   instance  was  not  substantial.  It  managed  to  achieve  comparable  results  to  South  Africa’s   intervention,   which   we   recall   was   determined   a   moderate   success   as   the   elections   process  in  Zimbabwe  in  2000  concluded  in  relative  peace  with  no  definite  worsening  of   the  conflict.  The  conclusions  drawn  by  the  delegation  of  the  region’s  parliamentarians   were  the  least  critical  of  all  observer  teams  and  contrasted  with  the  public  admonitions  


  of  the  EU  (Laakso  2002:  457).  According  to  the  SADC  Electoral  Forum  2000  report  on  the   elections,  the  organization  resolved  that  the  results  reflected  the  will  of  the  people  of  

Zimbabwe  and  although  acknowledging  the  death  of  thirty  citizens,  the  administration   of  the  elections  was  transparent,  credible  and  well  managed  (Laakso  2002:  457).  SADC   credited  the  presence  of  observers  to  the  decrease  in  political  intimidation  and  went  so   far  as  to  declare  that  the  atmosphere  of  the  2000  Zimbabwe  elections  a  model  example   that   could   be   replicated   in   all   SADC   countries   during   times   of   elections   (Laakso   2002:  

457).  Nevertheless,  SADC  actively  employed  a  policy  of  preventive  diplomacy  early  on  in  

  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.                

SADC   continued   its   preventive   diplomacy   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   in   the   country’s  

March   2002   Presidential   elections.   The   conditions   surrounding   the   2002   Zimbabwe   elections  had  worsened  from  the  political  intimidation  characteristic  of  the  vote  in  2000.  

The  ZANU-­‐PF  government  had  since  strengthened  their  grip  on  power  and  maintained   strict   control   over   the   country’s   state   institutions.   Repressive   laws   such   as   POSA   and  

AIPPA  were  instated  to  crush  the  growing  political  opposition  of  the  MDC  and  political   violence  was  on  the  rise.  As  discussed  in  the  previous  chapter,  other  multi-­‐track  actors   responded   to   the   deteriorating   Zimbabwe   situation   with   new   preventive   diplomacy   instruments.   The   EU,   for   example,   imposed   targeted   sanctions   on   the   top   ZANU-­‐PF   leadership   and   the   Commonwealth   convened   to   discuss   Zimbabwe’s   suspension   from   the   group.   According   to   Lund   (1996:   85-­‐86),   one   of   the   factors   that   can   lead   to   an   effective  and  successful  preventive  diplomacy  intervention  is  a  multifaceted  approach,   where   third   parties   act   in   coordination   with   other   relevant   actors   and   make   use   of   several   varied   instruments   in   their   efforts.   Therefore,   it   can   be   understood   that   international  actors,  such  as  the  EU  and  the  Commonwealth,  began  their  intervention  in  

Zimbabwe   with   a   soft   approach   using   tools   such   as   moral   suasion   and   on-­‐site   monitoring.   When   this   method   failed   to   produce   the   preferred   results   international   actors   shifted   their   policy   to   include   more   hard-­‐hitting   instruments   of   preventive   diplomacy,  just  as  Lund  suggests  through  his  theoretical  framework.  




SADC,   however,   like   South   Africa,   decided   to   maintain   its   softly-­‐softly   method   to   the   situation   in   Zimbabwe.   Once   again,   SADC   commissioned   its   Parliamentary   Forum   observation  team  to  monitor  the  2002  elections.  The  deteriorating  conditions,  however,   were  difficult  to  ignore.  Unlike  South  Africa,  SADC’s  report  on  the  2002  electoral  process   reflected  a  very  different  assessment  than  its  conclusions  drawn  in  2000.  This  time,  as   cited  in  the  previous  chapter,  SADC  reported  that  Zimbabwe’s  elections  “could  not  be   said   to   adequately   comply   with   the   norms   and   standards   for   elections   in   the   SADC   region…[and]  did  not  adequately  allow  for  a  free  expression  of  the  will  by  the  electors  

(Hamill   2002:   35).”   Although   keeping   with   a   soft   and   quieter   approach   than   their   international  counterparts,  SADC  did  demonstrate  its  implementation  of  new  preventive   diplomacy  tools.    


Through  its  participation  in  the  2002  elections,  SADC  employed  a  combination  of  on-­‐site   monitoring,   election   monitoring,   international   appeal   and   moral   suasion,   all   of   which   are  outlined  in  Lund’s  (1996:  204)  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox.  SADC’s  public  report   on   the   elections   is   a   tool   that   similarly   falls   under   Lund’s   (1996:   204)   Coercive  

Diplomatic   Measures   of   moral   sanctions,   which   is   described   as   condemnations   of   violations   of   international   law,   or   in   this   case   regional   norms   and   standards.   SADC   broadened  their  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  further  during  a  SADC  Summit  in  Luanda,  

Angola  in  October  of  the  same  year.  During  the  Summit  the  SADC  heads  of  state  decided   to   remove   Zimbabwe   as   the   deputy   chair   of   the   Summit,   and   would   instead   grant  

Tanzania  the  coveted  position  (Schoeman  and  Alden  2003:  13).  Analysts  applauded  this   resolution  by  SADC,  which  sent  a  clear  message  to  Mugabe  that  he  was  not  considered   fit   to   head   the   organization   unless   he   respects   the   peace,   security   and   democratic   values   of   the   region   (Schoeman   &   Alden   2003:   13).   This   preventive   diplomacy   action   also   falls   under   Lund’s   (1999,   204)   Coercive   Diplomatic   Measures   as   diplomatic   sanctions,   which   are   described   as   the   withholding   of   diplomatic   relations   or   membership  in  multilateral  organizations.  While  not  as  aggressive  as  the  shift  in  policy  


  of   other   actors   such   as   the   EU   or   the   Commonwealth,   SADC   did   make   use   of   varied   instruments  in  its  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe.    


Zimbabwe   entered   its   parliamentary   elections   in   March   2005   in   an   even   further   deteriorated  political,  economic  and  social  environment  than  any  other  election  to  date.  

SADC  was  prepared  with  its  preventive  diplomacy  plan  well  ahead  of  the  voting  date.  By  

2005,   the   SADC   Parliamentary   Forum   had   observed   13   elections   in   10   countries   since  

1999,  including  the  2000  and  2002  elections  in  Zimbabwe  (SADC  Parliamentary  Forum  

2005).   In   anticipation   of   an   invitation   from   the   Zimbabwean   government,   SADC   efficiently   assembled   an   observation   team   of   36   members   of   parliament   and   26   technical  and  support  staff  from  across  the  continent  (SADC  Parliamentary  Forum  2005).  

Zimbabwe’s  Ministry  of  Justice,  Legal  and  Parliamentary  Affairs  and  Ministry  of  Foreign  

Affairs   sent   invitations   to   45   local   and   foreign   observers   only   one   month   before   the   polling   date   (ZESN   2005:   4).   According   to   point   7.10   of   the   SADC   Principles   and  

Guidelines   for   Democratic   Elections   adopted   in   2004,   invitations   to   observer   missions   should  be  issued  90  days  before  the  voting  day  in  order  to  allow  the  time  for  adequate  

  preparation  (SADC  2004).    

In   addition   to   this   regional   standard   violation,   the   government   of   Zimbabwe   did   not   issue   an   invitation   to   the   SADC   Parliamentary   Forum.   SADC,   therefore,   was   unable   to   carry   out   its   preventive   diplomacy   policy   during   these   critical   elections   in   its   member   state.   In   response   to   being   denied   access,   the   SADC   Parliamentary   Forum   released   a   statement   expressing   its   “deep   regret”   over   the   situation   and   stated   that   the   Forum  

“has  NOT  been  invited  in  its  own  right  as  an  autonomous  institution  of  SADC,  which  is  a   fundamental   departure   from   the   established   practice   by   SADC   countries   (SADC  

Parliamentary   Forum   2005).”   It   is   evident   that   the   message   sent   by   SADC   in   2002   resonated   with   the   ZANU-­‐PF   leadership   and   therefore   in   making   this   bold   statement  

Mugabe  delivered  his  own  message  to  the  regional  body:  if  SADC  resolves  to  challenge   the  policies  of  the  government  and  overtly  question  the  credibility  of  elections  results,  


  then  the  body  is  no  longer  welcome  to  monitor  elections  in  Zimbabwe.  SADC’s  role  in   preventive   diplomacy   is   further   illustrated   through   the   passing   of   the   electoral   regulations   in   Mauritius   in   August   2004   that   gave   the   MDC   and   democrats   in   general   some  faith  in  the  elections  process.  SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy  cannot  be  deemed  a   success   at   this   point,   especially   considering   the   escalation   of   the   conflict   with   the   government-­‐sponsored  violent  action  of  Operation  Murambatsvina  following  the  2005   elections,  which  was  discussed  in  Chapter  Four.  However,  the  selection  of  the  coercive   diplomatic   measures   of   diplomatic   and   moral   sanctions   by   SADC   was   undoubtedly   effective  in  adding  to  the  pressure  on  the  government  of  Zimbabwe  as  well  as  revealing  

SADC’s  intolerance  of  violations  of  its  standards  and  norms.    


In  2005,  the  government  of  Zimbabwe  blatantly  vetted  its  election  observers  in  order  to   maintain  a  semblance  of  credibility.  This  therefore  required  SADC  to  alter  its  preventive   diplomacy   strategy.   At   the   August   2006   SADC   Summit   in   Lesotho,   SADC   appointed   a   troika   comprising   the   states   of   Tanzania   (the   then   head   of   SADC’s   Organ   on   Politics,  

Defence  and  Security  Cooperation),  Lesotho,  and  Namibia  with  the  aim  of  resolving  the  

Zimbabwe   crisis   (International   Crisis   Group   2007a:   14).   The   decision   demonstrated  

SADC’s   versatility   and   willingness   to   use   a   variety   of   preventive   diplomacy   tools   in   its   attempt  to  avert  an  escalation  of  the  conflict.  The  decision  also  satisfies  Lund’s  (1996:  

152)   principle   that   “preventive   diplomacy   is   not   simply   a   moral   campaign   but   a   pragmatic  enterprise.”  The  establishment  of  a  troika  with  the  exclusive  objective  to  find   a   solution   to   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe   is   a   recognized   preventive   diplomacy   instrument   and   falls   under   Lund’s   (1996:   204)   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures   as   third-­‐party  

  diplomatic  consultations  and  third-­‐party  mediation.  By  early  March  2007  SADC  had  yet   to   specify   the   details   on   how   the   troika   would   operate   (International   Crisis   Group  

2007a:  14),  but  the  eruption  of  violence  in  Highfield  suburb,  located  south  west  of  the   capital,  on  March  11  pushed  SADC  to  solidify  its  preventive  diplomacy  strategy.  



The   events   of   March   2007   in   Harare   necessitated   quick   and   decisive   action   from   the   region.   It   was   clear   that   politically   motivated   violence   was   on   the   rise   in   Zimbabwe.  

Earlier   in   the   year   in   February,   police   raided   the   launch   of   the   MDC-­‐T   presidential   campaign   in   the   capital   city   and   left   three   people   allegedly   killed   (International   Crisis  

Group  2007a:  3).  In  the  same  week  a  rally  led  by  the  MDC-­‐M  party  was  banned,  as  were   all  rallies  and  protests  for  the  next  three  months  (International  Crisis  Group  2007a:  3).  

The   violent   crackdown   in   Highfield   of   the   opposition   and   civil   society’s   peaceful   gathering  could  not  be  ignored.  Zimbabweans  were  now  experiencing  their  seventh  year   of  life  in  a  severe  political  and  economic  crisis,  and  despite  the  region  and  South  Africa’s   attempts   to   reverse   the   devastating   effects   of   the   crisis   through   a   foreign   policy   of  

  preventive  diplomacy  there  was  still  no  sign  of  relief  or  an  end  to  the  conflict.    

The   combination   of   a   dire   economic   situation   and   the   violent   suppression   of   political   dissent  caused  a  mass  influx  of  refugees  in  the  southern  African  region.  Some  estimates   indicate   that   as   many   as   3   million   people   fled   the   country,   which   is   a   quarter   of  

Zimbabwe’s  population  (Médecins  Sans  Frontières:  2009).  The  SADC  regional  body  was   not  prepared  to  stand  by  and  allow  one  of  its  member  states  to  collapse,  risking  not  only   the  security  of  its  own  citizens  but  also  the  security  and  the  stability  of  the  region.  It   therefore  intervened  at  this  pivotal  moment  in  March  2007  through  the  appointment  of  

South   Africa   and   President   Thabo   Mbeki   as   chief   facilitator   of   a   formalized   mediation   process.   This   intervention   can   be   seen   as   an   extension   of   South   Africa’s   preventive  

  diplomacy  policy,  however,  placed  within  a  regional  mandate  and  context.    

5.3   A   Mandated   Mbeki:   The   SADC-­‐led   Zimbabwe   mediation   process,   March   2007   to  

March  2008  


It  may  have  taken  nearly  seven  years,  but  in  March  2007  SADC  finally  took  an  assertive   and   united   stance   toward   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe.   The   decision   not   only   transformed  

SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   but   it   also   enhanced   the   South   African  


  government’s   foreign   policy.   The   mediation   process   that   Mbeki   had   been   quietly   facilitating  behind  closed  doors  since  2002  was  made  official  by  the  regional  mandate.  

Mbeki  was  thus  given  a  second  chance  to  prove  his  skills  as  a  mediator  of  international   conflicts   and   make   a   successful   resolution   to   the   intrastate   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   a   significant  part  of  his  legacy.  The  more  hardline  preventive  diplomacy  approach  taken   by  the  West  had  failed  to  produce  free  and  fair  elections  and  a  peaceful  transition.  At   the  same  time  and  as  discussed  in  the  previous  chapter,  before  the  SADC  directive,  the  

Mbeki   Administration   appeared   to   be   losing   confidence   in   its   preventive   diplomacy   attempts   and   instead   encouraged   an   internal   resolution   to   Zimbabwe’s   intrastate   conflict.  However,  the  March  2007  SADC  mandate  brought  renewed  hope  to  a  waning  

  preventive  diplomacy  policy  of  mediation  between  the  disputing  parties  in  Zimbabwe.    

SADC  had  long  struggled  with  divisions  among  its  member  states  regarding  its  stance  on  

Zimbabwe,  which  is  why  the  March  2007  mandate  should  be  acknowledged  as  a  positive   step  forward  for  the  regional  body.  One  cause  of  disagreement  among  the  SADC  heads   of  state  stems  from  the  fact  that  several  national  governments  in  the  region  are  in  fact   guilty   of   violating   the   SADC   body’s   democratic   and   human   rights   standards  

(International   Crisis   Group:   2007b).   It   is   therefore   problematic   to   overtly   criticize   the  

ZANU-­‐PF  government,  when  you  are  also  deserving  of  the  same  criticism.    


Another   cause   of   division   among   the   regional   body   stems   from   historical   ties.   Angola   and  Namibia  are  traditional  allies  of  Zimbabwe  and  when  holding  leadership  positions  in  

SADC   structures,   Mugabe   was   able   to   rely   on   their   support.   For   example,   while   SADC   effectively   removed   Zimbabwe   from   its   position   as   deputy   chair   of   the   Summit   in  

October  2002  in  Luanda,  it  was  at  the  same  conference  that  the  Summit  chair,  Angolan  

President  Dos  Santos,  openly  demonstrated  pan-­‐Africanist  solidarity  and  confirmed  on   behalf  of  the  organization  his  opposition  to  Western  imposed  sanctions  (Schoeman  &  

Alden   2003:   13).   The   Luanda   Summit   revealed   that   a   movement   within   SADC   was   emerging  that  was  prepared  to  take  a  more  hard-­‐hitting  stance  against  its  troublesome  


  member   state.   Other   member   states,   such   as   Angola   and   Namibia,   opposed   this   approach   and   were   reluctant   to   censure   one   of   the   region’s   liberation   movements.  

Therefore,  the  2002  SADC  Summit’s  concluding  message  was  mixed.  SADC  was  able  to   reprimand  a  member  state  within  its  internal  structures  but  remained  firmly  against  any   external   interference.   There   was   a   clear   disagreement   over   the   type   of   preventive   diplomacy   tools   to   use   in   SADC’s   collective   approach   toward   Zimbabwe.   Later   in   the   chapter   we   will   observe   that   as   the   conflict   progressed,   the   divisions   within   SADC   became   more   apparent,   namely   from   positions   taken   by   the   leadership   of   Tanzania,  


Zambia  and  Botswana.    

Considering   the   many   challenges   facing   the   regional   body,   such   as   internal   divisions,  

SADC’s  latest  united  and  decisive  stance  became  the  last  viable  option  for  a  regionally   led   resolution   to   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe.   The   decision   was   received   with   diverse   reactions.  The  resolution  fell  short  of  the  actions  advocated  by  the  United  States,  which   called   on   SADC   to   hold   Mugabe   accountable   for   his   years   of   misrule   (BBC   News,   28  

March  2007).  Nevertheless,  the  necessary  shift  in  policy  was  announced  on  March  29  in   an   Extraordinary   SADC   Summit   in   Dar-­‐es-­‐Salaam,   Tanzania,   which   was   assembled   to   discuss  the  political,  economic  and  security  situation  of  the  region,  with  special  focus  on  

Lesotho,  the  DRC,  and  Zimbabwe  (SADC  Communiqué  March  2007).    


SADC  announced  its  appointment  of  Mbeki  as  chief  facilitator  responsible  for  brokering   a   political   settlement   between   Zimbabwe’s   ruling   ZANU-­‐PF   party   and   the   two   MDC   factions   (SADC   Communiqué   March   2007).     The   primary   objectives   of   the   mediation   process  were  threefold  and  consisted  firstly  of  an  agreement  from  the  three  parties  that   in  2008  harmonized  presidential,  parliamentary  and  municipal  elections  would  be  held;   secondly,   to   reach   an   agreement   on   the   specific   tasks   that   upon   completion   would   guarantee   that   the   elections   were   credible   and   representative   of   the   will   of   the  

Zimbabwean   people;   and   thirdly,   the   commitment   by   all   parties   to   implement   the   necessary   measures   that   would   create   a   climate   conducive   to   such   credibility  



(Raftopoulos,  19  March  2008).  Mbeki  faced  a  daunting  task  but  he  willingly  accepted  the   position  and  did  not  stall  in  arranging  the  first  meeting  between  Zimbabwe’s  disputing  


The   SADC   mandated   mediation   initiative   is   a   practical   example   of   Lund’s   theory   of   preventive  diplomacy.  Following  the  March  11  violence,  the  SADC  regional  body  decided   that   it   wanted   to   implement   a   more   deliberate,   informed,   and   coherent   preventive   diplomacy   approach   toward   Zimbabwe   and   in   doing   so   addressed   the   required   policymaking   issues   as   outlined   by   Lund   (1996:   107-­‐108).   SADC   assessed   the   deteriorating  situation  of  Zimbabwe  and  determined  it  was  a  conflict  that  warranted  a   response.   The   necessary   will   and   resources   were   then   mobilized   through   the   summoning  of  an  Extraordinary  SADC  Summit  in  March  2007.  SADC  then  devised  what  it   considered  an  effective  intervention  by  appointing  Mbeki  as  the  SADC  mediator.  Finally,   the  regional  body  planned  to  organize  an  ongoing,  coordinated  system  for  its  preventive   diplomacy  first  by  mandating  Mbeki  to  report  back  on  the  progress  of  the  dialogue  to   the  SADC  troika  and  secondly  by  encouraging  “enhanced  diplomatic  contacts  which  will   assist  with  the  resolution  of  the  situation  in  Zimbabwe  (SADC  Communiqué  2007)”.  Each   of  these  steps  is  critical  to  the  policymaking  and  implementation  process  as  defined  by  

Lund  (1996:  108).    


Lund  (1996:  185)  further  defines  this  type  of  regional  invention  as  the  “second  level  of   prevention”.  The  second  level  of  prevention  is  implemented  when  the  first  level,  or  the   local   arena,   fails   to   produce   a   solution   to   the   dispute.   He   states,   “Where   disputants   within   a   state   are   unable   to   handle   their   own   disputes   or   national   institutions   are   a   source   of   the   problem,   responsibility   for   prevention   must   shift   to   the   regional   arena  

(1996:   185).”   This   directly   applies   to   the   case   of   Zimbabwe,   where   disputing   political   parties  were  unable  to  resolve  their  internal  power  struggle  and  where  the  ruling  party   used  its  power  to  politicize  and  control  state  institutions  so  that  they  could  no  longer   function   independently.   Lund   (1996:   185)   further   states   “[Regional   multilateral  


  organizations]  can  and  should  play  a  more  active  role  not  only  in  strengthening  regional   interstate   security   but   also   in   the   peaceful   resolution   of   ethnic   and   other   internal   political  conflicts  within  member  states.”  SADC  exercised  a  second  level  of  prevention  in   its  participation  as  observers  in  Zimbabwe’s  2000  elections;  however,  the  regional  body  

  played  a  more  prominent  role  between  2007-­‐2009.      

As  an  example  of  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach,  the  SADC  mediation  process  must   not   be   confused   with   crisis   or   conflict   management.   Lund   (1996:   41-­‐44)   distinguishes   between  three  distinct  actions  taken  toward  conflicts:  peacetime  relations,  preventive   diplomacy   and   crisis   management   or   war   diplomacy.   According   to   Lund   (1996:   43),   during   peacetime   the   chances   of   violence   are   low   to   remote   and   the   objective   of   peacetime   relations   are   to   conduct   normal,   ongoing   affairs   of   the   state   and   maintain   and   strengthen   stable   relations   and   institutions.   Preventive   diplomacy   is   employed   when   the   intensity   of   conflict   is   moderate   and   the   chance   of   widespread   violence   is   possible   to   probable   (Lund   1996:   43).   The   goal   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   this   environment   is   to   carry   out   policies   that   create   processes   to   reduce   tensions,   resolve   disputes,  defuse  conflicts  and  head  off  crises  (Lund  1996:  43).  However,  crisis  or  conflict   management   is   required   to   contain   crises,   end   wars,   and   enforce   cease-­‐fires   as   a   response   to   a   high   level   of   violence   and   conflict   intensity   (Lund   1996:   43).   Therefore,   due  to  the  scope  of  the  political  crisis  and  the  level  of  violence,  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe   in  March  2007  can  be  considered  a  situation  requiring  a  preventive  diplomacy  response.        


The   mediation,   according   to   some   analysts,   was   believed   to   have   gotten   off   to   a   reasonably   good   start   as   Mbeki   succeeded   bringing   the   disputing   parties   together   for  

“the   first   face-­‐to-­‐face   substantive   dialogue   in   four   years   (International   Crisis   Group  

2007b:   14)”.   The   MDC   expectations   for   the   dialogue   outcome   included   fundamental   democratic  reforms  that  would  lead  to  free  and  fair  elections  the  following  year,  such  as   electoral   reforms;   independent,   transparent   management   of   elections;   repeal   of   the  

POSA   and   AIPPA   laws;   ensuring   all   citizens,   including   those   in   the   diaspora,   can   vote;  


  restoration  of  the  right  of  political  parties  to  hold  peaceful  rallies;  a  new  voters  roll;  and   preventing  political  abuse  by  the  military  (International  Crisis  Group  2007b:  14).  ZANU-­‐

PF  brought  different  demands  to  the  table.  According  to  the  International  Crisis  Group  

(2007b:   14),   “In   defiance   of   South   African   and   MDC   efforts   to   focus   on   constitutional   reform  and  elections,  ZANU-­‐PF  wants  to  concentrate  on  land  issues  and  sanctions.”  As  

SADC  mediator,  Mbeki  had  the  difficult  task  of  addressing  the  divergent  demands  of  the   parties,   while   keeping   all   participants   involved   in   the   negotiations.   He   did,   however,   remain  focused  on  the  ultimate  goal  of  creating  the  conditions  necessary  for  free  and  

  fair  elections  in  2008  (Mail  &  Guardian,  15  April  2007).      

Over   the   course   of   2007   and   the   first   quarter   of   2008,   the   SADC   mediation   process   suffered   numerous   challenges   and   setbacks   that   were   caused   by   the   perpetuation   of  

ZANU-­‐PF’s  higher  authority  over  the  two  opposition  parties  (International  Crisis  Group  

2007b:   15).   This   power   imbalance   classifies   Zimbabwe’s   intrastate   conflict   as   asymmetric.  We  recall  from  Chapter  Two  that  asymmetric  conflicts  occur  in  situations  of   unbalanced   power   between   dissimilar   parties,   such   as   a   majority   and   a   minority.   In   asymmetric   conflicts   the   existing   structure   assists   the   party   in   power   to   always   win   a   dispute   and   the   disadvantaged   party   to   always   lose.   In   order   to   resolve   this   type   of   conflict,   the   structure   must   be   changed,   but   not   in   the   favour   of   the   party   in   power  

(Miall,  Ramsbotham,  &  Woodhouse  1999:  12).  For  example,  just  as  Mbeki  succeeded  in   establishing  an  agenda  comprised  of  the  demands  from  all  sides  to  the  conflict,  ZANU-­‐PF   refused  to  attend  the  follow  up  talks  scheduled  for  July  7,  2007,  stating  that  the  party   preferred   the   current   constitution   that   “served   the   nation   well”   (International   Crisis  

Group   2007b:   15).   Mbeki   was   not   able   to   change   the   structure   of   the   conflict,   which   included   the   reform   of   state   institutions   and   the   adoption   of   a   new   constitution   that   confronted   the   structural   issue   of   state   executive   powers.   He   bypassed   these   critical   issues   in   order   to   resume   the   mediation   process.   The   mediation   continued   but   made  

  slow  and  minimal  progress  and  continued  to  favour  the  more  dominant  party.    



In  addition  to  the  failure  of  addressing  the  structural  issues  of  the  conflict,  another  risk   to  the  success  of  the  mediation  process  was  the  lack  of  a  formal  monitoring  system  on   the  part  of  SADC  (Dzinesa  and  Zambara  2011:  64).  For  example,  by  the  time  the  SADC  

Summit  convened  in  Lusaka,  Zambia  in  August  2007,  several  critical  issues  regarding  the   constitution  were  left  unresolved;  and  yet  rather  than  being  transparent  about  the  real   challenges,  Mbeki  presented  a  positive  report  that  did  not  accurately  reflect  the  current   stage   of   the   mediation   (International   Crisis   Group   2007b:   15).   Mbeki’s   achievements   were  then  lauded  by  the  Summit.  Point  13  of  the  August  2007  communiqué  states  that    


The   Summit   was   briefed   that   the   negotiations   between   Zimbabwe  

African   National   Union-­‐Patriotic   Front   (ZANU-­‐PF)   and   both   factions   of   the   Movement   for   Democratic   Change   (MDC)   were   progressing   smoothly.   Summit   commended   President   Thabo   Mbeki.   Summit   welcomed   the   progress   and   encouraged   the   parties   to   expedite   the   process  of  negotiations  and  conclude  work  as  soon  as  possible  so  that   the   next   elections   are   held   in   an   atmosphere   of   peace   allowing   the   people   of   Zimbabwe   to   elect   the   leaders   of   their   choice   in   an  

  atmosphere  of  peace  and  tranquility  (SADC  Communiqué  March  2007).    

This   lack   of   transparency   and   the   lack   of   an   effective   monitoring   system   put   the  

  credibility  of  the  SADC  mediation  process  in  question.    

At  home  in  South  Africa,  Mbeki  was  losing  the  confidence  of  his  own  constituents.  In  

December   2007,   Mbeki   lost   the   ANC   leadership   to   South   Africa’s   former   deputy   president   and   long   time   rival,   Jacob   Zuma,   which   may   be   considered   a   contributing   factor  in  Mbeki’s  diminishing  influence  as  a  mediator  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.  Mbeki   had   achieved   some   success   in   the   mediation   by   this   point.   His   feats   include   a   draft   constitution  signed  by  all  parties,  an  agreement  on  legislative  and  electoral  reforms,  and   the   facilitation   of   a   political   climate   that   reduced   the   levels   of   pre-­‐election   violence  

(Solidarity   Peace   Trust,   2010).   However,   the   mediation   reached   an   impasse   over   the   date  of  the  election,  the  target  dates  for  the  implementation  of  the  reforms,  and  the   process   of   instituting   a   new   constitution   (Solidarity   Peace   Trust,   2010).   The   details   of   electoral   and   legislative   reforms   maintained   ZANU-­‐PF’s   power   over   the   MDC.   For  


  example,   while   Constitutional   Amendment   18   may   have   allowed   for   harmonized   elections  in  2008,  it  also  increased  the  size  of  parliament  to  include  more  constituencies   in   rural   areas,   which   are   renowned   ZANU-­‐PF   strongholds   (International   Crisis   Group  

2008a:  2).    


During  the  mediation  stalemate,  as  the  MDC  pushed  for  a  guarantee  of  the  adoption  of   a   new   constitution   before   the   elections,   and   after   Thabo   Mbeki   faced   a   humiliating   defeat   at   home,   Mugabe   unilaterally   declared   March   29,   2008   as   the   polling   date  


(International  Crisis  Group  2008a:  7).  Characteristic  of  asymmetrical  conflicts,  this  first   round  of  the  SADC  mediation  process  concluded  in  favour  of  ZANU-­‐PF  and  the  country,   therefore,  entered  a  new  election  cycle  without  having  secured  a  political  environment   conducive  to  a  free  and  fair  poll.    

5.4   The   Conflict   Tipping   Point:   Analyzing   the   role   of   SADC   in   the   March   2008  

Presidential  elections  process  


From   the   beginning   of   the   mediation   process,   Mbeki   had   consistently   and   explicitly   articulated  that  his  main  objective  of  the  negotiations  was  to  create  conditions  for  free   and   fair   elections   in   Zimbabwe   in   March   2008   (Mail   &   Guardian,   15   April   2007).  

However,   in   January   2008,   Mbeki   once   again   had   failed   to   produce   the   anticipated   results  through  his  role  as  the  SADC  mediator.  Mbeki  visited  Harare  and  resumed  the   dialogue  between  the  disputing  parties  on  17  January  2008  (South  Africa  DFA  January  

2008)   but   he   was   unable   to   facilitate   the   desired   electoral   and   political   conditions   in   time   for   March   29th.   The   talks   were   deadlocked   over   ZANU-­‐PF’s   complete   disregard   both  the  SADC  initiative  as  well  as  the  MDC’s  call  for  the  adoption  of  a  new  constitution   when  Mugabe  announced  his  party’s  preferred  date  for  the  elections.  In  order  to  remain   relevant   and   maintain   some   integrity   in   the   region   and   beyond,   Mbeki   conveniently  

  changed  his  goalposts.    



In   his   State   of   the   Nation   address   in   early   February   2008,   Mbeki   ironically   quoted  

Charles  Dickens’  opening  lines  of  A  Tale  of  Two  Cities:  “It  was  the  best  of  times,  it  was   the  worst  of  times…”  (Mbeki,  State  of  the  Nation  Address  2008).  However,  considering   the   circumstances   of   Mbeki’s   fallen   position   in   the   ANC   and   his   disappointing   performance  as  SADC  mediator,  one  could  argue  that  the  latter  was  most  appropriate   for   the   beginning   of   Mbeki’s   2008   year.   Mbeki   later   applauds   the   Zimbabwean   participating   parties   of   the   SADC   negotiations   for   their   “truly   commendable   achievements”  and  wishes  the  people  of  Zimbabwe  success  in  their  March  29  elections  

(Mbeki,   State   of   the   Nation   Address   2008).   Just   as   he   had   with   his   report   to   SADC   in  

August  2007,  Mbeki  used  his  2008  State  of  the  Nation  address  to  promote  his  mediation   as   a   success.   He   states,   “The   parties   involved   in   the   dialogue   have   reached   full   agreement  on  all  matters  relating  to  the  substantive  matters  the  parties  had  to  address.  

These  include  issues…  that  have  been  in  contention  for  many  years.  The  relevant  laws  in   this   regard   have   already   been   approved   by   parliament,   including   the   necessary   constitutional   amendments   (Mbeki,   State   of   the   Nation   Address   2008).”   Through   this   glowing   interpretation   of   events,   Mbeki   consciously   and   publicly   modified   his   understanding  of  his  objectives  of  the  mediation.  The  goalposts  changed  from  the  initial   emphasis   on   creating   the   necessary   conditions   for   free   and   fair   elections   to   simply   facilitating   a   dialogue   between   the   disputing   parties,   which   he   vaguely   indicated   had  

  succeeded  in  settling  all  substantive  matters.  

With  its  chief  mediator  in  ostensible  denial  about  the  inherent  problems  challenging  the   process,  the  SADC  mandated  mediation  subsequently  drifted  off  track  from  achieving  its   original  preventive  diplomacy  goals.  Mugabe  maintained  his  2005  elections  strategy  and   vetted  elections  observers  he  believed  would  provide  him  with  preferential  treatment,   while  excluding  the  Commonwealth  and  Western  country  observers  (International  Crisis  

Group  2008a:  19).  The  lack  of  progress  on  implementing  the  agreed  upon  legislative  and   electoral   reforms   ensured   the   continued   existence   of   the   West’s   targeted   sanctions,   which  was  another  unmet  objective  of  the  SADC  mandate.  SADC’s  policy  of  preventive  


  diplomacy   had   ultimately   failed   and   all   indications   pointed   to   yet   another   disastrous   election  for  Zimbabwe  that  would  be  violent,  would  not  be  considered  credible  and  that   would   not   accurately   reflect   the   will   of   the   Zimbabwean   voters.   However,   despite   all   odds,  the  March  2008  elections  took  place  in  relative  peace  and  proved  to  be  the  first  in  

Zimbabwe’s   independent   history   in   which   the   long-­‐standing   ZANU-­‐PF   party   was   defeated  at  the  polls.    


The   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   of   the   SADC   mediation   led   by   South   Africa   had   succeeded  in  averting  widespread  political  violence  in  the  lead  up  to  and  on  polling  day.  

However,   the   country’s   future   was   threatened   soon   after   the   parallel   counting   processes  of  civil  society  groups  projected  an  MDC  victory  both  in  the  presidential  and   parliamentary  polls  (ZESN  press  statement,  31  March  2008).  A  majority  of  50  per  cent   plus   one   was   required   by   candidates   to   win   the   vote;   otherwise   an   election   re-­‐run   would   be   mandatory   (The   New   York   Times,   31   March   2008).   The   MDC   prematurely   announced   its   victory,   claiming   50.3   per   cent   against   Mugabe’s   43.8   per   cent   of   the   votes  and  therefore  avoiding  an  election  run-­‐off  (International  Crisis  Group  2008b:  3).  

The   Zimbabwe   Electoral   Council   (ZEC),   however,   withheld   the   official   results   of   the   presidential  election  for  five  weeks,  despite  the  applications  for  court  orders  against  the  

ZEC  and  the  loud  calls  across  the  international  community  to  release  the  election  results  


(Makumbe  2010:  128-­‐130).    

As  has  been  highlighted  in  previous  chapters,  one  of  the  most  important  factors  for  a   successful  preventive  diplomacy  approach  is  the  timing  of  the  intervention  (Lund  1996).  

SADC  reacted  timeously  by  meeting  with  the  MDC  and  inviting  Tsvangirai  to  the  April  

SADC  Summit,  revealing  its  recognition  of  the  MDC  as  a  credible  player  in  Zimbabwe’s   transitional   process   (Daily   News,   30   March   2008).   However,   SADC   missed   a   pivotal   preventive  diplomacy  opportunity  by  failing  to  meet  with  Mugabe  and  ZANU-­‐PF  at  this   same  time  to  persuade  the  party  to  negotiate  for  a  transitional  government  of  national   unity.  Similarly,  Mbeki  was  very  late  to  join  the  international  community’s  call  for  the  


  release  of  the  election  results  (International  Herald  Tribune,  17  April  2008)  and  in  April  

2008,  Mbeki  infamously  stated  that  Zimbabwe  was  in  fact  not  in  a  state  of  crisis,  which   added  fuel  to  the  fire  of  Mbeki’s  critics.  According  to  Lund  (1996:  107),  in  order  to  reap   the   full   potential   of   preventive   diplomacy   it   must   be   undertaken   consistently   and   deliberately.  By  this  point,  the  South  African  led  SADC  mediation  process  had  failed  to   reap  the  full  potential  of  its  preventive  diplomacy  efforts.  


While   the   country   awaited   the   release   of   the   results,   ZANU-­‐PF   launched   a   violent   campaign  to  punish  opposition  leadership  and  supporters.  The  majority  of  the  violence   took   place   in   the   lost   ZANU-­‐PF   strongholds   of   the   Mashonaland   provinces   and   was   carried  out  by  the  Joint  Operations  Command  (JOC)  of  the  national  military  (Raftopoulos  

2009:   229).   Mugabe   termed   this   crackdown   Operation   Makavhoterapapi,   referring   to   the   ballot   marking   and   translated   from   Shona   as   “Operation   Where   did   you   put   your   cross?”  (Human  Rights  Watch,  April  2008).  By  mid-­‐May,  “political  activists,  journalists,   union   leaders,   polling   agents,   teachers,   doctors   and   ordinary   citizens   [had]   been   arrested   and   beaten,   and,   the   MDC   says,   some   43   opposition   supporters   [had]   been   murdered   (International   Crisis   Group   2008b:   6)”.   According   to   some   analysts,   the   extremely  violent  measures  was  an  unforeseen  and  unprecedented  political  decision  on   the  part  of  ZANU-­‐PF,  as  the  ageing  Mugabe  had  been  seeking  legitimacy  and  an  end  to   the   country’s   international   isolation   through   these   elections   (Africa   Confidential,   April  

2008).   The   violent   campaign   consequently   ruined   any   chance   Mugabe   had   of  

  legitimizing  his  power.    

On  2  May,  the  ZEC  released  the  results  announcing  that  the  combined  MDC  factions  had   secured  109  seats  in  parliament  against  ZANU-­‐PF’s  97  seats  and  in  the  Presidential  race,  

Tsvangirai  had  received  47.9  per  cent  over  Mugabe’s  43.2  per  cent  (International  Crisis  

Group   2008c:   2).   The   results   necessitated   an   election   run-­‐off.   Using   the   preventive   diplomacy  fact-­‐finding  mission  tool,  the  South  African  government  assembled  a  group   including  retired  generals  to  carry  out  an  on-­‐site  assessment  of  the  violence.  The  group  


  allegedly   uncovered   “shocking   levels”   of   state-­‐sponsored   violence,   although   the   final   report  was  never  made  public  (Business  Day,  14  May  2008).  Even  more  detrimental  to   the   legitimacy   of   the   SADC   mediation,   Mbeki   declared   that   there   was   no   crisis   in  

Zimbabwe   (BBC   News,   12   April   2008).   Mbeki   lost   the   confidence   of   the   MDC   and   on  

April  17,  Tsvangirai  called  on  Mbeki  to  step  down  as  the  SADC  mediator  (The  Guardian,  

17  April  2008).  Once  again,  South  Africa  chose  to  only  make  use  of  the  quieter  tools  of   preventive  diplomacy.  The  government  may  have  initiated  a  fact-­‐finding  mission,  but  its   failure  to  release  the  condemning  report  and  publicly  denounce  the  violence  severely  

  compromised  the  effectiveness  of  South  Africa  and  thus  SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy   policy.      

5.5  The  Last  Straw:  Analyzing  the  role  of  SADC  in  the  June  2008  Presidential  elections   run-­‐off  


In   the   lead   up   to   the   scheduled   June   27   presidential   run-­‐off,   SADC   was   ridden   with   division.  This  division  was  exemplified  at  the  April  2008  Extraordinary  Summit  when  the  

Chair,   Zambian   President   Mwanawasa,   invited   Tsvangirai   to   the   meeting   even   before   the   ZEC   had   released   the   election   results.   During   the   summit   Mwanawasa,   Tanzanian  

President  Kikwete,  and  President  Khama  of  Botswana  all  called  for  the  regional  body  to   take   a   tougher   stance   on   Zimbabwe,   while   Mbeki   and   Angolan   President   dos   Santos   resisted  this  appeal  (International  Crisis  Group  2008b:  10).  In  the  end,  SADC  addressed   the  participants  of  its  mediation  and  requested  that  all  parties  accept  the  ZEC’s  election   results  and  participate  in  the  run-­‐off  (South  Africa  DFA,  6  June  2008).  In  deciding  which   instruments  of  preventive  diplomacy  to  use,  the  SADC  majority  won  out  over  the  three   outspoken  heads  of  state  that  were  calling  for  a  shift  in  policy  and  the  quieter  approach  

  was  maintained  conclusively.  

The   call   for   a   more   hardline   approach   by   some   members   of   SADC   at   the   April   2008  

Summit  only  grew.  However,  it  was  the  decisive  action  of  the  AU  that  made  a  shift  in  

SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe  inevitable.  The  AU  intervened  


  in  early  May  by  sending  its  newly  elected  Chair  Jean  Ping  to  meet  with  Mugabe  and  ZEC  

Chair  George  Chiwashe  and  by  announcing  that  the  continental  body  would  be  sending   a   stronger   observer   mission   to   monitor   Zimbabwe’s   June   run-­‐off   (International   Crisis  

Group   2008b:   10-­‐11).   Following   suit,   SADC   expanded   its   mediation   efforts   by   establishing   a   SADC   troika   made   up   of   government   ministers   from   South   Africa,  

Tanzania,   and   Swaziland   (Voice   of   America,   8   May   2008).   The   creation   of   troika   illustrated   SADC’s   gradual   shift   toward   a   more   assertive   approach   in   dealing   with  

Zimbabwe.   It   also   exemplified   the   recognition   by   SADC   that   a   complete   reliance   on  

South   Africa’s   role   as   mediator   was   not   effective.   Therefore,   SADC   reassessed   its   preventive   diplomacy   policy   and   was   capable   of   trying   new   noncoercive   measures   in  

  order  to  resolve  Zimbabwe’s  political  impasse.    

Despite   the   increased   preventive   efforts   of   the   AU   and   SADC,   the   violent   campaign   against   the   opposition   in   Zimbabwe   continued   and   according   to   Human   Rights   Watch  

(June  2008),  between  March  and  June  27  a  total  of  150  people  had  been  killed  in  state-­‐ sponsored   violence.   In   witnessing   his   supporters   being   murdered   and   tortured,  

Tsvangirai   exhausted   all   attempts   to   appeal   to   the   region   and   push   for   the   MDC’s   conditions   to   be   met   through   mediation.   When   his   call   was   not   answered,   Tsvangirai   withdrew  from  the  run-­‐off.  As  SADC  mediator,  Mbeki  responded  to  the  MDC’s  decision   to  pull  out  of  the  presidential  race.  He  encouraged  the  continued  dialogue  and  stated  “I   would  hope  that  the  leadership  would  still  be  open  to  a  process  which  would  result  in   them   coming   to   some   agreement   about   what   happens   to   their   country   (South   Africa  

DFA,  22  June  2008)”.  However,  the  damage  was  done.  The  MDC  withdrawal  ultimately   proved  that  the  SADC  mediation  had  failed  for  the  second  time  and  further  “signified  a   universal   lack   of   recognition   for   Mugabe’s   resulting   solo   ‘victory’   (Raftopoulos   2009:  



Without  the  contest  of  the  MDC,  the  June  27  presidential  election  run-­‐off  could  not  in   any  way  be  considered  credible  by  any  observer,  including  South  Africa  and  SADC.  The  




SADC   Electoral   Observer   Mission   released   a   statement   following   the   run-­‐off   that   condemned   the   politically   motivated   violence   and   the   biased   media   coverage,   and   concluded,  “The  Mission  is  of  the  view  that  the  prevailing  environment  impinged  on  the   credibility  of  the  electoral  process.  The  elections  did  not  represent  the  will  of  the  people   of  Zimbabwe  (SADC  Election  Observer  Mission  29  June  2008,  2-­‐6).”  Unsurprisingly,  this   did  not  appear  to  trouble  Mugabe,  who  swore  himself  in  as  President  on  29  June  (The  

New  York  Times,  30  June  2008).  This  outright  defiance  of  a  concerted  regional  effort  to   lead   Zimbabwe   to   a   period   of   political   transition   was   the   last   straw   of   an   eight-­‐year   political   conflict.   The   AU   intervened   more   directly   and   at   its   30   June   Summit,   the   continental   body   requested   that   Mbeki   continue   his   mediation   between   Zimbabwe’s   principal  political  leaders  under  the  SADC  auspices,  with  the  objective  of  establishing  a   unity  government  (AU  Summit  Communiqué,  June  2008).  An  already  isolated  Zimbabwe   was   falling   deeper   into   economic   peril,   and   knowing   that   the   country   was   now   dependent   on   the   humanitarian   aid   from   the   international   community   to   avoid   a   complete   collapse   to   a   failed   statehood,   Mugabe   had   no   choice   but   to   return   to   the   negotiating  table  and  work  towards  an  inclusive  government  with  his  political  rivals.      

5.6   Success   At   Last:   Examining   the   culmination   of   SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach  to  Zimbabwe  through  the  signing  of  the  Global  Political  Agreement    


Now   mandated   by   both   the   African   Union   and   by   the   SADC   regional   body,   Mbeki   resumed   mediation   between   ZANU-­‐PF   and   the   MDC   parties.   It   was   during   this   third   attempt  of  the  SADC  mediation  process  that  Mbeki  finally  locked  down  a  substantial  and   promising   settlement   that   would   lead   to   the   formation   of   a   government   of   national   unity   (GNU).   The   settlement   materialized   in   the   form   of   a   memorandum   of   understanding  (MOU),  which  all  three  principal  political  parties  signed  on  21  July  2008  

(South   Africa   DFA,   21   July   2008).   The   MOU   laid   the   ground   rules   and   agenda   for   a   deliberate  and  cooperative  negotiation  process  with  the  end  goal  being  the  formation  of   an  inclusive  government.    




Although   the   three   parties   all   had   divergent   motivations   for   participating   in   such   a   process,  the  principals  met  together  over  the  next  two  months  with  Mbeki  as  mediator.  

The   two-­‐month   mediation   process   was   not   without   its   flaws   and   its   breaches   of   the  

MOU,  but  on  15  September  an  eight-­‐year  conflict  culminated  with  Mugabe,  Tsvangirai   and   Mutambara   signing   a   Global   Political   Agreement   (GPA)   (South   Africa   DFA,   11  

September  2008).  The  GPA  instated  shared  executive  powers  with  Mugabe  as  President,  

Tsvangirai  as  Prime  Minister,  and  Mutambara  as  Deputy  Prime  Minister.  South  Africa’s  

Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  congratulated  the  people  of  Zimbabwe  for  achieving  this   milestone  and  reiterated  its  policy  by  stating  “The  agreement  has  once  more  underlined   our  often  stated  view  that  only  the  people  of  Zimbabwe,  acting  with  the  support  of  the   international  community,  can  author  their  own  destiny  out  of  the  current  political  and   economic  challenges  facing  their  country  (South  Africa  DFA,  11  September  2008).”  The  

GPA   detailed   Mbeki’s   master   plan   forward   for   Zimbabwe   and   created   the   basic   conditions  necessary  for  a  unity  government  to  function  and  parliament  to  convene  in   order  to  begin  to  tackle  the  massive  economic  and  humanitarian  crisis.    


After  three  attempts  since  March  2007  to  mediate  a  political  settlement  in  Zimbabwe,  

SADC  welcomed  the  signing  of  the  GPA,  which  saw  an  end  to  the  international  isolation   of  its  member  state  (International  Security  Studies  2010,  3).  The  process  was  solidified   further  in  February  2009,  when  the  inclusive  government  was  officially  sworn  in  as  the   new   transitional   government   of   Zimbabwe.   The   GPA   represents   a   fundamental   preventive   diplomacy   achievement.   A   power   sharing   arrangement   is   prominently   featured   in   Lund’s   Approach   (1996:   204-­‐205)   Preventive   Diplomacy   Toolbox   as   a  

Development   and   Governance.   The   GPA   is   a   prime   example   of   Lund’s   (1996:   205)  

National   Governing   Structure   Formed   to   Promote   Peaceful   Conflict   Resolution.  

Therefore,  considering  the  circumstances  and  considering  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy   classification,   it   was   in   February   2009   with   the   inauguration   of   the   GNU   that   the  


  approach   to   the   Zimbabwe   crisis   switched   from   preventive   diplomacy   to   conflict   management  and  conflict  resolution.    


It   is   also   under   such   a   classification   that   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   administered   by   SADC   and   South   Africa   can   ultimately   be   considered   a   success.  

However,  what  this  dissertation  will  argue,  upon  reflection  of  the  contents  of  the  next   chapter,  is  that  the  South  African-­‐led  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe   between  2000  and  2009  can  only  be  deemed  a  success  as  part  of  a  larger  and  collective   preventive  diplomacy  effort,  which  includes  the  contributions  made  by  other  multi-­‐track   actors.    


5.7  Conclusion  


The   Zimbabwe   intrastate   conflict   began   in   2000   when   the   opposition,   through   a   constitutional  referendum,  challenged  the  ZANU-­‐PF  party  with  its  first  political  defeat  in   its   twenty-­‐year   rule.   With   the   resulting   rise   in   political   tensions   as   the   country   approached   its   2000   elections,   Zimbabwe   attracted   the   attention   of   South   Africa   and   the   SADC   region.   It   was   determined   by   South   Africa   and   SADC   at   that   point   that   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   had   the   propensity   to   shift   from   a   stage   of   unstable   peace   to   a   stage   of   crisis.   Just   as   Lund   highlights   in   his   theoretical   framework,   both   actors   acknowledged  the  benefits  of  acting  early  and  preventing  an  escalation  of  the  conflict   rather   than   merely   reacting   after   it   was   too   late   and   the   crisis   had   advanced   to   irreparable  levels.  Both  South  Africa,  in  a  Track  One,  Track  Two  approach,  and  SADC,  in  a   multi-­‐track,  multilateral  approach,  employed  a  policy  of  preventive  diplomacy  to  avert  a   furthering  of  the  Zimbabwe  crisis.  The  two  actors  joined  forces  in  March  2007  through  a  

South  African-­‐led  and  SADC-­‐mandated  mediation  process,  thus  continuing  a  preventive  

  diplomacy  approach  to  the  conflict.    



The   aim   of   this   chapter   was   to   examine   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South  

Africa’s   SADC-­‐mandated   foreign   policy.   In   order   to   comprehensively   assess   SADC’s   intervention   between   2007   and   2009,   the   chapter   first   illustrated   how   SADC,   as   a   regional   body,   employed   preventive   diplomacy   toward   Zimbabwe   since   the   conflict   began.  The  chapter  traced  SADC’s  evolving  preventive  diplomacy  approach.  Since  2000,  

SADC   utilized   a   variety   of   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures,   such   as   fact-­‐finding   missions,   observation   teams,   and   on-­‐site   monitoring.   SADC   also   utilized   the   election-­‐   monitoring   tool,   which   falls   under   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   development   and   governance   approach.   The   regional   body   further   intensified   its   preventive   diplomacy   toward   Zimbabwe   through   the   use   of   coercive   diplomatic   measures   that   included  

  diplomatic  and  moral  sanctions.    

The  Zimbabwe  crisis  is  a  complex,  asymmetric  conflict  and  despite  SADC’s  versatility  in   its  use  of  a  variety  of  preventive  diplomacy  tools,  the  conditions  on  the  ground  in  the  

SADC   member   state   continued   to   deteriorate.   The   conflict   shifted   toward   a   stage   of   crisis  in  March  2007  with  the  violence  in  the  country’s  capital  city.  The  escalating  conflict   necessitated   that   SADC   employ   a   new   tactic   to   halt   the   worsening   conditions.   The   chapter   then   assessed   SADC’s   collective   mandate   and   implementation   of   the   noncoercive   diplomatic   measure   of   third-­‐party   mediation   between   2007   and   2009.  

Mandated   by   SADC,   Mbeki   underwent   a   series   of   three   difficult   mediation   processes   between   the   disputing   political   parties   of   Zimbabwe.   While   the   mediation   was   underway,   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   endured   detrimental   setbacks   and   violent   episodes.  

However,   in   the   third   mediation   process,   the   eight-­‐year   conflict   culminated   with   the  

  signing  of  the  Global  Political  Agreement  by  Zimbabwe’s  three  principal  political  parties.      

The   signing   of   the   GPA   and   the   inauguration   of   the   Government   of   National   Unity   demonstrated   a   critical   shift   in   the   conflict.   The   approach   to   the   Zimbabwe   crisis   theoretically  changed  from  preventive  diplomacy  to  conflict  management  and  conflict   resolution.   This   important   shift   in   the   conflict   is   demonstrated   in   Lund’s   theoretical  


  framework.   As   the   preventive   diplomacy   tool   of   power   sharing   falls   under   the   development   and   governance   approach   of   national   governing   structures   to   promote   peaceful  conflict  resolution,  11  February  2009  can  be  identified  as  the  theoretical  point   at  which  the  approach  to  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  changed  from  preventive  diplomacy  

  to  conflict  management  and  conflict  resolution.      

In   this   chapter   we   have   determined   that   the   evaluation   of   South   Africa   and   SADC’s   preventive  diplomacy  as  a  success  must  only  be  considered  a  true  accomplishment  as  


























  part   of   a   collective   approach   that   includes   the   preventive   diplomacy   action   taken   by   multi-­‐track  actors.  The  next  chapter  will  highlight  these  alternative  approaches  in  order   to   present   an   all-­‐encompassing   and   accurate   examination   of   preventive   diplomacy   action  implemented  toward  Zimbabwe  between  2000  and  2009.      




Chapter  6  


Different  Approaches:  Examining  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  multi-­‐ track  approaches  toward  Zimbabwe,  2000-­‐2009  





6.1  Introduction  

A   comprehensive   examination   of   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South   Africa’s   foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  from  2000  to  2009  has  been  developed  in  the  first  five   chapters   of   this   dissertation.   Between   the   years   2000   and   2007,   South   Africa’s   government-­‐to-­‐government   engagement   in   Zimbabwe   exemplifies   Track   One   diplomacy.  During  this  period,  the  South  African  government’s  Track  One  involvement   employed  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach  in  its  attempts  to  halt  an  escalation  of  the   conflict   and   resolve   the   crisis.   In   2007,   as   discussed   in   Chapter   Five,   South   Africa’s   foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  was  renewed  through  a  SADC  mandate  that  consisted   of  an  intensive  mediation  process  with  the  aim  of  brokering  an  agreement  between  the   disputing   political   parties   and   creating   the   necessary   conditions   for   a   free,   fair   and   credible  election.  As  a  regional  body  consisting  of  numerous  member  states,  the  SADC   engagement  in  Zimbabwe  embodies  a  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  approach.  The  2007  SADC   directive   was   not   the   first   time   the   regional   body   became   engaged   in   the   Zimbabwe   conflict.  Chapter  Five  highlighted  SADC’s  preventive  diplomacy  involvement  in  the  crisis   in  Zimbabwe  from  the  2000  parliamentary  elections  through  to  the  inauguration  of  the  

Inclusive  Government  in  2009.  Furthermore,  both  Chapters  Four  and  Five  featured  brief   comparisons   of   South   Africa   and   SADC’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   with   the   preventive  diplomacy  action  of  organizations  such  as  the  EU,  the  Commonwealth,  and   the  AU,  all  of  which  represent  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.    



The   responses   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   cannot   be   described   as   encompassing   a   traditional   Track   One,   Track   Two   paradigm,   where   Track   One   is   demonstrated   by   the  

South  African  government’s  preventive  diplomacy,  and  Track  Two  is  represented  by  an   ostensibly   general   contribution   of   all   non-­‐state   actors.   Rather,   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   involved  a  much  larger  response  base  and  a  host  of  actors  have  been  actively  engaged   throughout  the  crisis,  epitomizing  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  This  chapter  will  begin  with  a   concise   review   of   Rupesinghe’s   theoretical   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   that   was   first   introduced   in   Chapter   Two.   The   chapter   will   then   highlight   examples   of   the   preventive   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   contributions   of   various   actors   such   as   the   UN,  

Zimbabwean   civil   society   organizations   (CSOs),   South   African   CSOs,   the   Zimbabwean  


Diaspora,  the  Church,  and  will  also  consider  the  diplomacy  of  economics.  

The   examination   of   various   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   responses   by   a   number   of   relevant   actors   will   serve   to   enhance   the   larger   discussion   of   the   role   preventive   diplomacy   played   throughout   the   Zimbabwe   conflict.   The   observation   of   alternative   multi-­‐track   diplomacy  approaches  will  further  strengthen  the  argument  made  in  Chapter  Five  that   the  South  African-­‐led  preventive  diplomacy  can  only  be  considered  a  success  as  part  of  a   larger   and   collective   preventive   diplomacy   effort   between   2000   and   2009.   It   will   also   demonstrate   that   the   responses   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   cannot   be   characterized   simply   as   Track   One,   Track   Two   diplomacy.   Thus,   the   momentous   political   agreement   reached  between  ZANU-­‐PF  and  the  two  MDC  factions  in  September  2008  cannot  solely   be   credited   to   the   South   African   government   and   SADC.   The   signed   GPA   only   exists   because   of   the   contributions   made   by   a   variety   of   actors,   including   regional   organizations,  international  organizations,  CSOs  and  NGOs,  the  Church,  and  the  business   community,  which  combined  to  complement  the  preventive  diplomacy  of  South  Africa   and   SADC.   Just   as   Chapters   Four   and   Five   demonstrated   the   preventive   diplomacy   contributions  by  the  EU,  the  Commonwealth  and  the  United  States  through  economic   and  diplomatic  sanctions,  this  chapter  will  complete  the  story  of  the  role  of  preventive  



  diplomacy  approaches  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  by  examining  the  critical  inputs  of  other   actors  through  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.    


6.2  Reviewing  Rupesinghe’s  Concept  of  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy    

The   foundation   of   this   study   is   built   upon   Lund’s   (1996)   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical  framework.  Although,  as  has  been  previously  noted,  Lund  acknowledges  the   importance   of   a   strong   civil   society   and   the   contributions   made   by   nongovernmental   organizations   for   the   practical   implementation   of   his   theory,   Lund’s   concentration   remains  primarily  on  Track  One  diplomacy.  This  dissertation  has  introduced  the  concept   of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  in  order  to  create  a  more  complete  theoretical  framework  for   the  purposes  of  the  Zimbabwe  crisis  case  study.    


Recalling   the   introduction   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   in   Chapter   Two,   the   term   was   popularized  by  Rupesinghe  (1997)  and  refers  to  the  contributions  of  a  variety  of  actors   at  different  levels  of  a  conflict  that  work  together  effectively  to  attain  peace.  Multi-­‐track   diplomacy  includes  the  Track  One  diplomacy  of  government-­‐to-­‐government  interaction   but   it   expands   on   this   traditional   concept   of   preventive   diplomacy   to   incorporate   a   variety  of  actors,  such  as  international  institutions,  regional  organizations,  NGOs,  civic   organizations,  religious  organizations,  the  business  community,  and  the  media,  among   others.   Therefore,   considering   the   multitude   of   actors   involved   in   the   case   study,   the   inclusive   preventive   diplomacy   response   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   between   2000   and  

2009  is  a  prime  example  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.    


Rupesinghe’s  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  is  intrinsically  linked  to  Lund’s  theory  of   preventive   diplomacy,   however   it   fills   an   important   gap   in   Lund’s   theory   through   its   consideration  of  the  roles  played  by  a  varied  number  of  other  actors.  Therefore,  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy,  just  as  preventive  diplomacy,  encompasses  the  actions  employed  by  a   variety  of  actors  with  the  purpose  of  preventing  the  escalation  of  conflicts  and  settling  


  political  disputes  through  the  use  of  an  extensive  selection  of  instruments.  The  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy  concept  appreciates  that  the  individual  efforts  of  a  variety  of  actors  can   complement  each  other  and  combine  to  form  a  larger  framework  of  preventive  action.  

The   essence   of   the   concept   is   that   it   is   the   combined   efforts   that   prove   to   be   more   effective  in  preventing  conflicts  from  escalating,  as  opposed  to  relying  on  an  individual   contribution.      


Like  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy  theory,  Rupesinghe  (1997:  13-­‐15)  explains  that  actors   engaging   a   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   approach   must   also   go   through   the   same   steps   in   prioritizing   a   conflict   and   determining   an   appropriate   preventive   action.   More   specifically,  in  implementing  preventive  diplomacy  one  must  first  understand  the  root   causes  of  the  conflict,  identify  all  actors  and  identify  the  appropriate  facilitators  of  the   peace   process   (Rupesinghe   1997:   13-­‐14).   Secondly,   the   implementers   of   preventive   diplomacy  must  ensure  local  ownership  of  the  peace  process,  set  a  realistic  timetable,   and,  unlike  Track  One  diplomacy,  involve  a  wide  variety  of  actors  in  the  peace  process   beyond   politicians   (Rupesinghe   1997:   14-­‐15).   Finally,   the   third   stage   of   implementing   preventive   diplomacy   involves   the   allocation   of   the   necessary   resources,   sustaining   a   commitment,  and  includes  a  thorough  evaluation  of  the  process  (Rupesinghe  1997:  15).  

These   steps   of   prioritization   taken   by   the   various   actors   involved   in   preventing   the  


Zimbabwe  conflict  later  will  be  illustrated  later  in  this  chapter.    

In   Chapter   Two   of   this   dissertation,   Rupesinghe’s   six   strands   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   were   outlined.   In   summary,   the   six   strands   include   inter-­‐governmental   diplomacy,   governmental   diplomacy,   second   track   diplomacy,   ecumenical   diplomacy,   citizen   diplomacy,  and  economic  diplomacy  (Rupesinghe  1997:  15-­‐20).  Previous  chapters  have   discussed   the   inter-­‐governmental   diplomacy   of   SADC,   the   AU,   the   EU,   and   the  

Commonwealth.   This   chapter   will   present   another   example   and   introduce   select   examples   of   the   multi-­‐track,   inter-­‐governmental   diplomacy   of   the   UN   toward   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe.   The   main   focus   of   this   dissertation   has   been   the   governmental  


  diplomacy   of   the   South   African   government,   and   therefore   governmental   diplomacy   need   not   be   discussed   further   in   this   chapter.   An   example   of   second   track   diplomacy   includes  the  behind-­‐the-­‐scenes  mediation  and  dialogue  between  the  disputing  political   parties  of  Zimbabwe  led  by  Mbeki.  This  similarly  will  not  be  further  discussed.  However,   ecumenical   diplomacy   has   not   yet   been   considered   and   this   chapter   will   introduce   examples  of  the  preventive  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  of  church  groups  in  Zimbabwe.  Citizen   diplomacy  has  also  not  been  featured  in  this  dissertation.  This  chapter  will  examine  the   important  preventive  diplomacy  role  played  by  CSOs  and  NGOs  both  within  Zimbabwe   and  in  South  Africa.  This  chapter  will  similarly  assess  examples  of  the  preventive  multi-­‐ track   diplomacy   employed   by   the   regional   and   international   business   community   and  


comment  on  how  the  economy  can  be  used  as  leverage  to  prevent  and  resolve  conflicts.    

Finally,  just  as  Lund  presented  his  suggestions  of  instruments  of  preventive  diplomacy   through   his   Preventive   Diplomacy   Toolbox,   so   too   does   Rupesinghe   offer   a   variety   of   tools   and   methods   that   can   be   used   for   a   more   effective   preventive   multi-­‐track   diplomacy  (Rupesinghe  1997:  21-­‐26).  Rupesinghe’s  tools  and  methods  have  previously   been   outlined,   however,   for   the   purposes   of   this   chapter   they   again   include:   peace   missions   and   monitors,   special   envoys,   training   workshops,   capacity-­‐building,   learning   from  comparative  experiences,  economic  assistance  or  political  packages,  human  rights   standard-­‐setting,   conflict   resolution   institution-­‐building,   police   and   military   training,   computer  networking  for  early  warning  systems,  and  mobilizing  the  media  for  conflict   resolution.   These   tools   and   methods   are   not   bound   to   a   specific   actor   and   can   be   employed  by  any  multi-­‐track  strand  at  different  stages  of  conflict.  The  selection  and  use  

  of  these  tools  and  methods  will  be  highlighted  throughout  this  chapter  when  examining   the  unique  efforts  of  a  variety  of  actors  in  the  case  of  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.        


6.3   Examining   the   Preventive   Multi-­‐track   Diplomacy   of   the   United   Nations   in  

Response  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe    



The  preventive  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  of  the  UN  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  is  an  example   of   inter-­‐governmental   diplomacy.   The   UN’s   involvement   in   Zimbabwe   is   complex   and   multifaceted,   as   the   international   organization   and   its   system   are   comprised   of   numerous  specialized  agencies,  programmes  and  funds.  For  example,  the  UN  Security  

Council,  the  United  Nation  High  Commission  for  Refugees  (UNHCR),  and  United  Nations  

Development   Programme   (UNDP),   to   name   a   few,   have   all   been   actively   involved   at   different  stages  of  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.  In  general,  the  organization  is  committed  to  

“maintaining   international   peace   and   security,   developing   friendly   relations   among   nations  and  promoting  social  progress,  better  living  standards  and  human  rights  (United  

Nations,”   In   order   to   fulfill   its   mandate,   the   UN   employs   methods   of   peacekeeping,   peace   building,   conflict   prevention   and   humanitarian   assistance,   all   of   which  can  be  found  in  Lund’s  (1996:  203-­‐205)  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox.  


Throughout   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   the   UN   and   its   various   agencies   have   employed   preventive   diplomacy   methods   in   order   to   avert   an   escalation   of   the   crisis.   It   is   important   to   note   that   the   UN,   as   an   inter-­‐governmental   organization,   is   made   up   of  

193   member   states   and   therefore,   like   SADC,   is   bound   to   experience   division   and   differing   opinions   among   its   members   on   how   to   approach   a   situation   such   as   the   conflict   in   its   member   state   Zimbabwe.   Decisions   to   intervene   in   situations   of   international  peace  and  security  are  finalized  by  a  vote  in  the  Security  Council,  which  is   comprised   of   five   permanent   members   with   veto   power   (the   United   Kingdom,   the  

United   States,   France,   Russia   and   China)   and   ten   rotating   non-­‐permanent   members  

(United   Nations,   In   accordance   with   the   Charter   of   the   United   Nations,   all   general   member   states   agree   and   accept   to   carry   out   the   decisions   of   the   Security  

Council,   whereas   the   other   organs   of   the   UN   can   only   make   recommendations   to   governments  (Charter  of  the  United  Nations,  Chapter  V,  Article  25).  As  we  will  observe   in  this  section,  these  fifteen  member  states  on  the  Security  Council  have  experienced   heated  disagreement  regarding  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.  This  section  will  provide  select  


  examples   of   the   use   of   preventive   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   by   UN   agencies   in   the  

Zimbabwe  conflict.  


The  United  Nations  has  been  involved  in  the  crisis  in  Zimbabwe  from  the  beginning  of   the  conflict.  In  2000,  as  discussed  in  Chapter  Three,  after  losing  the  referendum  on  the   constitution,  the  government  of  Zimbabwe  responded  through  the  launch  of  a  violent,   fast-­‐tracked  programme  of  land  occupations.  In  response,  the  UN,  through  the  auspices   of   the   UNDP,   planned   a   special   envoy   on-­‐site   monitoring   mission   to   examine   the   worsening   land   crisis   within   the   context   of   Zimbabwe’s   upcoming   parliamentary   elections  (IRIN,  5  June  2000).  This  type  of  intervention  falls  directly  under  Lund’s  (1996:  

204)   preventive   diplomacy   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures.   When   the   UN   visit   was   publicly  announced,  the  Zimbabwean  government  confirmed  its  intentions  to  seize  over  

800   commercial   farms   by   force   (IRIN,   5   June   2000).   The   UN   Secretary-­‐General,   Kofi  

Annan,   cancelled   the   mission   and   indicated   that   the   severe   decision   taken   by   the  

Zimbabwe   government   “undermines   the   ability   of   the   [UNDP]   to   build   international   support,   including   resources,   for   a   legally-­‐based   solution   to   the   land   crisis,   including   compensation  based  on  the  principles  of  the  1998  land  reform  conference  (IRIN,  5  June  

2000).”   The   public   condemnation   of   the   Zimbabwe   government   action   exemplifies   another   noncoercive   diplomatic   measure   in   the   form   of   an   international   appeal.  

Furthermore,  Annan  committed  a  continuation  of  the  UN’s  efforts  to  find  a  solution  in  

Zimbabwe  through  the  UNDP  and  recognized  the  critical  assistance  of  the  South  African   government   in   its   support   of   the   UN’s   initiatives   (IRIN,   5   June   2000).   As   outlined   in  

Lund’s   (1996:   108)   policymaking   and   implementation   guidelines,   the   UN   fulfilled   the   task  of  organizing  an  ongoing,  coordinated  system  for  preventive  diplomacy  by  linking   its  efforts  to  other  international  actors,  such  as  South  Africa.      


In   the   same   year,   during   the   run-­‐up   to   the   2000   parliamentary   elections,   the   UN   commissioned  a  team  of  seven  representatives  that  were  meant  to  travel  to  Zimbabwe   and  direct  the  observer  missions  of  the  Commonwealth,  the  EU  and  other  organizations  



(The  Telegraph,  10  June  2000).  In  the  decision  to  do  so,  the  UN  employed  a  preventive   diplomacy   method,   as   outlined   in   Lund’s   (1996:   205)   Development   and   Governance  

Approaches   under   the   Promulgation   and   Enforcement   of   Human   Rights,   Democratic,   and   Other   Standards.   However,   with   only   two   weeks   before   the   polling   dates,  

Zimbabwe   government   officials   requested   that   the   UN   team   abandon   their   role   as   coordinator   and   instead   act   as   a   separate   observer   mission   (The   Telegraph,   10   June  

2000).  This  last  minute  change  of  plan  was  undoubtedly  a  deliberate  manipulation  on   the  part  of  ZANU-­‐PF  government  who  only  sought  observer  teams  that  would  declare   the   elections   legitimate   and   in   favour   of   the   ruling   party.   The   UN   team   did   not   have   enough  time  to  assemble  an  official  observer  team  and  therefore,  at  the  request  of  UN  

Secretary-­‐General,  Kofi  Annan,  the  seven  representatives  withdrew  and  returned  home  

(The   Telegraph,   10   June   2000).   Although   the   mission   was   unable   to   complete   its   intended  task,  the  UN  selected  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach  in  its  response  to  the   escalating  political  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.  Furthermore,  in  publicly  abandoning  the  mission,   the   UN   used   another   preventive   diplomacy   technique   of   moral   suasion,   outlined   in  

Lund’s   (1996:   204)   Toolbox   as   a   non-­‐coercive   diplomatic   measure   that   sent   a   stern  

  message  that  the  UN  disproved  of  the  ruling  party’s  manipulations.  

By   employing   a   Development   and   Governance   Approach   through   policies   to   promote   national  economic  and  social  development,  as  indicated  by  Lund  (1996:  204),  in  2002,   the  UN  made  use  of  a  bilateral  cooperative  program  in  its  preventive  diplomacy  toward  

Zimbabwe.  The  UNDP,  supported  by  the  UN  Department  of  Economic  and  Social  Affairs,   launched  a  bilateral  development  program  aimed  to  build  Zimbabwe’s  national  capacity   for  dispute  resolution  (Ramcharan  2008:  53).  The  initiative,  the  Programme  on  Building  

Skills   for   Constructive   Negotiation   and   Conflict   Transformation,   aimed   to   “build   the   capacity   of   key   national   actors   such   as   the   government,   parliamentarians,   public   officials,  educators,  and  civil  society  members  to  peacefully  settle  internal  tensions  and   disputes   (Ramcharan   2008:   53)”.   Although   the   UN   did   not   actively   facilitate   dialogue   between  the  disputing  political  parties  in  Zimbabwe,  it  selected  an  important  preventive  


  diplomacy   tool   designed   to   empower   the   relevant   actors   within   Zimbabwe’s   conflict   with   the   skills   and   expertise   necessary   for   internal   efforts   of   conflict   prevention   and  

  conflict  resolution.    

In   2005,   the   UNDP   committed   a   one   million   US   dollar   aid   package   for   Zimbabwe’s   agricultural  sector  (The  Herald,  3  February  2005)  in  order  to  assist  the  estimated  three   million   people   in   need   of   food   aid   (BBC   News,   1   November   2005).   Responding   to  

Mugabe’s  launch  of  Operation  Murambatsvina  later  that  year,  the  UN  Secretary-­‐General   criticized  the  government  of  Zimbabwe  for  its  violent  eviction  campaign  and  its  refusal   to  allow  victims  access  to  humanitarian  assistance  (BBC  News,  1  November  2005).  The  

UN   determined,   through   its   on-­‐site   monitoring   programmes,   that   the   ZANU-­‐PF   government   is   directly   responsible   for   leaving   approximately   700,000   Zimbabwean   citizens  displaced  or  destitute  (BBC  News,  1  November  2005).  The  UN’s  intervention  in  

Zimbabwe  in  2005  is  an  excellent  example  of  preventive  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  Firstly,   through  the  aid  package  commitment,  the  UN  used  a  noncoercive  diplomatic  measure   in  the  form  of  economic  assistance.  Secondly,  by  publicly  condemning  the  Zimbabwean   government   for   its   evictions   campaign   and   its   denial   of   Zimbabweans   in   need   of   humanitarian  assistance,  the  UN  employed  not  only  the  international  appeal  and  moral   suasion  preventive  diplomacy  tool,  but  also  made  use  of  the  international  human  rights   standard   setting   tool,   which   falls   under   Lund’s   (1996:   204-­‐205)   Promulgation   and  

Enforcement   of   Human   Rights,   Democratic,   and   Other   Standards   tool.   Finally,   by   initiating   on-­‐site   monitoring   programmes   to   assess   the   conditions   on   the   ground   in  

Zimbabwe,   the   UN   exercised   a   noncoercive   diplomatic   measure   in   its   preventive  

  diplomacy  approach.  

Following  the  harmonized  March  2008  elections  in  Zimbabwe,  the  ruling  party  launched   a   campaign   of   terror   against   its   own   citizens   suspected   of   supporting   the   political   opposition  and  then  declared  itself  the  victor  of  an  illegitimate  presidential  run-­‐off.  The  

UN   Security   Council   responded   by   debating   a   draft   resolution   calling   for   sanctions   on  



Zimbabwe,  including  imposing  a  travel  ban  and  the  freezing  of  assets  on  Mugabe  and   twelve   other   individuals   (UN   News   Centre,   11   July   2008).   The   adoption   of   such   a   resolution   would   exemplify   the   preventive   diplomacy   tool   of   coercive   diplomatic   measures  in  the  form  of  diplomatic  sanctions  and  would  ultimately  transform  the  UN’s   policy   to   a   more   hard-­‐hitting   preventive   diplomacy   approach.   Deep   internal   divisions   challenged  the  inter-­‐governmental  body  as  Mbeki  rallied  the  Security  Council  members   against   the   resolution.   The   vote   resulted   in   permanent   members   China   and   Russia   vetoing  the  resolution  and  non-­‐permanent  members  South  Africa,  Libya  and  Viet  Nam  

  also  rejecting  the  call  for  sanctions  (UN  News  Centre,  11  July  2008).    

Although  the  UN  was  unable  to  employ  the  diplomatic  sanctions  tool,  it  maintained  its   preventive   diplomacy   approach   by   instead   relying   on   another   coercive   diplomatic   measure   of   moral   sanctions   through   the   public   condemnation   of   the   Zimbabwean   government’s  violations  of  international  law  and  human  rights.  In  an  official  statement   announcing   its   failure   to   impose   sanctions   against   the   Zimbabwe   leadership,   the   UN  

Security  Council  condemned  the  Zimbabwe  government’s    

  campaign  of  violence  against  the  political  opposition  ahead  of  the  second   round  of  the  Presidential  elections  scheduled  for  27  June  2008,  which  has   resulted   in   the   killing   of   scores   of   opposition   activists   and   other  

Zimbabweans   and   the   beating   and   displacement   of   thousands   of   people,   including   many   women   and   children   (UN   Security   Council   Statement,   11  

June  2008).    


Therefore,   the   UN,   through   its   various   agencies,   maintained   a   policy   of   preventive  

  diplomacy   throughout   its   engagement   in   the   Zimbabwe   conflict.   As   an   organization   consisting   of   numerous   member   states,   the   UN   can   be   classified   as   an   inter-­‐ governmental  actor,  and  thus  its  actions  toward  Zimbabwe  are  considered  an  example   of  inter-­‐governmental  diplomacy  within  Rupesinghe’s  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  



6.4  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  Zimbabwean  Citizen  Groups  in  

Response  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  


Citizen  diplomacy  represents  one  strand  of  Rupesinghe’s  multi-­‐track  diplomacy.  Citizen-­‐ based   diplomacy   refers   to   “the   involvement   of   local   people   from   different   sectors   of   society   in   the   process.   It   usually   indicates   grass-­‐roots   involvement   but   can   also   encompass   ‘mid-­‐level’   initiatives   (Rupesinghe   1997:   18).”   According   to   Rupesinghe  

(1997:   18),   citizen   participation   can   occur   at   every   conflict   stage   and   although   their   participation   is   often   limited   or   ignored   by   the   disputing   parties,   citizen   preventive   diplomacy  can  be  a  very  powerful  contribution  because  it  is  the  citizen  population  that   bears  the  brunt  of  violence  and  conflict.  As  Rupesinghe’s  definition  of  citizen  diplomacy   accommodates  for  the  participation  of  a  wide  range  of  civilian  individuals  and  groups,  it   can  be  determined  that  citizen  diplomacy  can  be  equated  with  the  preventive  diplomacy   actions   taken   by   civil   society   groups.   Civil   society   is   a   similarly   ambiguous   and   all-­‐ encompassing   term.   Foley   and   Edwards   (1996:   38)   classify   civil   society   as   “a   dense   network   of   civil   associations…   Thus   civil   society,   understood   as   the   realm   of   private   voluntary   association,   from   neighbourhood   committees   to   interest   groups   to   philanthropic  enterprises  of  all  sorts,  has  come  to  be  seen  as  an  essential  ingredient  in   both   democratization   and   the   health   of   established   democracies.”   It   is   with   this   understanding   of   citizen   participation   that   this   section   and   the   following   section   will   discuss  citizen  diplomacy  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  context.  


Rupesinghe  further  explains  the  strategic  role  of  NGOs  in  the  multi-­‐track  approach.  By   working  alongside  citizen  groups,  NGOs  can  contribute  to  early  warning  systems,  assist   in  the  understanding  of  the  origins  of  the  conflict,  liaise  with  the  various  actors  involved   in  the  conflict,  and  can  also  assist  in  the  resolution  of  conflict  (Rupesinghe  1997:  26).  

According  to  Rupesinghe  (1997:  26-­‐27),  “Because  of  their  small  size,  independence  and   flexibility,  [NGOs]  are  in  a  position  to  react  quickly  to  dangers  and  opportunities  when   larger   organizations   may   have   to   follow   bureaucratic   procedures.”   Like   civil  


  participation,  the  contributions  of  NGOs  toward  the  peace  process  can  also  occur  at  any   stage  of  conflict.  Lund  (1996:  178-­‐179)  similarly  acknowledges  the  unique  role  NGOs  can   play   in   preventive   diplomacy   but   also   recognizes   the   limitations   NGOs   face,   as   they   often   rely   heavily   on   other   actors   to   provide   vital   political   and   material   support.   This   chapter  will  highlight  select  examples  of  the  preventive  diplomacy  contributions  by  local  

Zimbabwean   citizen   groups   and   NGOs   aimed   at   halting   an   escalation   of   conflict   and  

  resolving  the  political  crisis  in  Zimbabwe.    

The   National   Constitutional   Assembly   (NCA)   of   Zimbabwe   and   its   1999-­‐2000   public   campaign   against   the   ZANU-­‐PF   government’s   proposed   new   constitution   epitomizes  

Rupesinghe’s   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   strand   of   citizen   diplomacy.     The   NCA   was   the   largest   coalition   of   citizen   groups   assembled   to   discuss   policy   issues   in   Zimbabwe  

(Dorman  2003:  848).  Consisting  of  individual  Zimbabwean  citizens,  citizen  organizations   and   NGOs,   including   trade   unions,   student   and   youth   associations,   women’s   organizations,  church  groups,  human  rights  organizations,  business  groups  and  political   parties  (Lumina  2009:  11),  the  contributions  of  the  NCA  can  be  characterized  as  citizen  


In   the   face   of   the   state’s   violent   repression   of   citizen   organizations,   the   NCA   was   founded   in   1997   with   the   purpose   of   realizing   a   new,   democratic   and   people-­‐driven   constitution   based   on   the   vision   of   a   peaceful,   prosperous,   democratic   and   united  

Zimbabwe   (Lumina   2009:   11).   As   discussed   in   Chapter   Three,   the   NCA,   alongside   the  

ZCTU,  critiqued  the  existing  Lancaster  House  constitution,  sought  constitutional  reform   and  in  doing  so  presented  Mugabe  and  the  ZANU-­‐PF  leadership  with  a  serious  political   challenge.   From   its   inception   the   NCA   actively   arranged   meetings,   seminars,   debates   and  training  workshops  on  constitutionalism  educating  at  a  nation-­‐wide  grassroots  level  

(Lumina   2009:   12).   The   approach   taken   by   the   NCA   can   be   classified   as   preventive   diplomacy,  as  its  activities  exemplify  Lund’s  (1996:  204)  noncoercive  diplomatic  measure   in  the  form  of  nonviolent  strategies  by  oppressed  groups.  The  preventive  diplomacy  of  


  the  NCA  prompted  a  response  from  the  Zimbabwe  government,  which  resulted  in  the   launch  of  the  Constitutional  Commission  (CC)  in  order  to  maintain  control  of  the  process  


(Dorman  2003:  845).      

The  CC,  comprised  of  ZANU-­‐PF  stalwarts,  initiated  a  national  consultation  process  and   drafted  a  new  constitution  to  be  adopted  by  the  public  through  a  national  referendum   in  February  2000.  In  examining  the  document,  the  NCA  recognized  that  the  final  draft   failed  to  reflect  the  views  expressed  in  provincial  and  thematic  reports  and  one  member   stated  that,  “people’s  views  were  either  distorted,  ignored  or  rejected”  (Dorman  2003:  

853).  Therefore,  drawing  on  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach  on  non-­‐violent  strategies,   the  NCA  campaigned  for  a  “No”  vote.  To  the  credit  of  its  wide-­‐ranging  membership  and   its   incredible   reach   at   a   grassroots   level,   the   NCA   succeeded   in   its   campaign   and   the   government-­‐sponsored   draft   was   rejected   in   the   referendum,   representing   the   first   major  political  defeat  experienced  by  Zimbabwe’s  ruling  party.      


As  a  result  of  the  referendum  defeat  in  2000  and  considering  the  central  role  played  by   citizen   organizations   in   the   formation   of   the   political   opposition,   the   Zimbabwe   government   quickly   eliminated   the   space   available   for   government   to   civil   society   interaction.  Zimbabwean  civil  society,  for  over  a  decade,  has  endured  the  threats  and   clout   of   ZANU-­‐PF’s   draconian   laws   such   as   POSA,   AIPPA,   the   Private   Voluntary  

Organizations   Act   and   the   NGO   Bill,   all   of   which   have   restricted   the   freedoms   of   association   and   assembly   and   the   freedoms   of   an   independent   press.   Despite   the   government-­‐led   onslaught,   Zimbabwe’s   civil   society   has   remained   intact   and   has,   throughout  the  political  conflict,  sustained  its  preventive  diplomacy  approach.  In  fact,   according   to   Masunungure   (2011:   127),   Zimbabwe’s   civil   society   organizations   in   the   country’s   decade   of   decline   have   been   “boldly   vocal   in   speaking   truth   to   power   by   challenging   the   monolithic   and   hardening   authoritarian   order   of   the   ancient   regime.”  

One   example   of   such   a   persistent   and   effective   civil   society   organization   is   described   below.    




The  contributions  made  by  human  rights  NGO,  the  Zimbabwe  Lawyers  for  Human  Rights  

(ZLHR),   throughout   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   is   prime   example   of   preventive   citizen   diplomacy.   The   work   of   the   ZLHR   draws   on   a   multitude   of   preventive   diplomacy   instruments  as  outlined  in  Lund’s  (1996:  204-­‐205)  Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox.  First,   the   ZLHR   conducts   on-­‐site   monitoring   and   documenting   of   human   rights   abuses   and   instances   of   violence,   which   are   activities   that   fall   under   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures.  Secondly,  the  ZLHR  uses  the  on-­‐site  monitoring  reports  and  documentation   to   employ   the   tool   of   moral   sanctions   (the   public   condemnation   of   violations   of   international   law)   through   regular   press   statements   and   human   rights   publications.  

Thirdly,   the   tool   of   international   appeals   is   employed   through   ZLHR’s   lobbying   and   advocacy  activities  at  regional  and  international  levels,  such  as  presentations  at  SADC  

Heads   of   State   Summits   or   the   UNHCR   Conventions.   Fourthly,   ZLHR   engages   judicial   mechanisms   for   the   peaceful   settlement   of   disputes   by   representing   human   rights   defenders   in   the   local   courts.   Finally,   when   the   ZLHR   has   exhausts   local   preventive   diplomacy  strategies  it  engages  the  international  human  rights  standard  setting  tool  at   regional   and   international   bodies   such   as   the   African   Union’s   Commission   for   Human   and   People’s   Rights   (ACHPR),   which   ultimately   falls   under   Lund’s   classification   of   the   promulgation   and   enforcement   of   human   rights,   democratic,   and   other   standards  


(Personal  communication,  Irene  Petras,  3  April  2012).    

Considering  the  context  of  parliamentary  elections  and  the  launch  of  the  government’s  

Operation  Murambatsvina,  the  preventive  diplomacy  work  of  ZLHR  came  to  the  fore  in  

2005.   Expanding   on   its   noncoercive   diplomatic   measures   of   fact-­‐finding   missions   and   on-­‐site  monitoring,  the  ZLHR  was  able  to  employ  judicial  mechanisms  for  the  peaceful   settlement   of   disputes   by   providing   over   1150   families   with   free   legal   services   (ZLHR  

Annual  Report  2005:  4).  Such  services  provided  by  the  ZLHR  assist  in  the  prevention  of   further  violence  as  the  victims  of  state-­‐sponsored  human  rights  violations  are  given  an   alternative   option   via   a   legal   route,   as   opposed   to   violent   responses   against   their  


  oppressors,  in  addressing  their  cases  of  trauma.  Similarly,  in  2005  the  ZLHR  was  granted   observer  status  with  the  African  Union’s  ACHPR,  affiliate  status  with  the  International  

Commission   of   Jurists,   and   was   confirmed   as   Secretariat   of   the   SADC   Lawyers’  

Association   Human   Rights   Committee   (ZLHR   Annual   Report   2005:   4).   Through   the   contributions  made  by  the  ZLHR  in  each  of  these  regional  and  international  bodies,  ZLHR   actively   engaged   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach.   Using   the   tool   of   international   appeals,   ZLHR   succeeded   in   assuring   that   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   remained   on   the   agenda   of   these   regional   organizations   and   ultimately   contributed   to   keeping   the  

  human  rights  situation  in  Zimbabwe  on  the  international  radar.    

6.5  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  South  African  Citizen  Groups  in  

Response  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  


The  dedication  to  the  cause  of  conflict  prevention  in  Zimbabwe  is  not  limited  to  citizen   organizations  within  the  borders  of  the  country  in  crisis.  Just  as  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe   attracted  regional  and  international  inter-­‐governmental  responses,  it  also  drew  concern   from   civil   society   groups   of   the   region   and   around   the   world.   Due   to   the   significant   leadership  role  the  South  African  government  played  throughout  the  conflict  as  well  as   the   large   Zimbabwean   population   residing   in   South   Africa,   South   African   civil   society   organizations   took   a   keen   interest   in   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe.   Naturally,   South   African   civil  society  became  actively  involved  in  preventing  further  conflict  in  their  neighbouring   country   and   began   to   monitor   its   own   government’s   commitment   to   a   peaceful   and   democratic  Zimbabwe.  This  section  will  illustrate  two  important  examples  of  preventive   multi-­‐track  diplomacy  carried  out  by  South  African-­‐based  citizen  groups.      


The  paramount  example  of  preventive  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  displayed  by  South  African   citizen   groups   occurred   in   April   2008   in   the   midst   of   ZANU-­‐PF’s   post   March   election   campaign  of  violence  against  the  political  opposition  in  the  constituencies  that  had  been   lost  to  the  MDC.    The  March  2008  elections  had  been  brokered  by  South  Africa  through  


  the   SADC   mandate   and   thus   affected   interest   and   investment   from   the   region   and   internationally.  Following  the  polling  date  and  the  unofficial  announcement  of  an  MDC   win,  the  state-­‐sponsored  violence  intensified  with  the  world  watching.  On  14  April,  the   media   reported   that   a   Chinese   vessel   had   anchored   off   the   South   African   port   of  

Durban,   awaiting   permission   to   unload   a   large   shipment   of   weapons   intended   for   transport   across   South   Africa   and   delivery   to   the   Zimbabwean   Defence   Force   (Fritz  


2009:  4).    

It   was   not   long   before   citizen   diplomacy   was   engaged   by   South   African   civil   society   organizations.   NGOs   and   religious   groups   responded   through   public   protests   over   weapons  proliferation  at  the  Durban  harbor  and  South  African  trade  union,  the  South  

African   Transport   and   Allied   Workers   Union   (SATAWU)   refused   to   discharge   the   containers   of   weapons   and   transfer   them   to   Zimbabwe   (Fritz   2009:   5).   These   South  

African  civil  society  groups  relied  on  preventive  diplomacy  measures  to  avert,  arguably,   a   potential   civil   war   in   Zimbabwe.   Through   the   noncoercive   measure   of   international   appeals  civil  society  groups  caught  the  intention  of  regional  and  international  media  and   through   the   bold   preventive   diplomacy   military   approach   taken   by   SATAWU   of   deterrence   measures   and   arms   blockades,   the   shipment   remained   off   the   shores   of  

South  Africa.    


The  South  African  government  did  not  support  the  citizen  diplomacy  of  South  Africa’s   civil   society   in   this   case,   and   thus   the   safety   of   ordinary   Zimbabwean   citizens   was   dependent   at   this   point   on   South   African   citizens.   Mr.   Themba   Maseko,   the   South  

African   government’s   spokesperson,   responded:   “We   are   not   in   a   position   to   act   unilaterally  and  interfere  in  a  trade  deal  between  two  countries.  South  Africa  is  not  at  all   involved  in  the  arrangement;  it’s  a  matter  between  two  countries  (Fritz  2009:  5).”  Mr.  

Maskeo’s  statement  was  in  fact  deceitful.    After  local  and  international  investigations,  it   was  revealed  that,  “South  Africa’s  National  Conventional  Arms  Control  Committee  had   issued   a   permit   authorizing   the   transfer   of   weapons   across   South   African   territory   to  


  land-­‐locked   Zimbabwe   (Fritz   2009:   5).”   South   African   civil   society   did   not   allow   the   government’s  lack  of  transparency  and  responsibility  to  stop  their  efforts.  


Turning  to  another  preventive  diplomacy  instrument,  the  South  African  Litigation  Centre  

(SALC)   brought   legal   action   before   the   Durban   High   Court,   claiming   that   the   weapons   could   be   used   to   maintain   the   illegitimate   rule   of   the   ZANU-­‐PF   administration   and   further   oppress   the   citizens   of   Zimbabwe   (Du   Plessis   2008:   23-­‐25).   SALC   applied   a   noncoercive   judicial   measure   and   brought   the   issue   before   the   courts   to   adjudicate.  

Furthermore,  as  the  court  case  attracted  media  attention,  SALC  indirectly  engaged  the   noncoercive  measure  of  international  appeal.  The  judicial  application  proved  successful   as  the  Durban  High  Court  issued  a  court  order  prohibiting  the  Chinese  freight  company   from  delivering  the  consignment  and  prohibiting  the  Durban  Port  Captain  from  receiving  


the  shipment  of  goods  from  the  vessel  (Du  Plessis  2008:  26).    

Following   the   court   order,   the   vessel   immediately   retreated   from   South   African   territorial   waters   (Du   Plessis   2008,   26).   This   may   have   been   a   preventive   diplomacy   victory  for  South  African  civil  society;  however,  some  believed  that  the  success  was  only   half  accomplished  and  they  were  not  about  to  end  their  efforts  to  ensure  the  security  of   their   neighbour   citizens.   Upon   learning   that   the   vessel   was   heading   to   Mozambique,  

South  African  civil  society  organizations  such  as  the  Open  Society  Initiative  for  Southern  

Africa  (OSISA),  SALC,  the  International  Transport  Workers  Federation,  and  SATAWU  first   alerted   the   public,   thus   engaging   the   preventive   diplomacy   measure   of   international   appeal;  and  secondly  mobilized  their  Mozambican  civil  society  counterparts  (Fritz  2009,  

6).   Due   to   persistent   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   of   South   African   civil   society,   the   same   vessel   was   prohibited   entry   into   South   African,   Mozambican,   Namibian   and  

Angolan   coastlines,   until   it   made   its   final   retreat   and   returned   to   China.   It   required   a   month   of   hard   and   coordinated   work,   but   South   African   civil   society   organizations   persisted   and   came   out   victorious,   demonstrating   that   through   the   application   of   several  preventive  diplomacy  methods,  a  conflict  can  be  averted.    




When   examining   the   citizen   diplomacy   of   South   African   organizations   it   is   imperative   that   the   conflict   prevention   contributions   of   the   South   African-­‐based   Zimbabwean  

Diaspora   are   also   highlighted.   The   Zimbabwean   Diaspora   in   South   Africa   is   a   vibrant   community.  Over  the  period  of  crisis  in  Zimbabwe,  the  Diaspora  has  developed  several   effective   civil   society   organizations   that   have   made   an   important   contribution   to   the   prevention  of  the  political  conflict  in  their  home  country.  To  name  one  example  is  the   partnership   between   Pretoria-­‐based   Zimbabwean   NGO,   the   Zimbabwe   Exiles   Forum  


(ZEF)  and  SALC  to  present  a  groundbreaking  Torture  Docket  to  South  Africa’s  High  Court.    

The   premise   of   the   case   centers   on   South   Africa’s   international   legal   obligations,   as   outlined   in   the   International   Criminal   Court’s   Rome   Statute,   to   investigate   and   prosecute   top   Zimbabwean   government   officials   accused   of   crimes   against   humanity   should   they   enter   South   Africa   (Lee   2012).   As   a   signatory   to   the   Rome   Statute   and   having  passed  legislation  for  its  implementation,  South  Africa,  ZEF  argues,  is  responsible   together  with  the  international  community  to  prosecute  perpetrators  of  crimes  against   humanity  (including  torture),  war  crimes  and  genocide  regardless  of  where  the  crimes   have   been   committed   (Personal   communication,   Gabriel   Shumba,   2   April   2012).   The   case   serves   as   an   excellent   example   of   the   citizen   diplomacy   of   organizations   in   the  

Zimbabwean  Diaspora  because  over  the  course  of  the  five  years  of  preparation  for  the   case,   ZEF   has   employed   the   promulgation   and   enforcement   of   human   rights,   democratic,   and   other   standards   preventive   diplomacy   tools   through   international   human  rights  standard  setting  and  human  rights  suits,  as  outlined  in  Lund’s  (2006:  205)  


Preventive  Diplomacy  Toolbox.    

Since   2003,   ZEF   has   documented   human   rights   violations   occurring   in   Zimbabwe   through  interviews  and  the  preventive  diplomacy  tool  of  fact-­‐finding  missions  involving   members  of  the  Zimbabwean  Diaspora  in  South  Africa.  The  documentation  is  secured   for  future  litigation  in  Zimbabwe,  when  the  judicial  system  is  deemed  independent  of  


  the  state,  and  in  the  region,  as  exemplified  by  the  case  in  point.  The  documentation  is   also  used  for  lobbying  and  advocacy  purposes  in  the  region  and  internationally  (Personal   communication,   Gabriel   Shumba,   2   April   2012).   The   documentation   collected   by   ZEF,   and   other   contributing   Zimbabwean   human   rights   civil   society   organizations,   of   incidents  of  torture  during  a  March  2007  raid  of  the  MDC  headquarters  in  Harare,  has   made  it  possible  for  ZEF  and  SALC  to  present  this  Torture  Docket  to  the  South  African  

High  Court.  In  May  2012  the  unprecedented  High  Court  ruling  stated  that  due  to  South  

Africa’s  ratification  of  the  Rome  Statue  of  the  International  Criminal  Court,  the  National  

Prosecuting  Authority  was  obligated  to  investigate  allegations  of  torture  as  required  by   the   (Business   Day,   13   July   2012).   The   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   efforts   of   ZEF   can   be   considered   a   preventive   diplomacy   success,   as   the   torture   docket   case   ruling   sends   a   powerful   message   to   the   Zimbabwe   government   that   crimes   against   humanity  

  perpetrated  in  Zimbabwe  will  not  be  tolerated  and  will  be  punished  in  the  region,  and   therefore  serves  to  mitigate  against  future  similar  crimes  in  Zimbabwe.  

6.6  Examining  the  Preventive  Multi-­‐track  Diplomacy  of  the  Church  in  Response  to  the  

Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  


Around  the  world,  church  movements  have  played  a  pivotal  role  in  conflict  prevention,   and   Zimbabwe   is   no   exception.   Rupesinghe   designates   ecumenical   diplomacy   as   one   strand  of  his  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  concept.  He  notes  that  religious  organizations  are  an   integral   part   of   building   peace   and   promoting   dialogue   in   communities   in   conflict  

(Rupesinghe   1997:   17).   Rupesinghe   (1997:   17)   recognizes   the   worth   of   the   Church’s   international  network  and  further  states  that,  “the  existence  of  a  global  network  and  a   hierarchical   structure   which   reaches   all   levels   of   society,   enables   the   work   of   local   church   and   religious   leaders   to   complement   the   peace   process   not   only   at   grassroots   level,  but  also  on  a  national  and  international  scale.”  Religious  groups  and  leaders  are   also   in   a   unique   position   because   they   often   serve   as   a   society’s   moral   compass   and   have   the   trust   of   the   masses.   There   are   many   examples   of   ecumenical   diplomacy  


  throughout   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   that   demonstrate   the   local,   national   and   international   reach   of   religious   individuals   and   groups.   This   section   will   illustrate  

Rupesinghe’s   concept   of   ecumenical   diplomacy   through   the   preventive   diplomacy   efforts  of  the  three  main  Christian  groupings  in  Zimbabwe,  and  through  the  influence  of  


South  Africa’s  former  Archbishop  of  Cape  Town  Desmond  Tutu.  

Zimbabwe   is   a   predominantly   Christian   country   and   therefore   despite   the   desires   of   church  leaders  to  remain  apolitical,  religious  groups  have  and  will  continue  to  have  an   important   role   to   play   in   the   political,   social   and   economic   realms   of   Zimbabwean   society.   The   moral   background   of   the   church   is   reflected   in   the   approach   of   religious   groups  to  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  and,  “many  churches,  especially  those  operating  from  a   prophetic  perspective,  have  been  guided  by  values  of  universal  solidarity,  the  common   good,   respect   for   life,   and   dignity   of   the   human   person   –   and   these   values   have   informed  their  response  to  ZANU-­‐PF  and  their  hopes  for  Zimbabwe’s  future  (Kaulemu  

2010:   51)”.   Especially   engaged   in   ecumenical   diplomacy   are   the   three   major   Christian   groupings   in   Zimbabwe,   which   include   the   Zimbabwe   Catholic   Bishops’   Conference  

(ZCBC),   the   Zimbabwe   Council   of   Churches   (ZCC),   and   the   Zimbabwe   Evangelical  

Fellowship   (ZEF).   Together   these   religious   groups   have   used   preventive   diplomacy   methods  to  avert  a  worsening  of  the  conflict  in  their  country.    


As   early   as   2001,   the   Catholic   Commission   for   Justice   and   Peace   (CCJP)   of   the   ZCBC   hosted  an  ecumenical  dialogue  where  church  leaders  openly  condemned  the  violence   being  used  to  solve  political  disputes  (Muchena  2004:  262).  In  2006,  the  ZCBC,  the  ZCC   and  the  ZEF  expanded  their  involvement  and  conducted  third-­‐party  mediation  between   the   leaders   of   the   two   opposing   political   parties,   encouraging   them   “to   shun   divisive   attitudes   and   to   promote   a   shared   national   agenda   (Chitando   2011:   44)”.   The   church   initiative   did   not   receive   the   wide   support   of   the   major   civil   society   groups   in   the   country  and  therefore  the  religious  entities  were  compelled  to  select  a  new  preventive  


  diplomacy  method  that  would  effect  positive  change  (International  Crisis  Group  2007a:  



The   three   ecumenical   groups   cooperatively   organized   a   consultation   process   among   their  parishes.  As  a  result,  the  ZCBC,  the  ZCC  and  the  ZEF  published  a  document  entitled,  

The  Zimbabwe  We  Want:  Towards  a  National  Vision,  A  Discussion  Document,  which  was   presented  to  Mugabe  in  October  2006  (International  Crisis  Group  2007a:  12).  According   to   Chitando   (2011:   44),   the   publication   “undertook   a   penetrating   and   honest   assessment  of  the  achievements  and  failures  of  independent  Zimbabwe.  It  did  not  spare   the   church   from   criticism   and   invited   Zimbabweans   to   work   towards   developing   a   shared   national   vision.   The   production   of   the   ‘Zimbabwe   We   Want’   document   gave  

Zimbabwean   Christians   the   opportunity   to   reflect   on   the   relationship   between   their   faith   and   their   civic   duties.”   Others   have   criticized   the   initiative   as   a   “sanitized   description  of  the  crisis”  (International  Crisis  Group  2007a:  12).  However,  the  joint  effort   of  the  three  major  church  groupings,  involving  the  preventive  diplomacy  tools  of  fact-­‐ finding   missions   and   informal   commissions   of   inquiry   through   church   structures,   demonstrates  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach  through  ecumenical  diplomacy.  In  this   case,  the  churches  did  not  stand  by  and  watch  their  Zimbabwe’s  political  conflict  lead  to   a   deterioration   of   their   country.   Instead,   they   came   together   and   tried,   through  

  preventive  diplomacy  means,  to  make  an  impact  on  the  peace  process.    

Simultaneously,  religious  groups  and  individual  leaders  outside  of  the  country  employed   ecumenical  diplomacy  in  their  response  to  the  crisis.  Throughout  the  Zimbabwe  conflict,  

Anglican   Archbishop   Desmond   Tutu   of   South   Africa   has   been   critical   of   the   state-­‐ sponsored   human   rights   violations   committed   in   Zimbabwe   as   well   as   of   his   own   government’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe.   Tutu   is   celebrated   for   his   role   in   the   anti-­‐apartheid  movement  and  for  his  advocacy  on  human  rights.  He  is  the  recipient  of   the   Nobel   Peace   Prize   and   he   headed   South   Africa’s   Truth   and   Reconciliation  

Commission.   These   credentials   have   awarded   him   the   influence   he   enjoys   today   and  


  therefore,  his  pleas  for  international  intervention  in  Zimbabwe  have  been  heard  all  over   the  world.    


In  March  2007,  Tutu  responded  to  the  state-­‐sponsored  violence  in  Zimbabwe’s  capital   and   said,   “After   the   horrible   things   done   to   hapless   people   in   Harare,   has   come   the   recent  crackdown  on  members  of  the  opposition.  What  more  has  to  happen  before  we   who   are   leaders,   religious   and   political,   of   our   mother   Africa   are   moved   to   cry   out  

‘Enough  is  enough’?  (USA  Today,  16  March  2007).”  Similarly,  following  Zimbabwe’s  June  

2008   presidential   run-­‐off,   the   BBC   interviewed   Tutu,   who   urged   the   African   Union   to   speak  in  a  united  voice  by  declaring  Mugabe’s  presidency  as  illegitimate  (BBC  News,  29  

June   2008).   He   further   emphasizes   the   need   for   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach   by   stating   that   the   “crisis   has   to   be   resolved   sooner   rather   than   later…A   very   good   argument   can   be   made   for   having   an   international   force   [under   the   auspices   of   the  

United   Nations]   to   restore   peace   (BBC   News,   29   June   2008).”   Tutu   therefore,   as   an   influential  religious  figure,  relies  on  the  preventive  diplomacy  tools  of  moral  sanctions,   international  appeals,  and  international  human  rights  standard  setting  in  his  ecumenical  

  diplomacy  attempts  to  prevent  an  escalation  of  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.      


6.7  Examining  the  Economic  Diplomacy  Approach  to  the  Crisis  in  Zimbabwe  

Finally,  within  his  theoretical  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  Rupesinghe  includes  the   strand   of   economic   diplomacy.   The   basis   of   economic   diplomacy   is   the   offer   or   the   withholding   of   financial   aid   by   donor   or   neighbouring   countries   and   corporations   in   order  to  induce  the  cooperation  of  the  parties  in  conflict.  According  to  Lund’s  Preventive  

Diplomacy  Toolbox,  economic  diplomacy  is  classified  as  a  development  and  governance   approach.   This   includes   economic   assistance   through   economic   development   aid,   private  investment,  economic  trade,  economic  integration,  and  economic  reforms  and   standards  (Lund  1996:  204).  Rupesinghe  (1997:  20-­‐21)  notes  that  economic  diplomacy   can  be  applied  through  various  channels.  At  a  global  level  economic  diplomacy  would  be  


  deployed   by   organizations   like   the   International   Monetary   Fund   (IMF)   and   the   World  

Bank.  Intergovernmental  organizations  such  as  the  European  Union  or  SADC  can  utilize   the   preventive   diplomacy   tool   of   economic   diplomacy.   International   corporations   and   large  multi-­‐national  companies  often  engage  economic  diplomacy  via  corporate  social   responsibility   programmes   (Rupesinghe   1997:   20-­‐21).   An   effective   use   of   economic   diplomacy  would  be  to  consider  conflict  prevention  and  conflict  resolution  as  part  of  the  

  conditions  for  the  provision  of  aid  (Rupesinghe  1997:  20).    

In  the  case  of  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  we  see  a  stark  contrast  in  economic  diplomacy.  

Intergovernmental   organizations   such   as   the   EU   and   the   Commonwealth   have   interpreted   economic   diplomacy   through   the   imposition   of   sanctions   on   the   ZANU-­‐PF   leadership.  However,  countries  such  as  South  Africa  have  used  economic  diplomacy  to   advocate   for   the   lifting   of   sanctions,   the   cancellation   of   debt,   and   by   providing   a   continued   supply   of   electricity   and   oil   with   the   aim   that   these   economic   incentives   would  persuade  the  Zimbabwe  ruling  party  to  cooperate  in  dialogue  and  mediation  with   their  opposing  counterparts.    


One   example   of   economic   diplomacy   in   the   Zimbabwe   case   study   is   the   relationship   between   the   IMF   and   the   government   of   Zimbabwe   at   the   beginning   of   the   crisis.   In  

September  2001,  in  the  midst  of  the  Zimbabwe  government’s  land  invasions,  the  IMF   reviewed   Zimbabwe’s   overdue   obligations   to   the   international   organization   and   declared  the  southern  African  country    “ineligible  to  use  the  general  resources  of  the  

IMF,   and   removed   Zimbabwe   from   the   list   of   countries   eligible   to   borrow   resources   under  the  Poverty  Reduction  Growth  Facility  (IMF,  25  September  2001).”    At  this  point   the  Executive  Board  of  the  IMF  instead  offered  its  technical  assistance  to  Zimbabwean   authorities  in  the  adoption  and  implementation  of  a  comprehensive  economic  recovery   programme  (IMF,  25  September  2001).  However,  when  the  government  of  Zimbabwe   failed   to   meet   the   IMF’s   conditions,   which   allegedly   included   the   removal   of   war   veterans   from   commercial   farms   (Schoeman   &   Alden   2003:   9),   the   IMF   adopted   a  


  declaration  of  noncooperation  for  Zimbabwe  and  suspended  the  provision  of  technical   assistance   (IMF,   14   June   2002).   The   implementation   of   such   economic   sanctions   illustrates   that   the   IMF   employed   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach,   as   according   to  

Lund   (1996:   204),   economic   sanctions   classify   as   a   preventive   diplomacy   nonmilitary  

  approach  in  the  form  of  coercive  diplomatic  measures.      


6.8  Conclusion  

The   preventive   diplomacy   approach   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   is   not   limited   to   the   traditional  interpretation  of  the  Track  One  diplomacy  model.  Through  a  comprehensive   review   of   Rupesinghe’s   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   concept,   it   has   become   clear   that   a   multitude   of   actors   have   employed   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   throughout   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe.   The   Track   One,   Track   Two   paradigm   considers   the   important   relationship  of  firstly  the  South  African  government  and  Zimbabwe’s  disputing  political   parties,  and  secondly  the  relationship  between  all  other  non-­‐state  actors,  such  as  SADC,   and   the   opposing   parties.   By   introducing   Rupesinghe’s   multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   this   chapter   examines   the   extension   of   preventive   diplomacy   to   include   a   more   specific   assessment  of  the  involvement  of  other  actors  such  as  intergovernmental  organizations,  

Zimbabwean   citizen   groups   and   NGOs,   South   African   civil   society   and   the   role   of   the  

Zimbabwean   Diaspora,   religious   organizations,   and   economic   and   financial-­‐based  


Through   the   exploration   of   Rupesinghe’s   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   strand   of   intergovernmental  diplomacy,  we  assessed  the  role  of  the  UN  in  conflict  prevention  in  

Zimbabwe.   The   United   Nations,   through   its   various   agencies,   has   contributed   to   a   preventive  diplomacy  approach  by  employing  tools  such  as  international  appeals,  moral   suasion,   bilateral   cooperative   programmes,   economic   assistance,   international   human   rights  standard  setting,  and  in  2008,  debated  the  use  of  diplomatic  sanctions.  Moreover,   civil   society   groups   in   Zimbabwe   and   in   the   region   have   used   additional   preventive  


  diplomacy   tools   in   a   citizen   diplomacy   approach   to   the   conflict.   The   National  

Constitutional   Assembly   made   use   of   non-­‐violent   strategies   by   opposed   groups   in   rallying   the   country   around   constitutional   issues.   The   Zimbabwe   Lawyers   for   Human  

Rights,   being   a   legal-­‐based   NGO,   employed   judicial   mechanisms   for   the   peaceful  

  settlement  of  disputes.    

Similarly,  South  African  civil  society  has  been  actively  involved  in  conflict  prevention  in  

Zimbabwe.   The   most   notable   case   of   citizen   diplomacy   is   the   coordinated   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   of   South   African   organizations   such   as   SALC,   South   African   trade   unions,   and   South   African   religious   groups   in   the   successful   blockade   of   weapons   intended  for  the  Zimbabwe  National  Defence  Force  during  the  most  violent  period  of   the  conflict.  The  Zimbabwe  Diaspora  in  South  Africa  likewise  contributes  to  a  preventive   diplomacy  approach,  where  organizations  such  as  the  Zimbabwe  Exiles  Forum  use  their   fact-­‐finding  missions  and  international  human  rights  standard  setting  to  remind  South  


Africa  of  its  legal  obligations  under  the  Rome  Statute  of  the  International  Criminal  Court.      

Furthermore,   the   chapter   reviewed   the   ecumenical   diplomacy   of   religious   groups   and   individuals  such  as  the  Zimbabwe  Catholic  Bishops’  Conference,  the  Zimbabwe  Council   of  Churches,  the  Zimbabwe  Evangelical  Forum  and  the  powerful  influence  of  religious   leaders  like  South  Africa’s  Archbishop  Desmond  Tutu.  The  extensive  reach  of  the  church   places   ecumenical   groups   in   an   important   position   to   educate   the   population   and   promote  peace  and  reconciliation  both  at  a  grassroots  level  and  through  the  dialogue  of   the   disputing   parties.   Finally,   the   role   of   economic   diplomacy   in   the   preventive   diplomacy  approach  was  considered  through  the  example  of  the  IMF’s  relationship  with   the  government  of  Zimbabwe  in  the  early  years  of  the  conflict.    


Together,  these  various  and  intrinsically  linked  strands  that  form  Rupesinghe’s  concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   play   a   significant   role   in   the   larger   preventive   diplomacy   approach.   The   examples   reviewed   in   this   chapter   illustrate   that   the   South   African  






















  government   and   SADC   are   not   alone   in   their   efforts   toward   conflict   prevention   in  

Zimbabwe.  Rather  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  includes  a   multitude  of  actors,  whose  efforts  combine  to  complement  the  Track  One  diplomacy  of   the   South   African   government   and   the   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   of   SADC.   Without   the   significant   contributions   made   by   each   of   the   multi-­‐track   actors   discussed   in   this   dissertation,   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   may   have   continued   to   deteriorate   and   the  

  implementation  of  a  Global  Political  Agreement  might  never  have  materialized.        



Chapter  7  




7.1 Introduction  


The  aim  of  this  study  has  been  to  determine  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  South  

Africa’s  foreign  policy  toward  Zimbabwe  between  the  years  of  2000  and  2009.  This  has   been  accomplished  over  the  course  of  six  chapters  that  have,  respectively,  introduced   the   research   theme,   presented   the   theoretical   framework   that   informs   the   study,   provided   an   overview   of   the   historical   background   of   the   study,   examined   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   taken   by   the   South   African   government   toward  

Zimbabwe   between   the   years   of   2000   and   2007,   assessed   the   renewed   preventive   diplomacy   foreign   policy   of   South   Africa   as   mandated   by   the   regional   body   SADC   between   the   years   2007   to   2009,   and   finally,   presented   a   comparison   of   the   role   of   preventive  diplomacy  employed  by  South  Africa  and  SADC  through  the  concept  of  multi-­‐ track  diplomacy  and  the  involvement  of  other  actors  in  the  Zimbabwe  conflict.  A  further   objective  of  this  study  has  been  to  closely  integrate  the  theoretical  foundation  of  the   dissertation   within   the   empirical   example   of   preventive   responses   to   the   conflict   in  

Zimbabwe.  This  objective  was  ascertained  through  the  consistent  incorporation  of  the   theoretical   concepts   in   the   practical   examination   of   the   Track   One   and   multi-­‐track  

  preventive  diplomacy  approaches  to  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  by  various  actors.  

From  a  theoretical  perspective,  the  dissertation  has  addressed  the  key  issues  of  defining   conflict,   identifying   the   various   stages   in   a   conflict’s   lifecycle,   establishing   the   link   between  conflict  prevention  and  early  warning  systems,  reviewing  the  evolution  of  the   term   and   practice   of   preventive   diplomacy,   examining   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   conceptual  framework  and  its  implementation,  and  expanding  on  Lund’s  model  through   the   incorporation   of   Rupesinghe’s   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   into   Lund’s  


  framework.   Additionally,   from   an   empirical   viewpoint,   the   dissertation   has   addressed   pertinent   issues   such   as   the   historical   factors   contributing   to   the   deterioration   of   the  

Zimbabwe   state,   the   development   of   South   Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   foreign   relations   over   time,  the  reconstruction  of  South  Africa’s  post-­‐apartheid  foreign  policy  and  its  distinct   motivations,   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   toward   Zimbabwe   during   the  first  seven  years  of  the  conflict,  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  policy  renewed   through   a   SADC   mandate,   and   the   different   practical   applications   of   preventive   diplomacy  by  various  multi-­‐track  actors.    


The  objective  of  this  chapter  is  to  first  review  the  key  findings  of  the  study.  The  review   will  begin  with  a  final  reflection  of  the  theoretical  concepts  of  preventive  diplomacy  and   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   that   have   been   merged   to   create   the   theoretical   framework   supporting   this   study.   The   review   will   then   briefly   appraise   the   integration   of   the   theoretical  framework  within  the  empirical  research  of  the  study.  Secondly,  this  chapter   will  emphasize  the  originality  of  the  research  and  will  determine  what  particularly  sets   this  study  apart  from  other  research  in  this  field.  Thirdly,  the  specific  parameters  of  the   study  will  be  explained  in  order  to  justify  why  the  time  period  of  the  years  2000  to  2009   was   particularly   chosen   for   the   purpose   of   this   study.   The   chapter   will   then   examine   recent   developments   of   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   and   South   Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   foreign   relations  in  order  to  determine  whether  the  analysis  of  this  study  continues  to  apply  to   the   current   situation   at   the   time   of   writing.   Finally,   the   chapter   will   conclude   by   proposing   areas   of   possible   research   to   expand   on   this   study,   both   in   the   theoretical   realm  of  preventive  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  and  in  the  empirical  study  of  


South  Africa-­‐Zimbabwe  foreign  relations  and  the  intrastate  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.    


7.2 A  Review  of  the  Key  Findings  

To   begin,   a   study   involving   the   key   conflict   prevention   theoretical   concepts   of   preventive  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  first  necessitates  a  discussion  regarding  


  the  concept  of  conflict  in  more  general  terms.  The  study  determines  that  conflict  is  a   complex,  dynamic  process  with  as  many  sub-­‐types  as  there  are  conflict  analysts.  Relying   on   Mitchell’s   (1981:   15)   definition,   the   study   characterizes   conflict   as   any   situation   in   which   two   or   more   social   entities   perceive   that   they   possess   mutually   incompatible   goals.   Once   initiated   a   conflict   can   draw   in   different   participants   with   varying   perspectives  and  goals  causing  it  to  shift  in  unpredictable  directions.  Therefore,  when   applying  a  theoretical  framework  to  any  given  conflict  it  is  important  that  analysts  select   a  model  that  is  sufficiently  flexible  to  accommodate  for  an  extensive  range  of  conflicts   and   the   complexity   of   any   conflict.   Appreciating   this,   the   next   task   was   to   select   an   appropriate  theoretical  framework  that  would  accommodate  for  the  intrastate  conflict  

  of  Zimbabwe.        

After   assessing   the   emergence   of   the   preventive   diplomacy   concept   from   the   1960s,  

Lund’s   (1996)   conceptual   framework   of   preventive   diplomacy   was   thus   elected   to   inform  the  empirical  evidence  of  the  study  and  serve  as  the  theoretical  foundation  of   this  dissertation.    Lund’s  framework  epitomizes  the  most  practical  and  comprehensive   model   presented   to   date,   first,   because   of   his   inherent   inclusion   of   various   types   of   diplomatic   efforts   such   as   political,   economic,   and   military   among   others   that   can   be   implemented  by  a  wide  variety  of  actors.  This  framework  is  most  applicable  secondly,   due   to   Lund’s   appreciation   of   the   participation   of   both   Track   One   actors,   or   government-­‐to-­‐government,   and   Track   Two   actors,   or   non-­‐state   entities   generally,   in   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach.   However,   in   consideration   of   the   multitude   of   actors   that   have   and   continue   to   apply   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   to   the  

Zimbabwe  conflict,  it  was  recognized  that  the  limited  examples  of  Track  Two  diplomacy   provided  by  Lund  are  too  vague  for  the  purpose  of  this  case  study  and  future  preventive   diplomacy   research.   Therefore,   Rupesinghe’s   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy,   which   departs  from  the  Track  Two  classification  and  details  six  specific  preventive  diplomacy  

  tracks,  has  been  integrated  to  form  a  more  complete  theoretical  framework.    



Finally,   Lund’s   framework   best   accommodates   for   the   complexity   of   conflicts   and   is   most  applicable  to  a  wide  variety  of  types  of  conflicts  because  of  his  presentation  of  the   policies  and  instruments  for  preventing  violent  conflicts,  or  otherwise  known  as  Lund’s  

Preventive   Diplomacy   Toolbox.   In   applying   the   selected   theoretical   framework   to   the  

Zimbabwe   conflict   case   study,   this   dissertation   relies   heavily   on   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   toolbox.   The   preventive   diplomacy   policies   and   mechanisms   used   in   the   approaches   of   the   South   African   government,   SADC,   the   UN,   and   the   highlighted   contributions  of  other  multi-­‐track  actors  can  all  be  found  as  examples  in  Lund’s  toolbox.  

According   to   Lund,   the   policies   and   instruments   available   in   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach  are  extensive  and  can  be  categorized  within  three  main  approaches:  military   approaches,   nonmilitary   approaches,   and   development   and   governance   approaches.  

The  examples  demonstrated  by  the  empirical  evidence  in  this  case  study  touch  on  each   of   these   important   approaches;   therefore   accentuating   the   applicability   of   Lund’s   theoretical  framework  for  this  particular  study.    


For   the   purposes   of   drawing   final   conclusions,   the   most   critical   theoretical   findings   based  on  the  framework  chosen  for  this  dissertation  are  the  factors  that  determine  a   successful  and  peaceful  preventive  diplomacy  approach.  As  outlined  by  Lund  (1996:  85-­‐

86),   the   factors   are   five-­‐fold   and   include:   the   timing   of   third-­‐party   intervention;   a   multifaceted   approach,   where   third   parties   act   in   coordination   with   other   relevant   actors  and  make  use  of  several  varied  instruments  in  their  efforts;  the  support  of  the   preventive  process  from  major  players,  such  as  international  and  regional  powers  and   neighbouring  states;  the  level  of  moderation  shown  by  the  disputing  leadership  in  their   views,   actions,   and   policies;   and   finally,   the   level   of   state   autonomy   among   the   disputants  that  can  make  use  of  procedures  and  institutions  through  which  disputes  can   be   negotiated   and   agreements   enforced.   These   factors   will   be   considered   in   the   next   section  as  the  integration  of  the  theoretical  framework  within  the  empirical  research  of   the   study   is   assessed   and   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   of   South   Africa   is   measured  a  success  or  failure.    




In   interpreting   the   empirical   research,   it   is   important   to   highlight   that   first,   the  

Zimbabwe  conflict  beginning  in  the  year  2000  did  not  surface  without  warning  and  there   is   a   very   complex   historical   development   to   consider,   as   discussed   in   Chapter   Three,   which  steered  the  country  in  the  direction  of  its  decade  of  decline.  Secondly,  the  South  

African  government’s  approach  to  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  under  the  leadership  of  Mbeki   must  be  viewed  within  the  context  of  the  development  of  a  new  foreign  policy  in  a  post-­‐ apartheid  era.  During  this  period,  it  was  important  to  South  African  policymakers  that  a   dramatic   departure   from   the   previous   period   was   made   and   thus   foreign   policy   was   guided   by   the   principles   of   human   rights   and   democracy,   preemptive   and   preventive   action,  and  the  promotion  of  African  interests  in  world  affairs.  Finally,  the  South  African   government  preventive  diplomacy  approach  to  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  was  affected  by   the  unique  influences  of  South  Africa’s  leading  policymakers,  namely  former  President  

Mbeki.   As   demonstrated   in   Chapter   Four,   these   influences   include   the   principle   of   solidarity,   national   economic   interests,   the   vision   of   a   South   African-­‐led   African  

Renaissance,   the   principle   of   universality,   and   the   aim   of   asserting   leadership   roles   in  

  strategic   multi-­‐lateral   organizations.   Together   the   historical   and   the   foreign   policy   development  factors  form  the  empirical  context  of  the  dissertation.  

Through   the   integration   of   the   selected   theoretical   framework   within   the   practical   example   of   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict,   several   final   conclusions   can   be   drawn.   First,   upon   recognizing   the   emergence   of   a   political   conflict   in   the   year   2000,   the   South   African   government   initiated   an   early   intervention.   According   to   the   theoretical   framework,   the   timing   of   third   party   intervention   is   one   of   the   most   important   factors   of   success   and   therefore   the   South  

African   preventive   diplomacy   approach   at   this   point   satisfies   one   particular   line   of   evaluation.  Secondly,  between  the  years  2000  and  2007  South  Africa  employed  a  variety   of  preventive  diplomacy  tools  in  its  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  Zimbabwe.  

The   South   African   government’s   foreign   policy   response   consisted   mainly   of  


  noncoercive   diplomatic   measures   such   as   fact-­‐finding   missions,   observation   teams,   economic   assistance,   political   incentives,   conciliation,   moral   suasion,   and   third   party  

  mediation,  in  keeping  with  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy  toolbox.    

Theoretically,  according  to  Lund’s  factors  of  preventive  diplomacy  success,  South  Africa   succeeded   in   its   early   intervention   in   the   Zimbabwe   conflict.   South   Africa   also   succeeded   in   employing   a   multifaceted   approach   through   the   use   of   several   varied   preventive   diplomacy   tools   and   through   acting   in   coordination   with   other   relevant   actors,   such   as   the   Commonwealth   and   monitoring   elections   alongside   other   national   governments   and   international   bodies.   However,   although   it   can   be   concluded   that   between   the   years   of   2000   and   2007,   South   Africa   certainly   employed   a   preventive   diplomacy  approach,  which  satisfied  certain  success  factors  as  outlined  by  Lund,  it  can   also   be   argued   that   between   2000   and   2007,   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   toward   the   conflict   in   Zimbabwe   ultimately   failed.   As   discussed   in   Chapter  

Four,   the   devastating   and   violent   effects   of   ZANU-­‐PF’s   Operation   Murambatsvina   in  

2005  and  the  rise  in  state-­‐sponsored  violence  against  opposition  supporters  in  March  

2007   indicate   a   failure   of   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy.   Additionally,   South  

Africa’s  failure  to  employ  more  hard-­‐hitting  preventive  diplomacy  tools  in  its  approach   also   impeded   on   its   success.   South   Africa’s   one   preventive   diplomacy   saving   grace   is   that  by  2007  Mbeki  had  maintained  access  to  the  disputing  parties,  which  is  necessary   for  third  party  mediation.  Therefore,  South  Africa’s  preventive  diplomacy  efforts  from  

2000   to   2007   formed   a   base   from   which   a   renewed   preventive   diplomacy   approach   could  be  launched  by  SADC  in  March  2007.    


A   second   conclusion   can   be   drawn   in   that   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   of   preventive   diplomacy  toward  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  was  indeed  renewed  in  March  2007  through   the  SADC  mandate.  Although  having  already  pursued  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach   toward  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  since  2000,  SADC  responded  timeously  and  decisively   in   March   2007   and   intervened   with   a   new   and   more   assertive   preventive   diplomacy  


  tool:  third  party  mediation  with  a  regional  backing.    Some  may  argue  that  the  level  of   violence  pushing  the  Zimbabwe  conflict  to  a  stage  of  crisis  in  2005  and  again  in  March  

2007   would   automatically   discount   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach   and   instead   any   further   intervention   would   be   theoretically   characterized   as   crisis   management.  

However,   this   dissertation   asserts   that   the   SADC   mandate   initiated   in   March   2007   exemplifies  an  extension  of  the  regional  body’s  as  well  as  the  South  African  preventive   diplomacy   approach.   Recalling   this   dissertation’s   working   definition   of   preventive   diplomacy  as  outlined  by  Lund  (1996:  37),  preventive  diplomacy  is  the  “action  taken  in   vulnerable  places  and  times  to  avoid  the  threat  or  the  use  of  armed  force…by  states…to   settle   the   political   disputes   that   can   arise   from   the   destabilizing   effects   of   economic,   social,   political,   and   international   change”.   Therefore,   according   to   this   definition,   the  

South   Africa-­‐led   SADC   process   of   mediation   between   the   disputing   political   parties   of  

Zimbabwe   is   a   valid   example   of   preventive   diplomacy.   Furthermore,   the   noncoercive   diplomatic   instrument   of   third   party   mediation   is   prominently   placed   within   Lund’s   preventive  diplomacy  toolbox,  and  thus  additionally  supports  the  argument  for  a  South  

Africa-­‐led   SADC   preventive   diplomacy   approach   toward   Zimbabwe   between   2007   and  



Moreover,  this  section  concludes  that  beginning  with  the  signing  of  the  Global  Political  

Agreement  by  Zimbabwe’s  disputing  political  party  leadership  in  September  2008  and   culminating   in   the   inauguration   of   the   inclusive   government   in   February   2009,   this   power   sharing   settlement   brokered   by   SADC   signifies   the   moment   in   which   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   switched   to   conflict   resolution   and   conflict   management.  This  is  determined  after  the  examination  of  Lund’s  classification  of  power   sharing   agreements.   According   to   Lund   (1996:   205),   a   power   sharing   agreement   is   categorized   in   the   preventive   diplomacy   development   and   governance   approach   as   a   national  governing  structure  to  promote  peaceful  conflict  resolution.  Although  a  South  

Africa-­‐led  SADC  team  continues  (at  the  time  of  writing)  to  monitor  the  implementation   of   the   GPA   by   the   inclusive   government,   the   achievement   of   the   GPA   and   a   peaceful  


  political   transition   via   free   and   fair   elections   is   ultimately   the   responsibility   of   the   inclusive   government.   Therefore,   the   South   Africa   and   SADC   approach   through   the   monitoring  of  the  inclusive  government  represents  a  conflict  management  and  conflict   resolution  approach.          


Finally,  this  dissertation  has  highlighted  the  limitations  of  Track  One  diplomacy  and  has   emphasized  the  importance  of  incorporating  the  preventive  diplomacy  contributions  of   other   actors   through   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   into   the   larger   evaluation   of   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   toward   the   Zimbabwe   conflict,   or   any   conflict   under   examination.   South   Africa’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict   between  2000  and  2007  may  not  have  achieved  the  expected  results  intended  by  the  

Mbeki  Administration,  however  the  South  African  government  was  not  working  alone  in   their  efforts  to  prevent  an  escalation  of  the  conflict  and  find  a  resolution  agreed  upon   by   the   disputing   parties.   Arriving   at   a   signed   GPA   in   Zimbabwe   took   the   preventive  

  diplomacy  efforts  of  a  host  of  different  actors.    

Through  the  incorporation  of  Rupesinghe’s  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  into  Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework,   this   dissertation   was   able   to   present   a   more  complete  examination  of  the  preventive  diplomacy  approach  toward  the  conflict   in  Zimbabwe.  Not  only  did  we  examine  the  inter-­‐governmental  diplomacy  of  SADC,  the   intergovernmental  diplomacy  of  the  United  Nations  was  also  explored.  The  dissertation   likewise   explored   the   citizen   diplomacy   of   civilian-­‐based   groups   and   NGOs   both   in  

Zimbabwe  and  in  the  region,  taking  into  account  the  Zimbabwe  Diaspora.    Furthermore,   the   ecumenical   diplomacy   through   church   groups   and   religious   leaders   and   the   economic   diplomacy   of   organizations   such   as   the   IMF   were   highlighted.   Through   the   example   of   the   Chinese   boat   case,   we   witnessed   how   effective   a   coordination   of   civil   society   groups   can   be   when   applying   a   preventive   diplomacy   approach   to   a   conflict   situation.  The  integration  of  preventive  diplomacy  and  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  concepts,   forming   a   more   complete   theoretical   framework   that   can   be   used   to   compare   the  


  efforts   of   many   and   thus   presenting   a   more   comprehensive   analysis   of   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   to   any   conflict,   has   been   the   fundamental   finding   of   this   dissertation.    



7.3 Originality  of  the  Research  

This  study  is  groundbreaking  on  several  accounts.  First  and  foremost,  what  makes  this   study   innovative   is   the   integration   of   two   Lund’s   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework   with   Rupesinghe’s   concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy.   On   its   own,   Lund’s   framework  focuses  predominantly  on  Track  One  diplomacy  and  the  high  profile  inter-­‐ governmental  diplomacy  practiced  by  the  United  Nations,  while  only  giving  mention  to   the  significance  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  approaches.  Considering  Rupesinghe’s  concept   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   in   isolation,   while   providing   a   necessary   expansion   of   Lund’s   theory,   the   model   lacks   the   entirety   of   a   theoretical   framework   that   would   have   included  a  detailed  description  of  the  stages  of  conflict  at  which  preventive  diplomacy   could  be  applied  by  multi-­‐track  actors.  Furthermore,  a  complete  theoretical  framework   should   include   a   more   comprehensive   list   of   instruments   that   are   applied   by   the   practitioners   of   the   model.   However,   Rupesinghe’s   list   of   proposed   instruments   of   multi-­‐track   diplomacy   is   deficient   in   comparison   with   Lund’s   inclusive   preventive   diplomacy  toolbox.  Therefore,  through  the  integration  of  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy   theory  and  Rupesinghe’s  concept  of  multi-­‐track  diplomacy,  this  study  has  succeeded  in   creating  an  all-­‐encompassing  theoretical  foundation  that  can  accommodate  for  an  even  

  wider  range  of  complex  conflict  situations.        

Secondly,  no  other  study  has  linked  or  applied  Lund’s  preventive  diplomacy  theoretical   framework   to   the   intrastate   conflict   in   Zimbabwe.   There   are   several   studies   that   associate   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward   Zimbabwe   to   theoretical   terms   such   as   constructive   engagement,   or   to   more   common   terminology   such   as   ‘quiet   diplomacy’  

(See   Davies   2008   and   Graham   2008).   However,   Lund’s   specific   conceptual   framework  


  has   not   directly   been   applied   to   current   South   Africa-­‐Zimbabwe   relations.   While   applying   his   preventive   diplomacy   theoretical   framework   to   four   other   African   case   studies  in  his  examination  of  democratization  transition  conflicts  in  sub-­‐Saharan  Africa,  

Lund  himself  has  not  connected  his  concept  with  the  Zimbabwe  case  study.  Therefore,   this  dissertation  is  unique  as  it  is  the  first  in  the  field  to  examine  the  responses  to  the  

Zimbabwe   intrastate   conflict   through   the   theoretical   lens   of   preventive   diplomacy,   as  

  outlined  by  Lund  and  Rupesinghe.    

Thirdly,  although  there  have  been  many  studies  on  South  African  foreign  policy  toward  

Zimbabwe,   no   other   study   has   presented   such   a   comprehensive   comparison   of   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   to   the   Zimbabwe   conflict.   This   study   has   carefully   examined   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward  

Zimbabwe   while   at   the   same   time   assessing   the   role   of   preventive   diplomacy   in   the   approaches   of   inter-­‐governmental   organizations,   civilian   organizations   and   NGOs,   religious  groups  and  church  leaders,  and  financially-­‐based  institutions.  It  is  this  unique   consideration   of   an   extensive   variety   of   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   that  

  contributes   a   more   complete   analysis   to   the   field   of   conflict   prevention   studies   and   causes  this  research  to  transcend  the  rest.    

7.4 Explaining  the  Selected  Parameters  of  the  Research  


The  time  parameters  of  the  study  are  restricted  to  the  years  between  2000  and  2009.  

This  time  period  was  specifically  selected  because  it  was  during  this  era  that  Zimbabwe   experienced  a  renowned  political  and  economic  decline.  It  was  also  during  this  time  that   then   South   African   President   Mbeki   became   the   world   leader   expected,   and   later   mandated,  to  deal  with  the  intrastate  conflict  in  South  Africa’s  neighbour  to  the  north.  

During  Mbeki’s  second  year  in  his  presidency,  the  year  2000,  Zimbabwe  thus  became  a  

  primary  foreign  policy  focus  for  the  South  African  government.    



The  main  objective  of  the  study  is  to  determine  the  role  of  preventive  diplomacy  in  the  

South  African  government’s  foreign  policy  response  to  the  recent  intrastate  conflict  in  

Zimbabwe.  It  is  also  widely  accepted  that  the  Zimbabwe  intrastate  conflict,  or  so-­‐called  

‘crisis  in  Zimbabwe’,  began  in  the  year  2000  after  the  referendum  on  the  constitution,   which  demonstrated  the  first  real  political  defeat  of  the  ZANU-­‐PF  political  rule.  Finally,  it   was  in  the  year  2009  that  the  inclusive  government  was  officially  instated,  following  the   signing  of  the  GPA  in  September  of  the  previous  year.  The  study  has  concluded  that  it   was  with  the  inauguration  of  the  inclusive  government  that  the  South  Africa-­‐led  SADC  

  approach  to  Zimbabwe  switched  from  preventive  diplomacy  to  conflict  resolution  and   conflict  management,  and  it  was  therefore  necessary  to  select  the  strict  parameters  of   examining   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   of   South   Africa’s   foreign   policy   toward  

Zimbabwe  between  the  years  of  2000  and  2009.      

7.5 Incorporating  Recent  Developments  


Since  the  inauguration  of  the  inclusive  government  in  February  2009,  progress  on  the   implementation  of  the  GPA,  at  the  time  of  writing,  has  been  exceptionally  slow  and  the   implementation  process  itself  has  presented  a  serious  challenge  to  both  the  signatories   and   the   monitoring   system.   Zimbabwe   found   itself,   in   early   2009,   in   the   midst   of   a   severe  economic  and  humanitarian  crisis.  Unemployment  had  reached  an  all-­‐time  low  of   ninety-­‐four   per   cent,   more   than   half   of   the   diminished   population   relied   on   international  food  aid,  the  country’s  education  system  was  in  dire  straits  and  a  cholera   epidemic   was   on   the   rise   (Jongwe   2009).   Such   conditions   on   the   ground   caused   the   provisional   political   administration   to   embark   on   a   serious   crisis   management   intervention.      


It  is  not  the  purpose  of  this  dissertation  to  analyze  the  Global  Political  Agreement  and  its   implementation;   however,   the   SADC   brokered   settlement   featured   several   inherent   faults.   Firstly,   the   agreement   may   have   featured   a   rough   timeline   guiding   the   implementation,   however,   the   internal   monitoring   system,   the   Joint   Monitoring   and  



Implementation   Committee   (JOMIC),   was   made   up   completely   of   four   partisan   members  from  each  of  the  three  parties.  A  detailed  analysis  of  the  GPA  stipulations  is   not  necessary  to  determine  that  the  failure  to  incorporate  unbiased,  apolitical  monitors   would  present  a  problem  for  accountability.  Furthermore,  on  paper  SADC  and  the  AU   were  named  as  the  guarantors  of  the  implementation  of  the  GPA,  however,  in  reality  it   was   the   participating   political   parties   alone   that   were   expected   to   engage   a   periodic   review   mechanism   on   an   annual   basis   to   assess   the   progress   of   implementation.   The   decision   to   exclude   an   external   monitoring   system   contributed   directly   to   the   inert  

  implementation  of  the  terms  of  agreement  to  date.    

Secondly,  the  inclusive  government  settlement  bestowed  the  control  of  nearly  all  senior   ministries  to  the  former  ruling  party,  ZANU-­‐PF.  For  example,  the  MDC  parties  currently   govern   the   ministries   of   Finance,   Health,   Education,   and   Constitutional   and  

Parliamentary  Affairs,  to  name  a  few.  These  particular  ministries  represent  the  sectors   of  society  that  have  either  completely  collapsed  over  the  past  decade  under  ZANU-­‐PF   rule  and  involve  the  funding  and  capacity  beyond  that  of  the  inclusive  government,  or,   with  regards  to  the  Constitution,  represents  a  highly  contentious  and  arduous  process   that   continues   to   experience   delays   and,   at   the   time   of   writing,   is   threatened   to   be   circumvented   so   that   elections   can   take   place   under   the   old   structure.   Whereas,   the  

ZANU-­‐PF   party   maintains   control   of   the   central   arms   of   government,   including   the   ministries  of  Defence,  Foreign  Affairs,  State  Security,  and  Justice.  Once  again,  there  is  no   need   for   an   expert   interpretation   of   this   arrangement   to   realize   that   the   balance   of   power  is  most  obviously  tipped  in  the  great  favour  of  the  former  ruling  party.  These  two   examples  are  featured  simply  to  demonstrate  the  great  trials  facing  the  implementation   process.    


However  flawed,  the  GPA  is  in  place  and  its  implementation  serves  as  the  only  current   practical   transitional   solution   to   the   crisis   in   Zimbabwe.   As   Mbeki   was   replaced   as  

SADC’s  chief  mediator  in  2009,  there  were  hopes  that  the  new  South  African  President  



Jacob  Zuma  would  live  up  to  his  apparent  “tougher  stance”  toward  Zimbabwe  that  he   displayed  through  his  election  campaign.  Since  his  appointment,  Zuma  has  been  willing   to  be  more  vocal  on  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe  and  continues  to  stress  the  importance  of   the   implementation   of   the   GPA   and   SADC’s   role   led   by   South   Africa   in   assessing   its   progress.  At  a  recent  SADC  Summit  in  Luanda,  Angola  in  June  2012,  Zuma,  who  chaired   the  Summit,  stated,  “The  implementation  of  the  various  aspects  of  the  GPA  is  the  key   towards  the  holding  of  elections  (SAPA,  2  June  2012)”.  At  the  same  summit,  responding   to  ZANU-­‐PF’s  open  call  for  elections  in  2012,  the  SADC  Troika  on  Defence,  Politics  and  

Security   insisted   that   critical   reforms,   as   outlined   by   the   GPA,   be   implemented   first   before  an  election  will  be  permitted  to  take  place  (SAPA,  2  June  2012).  This  indicates  a   fairly   convincing   commitment   on   the   part   of   the   regional   body   to   ensure   that   its   settlement  was  not  brokered  in  vain.        


Ultimately,  however,  Zuma  and  his  South  African-­‐led  SADC  Zimbabwe  mediation  team   have  maintained  the  same  approach  that  was  employed  by  Mbeki  twelve  years  prior.  

Zuma   and   his   team   continue   to   mediate   behind   closed   doors,   stand   by   Mbeki’s   settlement  for  the  disputing  parties,  and  operate  through  the  SADC  regional  body.  Some   analysts   have   attributed   this   decision   to   Zuma’s   primary   focus   on   South   Africa’s   domestic   front.   However,   as   ascribed   by   Whelan   (2009),   domestic   and   foreign   policy   cannot   be   separated,   and   therefore   the   same   national   interests   that   inspired   Mbeki’s   preventive   diplomacy   approach   over   the   past   decade   remain   the   same   interests   that  

  guide  Zuma  today.    

Through   the   incorporation   of   recent   developments,   it   is   clear   that   the   collective   preventive   diplomacy   approach,   at   the   time   of   writing,   has   not   achieved   a   lasting   solution  to  the  political  conflict  in  Zimbabwe.  The  GPA  acts  as  a  provisional  resolution  on   the  road  to  credible  elections  under  a  new  constitution  and  supported  by  strengthened   and   independent   governmental   institutions,   which   is   exactly   what   it   was   created   to   achieve.   What   is   also   clear   is   that   the   collective   preventive   diplomacy   approach  


  produced   an   agreement   that   has   succeeded   in   drastically   reducing   the   counts   of   politically-­‐motivated   violence,   has   seen   the   stabilization   of   Zimbabwe’s   dollarized   economy,  and  has  enabled  the  inclusive  government  to  begin  to  rectify  the  economic   and   social   crisis.   The   preventive   diplomacy   approach   continues   to   be   supported   and   protected   by   SADC   and   is   gradually   producing   the   results   necessary   for   the   easing   of   international   economic   and   diplomatic   sanctions.   Therefore,   the   analysis   reached   through  this  dissertation  continues  to  hold  to  the  time  of  writing.    


7.6 The  Way  Forward  –  Proposing  areas  of  possible  further  research  


This  dissertation  has  developed  a  unique  theoretical  framework  that  accommodates  for   the  evaluation  of  preventive  diplomacy  approaches  by  a  multitude  of  actors  in  any  given   conflict  situation.  It  has  thus  far  been  applied  to  the  Zimbabwe  political  conflict  between   the  years  of  2000  and  2009.  Future  areas  of  research  could  build  on  this  model  through   the  application  of  the  framework  to  other  conflict  case  studies.  This  would  determine   whether   the   theoretical   framework   comprised   of   the   combined   concepts   of   Lund’s   preventive  diplomacy  and  Rupesinghe’s  multi-­‐track  diplomacy  is  applicable  and  relevant   for  the  assessment  of  a  multitude  of  conflict  situations.    


Future  applications  of  this  model  to  a  variety  of  conflicts  would  also  contribute  to  the   evaluation   of   the   preventive   diplomacy   approach   itself.   The   practical   application   of   preventive   diplomacy   is   continuously   evolving   and   its   effectiveness   constantly   monitored.   For   example,   in   2011,   the   UN   Security   Council   (United   National   Security  

Council   President   Statement,   22   September   2011)   revisited   its   previous   resolutions   regarding   preventive   diplomacy,   prevention   of   armed   conflict,   and   mediation   and   the   peaceful  settlement  of  disputes  after  receiving  a  report  from  the  Secretary-­‐General  that   introduced   new   recommendations.   While   maintaining   its   original   commitment   to   uphold  preventive  diplomacy  as  a  primary  objective  and  pledging  to  improve  its  internal   structures   in   order   to   enhance   the   effectiveness   of   its   preventive   diplomacy,   the   UN  



Security  Council,  in  this  statement,  specifically  emphasized  the  important  role  of  women   in   conflict   prevention   and   vowed   to   call   for   the   increase   and   equal   participation   of   women   in   preventive   diplomacy   efforts   (United   National   Security   Council   President  

Statement,  22  September  2011).  It  is  therefore  important  not  only  for  practitioners  of  

  preventive   diplomacy   to   continually   revise   and   improve   its   preventive   diplomacy   approach,   but   it   is   also   imperative   that   the   academic   community   continuously   review   and  build  on  the  preventive  diplomacy  theoretical  base,  therefore  assisting  practitioners   devise  new  and  innovative  approaches  for  enhanced  effectiveness.      

7.7 Conclusion  


As  long  as  conflicts  continue  to  ebb  and  flow,  luring  some  participants  while  expelling   others  as  they  intensify  and  diminish  across  their  destructive  playing  ground  of  assorted   stages,  humankind  will  continue  to  renew  its  commitment  to  understand,  control  and   prevent   the   escalation   of   violent   conflict.   Conflict   prevention,   as   we   have   observed   throughout  this  study,  remains  the  preferred  approach  to  averting  violent  uprisings  and   resolving  disputes.  Whether  on  an  internal  level  of  intrastate  conflict  or  on  the  grander   scale  of  cross  border  power  struggles,  the  cost  of  conflict  prevention  far  outweighs  the  

  cost  of  non-­‐involvement  and  delayed  intervention.    

Academics  have  developed  detailed  theoretical  frameworks  that  examine  the  causes  of   conflict,  determine  the  point  at  which  conflicts  tend  to  escalate,  propose  timeous  and   effective   intervention   instruments,   suggest   how   to   mobilize   will   and   resources   and   advocate  for  the  coordination  of  approaches  in  a  coherent  system.  Practitioners  have   developed  policies  and  have  tried  and  tested  various  approaches  in  a  countless  number   of   conflict   situations.   In   isolation   the   effectiveness   of   these   two   processes   is   limited.  

However,   with   regular   cooperation   between   the   theoretical   and   the   practical   a   well-­‐ informed   and   efficient   approach   to   preventive   diplomacy   can   be   developed   and   perfected.    










What  this  case  study  has  proven  is  that  when  applying  a  preventive  diplomacy  approach   to  a  conflict  situation  practitioners  must  launch  their  intervention  timeously,  make  use   of   as   many   conflict   prevention   instruments   available,   and   closely   coordinate   their   efforts  with  other  actors  involved  in  the  prevention  of  the  identified  conflict.  Could  the  

South   African   government   have   engaged   different   tools   that   would   have   been   more   effective   in   resolving   the   political   conflict   in   Zimbabwe?   Perhaps.   Would   the   SADC   mandate   have   been   more   effective   if   applied   earlier   on   in   the   conflict?   Perhaps.  

However,   when   amassing   all   the   various   preventive   diplomacy   approaches   by   governments,   intergovernmental   organizations,   civil   society,   the   church   and   financial   institutions,   among   others,   a   settlement   was   ultimately   reached   by   the   political   opponents   in   Zimbabwe.   The   outcome   is   certainly   not   ideal,   however,   the   settlement   did  contribute  to  a  reduction  of  violence,  the  stabilization  of  a  collapsed  economy  and   forged  a  path  toward  a  new  constitution,  free  and  fair  elections,  and  a  peaceful  political   transition.  And,  in  the  case  of  the  conflict  in  Zimbabwe,  the  integration  of  theory  and   practice  was  integral  to  the  evaluation  of  this  preventive  diplomacy  approach.    






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