After the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed in Abuja in May 2006, unrest in the region continued. The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and other experts sought to include civil society in negotiations to promote stabilization and violence prevention. In support of the Doha round of negotiations between the government of Sudan and rebel groups, Podziba Policy Mediation (PPM), in conjunction with USIP, trained members of civil society in support of their efforts to influence and participate in the United Nations and African Union-sponsored peace negotiations.
At the request of SaveDarfur.org, PPM and USIP provided negotiation training to members of the Darfur Leaders Network (DLN), a group of U.S.-based Darfurian exiles, to assist in their efforts to unify rebel groups. USIP and PPM jointly conducted an assessment that focused on both the dynamics among rebel groups and the potential for civil society participation in stabilizing Sudan.
The training included modules on styles of conflict, negotiation basics, analysis of negotiations, conflict assessment, process design, stakeholder analysis of Darfur issues, and analysis of issues to be negotiated at the Doha peace talks.
USIP and PPM jointly trained Sudanese women in preparation for their participation in the Doha peace negotiations. Some of the women attended the prior round of talks and found the negotiators were interested in hearing about their ideas for peace. Although from warring tribes, the participants were unified in working toward peace on issues that affected them directly -- food security, education and health care for themselves and their children, and protection against sexual violence.
The peacebuilding training focused on ensuring women’s participation and attention to women’s issues at Doha and building the capacity of civil society. In addition, they prepared questions to pose to His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa, Head of the African Union High Level Implementation Plan (Sudan), who presented on critical moments for Sudan at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.