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Multidimensional Changes in “Ripeness” in Angola Around the 1989 Gbadolite Peace Accords

Governance, Development and Conflict

ISBN: 978-0-85724-895-4, eISBN: 978-0-85724-896-1

Publication date: 17 August 2011


The conflict in Angola saw some of its most intense periods after the end of the Cold War, missing a favorable period of conflict resolution in this transition. This chapter analyzes the reasons that were behind the failure to reach a successful peace process at this specific time when Namibia worked out a peaceful solution but Angola failed with the Gbadolite initiative. The analysis uses a “ripeness” model focusing on agency and processes over the 1989 Gbadolite Accords and its immediate context of the 1988 New York Accords and the aftermath of the 1991 Bicesse Accords. It is proposed that there was a lack of “ripeness” in Angola. On one hand, a resolution of the Angola conflict was not essential to finding a regional solution for Southern Africa, and on the other hand, both parties, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), lacked the conditions to effectively engage in a political solution. Namely, the parties were monolithic, the military process had not reached a point of hurting stalemate, and the incentive structures in terms of oil and diamond wealth in the country hindered both party predispositions. It concludes that finding a point of “ripeness” might take time; it is an agency envisioned process and as such can be possible within virtual new solutions that accommodate old power concerns.


Sousa, R. (2011), "Multidimensional Changes in “Ripeness” in Angola Around the 1989 Gbadolite Peace Accords", Chatterji, M., Gopal, D. and Singh, S. (Ed.) Governance, Development and Conflict (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 311-338.



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