What to look for in a mediator — Part I

A recent article in the online version of “afrol News” was titled: “DRC rebel leader wants Norwegian mediation.” The article discussed the advances that Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has made towards the Norwegian government to help mediate the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Dovetail Resolutions has a focus on business disputes, estate planning and settlement conflicts, and elder mediation — issues that seem far removed from armed conflicts and humanitarian crises. Yet  Mr. Nkunda’s comments struck some universal chords.

Most fundamentally, he wanted mediators he could trust.  Without trust in a mediator, the parties aren’t likely to even agree to a mediation. If they do agree to try the mediation process, but are wary of the mediator, they will likely accomplish very little.

Next time, the reasons Mr. Nkunda gave for his belief that Norwegian mediators could be trusted to help in this conflict and how those qualities are important in mediating any type of conflict.

Posted in Basics of Mediation and Conflict, Conflict Resolution in the News, Friday, November 28th, 2008

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