Laurie Nathan headed the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town between 1992 and 2003. Nathan thereafter joined the Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics where he was a Research Fellow and member of the Management Committee. Nathan now heads the new Centre for Mediation in Africa (CMA) at the University of Pretoria. Over the past decade he has worked closely with the UN, the AU, SADC and IGAD on mediation policy, support, planning, and capacity-building. Nathan has facilitated several UN-AU lessons learnt workshops on mediation in Africa; prepared mediation policies for the AU and the UN; participated in the AU-UN mediation for Darfur in Abuja in 2005/6 and in Doha in 2010; and participated in drafting the UN Secretary-General’s forthcoming report on mediation. He is a member of the UN Mediation Roster and the UN Roster of Security Sector Reform Experts. Nathan has been a researcher for many years, with an extensive publications record, and is currently Visitor Professor at Cranfield University and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria. Nathan plans to remain at the CMA for at least the next five years, undertaking research, teaching and training, as well as providing policy support on mediation to the UN and African organizations and governments. He is a recipient of an APN research grant (2013).

Mediation & Reconciliation | November 5, 2013

Mediating in Madagascar: Bypassing the AU Ban on Coup Legitimization

A great political problem on the African continent is the scourge of coups have taken place over the past half century, one being in Madagascar in 2009. To combat these coups, the African Union has put in place a firm policy commitment to reject coups and other unconstitutional changes of government. While at first glance, the AU’s ban on coup legitimization is a decisive rejection of the military overthrow of governments and, thus, a compelling deterrent to future coups, it becomes clear upon further investigation that the ban itself is incompatible with mediation, which the AU invariably undertakes to restore constitutional order.

Photo credit to Flickr user ratozamanana. Photo taken on January 24, 2009 by Ratozamanana Andriankoto. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (new version CC BY 4.0). No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ratozamanana/3223344244
Andry Rajoelina parades through the streets after taking office.