DEVELOPMENT AID AS THIRD-PARTY INTERVENTION : A CASE STUDY OF THE UGANDA NATIONAL RESCUE FRONT II PEACE PROCESS
In 2002 Denmark and other donors supported the final phases of a successful peace process between the Government of Uganda and a rebel group in Uganda’s West Nile region. This article presents this case as an example of a general trend that sees donors extending the scope of their activities to the interrelation between conflict resolution, poverty eradication and peacebuilding. Third party intervention in conflict areas has become the institutional ambition of development donors. Yet development actors give little attention to an obvious implication of these expanding ambitions: as striving conflict resolution practitioners they need to understand themselves as third party interventionists with an obligation to adapt development projects and programmes in ways that conceivably support the overall peace process. The rationale for integrating a peacebuilding paradigm into development assistance is to ensure that an agreement by conflicting parties to end violent conflict is followed by consolidating peace through equitable development. The earlier this perspective is added to peace negotiations the better. The participation of development actors in peace negotiations provides incentives for conflicting parties to reach a deal because assurances can be given that reconstruction and development will follow. Development actors need to respond by stronger and longer-term commitments to address the root causes of the conflict - even if this means that current institutional policies and operational practice need to be adjusted.