Crocker, Chester A., Fen Olser Hampson, and Pamela Aall. eds. Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World. United States Institute of Peace: Washington D.C., 1999, pg. 692.

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During the implementation of a peace settlement, those responsible for managing peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations often find themselves cast as the role of mediator among previously warring parties who now are having to carry out their "battles" on a political rather than a military playing field. The terms of a peace settlement, which often set strict limits on the mandate and timetables of those third parties responsible for assisting with the implementation of the settlement in question, create their own set of constraints not all of which are conducive to peacebuilding and laying foundations that will make the settlement last. Military, humanitarian, and development objectives are frequently at odds, as are the institutions and the officials responsible for pursuing them.

As Aldo Ajello also observes in his chapter on the implementation of the 1992 peace agreement in Mozambique, the implementation phase of a settlement changes the balance of forces between government and opposition, tending to favor the ruling party that is running the country and controlling the administrative and political machinery and resources of the state. This creates strong incentives for the opposition to defect from the peace process. In this strained environment it is all too easy for those responsible for implementation to lose sight of the "big picture" and their broader political objectives. Ajello emphasizes that not only is the "political profile" of the special representative of the secretary-general in UN-led peacebuilding operations critical to success, but he or she must recognize that such operations are essentially a "political exercise." He concludes that although the military and humanitarian components are important, "they should complement and support the political side of the mission, following the priorities established on a political level."