In the midst of violence: local engagement with armed groups
Publication date: 
Accord issue: 
Insight 2
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Governments and the international community remain reluctant to allow space for dialogue with non-state armed groups and have a limited understanding of how to reach and influence them constructively. Yet whilst international policy remains ambiguous, local populations living alongside armed groups may already be in contact. Building on the recommendations put forward in Conciliation Resources’ Choosing to engage: armed groups and peace processes (Accord 16: 2005), which made a strong case for engagement with armed groups to become the norm, Sophie Haspeslagh argues that local communities’ engagement with armed groups can help to reduce violence, promote human security and even incentivise armed groups to engage in broader transformation towards political dialogue.