Governments remain reluctant to engage armed groups, a complex, risky and highly political action. Yet, as Teresa Dumasy explains, constructive engagement with armed groups can create the conditions for the peaceful resolution of conflict.
The Eid ceasefires in June showed that peace is possible in Afghanistan and is supported across Afghan society. This Accord Policy Brief outlines ten incremental steps that the government of Afghanistan and international partners can take to advance peace, based on findings from our new Accord publication.
In the midst of violence: local engagement with armed groups
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.
Legitimacy and peace processes: from coercion to consent
Bassel Saloukh examines the evolution of Hezbollah in Lebanon – as a political and social actor that maintains significant independent military capability. Developments inside and outside Lebanon have influenced Hezbollah’s progression from an armed militia and revolutionary party to one of Lebanon’s principal domestic political actors.
David Newton comments on the decision of EU Foreign Ministers to add the military wing of Hezbollah to their list of banned terrorist organisations. What effect might this have on the EU's credibility and role in Lebanon, and the country's already fragile peace prospects?
This is a concept paper for the Accord project which will focus on the use of sanctions, conditionalities and incentives, exploring how these international interventions could achieve a more positive influence on conflict parties’ engagement in a peace process.
Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
Fink Haysom sets out a number of considerations for mediators before and during negotiations involving armed groups. He discusses ways to generate momentum and tackle difficult issues, and considers ways to build a party’s capacity to negotiate.