Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
Publication date: 
2005
Accord issue: 
16

The various articles in this volume each in their own way provide insights into how to foster armed groups’ effective engagement in peace processes. Whether you agree or disagree with their perspectives, our hope is that they spur on additional thinking and conversation.

Robert Ricigliano

Armed groups are key actors in efforts to resolve conflict and ease suffering, yet there is little consensus around how to deal with them. Through learning from our collective experiences of engagement, Rob Ricigliano hopes that this publication will help remedy the deficits in our understanding. He summarises the case for engaging armed groups in peace processes and discusses some of the engagement options available and the criteria for applying them, arguing that the myriad of engagement choices mean that at least minimal contact with armed groups should be the norm. The international community’s role vis-à-vis the peace process is highlighted, and Ricigliano argues in favour of mitigating the negative effects of anti-terrorist legislation and the systemic bias of the state system.