Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
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Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) was first operation in which the UN dealt with a non-state armed group without conferring recognition upon it. Lam Akol describes the development of the OLS humanitarian relief programme and how it linked with new opportunities for peacemaking.

‘Corridors of tranquillity’ around relief supply routes were conceived and the parties reached an unwritten agreement that the UN would deal with all the parties to the conflict that controlled territory through which relief items would pass. A new opportunity for peace seemed to be emerging, but a coup undermined the momentum and the OLS took on a more ad hoc nature.

Akol discusses the problems resulting from problematic splits within the SPLM/A after 1991 and assesses how the UN decided to deal with these.

OLS saved lives in southern Sudan. That was its declared mandate. However, it is evident that the initiative created an atmosphere conducive to peace as demonstrated by the accelerated peace efforts during its early period.

Lam Akol