This 6-page policy brief summarises the findings of Accord 25 - Legitimacy and peace processes: from coercion to consent. It argues that a legitimacy lens should be applied to peace processes by paying attention to priorities of context, consent and change.
After 17 years of negotiations, the Government of the Philippines will sign a historic peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Manila on 27 March 2014. Conciliation Resources is proud to have played a significant role in mediation support.
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.
Lebanon’s model of post-war power sharing and liberal economic growth has been widely praised. But it has failed to deliver for most Lebanese. Repeated outbreaks of political violence since the 1989 Taif Peace Agreement, and today fear of spillover from insecurity in Syria, show that a fundamentally different approach is needed to transform negative and precarious stability in Lebanon into positive and resilient peace.
Can the London conference on Somalia succeed this time where others have failed? After a year in which large swathes of Somalia have been hit by famine and continued war, and international militarisation has markedly increased, the UK government’s initiative to host an international conference on Somalia on 23 February is welcome. But lessons must be learnt from past mistakes. Ahead of the conference, Mark Bradbury makes the case that support should be given to local Somali-led solutions that promote legitimacy and participation.
For international NGOs and local civil society actors and communities, engaging with armed groups for peaceful ends carries immediate risks to physical security and to reputation, given the political sensitivities of the task. Likewise running peacebuilding programmes in conflict contexts where armed groups operate is complex and high-risk. If the group is on a terrorist list then these risks only multiply.
A new report provides compelling evidence of the broad and negative impact of terrorist listing on peace and conflict resolution efforts in some of the most difficult conflict settings around the world. Dr Teresa Dumasy examines the implications.
In the midst of violence: local engagement with armed groups
A case study examining the effectiveness of community-based initiatives to engage in dialogue with armed groups in rebel-controlled Syria, a fluid environment with high levels of insecurity and violence. Wisam Elhamoui and Sinan al‑Hawat describe how a number of communities living in these areas have organised informally to facilitate relief operations and broader social welfare.