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This policy brief summarises Conciliation Resources’ Accord 16 publication about engagement with armed groups.  

It explores the case for negotiations and focuses on issues such as the risk of legitimising tactics through talks and the obstacles posed by anti-terrorism laws.  It also looks at the role of intermediaries.

The brief includes a table of factors which influence whether a group will agree to talk, such as whether they believe that a political solution is viable.  It also outlines situations where there may be opportunities for political engagement, for example when there is public support for the organisation.

Key policy conclusions emphasise the need for engagement with such groups, who often play critical roles both in violent conflicts and their resolution.