Reasoning with Rebels: the Nitty-Gritty of Engaging Armed Groups

Originally published in June 2012screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-00-33-55

Armed groups have become a more than common feature in today’s conflicts. As of 2010, all active conflicts involve at least one non-state armed actor, if not several, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Yet, the international community still faces severe difficulties in dealing with them.

Naturally, different strategies have been designed to deal with armed groups but none has proven to be the answer to the problem. Instead, a continuum of different actors now apply different strategies in the same place at the same time, causing a number of unintended consequences and creating new problems.

Without better communication and coordination among external actors the situations involving armed groups will not improve.