From War to Politics: Resistance/Liberation Movements in Transition

The purpose of this report is to present the content of the discussions and main lessons learnt from an international roundtable meeting organised in Berlin on March 7-9, 2008, on the role of a key set of actors in peace negotiations and agreement implementation: resistance and liberation movements. It is addressed to a wide range of audiences, including members of resistance/liberation movements and their interlocutors, such as governmental, non-governmental and international actors (e.g. policy-makers, donors, academics, governments and intermediaries) interested in constructive conflict transformation support. Besides the groups which were represented at the conference (ANC, CPN-Maoist, GAM, LTTE, M-19, Sinn Fein, SPLM/A, URNG), it is hoped that other resistance/liberation movements which find themselves in negotiation or post-negotiation situations might gain some ideas and inspiration for their own settings. The purpose of this report is not to design a universal set of rules for successful peace negotiations, agreements and implementation, nor to ‘teach lessons’ on what to do in each participant’s context, but rather to present some self-reflections on successes and failures in peacemaking and peacebuilding across various settings, by key conflict stakeholders, which might inspire their peers in other contexts. As argued by one of the participants, “hearing about comparable experiences elsewhere might help to become more objective about one’s own context”. The conflict transformation community might also gain a lot of insights from this report, by better understanding the processes and challenges of preparing and conducting peace negotiations and implementing peace accords from the perspective of national insurgency movements.

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