Security and Human Rights in Peace Processes: Advising Armed Insurgencies

This paper focuses on the way in which transitional security processes are applied during internationally supported peace processes. It describes the existing security transition process and outlines how its application undermines the agency of armed insurgents. An alternative approach is presented in the form of advice to armed insurgents, whereby armed insurgents are advised to integrate human rights within their peace and security strategy from the outset, to ensure that their transition strategy is cohesive, and that it supports a genuine and sustainable democratic post-agreement environment. An alternative security transition process is outlined from within the human rights framework, and a definition and understanding of ceasefires is proposed that provides armed insurgents the flexibility to define, manage and effectively utilize ceasefires within an internationally supported peace process. The sequential and unbalanced approach to post-conflict disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) is reformulated into a balanced, concurrent and reciprocal focus on “transition of the security state,” “organization,” “weapons” and “individuals.” The cumulative impact being that armed insurgent organizations can survive the peace, and retain their capacity to pursue their goals in a democratic post-agreement environment, whilst simultaneously enhancing the legitimacy of the post-agreement state.

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