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Security Peace CSS Blog

CSS Mediation Perspectives: The Role of Ceasefires in Peace Processes

Image: © Jeremy Brickhill, Lines of Control and Withdrawal, from «Mediating Security Arrangements in Peace Processes»

Mediation Perspectives is a regular series of blog contributions by the CSS Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors.

Jeremy Brickhill’s publication “Mediating Security Arrangements in Peace Processes” clarifies the role of ceasefires in a peace process. Understanding this role is necessary if ceasefires are to foster the transition from war to peace rather than leading to a stalemate situation. What is unique about Jeremy’s booklet is that, as a former fighter in the Zimbabwean liberation war with Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army, he can provide insights and models of ceasefires from the perspective of someone who knows the psychology of fighters. We have now translated his publication into Russian, Arabic, and Spanish, because there are few publications on ceasefires, and even fewer that highlight the role of ceasefires in a peace process as clearly and practically as his.

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Conflict Peace CSS Blog

Distribution of Ceasefires and Follow-​up Arrangements

This week’s featured graphic shows the distribution of ceasefires and follow-up arrangements across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East between 1989 and 2018. For more on the role of ceasefires in intra-state peace processes, read Govinda Clayton, Simon J. A. Mason, Valerie Sticher and Claudia Wiehler’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

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Peace Coronavirus CSS Blog

Mediation Perspectives: Why COVID-19 Ceasefires Remain an Exception

Image courtesy of Jeffery Harris/DVIDS

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors.

Humanitarian ceasefires are intended to open up windows of relief for affected civilians during armed conflict. With COVID-19 spreading across the world and the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, hopes were high that ceasefires could help contain the pandemic and ease civilian suffering. The small number of COVID-19 ceasefires, however, is sobering. This might be explained by how a ceasefire declared in response to the coronavirus pandemic can appear to entail far-reaching commitments with uncertain benefits and high costs. In contrast to usual humanitarian ceasefires, pandemic ceasefires hence seem as too big of a risk to take. Tying ceasefire calls to concrete objectives with clear temporal and geographic limitations could help to counter this obstacle.

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Peace Coronavirus CSS Blog

The UN Has Appealed for a Global Coronavirus Ceasefire: But Is It Possible to Quarantine Conflict?

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State/Flickr.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

This article is a slightly adapted version of a piece originally published by The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog on 13 April 2020.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an unprecedented appeal on March 23 for “an immediate global ceasefire” to facilitate humanitarian access to the populations most vulnerable to the spread of covid-19. This was the first global ceasefire request in the 75-year history of the United Nations.

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Peace CSS Blog

Ceasefires since 1989

Between 1989 and 2018, more than 1,900 ceasefires and related follow-up arrangements were reported in the media, across more than a hundred intra-state armed conflicts around the globe. This graphic provides an overview of these ceasefires regarding their distribution over time and across five continents. To find out more, read the new CSS Analyses in Security Policy, ‘Ceasefires in Intra-state Peace Processes’, here.