Studies of peacemaking often focus on the mechanics of actual negotiations, overlooking the pre-negotiation stage which can be critical to enabling conflict cessation and transformation. In ethno-political conflicts involving governments and rebel groups, the process of establishing contact is essential to establishing a peace process, yet it can be very delicate and even risky. In many countries people have died trying to initiate contact with rebel groups, and as a result, peace processes have been aborted. There is no known model for this vital yet dangerous component of peacemaking, which will be examined in the presentation "Reaching out to Rebels: The First Brick in Peace Process Construction." The presentation will share personal and practical experiences on this aspect of peace processes.
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