Far from helping resolve conflict, flawed cease-fires and cease-fire monitoring may well contribute to significantly increased mistrust between the parties to that conflict. The consequences may be even more damaging; as cease-fires are often one of the first objectives a mediator attempts to achieve, in the eyes of the combatants, early failure may more broadly damage the viability, or the perception of viability, of external action to effectively resolve the conflict.

Antonio Achille, working with the Military Liaison Office of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, looks through binoculars during a cease-fire monitoring patrol in Oum Dreyga, Western Sahara. (United Nations Photo)
Antonio Achille, working with the Military Liaison Office of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, looks through binoculars during a cease-fire monitoring patrol in Oum Dreyga, Western Sahara. (United Nations Photo)

Continue reading about innovations to respond to the increasing challenges to cease-fire monitoring.

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The southern Ethiopian area of Sidama is famous for its coffee. But amid the beans, bitterness lingers. More than 50 people were killed in recent violence, as Ethiopia struggles with demands for the creation of a new Sidama ethnic federal state—a right explicitly permitted by the national constitution. USIP’s Aly Verjee discusses the implications of this latest challenge to peace in Africa’s second most populous country.

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