In the absence of a peace process, community members have engaged directly with rebels. Here’s one negotiator’s story.
Late last month, military officers in Burkina Faso seized power in the country’s second coup this year. In both cases, the main justification was the leadership’s failure to curb violence from groups linked to the Islamic State and al Qaeda. The insurgency has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced about 10 percent of the population.
This week on our podcast The Negotiators, we tell the story of one community leader in Burkina Faso who set out to negotiate with the insurgents so that members of his community could return to their homes. His story might be familiar to people who follow conflicts in other areas—including Afghanistan—where, in the absence of a broader peace process, people at the local level engage in their own small-scale diplomacy.
The Negotiators is a partnership between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.
About The Negotiators: Conflicts don’t just get resolved on their own. Most are settled through a grueling process of give and take, usually behind closed doors. On the podcast The Negotiators, Foreign Policy is teaming up with Doha Debates to put listeners in the room. Hosted by FP deputy editor Jenn Williams, each episode features one mediator, diplomat, or troubleshooter, describing one dramatic negotiation. You’ll hear about a nuclear standoff, a hostage crisis, a gang mediation, and much more: successes and failures that shaped people’s lives. See All Episodes
More The Negotiators episodes:
The Hard Road to Equal Pay in U.S. Soccer
How soccer player-turned-executive Cindy Parlow Cone negotiated a gender parity deal.
How the Good Friday Agreement Ended Decades of Violence in Northern Ireland
A top negotiator looks back at the deal that resolved the Troubles 25 years ago.
The Art of Hostage Negotiations—When You’re the Hostage
A Texas rabbi mediates a life-or-death situation.
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