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Humanitarian Ceasefires In humanitarian ceasefires a superordinate goal, often the need to immunize children, brings warring parties to an agreement to suspend fighting for a time period to allow health workers access to children or civilians on all sides of the conflict or space to allow for resources and supplies to be safely distributed. Two main functions: 1. meet human needs through the delivery of adequate supplies of required aid 2. part of a larger process of peacebuilding: when it is appropriate, the opportunities that present themselves for conflict resolution should be utilized.
Humanitarian Aid Terms n n n Days of Tranquillity: truces negotiated to allow the provision of health and humanitarian assistance as well as allow for other activities not possible during hostilities. Corridors of Peace: transit routes designated for safe passage for noncombatants and humanitarian supplies. Safe Havens: term used in the Balkans conflict to identify villages that were only for civilian inhabitants and not to be attacked.
n n n Sanctuaries of Peace: health/medical institutions, e. g. hospitals and clinics, not to be affected by war. Children as ‘Zones of Peace’ or as a ‘Conflictfree Zone’: ‘Children need special protection in situations of armed conflict’ Nils Thedin of Sweden formulated the concept in 1983 in a proposal to UNICEF. Health as a Bridge for Peace: term coined in the '80 s by the Pan American Health Organisation. It is a multidimensional and dynamic concept, based on the integration of peace-building concerns and strategies into health relief and health sector development in post-conflict transitions. As a programme, it was adopted by WHO in August 1997 in countries like Mozambique, Croatia, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, and Angola.
The necessary components of a humanitarian ceasefire: n n n n n Common ground Impartiality and transparency Understanding and respect for indigenous cultures Trust and communication Intermediaries International pressure Legal framework Participation Education and Communication Standards and Monitoring
El Salvador n n Country split by FMLN and government Population suffered from poverty, unemployment, violence Archbishop Romero assassinated in 1980 Civil war broke out in 1981 http: //newsinfo. nd. edu/assets/Romero. JPG
Government Vs. FMLN n n FMLN engaged in destroying resources and bridges, kidnappings, assassinations Government and death squads massacred villages and killed numerous people http: //www. heatherk. com/images/Feb 01 /El%20 Salvador/Ex. Gas. Station. jpg http: //students. westport. k 12. ct. us/ elsalvador/el%20 salvador 2. jpg www. socialistworker. co. uk
Effects of Violence n n Thousands of people killed Polio, measles, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough are common among children www. contactpressimages. com/portfolios/ rebbot/main_pix/rebbot_port 6 i. jpg http: //www. neuro. wustl. edu/neuromuscular/pics/ people/patients/Hands/oldpoliolegs. jpg
Immunization Program n n Idea for a ceasefire arose during talks between James Grant, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Jose Napoleon Duarte, the President of El Salvador 20 000 children were dying due to preventable diseases www. nhlcyberfamily. org
Negotiations n n UNICEF stipulated that all the children of El Salvador must be immunized President Duarte opposed entering dangerous guerillacontrolled territory http: //news. bbc. co. uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/ 2000/un_summit/peacekeeping/el_salvador. stm
The Church and the FMLN n n n President Duarte and the Minister of Health communicated with the FMLN through proxy using the church Archbishop Arturo Y Rivera, Monsignor Rivera Y Damas and Monsignor Rosa Chavez approached the FMLN’s response: “We cannot in any way be in disagreement. The vaccination is of great importance for our people. ”
After the Ceasefire n n Three days of tranquility practiced every year since 1985 Estimated 75 000 people died during war Peace Accords signed in 1992 by both groups FMLN allowed to participate in elections
Historical Background n n n Ruled by Spain and forced into labour for 300 years Filipinos gained independency in 1946 but was ruled by a corrupt dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Two parties led the uprising against Marcos: • Moro National Liberation Front– Muslim group based on the southern island of Mindanao • New Peoples Army (NPA) – communist party
Historical Background n n Civil war spread leading to armed forces. NPA betrayed the trust of their supporters and killed those who they suspect as traitors. Fighting continued for many years. Short-lived humanitarian ceasefire after a major earthquake.
Zone of Peace n n n Villagers became tired of harassments from the national army and NPA. Zone of peace (aka ‘zone of life’ in other areas) bans military activities in designated zones. Six such peace zones declared in the rural areas over the past three decades
Problems with Zones of Peace n n Although these communities are weapons free, they still have many problems Susceptible to sabotage or failure and are difficult to initiate and maintain. • The army encouraged spies in villages and impressed young boys into the military • NPA reluctant to demilitarize in these zones
Building a Peace Plan n News of these ceasefires spread throughout the country. • Involved the churches, local nongovernment aid organizations, and the people. n They formed the Coalition for Peace • provided support services for communities, advocacy for help and psychological therapy for children
Building a Peace Plan n Multi-sectoral Peace Advocates appeared • They addressed the issues and negotiate on the national level with both sides. n n National Peace Conference held in 1990 In 1991, a framework for peace process was formed • Addressed social justice, rights of indigenous peoples, ecological problems, cultural and social reforms, and moral transformation.
n n When Fidel Ramos came into power in 1992, he sought to end the 24 year with the NPA. • Set up a meetings with between government officials and communist leaders. Meeting provided a blueprint covering: • Human rights • Social, economical, and political reforms.
Afghanistan Case Study #1
Cease fires during the Olympics- a dream or a reality? = 6 days of peace in Afghanistan & 3 million children immunized During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, UNICEF, with help of the “Olympic Aid Atlanta” program, brokered a truce between warring parties in Afghanistan, mainly to allow the immunization of women and children, but also to provide psychosocial counseling, basic education and recreational programs.
Then what happened? = n n No more cease fire This fostered an environment in Afghanistan which inspired 6 Days of Tranquility. Unfortunately, the truce only lasted 6 days. On Wednesday, July 24 th, a rocket attack on Kabul ended the truce.
Did this stop immunizations? = n n Means to carry on with immunizations This did NOT stop 15, 000 immunization workers from spreading through the country by any means possible including travel by donkey into mountainous regions of Aftghanistan to immunize children. Only 3 million out of 5 million Afghani children were vaccinated for Polio. This initiative was simultaneously occurring in a total of 14 war torn countries during the 1996 Olympic games.
n This brings us to the concept of Olympic Truce is a concept in which warring parties or nations are encouraged to lay down arms in order to represent their countries at the Olympics and also allow safe passage for athletes to travel in. Olympic Truce is fully supported by the UN, and on the website (www. olympictruce. org) a UN resolutions brochure on Olympic Truce can be found.
n n n Originally from the sacred Greek Tradition of “Ekecheiria” meaning “truce”, this concept has been around and implemented since the 8 th century BC. Observed for 12 centuries After the Olympic games had been revived in 1896, the first Olympic Truce to be observed was in 1994, at the Olympic Winter games in Norway. The Olympic truce is an excellent way to initiate cease fires for Olympic athletes to participate but also for health initiatives to be activated during such cease fires.
Bombing during religious days n n n The US government decided not to stop bombing Afghanistan during the holy months of Ramadhan in 2001. What did USA have to say for itself? ? ? “Mr Rumsfeld said that he was aware of General Musharraf's views on a "sensitive" issue, but he said the US had to pursue the al-Qaeda network and its Taleban protectors in Afghanistan. ”
Afghanistan Case Study #2 1994 and 1995 ceasefires for vaccination of children and their mothers
Conflict Background Ø Ø Ø Civil war began in 1978 and was based on disputes between several internal armed factions with various foreign supporters. Late 1992, after a the fall of the Najibullah government, the civil war continued between the Jamiat-i-islami led coalition government and the opposing Mujahideen groups. During the following two years fierce and devastating factional fighting flared up in Kabul. Half of the city's population fled the city, which became divided between different groups.
The Mass Immunization Campaign Ø Ø Ø Organized through collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health and WHO Afghanistan. Letters stating the benefits of such a ceasefire were sent to all Afghan leaders and governors. Unanimous positive response was received. Many different groups (both political and nonpolitical) were on board with the idea. First ceasefire was scheduled for a week in Nov. 1994. Two subsequent similar ceasefires in mid 1995.
Results Ø Ø Ø The program resulted in unprecedented cooperation between the warring parties. The first ceasefire lasted nearly two months more than organizers had planned. This campaign vaccinated over 2 million children and 700 000 mothers against polio and other diseases. 14 000 health care workers were trained. Equipment and infrastructure was provided to many regions of the country. The Afghan people learned about vaccine importance.
Lessons Learned Ø Ø This program showed that again, health issues have the ability to unite a nation and strengthen the social fabric of that nation. Additionally, organizers learned the importance of communication and consultation at every stage. This program may have planted the idea of groups working together towards permanent peace. Finally, communities that have access to health and development programs have a stake in peace and will oppose groups that promote war.
Peacebuilding Effects of Humanitarian Ceasefires: n n n show that it is possible to develop new ways to communicate and create an environment that promotes dialogue. provide a space of tranquility which can remind people what peace is like, inspire them with hope and strengthen their commitment to work for peace. help to empower people and overcome the sense of isolation and helplessness which can drain their lives.
Peacebuilding Effects of Humanitarian Ceasefires: n n n bring a wide range of parties at the local, national and international level into dialogue and can encourage public discussion of important issues. draw national and international attention to the effects of the war on all People make communities aware of their rights to receive food and medical care.
Challenges to Humanitarian Ceasefires: n n n The value of such ceasefires is limited unless they are part of a peace process which deals with the underlying causes of conflict. The danger of temporary ceasefires that are not rooted in the peace process is that they can be used to score political power and therefore have the potential to stall the peace process. Opposing forces do not want to appear to be weak, or to go back on a publicly stated position
Challenges to Humanitarian Ceasefires: n n n The inability of those with the will to cease -fire to persuade the ultimate decision makers that it is desirable The gap between what one group wants, and what the other is willing to give may be too wide One group is unable to cease fire because it can not control the military forces which claim to fight for it
References Ø Ø Jalali, A. A. (2001). Afghanistan: The Anatomy of an Ongoing Conflict. Parameters. Retrieved February 28, 2006, from http: //carlislewww. army. mil/usawc/Parameters/01 spring/jalali. htm Peters, M. A. (1996). A Health-to-Peace Handbook. Retrieved February 28, 2006, from http: //www. humanities. mcmaster. ca/peacehealth/Resources/hlthpcbk. pdf Walker, John J. Orphans of the Storm: Peacebuilding for Children of War. Canada: Between the Lines, 1993. World Health Organization. (1997). Polio: The Beginning of the End. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from http: //www. who. int/vaccinesdocuments/Docs. PDF/ww 9705 a. pdf
SIDE A n n n This rebel group wants independence from the government and freedom from suppression This is also demographically the poorest region of the country There is an abundance of oil in this region
SIDE B n The government of the country benefits from the current relationship with the rebel group, and is not willing to part with the oil easily