Written: 2013 | Published: February 17, 2022 | Jonathan Loeb, Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group

Talking to the ‘other side’: humanitarian engagement with armed non-state actors in Darfur, Sudan, 2003-2012

This working paper focuses on the humanitarian community’s extensive engagement with rebel movements in Darfur from 2003-2012. It chronicles humanitarian negotiations that took place between aid agencies and rebel movements through first-hand accounts of the experiences of aid workers and rebels who participated in the negotiations. It also addresses negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the humanitarian community.

This Working Paper explores how, during the past ten years, the civilian population living outside of Government of Sudan-controlled territory in Darfur has witnessed the rise, decline and disappearance of cross-line aid. It argues that the policies and behaviours of parties to the conflict are principally responsible for this unfortunate trajectory, though the international community is also at fault. The study offers recommendations on how to address the ongoing challenge of access in Government and rebel-held areas in Darfur.


This working paper was originally published by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

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