Ceasefire Rationales: A Comparative Study of Ceasefires in the Moro and Communist Conflicts in the Philippines

Article by Malin Åkebo

Ceasefires are part of most contemporary peace processes, however empirical insight suggests that the characteristics of ceasefires vary greatly across conflict settings. This paper contributes to filling a research and knowledge gap about how different types of ceasefire come about through a comparative case study of ceasefires in the Moro and communist insurgencies in the Philippines. I argue that to understand differences in the characteristics of the ceasefires in these conflicts, it is important to consider the aims, ideologies and strategies of the conflicting parties and how this shapes their approach to a ceasefire. Following this, I suggest that ceasefires must be analyzed and understood with sensitivity to conflict issues and approaches to violence, as this contributes to an explanation of how ceasefire is used as a political tool and how it shapes the dynamics of conflict. Based on interviews and document studies, the article maps the characteristics of ceasefires in both cases over time and analyses the approaches to ceasefires of the parties to the conflict. Knowledge of how ceasefires come about and what shapes them can help both academia and policymakers draw more informed and accurate conclusions about their outcomes and effects.

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