Violence and repair: The practice and challenges of non-State armed groups engaging in reparations

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Atrocities by non-state armed groups often capture international attention, but efforts to repair the harm they have caused are often overlooked. This article traces out some of the practices and tensions in non-state armed groups making reparations during wartime and in post-conflict transitions. It argues that engaging in reparations for non-state armed groups not only can encourage greater compliance with international humanitarian law, but also build support amongst civilian populations during armed conflict and facilitate ex-fighter reintegration at the end of hostilities. Drawing from interviews with a number of armed groups, the article also suggests that the armed group’s organisation rather than just individuals themselves can be an effective way to collectively mobilise a group’s motivation and capacity to deliver on reparations, including recovery of those disappeared, restitution of property and apologies. As such this article seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of reparation practices by non-state armed groups to see how reparations can be mediated and a hierarchy of reparation obligations developed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of the Red Cross
Early online date11 Aug 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 Aug 2021


  • reparations
  • armed groups
  • rebels
  • armed conflict
  • international humanitarian law


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