Unsafe Havens: Re-Examining Humanitarian Aid and Peace Duration after Civil Wars
39 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2016
Does humanitarian aid delivered in the aftermath of civil conflict increase the risk of conflict resumption? And if so, under what conditions? In contrast to previous work that focuses on the terms of civil war resolution, we argue that humanitarian aid is most likely to play a de-stabilizing role when armed groups have access to territorial safe havens, either inside the country where the fighting has taken place or in cross-border refugee camps. We illustrate this argument with the cases of Liberia (1989-1997) and Sudan (1983-2005), and then test the theory using a panel dataset of civil war ceasefires between 1989 and 2004. Our results support the argument that the effect of humanitarian aid on ceasefire stability is conditional on the ability of rebel organizations to control territory and access cross-border refugee populations.
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