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Armed groups are intrinsic to conflict. Pursuing myriad aims, they shape and are shaped by the conflict landscape. UN missions too inhabit this landscape. They too must decide how best to pursue their goals of supporting early peacebuilding and so-called stabilisation. This book argues that the UN is peacekeeping in places where there is no peace to keep. A profoundly confused UN has failed to develop the instruments to adequately identify armed groups, and then deal with the challenge they pose. This book is a policy guide for UN missions. It contemplates the challenging nature of non-permissive UN mission environments and offers a challenge to the UN to think afresh about the way it undertakes missions in these settings. The book appropriates several underdeveloped concepts – robust peacekeeping, political processes, and the protection of civilians – and uses them to ignite the conversation on a UN stabilisation doctrine.
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