Peace Zones - Advantages and Limitations

  • The Peace Zone creation holds the potential to facilitate community based peace-building as well as socioeconomic development in the context of protracted intrastate conflicts.
  • Approach for mitigating violence, protection of non-combatants, monitoring of a cease-fire / peace agreement, regulates / encourages bans firing and display of guns, regulates / monitors pullout of armed forces and troop deployment and recruitment by the armed groups, provides a sanctuary for the wounded and allows space for humanitarian assistance.
  • Promotes dialogue and reconciliation activities, enhances  local dispute-resolution mechanisms, promotes respect for customs, traditions and rights.
  • Process for promoting greater social interaction or camaraderie between and among the villagers.
  • Institutes and enhances an appropriate protection system for the communities affected by armed conflicts.
  • A peace constituency which can lobby for reforms can be mobilized within the Peace Zone established framework. 
  • Community consensus on what is meant by peace and development and its parameters is possible.
  • A good process for monitoring community internal and external conflict and peace factors within the community
  • Development programs can be initiated or continued on safer grounds.
  • One opposing group can threaten the success of the entire Peace Zone initiative. The guarantee for success of the Peace Zones is contingent upon the commitment to honor agreement by the different conflicting parties and other stakeholders, thus accomplishments can be relative. 
  • Larger and more protracted conflicts such as counter insurgency, and terror campaigns, operating outside of the defined geographical bounds of the Peace Zones pose a continual threat.  This could come about despite precautions and elaborate measures to follow procedures and basic requirements for setting up the Peace Zone. 
  • The community has limited capacity and power to enforce the agreements of the Peace Zone, therefore, support of the police or army is usually necessary.
  • Peace Zones are limited to one particular geographical area and enforcement of the peace agreement outside these boundaries is limited or not possible. 
  • External resources and support groups might create dependencies and threaten the sustainability of Peace Zones. 
  • Limited capacity to absorb substantial inflows of development aid assistance can be a cause for misuse of the resources or even internal differences within the community.
  • If the state unilaterally makes declarations of peace as part of a counter-insurgency approach this may lead to distortions in the Peace Zones.