Economic dimensions of armed groups: profiling the financing, costs, and agendas and their implications for mediated engagements
This article introduces the various economic dimensions of armed groups and explores the implications of their engagement through mediation and dialogue. It looks specifically at the financing, operational costs, and economic agendas of armed groups and brings together examples from Angola, Kosovo, Sudan, Colombia, and other places. It emphasizes that information about available financing and operational costs is critical for assessing the financial and operational strength of an armed group. It also highlights the need to understand armed groups in the broader context of their evolution and the changes that organizational and territorial expansions require with regards to financing strategies. Overall, the economic dimensions of armed groups should be approached with an open mind so that issues such as financing, costs, and economic agendas can be perceived as opportunities, and not necessarily as a problem for peace.