Session 4: Inclusion of combatants


This theme examined the specific complexities and concerns raised by the possible inclusion of combatants and ex-combatants in constitution-building processes.

(L-R) Shamshad Pasarlay (Afghanistan), Sebastian
Machado Ramirez (Colombia) and Anna Dziedzic (CTN

Many constitution-building processes take place in the wake of conflict, in circumstances where non-state actors have been active often for a considerable period of time. Furthermore, constitutional negotiations often already happen when the parties to the conflict negotiate a ceasefire or a comprehensive peace agreement. The inclusion of combatants in constitutional negotiations raises distinctive issues, which this session explored by examining a number of specific cases where constitution-building took place in the context of ongoing peacebuilding.

Munawar Liza Zainal (Aceh, Indonesia)

Four case studies were presented from Afghanistan, Indonesia (Aceh), Colombia and PNG (Autonomous Region of Bougainville). They explored the following questions:

  • Was consideration given to the inclusion of combatants? Who was included? With what consequences?
  • At what point(s) in the process were combatants included? What difficulties, if any, arose?
  • Were (some) categories of combatants excluded? Why? With what consequences?
  • Did (some) categories of combatants exclude themselves from the process? Why? With what consequences?
  • Was there opposition to the inclusion of combatants? From whom, and on what grounds?
  • What arrangements, if any, were made for amnesty or immunity in association with the inclusion of combatants?
(L-R) Amanda Cats Baril (IDEA) and
Shamshad Pasarlay (Afghanistan)
  • What lessons might be drawn from your experience for constitution building in countries in similar circumstances elsewhere?

Case studies: