“From Frustration to Escalation in Marawi”: An Interview on Conflict Transformation in Southeast Asia With the Indonesian Peace and Conflict Advisor Shadia Marhaban
Keywords:Conflict Transformation, Forced Migration, Marawi, Mindanao, Philippines
Shadia Marhaban has been actively involved in international peace mediation, capacity building, and human rights activism for more than 20 years. She is from Aceh, Indonesia, where she joined the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in the early 2000s. She was an advisory member of GAM’s peace negotiating team during the 2005 Helsinki talks that brought an end to nearly 30 years of armed conflict. After her return to Aceh, she became a founding member of the Aceh Women’s League (LINA). The NGO was involved in reintegration programs for female ex-combatants and provided democracy education trainings. In recent years, her work has focused on facilitating dialog between conflicting parties in many regions of Southeast Asia affected by armed conflict. In her work, she is mainly engaged with resistance and liberation movements and their political transition. She believes that considering the dimensions of identity, religion, and culture is key to successful war-to-peace transitions and the achievement of sustainable modes of conflict resolution. With a background in political science and international relations, she is a fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, of Harvard University and has been teaching classes on mediation and conflict transformation at universities in Austria, Indonesia, and the US. In this interview, conducted by Gunnar Stange in Vienna in June 2018, Shadia Marhaban speaks about her peace-building work all over Southeast Asia and her experiences in violence prevention in the city of Marawi, Mindanao, Philippines.
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