War Survivors Who Stay Behind 


9th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugees and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS)


FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Exploring a Path from Armed Conflict, Persecution, and Forced Migration to Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, and Development 

Date & Time:

12 May 2016, 8:45am – 10-00am


Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 

Keynote Address:

Staying Put: Peace Communities that Refuse to Become IDPs

Keynote Speaker:

Dr Christopher MitchellBrief summary: 

 – Local communities in civil wars. Do local communities have choices in leaving homes during war?  
Alternative strategies for grassroots 

 – Quiescence 

 – partiality : the need to adherence to one side of the other in so as to survive. Example is the local communities that had to settle and became the guerrilla Colombia FARC’s sympathizers. 

 – Kurosawa options: Hiring of cheap local mercenaries or state Inspired forces. Sometimes, employing and training up local mercenaries often turned into huge mistakes as these people can end up going out of control.  – Flight: often become internally displaced person (IDP) or move on to becoming a refugee in another country. 

 – Flight and return: this entails a temporary relocation whereby you flee during the war and later come back home during pos-war.  

 – withdrawal and neutrality 

Often, the guerrilla leaders are not interested in humanitarian laws. 

How do you cope in the middle of the war if you want to remain neutral and not get involved in the war? 

1. There are no monolithic entities and division exists within them. 

2. Armed actors are concerned about their reputation and statues in the eye of the relevant others and this can very over different circumstances

3. Working relations with armed actors depend on clear and effective rules of games via a negotiated transparent process

4. Influencing armed actors is best achieved via organized collective actions rather than by parodic individualized responses. 

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