For aid workers, talking to armed groups is vital to reaching civilians in need of help. These negotiations are extremely delicate and have often been shrouded in secrecy. However, the dilemmas of negotiating with armed groups are as old as humanitarian action itself. The interactive timeline below offers a reminder of this forgotten history, tracing key developments in humanitarian dialogue with armed groups from the Spanish Civil War to Syria.
Want to learn more about the history of humanitarian negotiations?
Check out our new report: From the Spanish civil war to Afghanistan: Historical and contemporary reflections on humanitarian engagement with non-state armed groups and our research project on humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state groups.