RTÉ Brainstorm: The Secrets Behind a Peace Process

An RTÉ Brainstorm article by Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh—of the Whitaker Institute’s Technology & Governance and Conflict, Humanitarianism & Security research clusters—looks at the secrets behind a peace process.

Bogotá celebrations to mark the signing of the historic agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels ending 52 years of conflict

Opinion: There are many similarities in how back channels played a huge role in peace processes in Northern Ireland and Colombia

When the late Martin McGuinness visited Colombia as Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland in 2014 he was “absolutely shocked” to find out how much the Colombian government’s chief negotiator knew about the Northern Ireland peace process. More surprising still, the Colombians told him their secret back channel to FARC was codenamed Brendan, after the Derry businessman Brendan Duddy

It later transpired that Colombia’s High Commissioner for peace, Sergio Jaramillo, had consulted with British officials on their contacts with the IRA, and had spoken to senior MI6 agent Michael Oatley who had worked with Brendan Duddy over a span of two decades. The Colombian negotiators drew directly on that experience in their engagement with FARC. 

Read the full article here.