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Armed groups responses to the Covid-19 crisis

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 16:00
Hero image description: Troops advance during anti-Shabaab operation in Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price Image credit:Troops advance during anti-Shabaab operation in Somalia. UN Photo/Stuart Price Image license:CC BY-NC-ND
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Sana Safi @BBCSanaSafi – Senior Presenter and Journalist, BBC Pashto


Ashley Jackson @a_a_jackson – Co-director, Centre on Armed Groups, ODI

Harun Maruf @HarunMaruf – International Broadcaster, Voice of America and Co-Author of Inside Al-Shabaab

General George Macintosh – Senior Military Advisor to the UN Special Envoy in Yemen with responsibility for the Nationwide Ceasefire.

Marie Lequin @LequinCoutin – Head of Eurasia Region, Geneva Call


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges across the world, putting considerable strains on leadership, the health sector and our way of living. Insurgent groups from the Taliban to Al Shabab, have provided health advice and produced propaganda highlighting their action against Covid-19.

Gangs in Rio have sought to enforce pandemic restrictions and notorious cartel leader El Chapo has produced health kits emblazoned with his likeness, unmasking in some cases state fragility and institutional weaknesses. While some armed groups have used the pandemic as another means of waging their propaganda, armed groups in Mali, Central African Republic and elsewhere, have heeded the UN Secretary General’s call to halt the violence in aid of efforts to combat Covid-19.

As we launch the ODI Centre for the Study of Armed Groups, we discuss how armed groups across the world’s conflict zones have reacted to the pandemic, and the implications this will have for humanitarian responses, peacebuilding efforts and development aid.

This event is part of the ODI at 60 global reset dialogue series, challenging decision-makers to provide more sustainable and equitable pathways for the future.

The Centre will produce a range of outputs including blogs, long-form articles, research reports and expert comment. If you would like to receive future updates from the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups by email, please fill in this form