The Irish conflict was generally perceived as intractable, rooted in the question of identity. Given the stringent ‘positions’ framed by identities, no solution seemed possible. When attention was paid to addressing the interests underlying the conflict, the identity issue faded away. The popular perception of an identity crisis notwithstanding, the Ukrainian conflict is also rooted in socio-economic and geo-political interests. Drawing lessons from Ulster, a solution in Ukraine is possible. However, Ukraine should remain careful about not copying the consociationalist outcome of Ulster, for a power-sharing arrangement will establish a false sense of a divided society in East Ukraine.

Abdullah Al Yusuf is a Brigadier General of Bangladesh Army and a Rotary Peace Fellow earning Masters in Peace Studies from International Christian University, Japan. He previously had the field experience of serving in two United Nations peacekeeping missions – in Haiti and in DR Congo. His research interests are: refugees, migrants, and stateless people.

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