Tove Gravdal & Dag Nylander

Out of the Jungle. About the peace process in Colombia

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Out of the Jungle is a comprehensive account of one of the most intense and complicated peace processes in modern history, which led to an agreement between the Colombian government and the guerilla group Farc in 2016.

Dag Nylander was the lead Norwegian diplomat who accompanied the peace process. He was the prime witness and a key participant in all parts of the process, including risky missions to remote guerilla-controlled areas in Colombia. He obtained the trust of both parties and played a crucial role in nudging and smoothing the process through its many difficult phases. The Colombian peace accord ended five decades of war which had led to half a million dead and millions of refugees. The accord has since been a frequent reference for political leaders worldwide when appealing to diplomatic solutions to conflicts.

The insights from this long and complex negotiating process highlights what it takes to bring peace to armed conflicts, which is relevant in the midst of the war in Ukraine. Ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the remaining armed groups in the country also brings new relevance to the 2016 peace agreement.

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“A splendid introduction to how you can end a civil war.”


“(…) it conveys a recognition of the benefits of quiet and longterm trust-building work, but it is first and foremost an action man-story.”

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Photo: Tove Gravdal (Katinka Hustad), Dag Nylander (Mats Bakken)

Dag Nylander (b. 1969) is the director of NOREF (Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution). Prior to joining NOREF, he was director and Head of the Section for Peace and Reconciliation in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Throughout his career he has held several diplomatic positions, most notably as a mediator and Norwegian special envoy to Colombia. From 2010 to 2016 he led the Norwegian facilitation of the peace process between the Colombian government and the FARC. This work built on the foundations laid from 2006 to 2008, when he headed the Norwegian embassy in Bogotá. In 2017 he was appointed the United Nations Secretary-General’s personal representative on the border controversy between Venezuela and Guyana. Dag is a jurist by education and has practiced both as a lawyer and an assistant judge.

Tove Gravdal (b. 1963) has been a journalist since 1982, working for leading Norwegian newspapers like Aftenposten and Morgenbladet, based in Oslo, Paris and New York, covering international politics, culture and social affairs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and has studied at the National Defense College. She has worked as a press officer for The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has been an election observer in different countries, most recently in Albania in 2023. She has been a part-time consultant for NOREF (Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution), and she is a frequent lecturer, moderator and public commentator on international affairs.