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The government of the country has set up talks with a terrorist group that has been the cause of widespread violence and instability on one part of the country. It has a series of difficult decisions to make with respect to whether it provides immunity from prosecution for those with whom they negotiate, whether they release members of the group that have been captured and convicted, what happens to assets seized in the course of the struggle, and what level of candour they require about people who have disappeared from villages in the area. At the same time, the leadership of the terrorist group has been in position for many years and his control over the insurgence seems complete, so that, if an agreement can be reached, it seems to have every chance of sticking.

At a Prime Minister's press briefing on another issue, the PM is asked whether it is true that talks have begun.

Families of those who have disappeared have formed a lobby group to press the government to identify what has happened to them and to return them to their homes where possible.

The government is reasonably certain that a condition for peace will require that a discrete veil is drawn over many issues.

What should the government spokesperson say?

How should people in this situation think about how to balance openness, honesty, and their responsibility to be held to account for their decisions?