While the presence of militia in conflicts dates back several centuries, their current nature and importance remains unique and in need of further analysis and understanding. This article attempts to further this understanding by providing an interpretative framework for the analysis of militia groups. It does this by first problematising the definition of militias, particularly with regards to the question of being a non-state actor. A framework is then provided which highlights the need to study the rationality and motivations of militias, their strategies and tactics, their structure, their means of achieving legitimacy and accountability and their relationship with other actors. These themes are crucial with regards to disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration (DDR) and the overall peace process. However, demilitarisation of militias cannot be enforced from the top-down only, which is why the contextualisation of the historical, political, economic, identity politics, regional, international and civil society situation must also be considered. Thus, the multi-faceted and multi-layered nature of the demilitarisation of militias is discussed here in the hopes to provide a better theoretical understanding to aid in a more efficient implementation of the peace process.