The recent experience of a temporary ceasefire by both the Afghan Government, and, for the first time since they were ousted from power in 2001, the Taliban, could be a first step on an incremental journey towards peace. But what should happen next and how can this gradual progress towards peace be supported?
Participation of women and other excluded groups in peace talks and political bargaining is important for sustainable peace. Clear opportunities to support gender inclusion exist in all phases of a peace process – before, during and after a peace agreement.
Inclusive societies are more resilient and less prone to violent conflict, and achieving greater inclusion is a widely accepted peacebuilding goal. What’s less obvious however, is the journey people in less equal and inclusive societies need to take to get there.
There’s no tried and trusted formula for this.
The ongoing instability in the Central African Republic (CAR) is not a religious conflict. There are undoubtedly some religious elements to it, but the popular story that it is an intractable war of Muslims versus Christians – of former Séléka rebels versus anti-Balaka vigilantes – is far too simplistic.
Conflict analysis is all about deepening one’s understanding of a conflict and the broader context in which it is situated. Good conflict analysis is sensitive to relations of power – including gender.
This month, a meeting of the global Mediation Support Network explored the roles mediation and mediation support can play, once a peace agreement has been signed. Felix Colchester outlines some of the challenges and opportunities for mediation in this phase of a peace agreement.
Last week the Colombian government announced it is suspending peace talks with the country’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN). Our Colombia Programme Director, Kristian Herbolzheimer shares his thoughts on the current situation for ELN and the government:
Young people who have experienced conflict firsthand have a vital role to play in peacebuilding. They have a clear vision of what peace could look like in their countries and communities, and have the drive to work towards the realisation of these goals.
However, in many cases they are seen not as positive forces for peace, but rather as threats to it.
A shared statement by peacebuilders working in the South Caucasus
Statebuilding and peacebuilding discussions increasingly emphasise inclusion as a key ingredient for peaceful states and societies, and marginalisation as a key cause of conflict. However, the persistence of conflict and violence in many borderland regions can defy and challenge these peacebuilding blueprints.