On behalf of our civil-society partners in four countries affected by the Lord's Resistance Army conflict, Fr Ernest Sugule, director of a Congolese NGO and Editor-in-Chief of grassroots newsletter 'The Voice of Peace', shares some of the recent highs and lows, as well as ongoing concerns within the region.
Dealing with the past is now one of the big challenges for the Philippines in its transition from war to peace in Mindanao. Looking to international examples, Kristian Herbolzheimer analyses what is the best way to deal with the past in order to strengthen coexistence and prevent further confrontation, to promote a more trusted, accountable and democratic governance system?
Five members of the Peace Commission of the Colombian Congress visited the cities of London, Brussels, Paris and Barcelona during six intensive days in May. The main objective was for the Colombian diaspora to put together proposals for the Colombia peace process. Kristian Herbolzheimer describes this innovative dialogue exercise.
Failed negotiations still weigh heavily on the Colombian government’s mind, and it would be difficult to justify a truce in a moment of relative strength in military arenas. Conciliation Resources' Colombia Programme Director, Kristian Herbolzheimer, looks at the impact a ceasefire could have on the peace talks in Colombia.
In January 2013 it took just three days for the Seleka Coalition and the Government of the Central African Republic to reach a peace agreement. Kennedy Tumutegyereize and Nicolas Tillon of Conciliation Resources' East and Central Africa programme analyse what the prospects are for sustainable peace without wide public participation.
Reflecting on the evolution of mediation support, Jonathan Cohen highlights how the legitimacy and durability of peace agreements are enhanced by inclusive processes. In this chapter from 'Building Peace in 2013' – a new HD Centre publication – he makes the case that peace processes must be less elitist and more able to meet the needs and expectations of those most affected by conflict.
With aid effectiveness under increased analysis in the UK and budget cuts being discussed at the EU level, Teresa Dumasy makes the case that a focus on peace, partnerships and the promotion of legitimate politics holds the key to effective and sustainable development.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was an unexpected choice for the job of taking Somalia out of its long and self-perpetuating period of ‘transitional’ government. Far from being a Somali warlord, he had spent most of the last 20 years playing a leading role in civil society conflict resolution. An Accord 21 author for Conciliation Resources, he is interviewed here by the issue's co-editor, Sally Healy.
Armed conflicts are neither defined nor confined by national borders, writes Accord series editor Alexander Ramsbotham. Peacebuilding strategies need to ‘think outside the state’ – through regional diplomacy and cross-border civil society networks, and by strengthening the social contract in conflict-prone borderlands.
Starting a war is easy. It is much harder to end it. Kristian Herbolzheimer assesses that the Colombia–FARC peace process has arrived at one of its most critical points. Not everyone understands and shares the decision to break from the narrative of the past and to proceed to develop a new story, one that is free of resentment.