The Voice of Peace is a quarterly grassroots newsletter featuring news and opinions from areas affected by the LRA conflict. In this extract from Issue 2, Vicky Amony talks about her daughter who was abducted by the LRA in 2005 and how she is still haunted by the experience.
Societies faced with intractable conflict have to seek ways of breaking out of cycles of violence. For as long as war has existed, amnesties have been used for encouraging armed groups to abandon their fight. Barney Afako examines amnesty in relation to the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict. Where to now that the Amnesty Act has lapsed?
What role can young people play in shaping political culture and addressing social problems? Twenty young politicians and civic activists from the South Caucasus recently travelled to Edinburgh and London with the aim of exploring answers to this question. Mira Sovakar reflects on how they're working to build engagement and mutual trust.
In the face of social concerns within the country and a confessional system that favours entrenched elites, where does ownership of Lebanon's post-war situation and future lie? Capturing a snapshot of Beirut during the launch of issue 24 in our Accord series, Zahbia Yousuf asks how peacebuilders can meaningfully engage with those who have a stake in the status quo, and those who are hungry for change.
Reflecting on the importance of dialogue and vibrant local media in building and sustaining peace, Jenny Norton gives an insight into a series of workshops held with a wide range of Georgians and Abkhaz. What role can journalists and social media play in breaking down conflict barriers?
Emma Leslie shares her reflections on a recent gathering of the Bangsamoro Leadership Assembly in Mindanao. Could developments like the peaceful collaboration of armed forces at the event, there to ensure the safety of several hundred thousand attendees, indicate that the time is ripe for peace in this part of Asia?
The idea of human relations taking centre stage was prominent at a recent meeting of people from the seven different conflict contexts in which Conciliation Resources primarily works. As part of a Governance and Transparency Fund project, dozens of local partners and our staff joined together to exchange experiences and share learning on what works well and what's less effective when it comes to preventing violence and building peace.
In the last few years we have seen new forms of diplomacy emerging with local people playing prominent roles, and a new commitment to talk to groups previously seen as ‘beyond the pale’. The ‘Arab Spring’ has re-awakened the world to the potential of non-violent strategies and people’s power. Our growing field of peacebuilding is contributing to these changes, showing real determination and innovation. In this foreword to our newly published 2010–2011 work review, Executive Director Andy Carl reflects on recent peacebuilding developments and the contribution that Conciliation Resources makes.
Thirty-eight countries have signed up to a ‘New Deal’ for engagement in fragile states, which includes a commitment to prioritise five peacebuilding and statebuilding goals. Sophie Haspeslagh, our Policy Analyst, has been closely involved in the process leading up to, and at, the Busan High-Level Forum where these commitments were made. Here, she reflects on some of the things she has learned from the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and offers some thoughts as to where it might go next.
There are significant challenges to peace prospects In East and Central Africa. With the African Union and United Nations’ recent joint declaration to launch a regional military strategy against the Lord’s Resistance Army, added to public attention focusing on calls for an escalation of force, we share our local partners' concerns that the response must centre on the protection of civilians. Lessons must be learnt from the past.