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.
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.
While the media spotlight occasionally shone brightly on the LRA conflict during 2012, throughout the year the four countries affected by the ongoing violence continued to feel its impact to varying degrees. Reviewing trends, we suggest that peace can be found where top-down and bottom-up approaches meet.
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.
Lack of basic services and disruption at border areas is fostering disharmony in West Africa. Following a fact-finding visit to communities in Côte d’Ivoire, Janet Adama Mohammed reflects on the issues they face as they attempt to rebuild after conflict. Working together, and with imagination and cooperation, local people can focus their energies collectively on alternatives to violence.
Expiry of the Millennium Development Goals is closing in but for conflict-affected or fragile states that's a technicality: they won't achieve them. As the debate gathers pace on the post-2015 framework, Teresa Dumasy highlights why a consultative process and addressing conflict drivers is vital.
What is the forecast for the Colombian peace talks following the second phase of negotiations in Oslo? Kristian Herbolzheimer, Director of the Colombia Programme for Conciliation Resources, analyses the public announcement and press conferences made by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Norway, October 2012.
Reflecting on points raised by local people during her recent visit to West Africa, Janet Adama Mohammed explores some of the key topics of concern to Ivorians. What are the issues that risk renewed conflict and how can community-level dialogue help build understanding between neighbours?
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?