Colombia could soon be approaching the end of the protracted armed conflict with the FARC, but more involvement of civil society in the peace process is needed and lessons from other negotiation processes should be considered. Our Colombia Programme Director, Kristian Herbolzheimer, joins the conversation in London this March.
Inclusive public participation led by Colombian society is vital in the implementation of any peace deals resulting from the current Colombian peace talks, peacebuilding NGO Conciliation Resources says. Social, political and economic actors must seize this window of opportunity and empower themselves to lead on a National Dialogue to assess the multiple challenges in moving from confrontation to collaboration, and draft a road map to stronger democratic institutions.
Conciliation Resources, as part of the International Contact Group, has been providing first-hand advice and support to the Philippines peace process. Today, with the announcement of a Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, we commend the perseverance shown by the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
In what ways can national and regional governments have a positive impact on the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict? At a recent two-day workshop in Bangui, the Regional Civil Society Task Force discussed what is effective, before sharing their recommendations at meetings with the Prime Minister of CAR and international diplomats.
Lebanon’s model of post-war power sharing and liberal economic growth has been widely praised, but it has failed to deliver for most people. More than 20 years on from the Taif agreement that ended the civil war, Lebanon is not a post-conflict society. Our new Accord analysis – which comes as insecurity in Syria poses a renewed threat to Lebanon’s precarious stability – examines options for developing a more positive peace. An accompanying policy brief sets out priorities for change.
Since 2000, the Amnesty Act has been one of the crucial tools employed by the Ugandan Government to end the conflict with the LRA. More than 12,000 former abductees have benefited from Amnesty and abandoned rebellion. The government has now allowed the Act to lapse. In light of this development, 19 organisations met recently in Uganda to discuss the implications this has for regional peace efforts.
Over recent months there have been a number of positive developments in negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Maintaining lines of communication is important in any peace process. On June 8 the NGO members of the International Contact Group for the Mindanao peace process traveled to Camp Darapanan, the headquarters of the MILF. While there, they exchanged views on the current status of these negotiations.
The Kony 2012 viral campaign has caused a media storm. It’s been successful in bringing the LRA conflict to the attention of an audience who hadn't previously heard of Joseph Kony or the violence that's been terrorising people in East and Central Africa for decades. But we urge that there can be no purely military solution to this problem. There must be a political solution that promotes civilian security. Find out how we’re helping communities cope with the conflict and build peace.
In March staff from our Accord programme travelled to Beirut to meet with partners, project advisers and authors as momentum builds towards our upcoming edition on Lebanon. Provisionally titled 'Positive peace? Reconciliation, reform and national self-determination in Lebanon', this publication will review peacebuilding in the country to examine its effectiveness, as well as opportunities and priorities for progress. Find out more about the project so far and the final stages towards publication.
Recent developments in Colombia suggest that the government and FARC each now recognise that violence is not solved by more violence. In a Spanish article for Razón Pública, Kristian Herbolzheimer, Director of our Colombia and Philippines programmes, suggests that Colombia can learn lessons from its own past – both its successes and mistakes – to identify a new approach that is far more inclusive than peace negotiations. Both sides have taken important steps but the challenge remains to define the roadmap to peace.