Some highlights from our work in 2018
Ethiopia - Secured a new peace deal in the Somali Regional State
In 2018, Conciliation Resources attended the signing of a significant peace deal, between the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Government of Ethiopia – a process we have been supporting for the past six years. The deal aspires to end over 20 years of insurgency and counter-insurgency in the Somali Regional State (SRS) and has paved the way for the ONLF to return to the region and pursue its political objectives through peaceful means.
West Africa - Prevented violence before and during elections
In the lead-up to the 2019 presidential and regional elections, the Youth Peace Platforms in northeast Nigeria organised and led community discussions around the risks of violence during the election period, enabling over 3,000 youth and 350 women to take part in non-violent election campaigns. To raise awareness of the campaign, they coordinated marches, launched a social media campaign, and hosted radio call-in shows focused on the role of women in promoting and supporting peaceful elections.
Caucasus - Strengthened cooperation through a focus on the environment
Conciliation Resources has been facilitating dialogue among Georgians and Abkhaz for almost twenty years. The current format – the Limehouse Discussion Platform – has created many opportunities for progress on concrete areas of mutual interest. Through a series of informal meetings involving people on both sides of the Georgian-Abkhaz divide, international civil society, officials and others, this year the dialogue strengthened cooperation on environmental issues.
Latin America - Partnered with the Colombian truth commission
In 2018, the Colombian government created the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition in Colombia. Diaspora Woman’s innovative work was acknowledged by the Commission, which asked Conciliation Resources and Diaspora Woman to partner with it in its initial efforts to scope the expectations of diaspora living in Europe. Working alongside other civil society organisations across Europe, Diaspora Woman will contribute to the documentation of 1,000 testimonies of Colombians living throughout Europe who have been affected by the war.
Policy - Secured an exemption for humanitarian aid in UK counter-terrorism legislation
The UK Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill was introduced to parliament in 2018. This included a provision which gives the Home Secretary the power to designate a country, or region of a country, and make it an offence for UK nationals and residents to enter or remain in this area. On return to the UK, an individual such as a peacebuilder, aid worker or journalist could be investigated by the police. We played a leading role with Bond, a network of UK based NGOs working in international development, and individual NGOs, in pressing parliament to accept explicit exemptions for humanitarian, peacebuilding and development support.
Southeast Asia - Resolved community conflicts in the Philippines
Through the establishment of Community Safety Working Groups (CSWGs) in the region of Mindanao, Conciliation Resources and local partners, supported villages to resolve community conflicts, and improve governance in collaboration with government authorities. In total, we set-up 12 CSWGs across four locations. These working groups have meant communities, civil society leaders, and local and regional government bodies are better able to identify and address areas of conflict.