Can the London conference on Somalia succeed this time where others have failed? After a year in which large swathes of Somalia have been hit by famine and continued war, and international militarisation has markedly increased, the UK government’s initiative to host an international conference on Somalia on 23 February is welcome. But lessons must be learnt from past mistakes. Ahead of the conference, Mark Bradbury makes the case that support should be given to local Somali-led solutions that promote legitimacy and participation.
In early November the Colombian army killed Alfonso Cano, the head of Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). While many argue this is another significant step towards ending the bloodshed and instability caused by almost five decades of armed conflict, in reality nobody knows for sure what will follow. Responding to recent developments, Kristian Herbolzheimer of Conciliation Resources makes the case – originally published in a Guardian article – that Colombia needs to fundamentally rethink its approach and design a participatory peace process. While, “there are no ready recipes for building peace,” he writes, there is a need, “to keep trying innovative and inclusive approaches.”
As South Sudan celebrates its independence, Conciliation Resources hears from South Sudanese religious and cultural leaders about what they consider to be the ongoing challenges facing the new country.
A recent study of community activism in Northern Ireland highlights resilience as a key outcome of the contribution of community action during times of both violence and tentative peacebuilding.