World Food Day draws into focus the fate of millions of Somalis in need of emergency aid. Years of conflict and ongoing insecurity are compounding the effects of uneven food availability and distribution. The result is famine, widespread displacement, and human suffering on a devastating scale. Whose peace is it anyway? Connecting Somali and international peacemaking – Accord 21 – shows how Somali-led initiatives can provide durable security and law, as well as revitalise the economy. But they need international support.
In August we held a four-day workshop to enhance the capacity of community-based and civil society organisations that focus on cross-border issues in the Mano River Union region. The purpose of the training, which explored participatory active research, was to identify a series of indicators to ‘nip potential conflict in the bud’ before it escalates. The event took place in Monrovia, Liberia, with representatives who work in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone meeting together to share their experiences.
Talking borders is a powerful docu-drama about issues border community people face as they go about their daily lives in the MRU. With our partners in Sierra Leone we have held screenings in Freetown this summer for representatives of the country's security forces, Immigration and Customs agencies. Our aim is to gather security concerns that will feed into a policy dialogue in November. The film was previously screened in 24 border communities and local audiences took that opportunity to share their own issues of concern.
The forced displacement of over 1 million people is a key legacy of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict in the South Caucasus. Our new publication Forced displacement in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict: Return and its alternatives presents the research of Armenian, Azerbaijani and international analysts, who grapple with policy questions arising from this legacy.