(SCF) – Russia has announced setting up a de-escalation zone in the northern part of Homs, including the capital of the province. The area covers 84 settlements populated by more than 147,000 people. The ceasefire took effect on August 3. Russia and Syrian…
How long will it take for the European ‘crisis’ to be re-framed as the new norm, and what are the potential consequences of that shift?
Transition, not crisis
When things go wrong, we generally tend to speak of crisis. Yet, the term ‘crisis’ refers to the ‘exceptional’, to a harmful turmoil that will sooner or later diminish to a parenthesis before returning to normality. Well, this is not the case anymore. The reality we live in is not a human rights crisis. It is a new era. It is a transition: nowhere as visible as in the collective condition of vulnerability that saturates global politics from Sub-Saharan Africa and South America to the Far and Middle East, Europe and Central Asia. Seeing the juncture as a transition, as a chain of causes and consequences, implies that we should conceptualise the ‘crisis’ as a meaningful movement away from and not toward democracy.
Civil society in Ghana has mobilised in large numbers to ensure that the 7th December elections will be fair and peaceful. Faith-based organisations, local NGOs, women’s groups, artists, sportspeople, and prominent Ghanaians have stood up to promote peace and solidarity in Ghana. This popular peace movement is not partisan and does not carry political messages – it is a celebration of democracy.
The Embassy of Denmark supports the work of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Office of the National Chief Imam. Together they are currently implementing the Interfaith Sensitisation Programme on Peace, where they reach out to the Ghanaian youth via different activities such as community/interfaith dialogues and Peace Walks. Dialogues and walks have been organised across five regions, including in Kumasi, Aflao, Wa, Bimbila, Tamale and Accra.
The video above introduces Said Salim Abu Naser, a proponent of sustainable agriculture living and working in Gaza City, Palestine, along the Mediterranean Coast.
Abu Nasser has created a 200-square-meter (2,000-square-foot) micro-farm using a hydroponic system and homemade organic pest-control solutions consisting of garlic, pepper, soap and more.
If the warring parties in Yemen do not reach a peace agreement soon, the country could collapse with menacing consequences for the entire region, the UN humanitarian chief said Monday.
Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council that 80 per cent of Yemenis, some 21.2 million people, need some form of humanitarian assistance and over two million people, including 370,000 children, are suffering from malnutrition.
In a shock result, Colombians rejected a peace accord to end five decades of conflict. Does that mean a return to violence? Or can progressive forces build upon the innovations of the peace process? Tatiana Garavito takes stock.
The chief negotiator had been clear. If voters did not ratify the peace accord between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government, then the country would be left staring into an ‘abyss’. There was no Plan B.
And on the night of 2 October it looked as if that abyss had opened up as the ‘no’ vote won by the narrowest of margins – 50.2 to 49.8 per cent.
UN peacekeeping is big business, but is it achieving its aims? asks Louisa Waugh.
The last time I met Sultan Ibrahim Senoussi, he was at home in the town of N’délé, sitting beneath his favourite tree, holding court from his armchair. Waiting my turn to speak, I noticed a book on his lap and surreptitiously read the title upside-down.
After we exchanged greetings, I asked why he was learning English. ‘Because of the peacekeepers!’ The sultan waved his book. ‘Those Pakistanis don’t speak French. If they can’t talk to us, we must learn to talk to them!’
In the Central African Republic, traditional leaders wield both political and moral authority. As a sultan, Ibrahim Senoussi oversees local administration, including humanitarian works, so is familiar with the UN peacekeepers, whom Central Africans call casques bleus (blue helmets). The Pakistanis in N’délé are part of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission to the Central African Republic (or MINUSCA), launched in September 2014.
Flawed Justice Deal Risks Sustainable Peace
The agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas on August 24, 2016, to end their 52-year conflict is an unprecedented opportunity to curtail abuses in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. But it includes a serious defect that risks its unraveling: a flawed victims’ agreement reached in December 2015, that could guarantee impunity for those responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes.
Peace talks with guerrillas, which began in October 2012, involved partial agreements on five points in the agenda in addition to ending the conflict. They include political participation, victims’ rights, and drug policy. The government will hold a national plebiscite to approve the agreement in the coming weeks.
The Colombian government and FARC rebels have officially reached an historic peace deal, bringing an end to a 50-year war.
The accord, announced in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday, requires the Colombian government to carry out substantive land reform and overhaul its drug trafficking policies. It also requires Bogota to expand state services into rural sections of the country.