Columnists

Lest we forget

Peacebuilding from a southern perspective

What if peacebuilding is never experienced as impartial? What does peacebuilding look like from the global south?

The tension between international assistance and local expertise is a central refrain with complex variations, as we debate Kony2012 and peacebuilding in Uganda, violent sites of authority in Colombia, the best hopes for peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The dichotomy disintegrates as Sri Lankans worldwide fiercely debate the future of their country. Read on.

State-building vs intervention, or how not to help

Together, distorted understanding and flawed policy have compounded the problems of weak states in the global south. A different approach to state-building is needed, says Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Militarisation as panacea: development and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka

Is it possible to secure the dignity, rights and well-being of a conflict-affected population by incorporating them into a military juggernaut that has quickly grown to dominate all spheres of life?

'A slap on the wrist': Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council

An inteview with Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, President of the Tamil National People's Front, who warns that the Tamil genocide has not been curtailed in post-conflict Sri Lanka.

Our voices: Violence against women and impunity

Film: In this series of short films Burundian women look at key issues in the wake of the civil war, which ended in 2005. More than 1 million Burundians were internally displaced or forced to flee the country as a result of the 12-year civil conflict which killed over 300,000 people.

Our voices: Women's political participation

Film: In this series of short films Burundian women look at key issues in the wake of the civil war, which ended in 2005. More than 1 million Burundians were internally displaced or forced to flee the country as a result of the 12-year civil conflict which killed over 300,000 people.

Our voices: Reconciliation and justice

Film: In this series of short films Burundian women look at key issues in the wake of the civil war, which ended in 2005. More than 1 million Burundians were internally displaced or forced to flee the country as a result of the 12-year civil conflict which killed over 300,000 people.

Our voices: Conflict, displacement and land

Film: In this series of short films Burundian women look at key issues in the wake of the civil war, which ended in 2005. More than 1 million Burundians were internally displaced or forced to flee the country as a result of the 12-year civil conflict which killed over 300,000 people.

Discussions in Kampala: another political farce

The government of the DRC and the M23 rebel group talk in Kampala. In Uvira, South Kivu, a group of students explain why they see this as a dialogue of the wilfully unhearing. Français.

Les assises de Kampala: une autre farce politique

Le gouvernement de la RDC et M23, un mouvement rebelle, ont se convoqués en Kampala. A Uvira, au Sud Kivu, un groupe d'élèves explique pourquoi ils les considèrent comme un dialogue de sourds volontairement. English.

La prise de Goma et la prolifération de négociations

Comment les profondes divisions de la politique Congolaise ont permis aux rebelles du M23 de prendre Goma si rapidement. English.

The seizure of Goma and proliferating negotiations

How the deep fractures in Congolese politics aided M23's swift invasion of Goma. Français.

Where we must stand: African women in an age of war

Whether one considers the direct effects of military rule and conflict on women, or the global economic implications of the US war-on-terror, militarism threatens to strip away all the 20th century gains in women’s rights, dispossessing us once more. African women must take a stand, says Amina Mama

International engagement in post-conflict Sri Lanka: lessons from the supposedly “powerless” women of the north

With a recent internal UN report criticizing its operations in the Sri Lankan civil war, international aid groups and donors are grappling with a new way forward. But any reformed policies may be fundamentally flawed if they fail to understand shifting social roles in this 'post-conflict' state.

Real justice, not ephemeral ceasefires

Mohammed Suliman's interview on CNN was abruptly interrupted by an Israeli missile exploding nearby. In a piece originally published in Ceasefire, he reflects on the experience and analyses the continuity of violence before and after last week's aerial bombardment.

La violence du pouvoir, l'exclusion des civils et le M23

Les pays occidentaux décrivent la violence à l'est de la RDC comme un échec cuisant : des personnes et des événements au Congo (ou au Rwanda) ont provoqué l'échec des processus de paix et de développement. Mais le M23 est le résultat direct de processus qui légitiment la violence du pouvoir. Read this in English.

Foreign aid to local NGOs: good intentions, bad policy

International solidarity is a wonderful idea, and the notion of transferring resources from North to South for good causes is morally attractive. The mechanics of doing this properly, however, are far more complex. 

Violent power, civilian exclusion and the M23

Violence in eastern DRC is portrayed by western countries in terms of abject failure: people or events in the Congo (or Rwanda) have caused peacebuilding and development processes to fail. But the M23 is a direct result of processes that legitimate violent power. Français.

Sri Lanka, many shades of accountability

A long-awaited review on the conduct of United Nations agencies during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka is still unpublished, and its terms of reference are shrouded in secrecy. There are further doubts over its authorship and process. All this raises questions over how seriously Ban Ki-moon and his colleagues take the issue, says a Sri Lankan observer who writes under the pen-name Vidura.

Redefining protest in Ethiopia: what happens to the 'terror' narrative when Muslims call for a secular state?

From the periphery, Ethiopian Muslim protesters have recently turned a page in the history of the country. They have proven that demonstrations by religious groups can be peaceful, that secularism can be the aim of these groups instead of their nemesis and that a radical Islamist agenda doesn't have to be the dominant one.

Philippines Peace Agreement – why this one is different

Nonviolent Peaceforce has not just been ‘monitoring’ the ceasefire in Mindanao. NP teams have been out there every day actually ‘peacekeeping’ in the true sense of that word: addressing concrete problems on the ground, de-escalating tensions, preventing displacement and disruption of normal life

'We have no Israeli partners' - Jeff Halper on the Israeli Left and the non-existence of the occupation

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is well respected outside Israel, but barely known in Tel Aviv. Jeff Halper gives a critical perspective on the Israeli Left and the difficulties of strategically opposing the occupation from within.

Aggrey Tisa Sabuni on austerity, corruption and the G7+

In this short film openSecurity talks to the Economics Advisor to the President of South Sudan. The agreement signed in Addis Ababa on the 27th of September means the oil will start flowing again, but what does this mean for South Sudan's future economy, and stability?

Afghanistan Post-2014: power will be shared between the CIA, the Pentagon and the current elite

%22Bordering"A power-sharing political system already exists, but not the one Farhad Arian envisions. The system proposed is unrealistic, and looking to the 'International Community' to bring it into being is misguided, at best.

Threatened in the bud: the fragile existence of policy research and advocacy in Pakistan

%22Bordering"The international focus on Pakistan has affected how knowledge is produced within Pakistan, and who for. Looking ahead, Pakistani research faces a multiplicity of threats, even as non-governmental voices proliferate.

'We think of Zakir as Nick Clegg': Taliban perspectives on reconciliation

%22Bordering"This summer, former leading figures in the Afghan Taliban and former mediators met the authors to discuss Taliban ideas for a peace settlement. This RUSI briefing paper affords rare insights into currents of opinion within the Taliban.

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