Trust building in a post-conflict society: the case of Somaliland

2015-09-23 - 8:28 pm

By Mohamed Farah Hersi
Academy for Peace and Development, Somaliland
 

Somaliland, which was under British colonial rule from 1884 to 1960, became an independent state on 26 June 1960. Four days after its new-found independence Somaliland unconditionally unified with the Italian colonised Somali territory of the South. The unification of these two Somali territories was due to a Pan-Somali nationalistic ideology aimed at bringing ethnic Somalis of all former colonised territories together under one Somali state.

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Violence, power and the outside peacebuilders: shrinking or enlarging the space for local Civil Society?

2015-09-22 - 11:42 am

By Thania Paffenholz
The Graduate Institute, Geneva

 

A set of factors either enables or constrains local civil society’s role as peacebuilder. These factors are both external and internal to civil society (CS), and can be local, regional and/or international. There are three main sets of factors known from research. The first set of factors consists of the national or local context conditions, such as the level of violence, the behaviour of the state and powerful elites in the country, as well as the features of national or local media. The next set of factors is internal to civil society itself. This set encompasses how different CS actors engage and cooperate as forces for peace, or to what extent CS is divided by politics, ethnicity, religion, etc. A third set of factors operates at the regional or international level, and encompasses whether external actors, including powerful regional actors, support peace in a given context, as well as whether donors and the international peacebuilding community give support that is relevant, timely and effective.

 

Frequently, international peacebuilders restrict the space for local CS by pursuing inappropriate or insufficient strategies. I want to briefly discuss only three factors here, namely power, violence, and the potential constraining role of external peacebuilders.

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The role of trust in peacebuilding in Kenya

2015-09-22 - 1:28 am

By Evalyn Monyani
Catholic Diocese of Malindi, Kenya

Trust cannot be imposed, coerced or bought. It must flow naturally from all the conflicting parties.

The word trust in Kenya is used in the same breath as integration, reconciliation, and cohesion. It often comes up in national dialogues during calls for national healing and reconciliation.

Over the years politicians have strategically enhanced mistrust between ethnic groups through stereotyping in order to mobilise support for themselves. In everyday life, even where there is no apparent conflict, mistrust between some ethnic groups is deeply entrenched in people’s minds, making interaction among them strained and sometimes highly volatile. Lately, this mistrust has been developed along religious lines with the increased number of terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

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There's no magic key

2015-09-15 - 6:19 pm

By Ivana Franović
Centre fo Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade

The invitation to serve as a resource person for the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum got me confused. What can I say about the topic? Peacebuilding is our field, I'm coming from the Centre for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade. We are a peace organisation working on peacebuilding, dealing with the past and reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia. We have almost two decades of experience in doing peacebuilding work in the Balkans, so that is not confusing. But global partnerships? During all this time we actually had very few international partners although we have quite some international contacts. But when it comes to partnerships, to doing something together, most of them run away. Only some brave stay. Or we run away, we are not so brave.

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Re:think Peacebuilding – Kicking-off the debate 2015

2015-09-10 - 1:31 pm

By Marc Baxmann and Natascha Zupan

“Seizing opportunities” was the theme of FriEnt’s first Peacebuilding Forum, which took place in Berlin in May 2014. Against the background of a changing global context for peacebuilding, the Forum ended with a strong call to re-think current peacebuilding policy and practice in terms of our partnership approaches, the responsiveness to local needs and the embracement of complexity concepts. However, there was a clear sense of optimism among participants that we are already moving into the right direction and that there are promising initiatives at both the policy and practice level.

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Welcome to the FriEnt PBF Voices Blog

 

The PBF Voices Blog is not solely shaped by us, the FriEnt team, it shall rather provide a space for conference speakers, participants and other interested persons to share ideas and insights on the future of peacebuilding policy and practice.

All posts relate to the multifaceted theme of the conference in its widest sense. Every article reflects the author’s personal opinion and captures his or her unique style.

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