PBF Voices Blog


Interview with Alfred Avuni, John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre

FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum

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Interview with Francesca Bomboko, g7+ focal point in the DRC

FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum

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Interview with Lancedell Mathews, NARDA

FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum

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The role of social services in peacebuilding: the Northern Uganda post-conflict experience

08. May. 2014
Alfred Avuni, John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre

Peacebuilding by social services program is not about what is done, but how it is done! Although there have been various conflicts in Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion against the Ugandan Government (1986-2006) was the most tangible, reported and destructive structured conflict in the country’s history, devastating lives, livelihoods and property. Up to 90% of the Acholi population were forced to live in internally displaced persons’ camps, and some were abducted as fighters or wives to the rebels. When a ceasefire was brokered in 2006, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) were asked to return to their villages.

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A praxis journey: peacebuilding, natural resource management and development actors

Lancedell Mathews, NARDA

The quest for peace in the world has taken nations and peoples down diverse paths – the paths of freedom and justice, the way of democracy and human rights, and the road of security and now natural resource management. The lesson we are learning from these journeys is that the values of peace are overarching and must be reflected in local, national and international economics or politics, business and industry as well as the social and cultural everyday life of people everywhere. Natural resources and its ownership, use and how it is administered has for very many years now been called into question and the rich experience of how we have managed it in the past whether through ideas of imperialism, and colonialism, communism or capitalism and now natural resource management must be harnessed and used for promoting a peaceful world.

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No development without security: Re-adjusting priorities in external support to security sector reform

05. May. 2014
Steffen Eckhard, Global Public Policy Institute

South Sudan, Africa’s youngest state and rich in natural resources, had the potential to be a success story. After the peaceful secession from Khartoum in 2011, there was initial political will to resolve remaining disputes between ethnic groups peacefully. However, not all were eager to share oil revenues. And the country remained under arms: military spending accounts for almost half of the state’s budget and 60 percent of all men carry guns. Although the 2011 peace plan foresaw an integration of militias in the new army, previous allegiances and old chains of command remained intact. In December 2013, President Kiir announced that he had headed off a coup led by his rival, the former vice president Machar. The army quickly disintegrated into its former ethnic blocks and South Sudan lurched into violence and upheaval with heavy fighting in Juba and oil blocks in the East. Until today, more than 20.000 have died in what experts see as a blow in the face of liberal statebuilding. International assistance to security sector reform is about more than just improving security forces South Sudan is now threatening to disintegrate. This is problematic for all those who have supported the country’s transition, be it due to economic interests, care for human rights and development or because they fear a lack of statehood in South Sudan might threaten their own security back home. A humanitarian military intervention can provide interim stability. However, South Sudan, as any other state, must eventually be able to sustain its internal and external security by itself. International support to security sector reform is about assisting a state to preserve such a course. Not only crisis countries are in need of security reform. As internal and external threats change, all states continuously reform their security institutions – often by learning from others.

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Security governance – still a touchy issue for peacebuilders?

05. May. 2014
Marius Müller-Hennig,Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and member of the FriEnt team

The UN Security Council recently adopted Resolution 2151 on the issue of Security Sector Reform. This is the first time that the Council adopted a standalone Resolution on this topic. While this obviously is not making any headlines around the world, it is nevertheless an important indicator of the relevance of a subject that sounds dull and technical to some, and highly suspicious to others. Security Sector Reform definitely has become a standard feature for peacekeeping operations and for a variety of development programs and projects. And there are good reasons for this: In Post-conflict situations into which Peacekeeping Operations are being deployed, security is usually fragile and security institutions are often compromised. To enable these institutions to provide credible security for all citizens, while at the same time preventing them to turn into repressive or predatory instruments of intransigent elites, is an obvious peacebuilding need. But it poses severe intractable practical problems.

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Peacebuilding: the role of natural resource management

Oli Brown

The role of natural resources in causing violent conflict has been much discussed, leading to the appearance of terms such as ‘blood diamonds’, ‘conflict minerals’, and the ‘resource curse’. A raft of different initiatives has sprung up to address these challenges: the Kimberley Process, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the EU Forest Law Governance and Trade initiative (EU-FLEGT). There has also been much discussion, and some practical examples, of how shared environmental challenges (such as pollution or climate change) or common resources (transboundary water, for example) can help to bring groups together and encourage dialogue and cooperation.

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Linking justice and peacebuilding

25. Apr. 2014
Graeme Simpson

For more than 20 years, first as a student and anti-Apartheid activist, and then as a civil society contributor to building a new democratic South Africa, in my everyday work, I was constantly integrating the goals of building peace and reconciliation in my country, with the needs to address both past and future experiences of injustice. Whether by reference to torture and disappearances, or the seismic processes of race and class-based marginalization or dispossession - for practitioners - our engagements with peace, justice and development, were practically and necessarily indivisible… in part because ordinary people experienced them as such. However, in the subsequent ten years, working with international civil society organizations dedicated to either human rights or to peacebuilding - despite rhetoric to the contrary - I have encountered a sustained discomfort or lack of innovation and imagination in both fields, to practically integrating these social and programmatic objectives.

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Just another day of unjust peace

16. Apr. 2014
Nenad Vukosavljevic

No peace without justice? Can there be justice after the loss of a human life? How do we compensate for a lost human life? How do we provide reparation for the life that has been lost? What compensation or reparation would be appropriate and sufficient? What would be too little, and what would be too much?

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Blog Series 2018: Shifting Priorities for Peacebuilding?


Ahead of the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2018 we have launched a series of expert blogs exploring how the changing international environment affects the support for peacebuilding in different countries. What has changed in recent years? Where are common trends and challenges? What can we learn from each other? You can find all posts in this blog series here.

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