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The Colombian people say no to the peace agreement - But hopes for a solution remain

07-10-2016

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 was thought to have brought a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides had started in Havana four years ago, and agreement had been announced on 24 August, followed by the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This had raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. ...

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 was thought to have brought a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides had started in Havana four years ago, and agreement had been announced on 24 August, followed by the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This had raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the whole process has stalled after the Colombian people said no to the agreement in the plebiscite held on 2 October 2016. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, as well as the low turnout, seem to have been decisive for the outcome. But there are still hopes for re-opening the negotiations, as both the 'yes' and 'no' camps have expressed their will to end the conflict; moreover the efforts have been recognised in the award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and are ready to continue to do so in the future. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved. This updates a briefing published in advance of the referendum, 'Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement'.

Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement

29-09-2016

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the ...

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 brings a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides started in Havana four years ago, and they announced a final peace agreement on 24 August, and the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This has thus raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the peace process is far from completed: Sunday 2 October 2016 will be a decisive date in the process, when the agreement is submitted to a popular referendum. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, could prove decisive for the outcome. If the agreement is approved by the Colombian people, the third and most difficult phase – the implementation of the agreement – will begin, and this poses numerous uncertainties about the future. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and will continue to do so during the peace-building phase. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved.

Insecurity in Context: The Rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria

24-07-2014

As the Boko Haram terrorist group wages war on a widening range of targets in Nigeria, the inefficiency of the country’s government has been starkly revealed – along with the urgent need for deep-cutting political and socio-economic reforms to counter a growing sense of insecurity. The north has been particularly hard-hit, with poor governance, omnipresent corruption and worsening social indicators compounding the security problem. Boko Haram, originally a peaceful Islamist movement, has moved progressively ...

As the Boko Haram terrorist group wages war on a widening range of targets in Nigeria, the inefficiency of the country’s government has been starkly revealed – along with the urgent need for deep-cutting political and socio-economic reforms to counter a growing sense of insecurity. The north has been particularly hard-hit, with poor governance, omnipresent corruption and worsening social indicators compounding the security problem. Boko Haram, originally a peaceful Islamist movement, has moved progressively towards militant extremism since 2009, regularly attacking Nigerians and foreigners, Christians and Muslims, northerners and even residents of the capital, troops and civilians, in an effort to destabilise the state. For a number of years the group was treated as an internal Nigerian problem. However, Boko Haram’s illicit and armed activities increasingly take place across the country’s borders. When more than 200 girls were kidnapped in the town of Chibok in April 2014, it was clear that neighbouring countries and the international community would need to coordinate their efforts. In addition to launching a direct response to the security threat, the Nigerian government must address a wide range of grievances to eliminate the root causes of the insurgency in the long term. This has proved a daunting task in the past, and the issue is currently politically delicate: the country is readying itself for the 2015 presidential elections, which are expected to be fiercely contested.

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