The truce declared in 2012 may have been imperfect and controversial but positive lessons must be learned amid the country’s current crisis of violence.
Like its neighbours in the northern triangle (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala), Belize has a high murder rate that is closely connected to the strong presence of gangs. But the character of gang activity in Belize is quite different from its Central American neighbours. Belize has pioneered some innovative solutions to the problem it is facing. But it will need to overcome the challenges of internal resistance and an acute lack of resources in order to address the political, economic and social issues that marginalise Belize’s large youth population.
Climate refugees – those forced from their homes due to the impacts of a warming world – are living proof of the international community’s failure to prevent climate change. International coordinated action is urgently required to forge a protective framework for increasingly vulnerable populations.
A spate of violence against women in the eastern DRC shows that there is still a long way to go on effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, 14 years after its adoption.
Toxic remnants of war and their legacy of civilian harm is seriously under-explored as an area of conflict. There is a growing consensus that the current legal framework governing conflict and the environment is not fit for purpose – so how could new international norms that merge environmental protection with civilian protection come into effect?
The announcement of fresh counter-terrorism powers in the UK follows assertions that returning foreign fighters present a substantial new threat to national security. But these powers may be counter-productive in the long term, risking a legacy of injustice that will only exacerbate the political tensions of the War on Terror.
Recent talk of peace negotiations in Chad and a ceasefire between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram were a sham. So is negotiating with Boko Haram even possible? What might be the terms on which a political settlement could be reached, and with whom?
Democratic Republic of Congo’s sexual violence epidemic is not only a weapon of ongoing violent conflict but an expression of entrenched systemic problems. Indeed, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is most commonly perpetrated by the security services in place to protect civilians. In Quartier Panzi in South Kivu province, innovative processes of security sector reform and strengthened police-civilian channels of communication may be providing an opportunity for change, argues World Bank adviser Edward Rackley.
Tackling South African water insecurity will require addressing the technical deficiencies, governance gaps and social inequality that are currently having a dangerous and environmentally devastating impact. The links between environmental health and socio-political stability are clear in South Africa, where there has been an exponential increase in violent protests over poor or privatized service delivery, social marginalization, and unequal access to water. South Africa must act to solidify the links between resilient societies and resilient ecosystems.
A new alliance between the Mexican security forces and citizen ‘self-defence’ groups in Michoacán state has brought some short term success in the fight against the Knights Templar cartel. But what will be the long-term consequences of legitimizing heavily armed vigilante groups in Mexico?