Our 10 top stories of 2021

Published on Thursday, 16th of December 2021

What can peacemakers learn from Afghanistan? How has digital peacemaking developed during the Covid-19 crisis? What kind of role tribes can play in advancing peace in Yemen? Here are our ten top stories of 2021.

1. Janne Taalas, CMI’s new CEO: The key to being a peace mediator is to treat everyone as a human being

The most important thing is to genuinely listen to the parties to the conflict, to their concerns and help them find solutions, says Janne Taalas, CMI’s new CEO. During his career, Taalas has witnessed how peace cannot be achieved alone. “This is a team game not an individual sport.”

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2. Addressing the digital divide of peacemakers — going beyond COVID-19

COVID-19 has critically altered peacemaking and mediation methods. Many such changes are only temporary, but some have the potential to remain in use beyond the ongoing pandemic. Mediation is crucially based on building trust between the conflict parties through the facilitation of face-to-face dialogue.

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3. Yemeni tribal leaders envision paths out of the destructive conflict

A group of prominent tribal leaders from Yemen convened in Istanbul on the 21st and the 22nd of January 2021 to discuss the role of tribes in local and national de-escalation and peacemaking to bring an end to the war in Yemen.

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4. Prisoner exchange mediator Sheikh Naji Murait: “When you’re honest and credible, you succeed.”

Sheikh Naji Murait has been one of the most successful mediators of prisoner releases during the war in Yemen. His work, together with other Yemenis, is a compelling example of the difference tribal leaders can make in the conflict.

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5. Afghanistan lessons: Military might won’t bring peace in Africa’s conflicts

What lessons can be learned from Afghanistan for peacebuilding in Africa? It’s increasingly clear that an over-reliance on military force will not bring about lasting solutions to terrorism in the continent, say CMI’s Senior Advisors Georg Charpentier and Mahmoud Kane. There is an urgent need to invest in sustainable development, peace and dialogue to bring about change.

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6. CMI Insight: Afghanistan lessons – How to build lasting peace in a complex world?

The experiences from the past two decades illustrate the need for future endeavours to focus on finding sustainable solutions to conflicts. Our new publication CMI Insight appraises some of the key changes in the field of crisis management and how approaches have evolved over the past 20 years.

You can download the publication here

7. Young Palestinians call for female activism: “Women should be bold and brave enough to speak up”

Within a strongly patriarchal society, Palestinian women continue face discrimination at home, work and in politics. Young women particularly feel disillusioned about the upcoming elections, the first in 15 years. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, two young Palestinian female activists share their views on how to bring about change.

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8. From Peacemaking to Humanitarian Diplomacy – CMI’s Itonde Kakoma moves on to his next challenge

Without a doubt, CMI’s Director for Global Strategy, Itonde Kakoma, is going to miss Helsinki and Finland as he moves to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. He has taken up the position of Permanent Representative for the IFRC to the African Union.

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9. Podcast: Renewed hope for peace in Libya 10 years after the revolution

As Libya marks the 10th anniversary of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, there is cautious optimism for better days ahead. In this episode of our podcast CMI’s Peace Talks, we discuss what needs to change so that the next 10 years would be brighter for the country.

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10. Diffa Youth Forum sends strong message for peace and reducing extremism

Young people play an important role in the promotion of peaceful societies. At the end of March, the Niger section of the Lake Chad Basin Youth Network held its first Youth Forum, with participants from rural communities and the city of Diffa.

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