“Strong together, we love Israel and trust the army” – while a tentative truce takes root, banners adorned with the national colours still dominate cities and highways across the country.
On this Friday, June 6, people from all corners of the world gather here in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to explore a plethora of ideas on the road forward to a world in peace.
The fresh Palestinian-Israeli peace drive stems from the realisation by all parties involved in the process that diplomatic isolation constitutes a strategic threat to Israel. This isolation whip will be held above Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back for as long as it takes for him to agree to the pre-1967 lines as basis for the end of the 46-year occupation.
Wearing a dusty hat and a smile that lights up his face, the septuagenarian José Alicapa does not shrink from the overwhelming bustle of the Colombian capital, which he reached after a 13-hour bus drive from the western province in Caldas.
For the first time, ‘humanitarian diplomacy’ is being deployed to drive home the need for banning nukes - though under the self-imposed exclusion of the P5, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who own a crushing majority of the 19,000 nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over.
A UN summit designed to promote tolerance, plurality and global inclusiveness of civilisations has opened with dire warnings of the threat of religious and ethnic intolerance – at the same time as many states that have ostensibly signed up to the UN’s ideals continue to enforce laws and practices restricting religious freedom, and implicitly marginalising communities.
People in the streets and squares of the Colombian capital are breathing easier. The air is fresh with hope, in contrast to the former leaden and fearful atmosphere of eternal violence and interminable conflict.
When it voted to upgrade Palestinian statehood status from “observer entity” to “non-member observer state”, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) wanted the enduring Middle East conflict to come full circle. But it failed to take into account the Israeli Prime Minister’s opposition to a state of Palestine that isn’t on his terms.
Mamaduwa, a remote village in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya district where scorching winds blow across parched earth, is trying to forget the past.
Rashid was 12 years old when he picked up a gun and received armed training in Pakistan. He was caught by the Indian forces in 1992 and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Five years later when he wished to return to a normal life, everyone turned away from him.
More than a decade after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is still in the midst of an irregular war. Talking peace is difficult because no one quite knows who to talk to.
Question marks hang over the legitimacy of Angola’s general election as Africa’s second-longest serving leader Jose Eduardo dos Santos has won a five-year term in office following his party’s landslide victory.
Even as Côte d'Ivoire gradually recovers from the bloody events of the 2010-2011 post-electoral crisis, massacres in the western part of the country and the frequent sound of gunfire in the economic capital, Abidjan, are signs of the long road ahead.
When Kenyan athlete David Lekuta Rudisha simultaneously became the first person ever to break the 1min 41sec mark in the 800m while also becoming the first person to set a world record at this year’s London Olympics on Thursday Aug. 9, he managed another first. He briefly united an ethnically divided nation.
On election day long lines of people from Sabha’s impoverished community of Tayuri waited to vote under the harsh Saharan sun. Four hundred miles from the Mediterranean coast, Sabha is tucked into the volatile southwest bordering Algeria, Niger and Chad.