In November 2015 I visited Syria together with an International Peace delegation. This was my third visit to Syria in the last three years. As on previous occasions I was moved by the spirit of resilience and courage of the people of Syria.
The Freedom Charter
, which turned 60 this year, envisaged that a free and democratic South Africa would be guided in its relations with the rest of the African continent and the world by a desire to seek “peace and friendship”.
The year 2015 marked the 62nd
anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War. The temporary ceasefire has never been replaced with a peace treaty and the demilitarised zone (DMZ) continues to divide the country.
Thirteen years after the peace agreement which ended a decade-long civil war in Bougainville, an autonomous island region of 300,000 people located east of the Papua New Guinean (PNG) mainland in the southwest Pacific Islands, trauma and grief continue to affect families and communities where the fate of the many missing remains unresolved.
It has been five years since Sri Lanka’s brutal three-decades-long civil conflict came to an end in May 2009, but for the country’s youth, true national reconciliation is still a long way off.
After ten years of working towards peace and reconciliation in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, following a five-year civil conflict known as the ‘Tensions’ (1998-2003) which left 30,000 people displaced and hundreds unaccounted for, people now go about their daily lives in improved freedom and personal security. But below the surface, untreated post-conflict trauma continues to impact many individuals and communities.
Sixty-year-old Irina Grigoryan's voice is drowned out by the merry noise of 230 children waiting for their lunch. Director of kindergarten N3, located in Stepanakert, capital of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Region (NKR) deep in the Caucasus, Grigoryan smiles tolerantly at the din.