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Global peace. Can you imagine it? 

Differences and diversity are what make us all unique, a quality that is so dearly celebrated in every single country and culture in the world. Yet in the same breath, these very differences in how we look, what languages we speak, what cultures we are part of and what religion we subscribe to are the cornerstone to the never-ending war that has plagued humanity. 

International Day of Living Together in Peace on May 16 invites each and every country to promote tolerance, forgiveness and compassion among one another. This day encourages the stimulation toward peace and sustainable development through community work on a local level. 

Welcome back to our newsletter. Read. Debate: Engage. 

The good

Progress for peace is being carved

Our collective history as humanity has been far from peaceful. War inspired by religion, national resources, economic benefits, power thirst and racism has been inherent to our very history. And while a war-free planet Earth is far from being a reality, conflict, in general, can be seen to have reduced is large swathes of our globe, as shown by the graph below. It is indeed complex to map out.

While many of us are currently living through peace, we must not ignore the underlying rise of hate; of seeing our differences and diversity as something that tears us apart instead of the glue holding us all together. 

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The bad

The long journey toward ending war

We are living in times of paradox. Of great wealth against immense poverty. Of ubiquitous talent, ideas and aspirations versus the lack of opportunity. Where identity politics has never been so advanced, and yet at the same time racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia are dominating through political incentives, intersectional discrimination and fuelling hate crimes. 

According to Our World in Data, since the founding of the United Nations and the birthing of this international day, state-based conflict has been on an upward-facing curve. 

As we write this newsletter, there are major wars in eight countries, including Syria, Yemen, Somali, Mexico, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. 

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Support Syria’s Heroic Civil Society

by Yair Oded

Join The Syria Campaign in supporting Syria's civil society's struggle to survive the onslaught of war and disease.
About peace and war
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Afghanistan back at historic crossroads between war and peace

by Shadi Khan Saif

Afghanistan this week stood again at the historic crossroads between bloody chaos and orderly democracy.
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Africa's human rights violation hotspots

by Bob Koigi

We are in a situation that calls for bold and daring interventions if the community of nations cares about global peace, stability and order.
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British war crimes in Iraq must be brought to light

by Gurmeet Singh

A new BBC investigation indicates that the British government may have covered up war crimes in Iraq.
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Mocking with peace with over 100,000 dead

by Shadi Khan Saif

The ensuing rages of war keep consuming generations after generations of Afghans yet peace remains elusive despite being seemingly close. 
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The catastrophes threatening global peace and order

by Bob Koigi

Conflicts, climate change, displacements and underperforming economies have defined 2019 as the world increasingly becomes a tough place to live in.
Country focus
Somalia
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The north-eastern cost country of Somalia has a population of 15 million, with four main languages spoken throughout the nation, Somali, Arabic, Italian, English, and Islam as its major religion. 

Somalia gained independence from Italian colonisation and a British protectorate in 1960 and fell into anarchy following the overthrow of the military regime of President Siad Barre in 1991. Since then Somalia has been through tumultuous civil unrest, with rivalling warlords breaking the country apart. According to the BBC, "Since 2012, when a new internationally-backed government was installed, Somalia has been inching towards stability, but the new authorities still face a challenge from Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabab insurgents."