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Welcome to the September issue of our e-newsletter, bringing you Saferworld’s latest news, comment, analysis and resources.
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Somalia's federal government, which was formed in 2012, caused excitement when it announced that full, nation-wide elections would be held in 2016. Now that the government has postponed them until 2020 at the earliest - largely due to technical and security challenges as well as a lack of political consensus on the formation of federal member states - the optimism has given way to worries over surging instability and violence.
Instead, a much more complicated semi-electoral system will take place this year, relying on clan-based selection mechanisms that many in Somalia had previously tried to leave behind. The process will also be vulnerable to manipulation and interference by violent actors, risking a worsening of local conflicts that still plague many parts of the country.
In this briefing, Saferworld explores the current picture of Somalia's political transition. We urge all national and international actors to balance support for this process with the imperative of maintaining stability and progress toward effective and inclusive governance at the local level.
In light of the ongoing migrant crisis and growing populism across the continent, the European Union's foreign policy has shifted in kind. Fear and uncertainty have once again caused the domestic needs of member states to be prioritised over people's needs abroad, resulting in a realpolitik, short-term and security-focused approach to development.
In this comment piece, Kloe Tricot O'Farrell warns against the tendency to use development aid as a way to secure domestic priorities, and encourages the EU to rise above domestic interests and continue to champion the rights of the poor and oppressed wherever they live.
The conflict in Yemen has led to a loss of civil society space. Youth activists in the country have been unable to effectively collaborate with each other or exchange ideas. To overcome these limitations, Saferworld is piloting a Whatsapp-based peacebuilding course that will connect youth from across the country, providing a digital platform where they can continue to learn and develop despite political and geographical divides.