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February 2016

Dear Subscriber Name

Welcome to the February issue of our e-newsletter, bringing you Saferworld’s latest news, comment, analysis and resources.

We would love to hear your feedback via our social media channels or directly to us at communications@saferworld.org.uk

What lessons should be learnt from 15 years of counter-terror and stabilisation?

In 2016, in the wake of spectacular terror attacks, some Western nations have moved fast to commit to war against Islamic State, doubling down on a mix of air strikes, targeted killings and support to regional and local forces. Despite this, militancy continues to intensify and spread, and the Taliban, al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda all remain undefeated.

In a series of reports launched today, Saferworld looks at experience from past and current counter-terror, stabilisation and statebuilding approaches in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. This experience suggests a fresh response to terror and security threats is needed that is more strategic about peace, tougher on corruption and bad governance, and more focused on working with societies.

An accompanying policy brief introduces the issues and contexts explored in the three reports from a peacebuilding perspective.

UK sold £1bn of bombs to Saudi Arabia in three months last year

Newly published Department for Business, Innovation and Skills figures show that in the third quarter of last year the UK granted over £1bn of licences for the export of bombs to Saudi Arabia, despite overwhelming evidence of human rights violations committed by the Saudi-led coaltion in its aerial bombing campaign in Yemen.

Last week Roy Isbister, head of Saferworld's Arms Unit, gave evidence at the UK International Development Committee's session on the Yemen crisis. In his evidence he stated: "A billion pounds worth of bombs to the Saudi air force—the same air force that the UN says is responsible for multiple attacks on schools, hospital, markets and civilian infrastructure—runs directly counter to the UK’s obligations under national, EU and international law."

Watch the Channel 4 News report:

Read the Guardian article >

Read the Independent article >

Just cities: the role of public space and everyday life

In the latest post for our justice and peace blog series with the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law, Dr. Wendy Pullan from the University of Cambridge examines the dimensions of justice and conflict in cities, arguing that public spaces must be preserved even in times of violence.

Religious leaders: inspiring communities for greater peace in Bangladesh

By involving religious leaders and using their influence in the local community, a Saferworld project in Bangladesh has been able to more effectively address safety and security issues and promote peace.

Public health scenarios in Yemen

There is an urgent need to start planning the reconstruction of Yemen's healthcare system. This report summarises key findings from a workshop at Medact's Health through Peace conference, where Yemeni diaspora, Yemeni analysts, and health specialists discussed health in Yemen.

Openness in fragile environments: the art of the possible

Chris Underwood, head of Saferworld's Asia programme, reflects on January's OpenGov Hub workshop in Washington.

Doing things differently: rethinking monitoring and evaluation to understand change

Our new learning paper outlines the process we have gone through to adapt, embed, and embrace an 'outcome harvesting' approach as a way of monitoring, evaluation and learning that is focused on behaviour and relationship change.

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