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Contributions

The views and perspectives contained in these Blogs are from individual contributors and external sources, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or position of the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva. The links are neither intended as an endorsement of particular publications nor the only source for the updates, but to connect to information in the public domain, for those interested in background or further details.

The beginning of May 2018 was punctuated by elections in three countries of the Arab world, all seen as free and fair by international institutions, although some incidents were criticised. Legislative elections were held in Iraq and Lebanon, and Tunisians were called to the polls for municipal elections. With a record abstention rate in Tunisia (also disappointing in the other two countries), and suspicions of irregularities, or even fraud, in Iraq, it is nevertheless noteworthy that these elections were held in tense economic, political and social contexts, and contradicted some forecasts. These elections, while fragile, still represented hope for democratic change in a region that had been tormented for far too long.

In addition to its conflict transformation activities on the ground, in the past several years the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva (CFG) has made training one of its strengths. We sincerely believe that promoting peace also means educating young people and training actors in the field. This is all the more effective because the audience is diverse, including actors belonging to the various stakeholders of a given conflict. Under these circumstances, the training venue becomes a real mediation space where the participants, in addition to acquiring technical knowledge, get to know each other, to exchange and to make joint analyses.

by Lakhdar Ghettas

Thirty years this November Zine el Abidine Ben Ali assumed power in Tunisia ending thereby the rule of ailing Habib Bourguiba who ruled the country since its independence in 1956. Ben Ali promised political reforms that lured large segments of the Tunisian polity, including the Islamists. Those hopes were soon shattered by the brutal crackdown following the 1989 general elections in which Ennahdha ran on independent lists, and came second after Ben Ali’s RCD party. Leftists were not spared either and by 2010 Ben Ali managed to unite most Tunisians against his authoritarian rule. Tunisians embarked on a political transition that has been underway seven years now.

by Kheira Tarif

In the context of the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva’s Middle East Program, a discussion with Iraqi partners fostered the idea of working with tribal and religious leaders as influential actors of change and reconciliation in the country. Strengthening locally-accessible and legitimate dispute resolution mechanisms can help stem the escalation of local tensions in Iraq, and detract from the rationale of violent alternatives...