FIFTY PER CENT of ‘top down’ peace agreements do not stick. Why? Because they have been negotiated without the participation and understanding of all those involved in the conflict – the people on the ground. Governments are just beginning to learn that local people know what works best to prevent war – or stop war – in their own backyard.

Take Sami Velioglu, for example. Sami is a British Iraqi who returned to his home town of Kirkuk two months after the invasion. He was shocked to see people queuing all day in forty-five-degree heat trying to find out where their arrested relatives were, or ...


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