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Armed Violence Reduction thoughts and opinions – Latest issues in the global reduction of gun violence and firearm proliferation. Planning for stability and peace, reducing fear of armed violence and enabling communities to achieve sustainable development goals.

The opinions expressed below are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction.

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‘Without peace, there can be no development. Without development, there can be no enduring peace.’

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in Post-2015 Development Agenda 1525
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With the recent defeat of the M23 rebels in Eastern Congo, international attention has again fallen on the protracted crisis in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The largest conflict since World War II, having claimed more than 5.4 million lives, is frequently crowded out of media coverage and international dialogues by other troubled regions such as Syria, Somalia and the Central African Republic. However, operations in the country are now under increased scrutiny due to recent positive developments in the peace-building mission.

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in Investment in Peace 1408
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This blog post is part one of a two part narrative describing the issues surrounding the Baragoi Massacre in November 2012, in Northern Kenya. For part two, click here.

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in Providing Security 2268
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La República de Mozambique es el único país en el mundo que tiene un AK 47 en la bandera nacional. De hecho, con un precio de 30$ por arma en el mercado negro, es uno de los lugares más baratos para obtener una. La presencia simbólica del arma es una desgarradora evocación de la violencia armada que Mozambique ha experimentado durante su corta historia como nación independiente. 

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in Conflict 4501
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The Republic of Mozambique is the only country in the world that has a Soviet AK-47 assault rifle printed on the national flag. In fact, at around US$30 dollars per weapon on the black market, it is also one of the cheapest places to purchase one. The symbolic presence of the gun is a poignant evocation of the armed violence that Mozambique has experienced during its short history as an independent nation.

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in Conflict 1650
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Ukraine is facing the most delicate phase of its “liberation”. The Russian ‘occupation’ (read: invasion) of Crimea, the poor support from the EU and the bankruptcy of its economy are leading the state into chaos. Stabilisation is essential but achieving it will not be easy. Ukraine, as a society, is divided, and the revolution has put its territorial integrity in jeopardy. 

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in Conflict 1471
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Recently branded ‘vermin’ by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, the rights of homosexuals in Africa have taken a turn for the worse in recent months. Just weeks after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonanthan signed a law criminalising gay marriage and membership of gay organisations, his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni followed suit, signing draconian legislation that imposes harsh penalties, including life sentences in some cases, for homosexual acts. 

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in Gender Violence 1378
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Dubbed ‘the worst crisis most people have never heard of’ by Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, the conflict in CAR is woefully underfunded by the international humanitarian community. It is only in recent months that the country – where life expectancy is the second lowest of anywhere in the world – has been the subject of attention from the West, largely as a result of reports citing the conflict as a result of religious hatred, and others claiming the country is teetering on the brink of genocide. 

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in Conflict 1523
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Latinoamérica se ha asociado a una importante expansión urbana durante su transición a la modernidad. Aunque fue predominantemente rural hace cincuenta años, la región cuenta hoy con algunas de las ciudades más grandes del mundo. Sin embargo, esta rápida urbanización y la pobreza que ha traído con ella son algunas de las causas de la aparición de un grave problema en América Latina - la violencia ubicua y el derramamiento de sangre. Aunque muy presente en las vidas de la gente de allá, la información sobre los niveles de violencia es escasa en Reino Unido. Lo único que nos llega de manera tediosa por su persistencia son las fotos de muertos a manos de cárteles mexicanos, telenovelas exóticas sobre mafiosos en Brasil o aún otra conversación sobre Pablo Escobar.

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in Armed Violence Reduction 1341
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As NATO troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014, attention has begun to turn to the consequences for the region. Diplomats are particularly worried that instability and the influence of radical Islam might spread north into Central Asia. However, the danger has been exaggerated, and, without more careful analysis, these worries are likely to produce policies that are counterproductive for the medium- and long-term security of the region. 

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in Conflict 1790
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Although impossible to get an exact figure, there are an estimated 875 million guns in the world. This figure has been around since 2007; it’s likely to be higher now (I refer to the truism: Guns don’t Die, People Do). 650 million of these are in civilian hands. That’s three privately-owned guns to every one controlled by Militaries or Law Enforcement. 

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in Weapons 1498
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It is hard to find a way to describe the scale of armed conflict that the Democratic Republic of Congo has endured without sounding trite. It has so far claimed the lives of an estimated six million people. Although the recent victory of government forces over the now infamous rebel group M23 has given cause for optimism, violence continues to permeate everyday life for most Congolese.

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in Conflict 1610
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in Post-2015 Development Agenda 1451
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(También disponible en español)

Latin America is often associated with the gargantuan urban sprawl that has accompanied its steady transition into modernity. Although predominantly rural fifty years ago, the region today contains some of the biggest cities in the world. However, this extremely rapid urbanisation and the poverty that has accompanied it are some of the causes of another haunting apparition of Latin America – that of the ubiquitous violence and bloodshed. Although woven into the fabric of daily life for people living there, less material about the current levels of violence seems to have reached us here in the UK. What does always arrive tends to fit within forms that are tedious in their persistence: photos of grisly deaths by Mexican cartels, television dramas about gangs in Brazil or yet another conversation about Pablo Escobar. 

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in Armed Violence Reduction 10718
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Residing in the small Samburu community of Longewan, the scene of some of the most intense violence that Samburu County has witnessed, Sampson recounts the events of a particularly horrific morning on which he was attacked by Pokot Moran’s of the nearby village of Amaiya, in what he describes as a direct attempt on his life: 

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in Armed Violence Reduction 1631
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While war is almost universally waged by men against men, it is all too often women and children that are made to feel the effects of its brutality. Sexual violence, used as a weapon of war, creates long lasting effects; it stimulates anger, guilt, shame and stigma and has detrimental effects on development and peacebuilding. In conflict zones incidences of sexual violence increase with the breakdown of communities and with the militarisation of men and boys. 

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in Gender Violence 1283
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