The city centre felt safe, once you got used to the soldiers on patrol. But as we drove out to a former stronghold of Boko Haram on the edge of Maiduguri – where I travelled for this month’s Big Story – the houses and tents gave out to arid scrubland and the feeling of safety drained away. The land was flat as a pancake, but for a split second I felt dizzy, like I was looking out over a precipice. That fleeting sensation of insecurity was just a hint of the constant danger facing millions living in conflict zones. The world must get better at ending wars – if we don’t, the World Bank warns, 60 per cent of the world’s poorest people will be living in violent, ‘fragile’ countries by 2030.
In search of answers, we tune in to the people who are most impacted by Nigeria’s complex crisis – those at the grassroots whose voices are drowned out by the roar of guns.
A focus towards peacemakers rather than warmongers reveals new stories from all over the world – of courage, survival and recovery – that contain the keys to unlock peace.
New Internationalist has always sought out diverse voices – and now, in this redesigned relaunch issue, we are proud to introduce new columnists from different regions of the world. As a longer, bimonthly publication, we have more space for in-depth features. These include a personal take on meritocracy by New Internationalist founding editor Peter Adamson; the out-of-the-box thinking of ‘What if’ envisaging a world without borders; and a ‘cartoon history’ that retells the little-known story of Congo’s post-colonial hero, Patrice Lumumba. We feel the new form fits New Internationalist’s goals better; we hope you agree.
And finally, do look out for our new shop catalogue, enclosed.
Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
From occupied Palestine to Scottish high schools, people across the world are challenging the warmongers. We profile eight extraordinary women and men on the peace frontline. Words: Hazel Healy and Louisa Waugh. Illustrations: Olivier Kugler.
Unusually, victims testified directly at the Havana peace talks between FARC guerrillas and the government. Maria Eugenia Cruz Alarcón, one of the first to bear witness, explains why she will defend Colombia’s peace agreement – at all costs.
After 20 years of brutal civil war, the rulers of Arcadia and the rebels are ready to consider laying down arms. The mediation team needs a leader and – for some reason – your name is chosen. Do you have what it takes? Take our quiz to find out...
The brutal gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in 2012 shone a blistering light on sexual violence as a staggeringly common occurrence in India. Author Sohaila Abdulali explains how, despite the case’s global coverage, the conversation about rape has only just begun.
Some 70,000 Palestinian workers pass through Israeli checkpoints every day. The process, which can take several hours, is disorganized and conditions overcrowded. Those without proper permits often attempt the crossing via gaps in the Israeli wall and mountain routes along the Green Line and run the risk of being arrested or even shot at by Israeli forces. Words & photography by Anne Paq / Active Stills
Politicians of both Left and Right continue to march behind the banners of meritocracy and equality of opportunity as if this were all that is needed to achieve a fair society. But rewarding people for their ‘merit’ may be creating a new class system based on arrogant, insensitive winners and angry, desperate losers, writes Peter Adamson.