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Making peace in a world at war

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.

Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist Co-operative

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