© EPES Mandala 2011

Archives News

New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at EPES Mandala Consulting Ltd


EPES consultants’ personal data are collected, saved and processed solely for the purpose of offering work opportunities and contain the following details: 

I. Name, address, telephone number, email address; 

II.  (ii) Curriculum vitae.

EPES partners’ data are collected similarly and saved with the following additional information to fulfil their contractual and fiscal obligations as EPES institutional clients request: 

III. employment and educational certificates and references, contracts, invoices and communication via email and Skype

IV. Financial data (e.g. bank details, VAT no.)

In line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the personal data provided to EPES are handled in the following manner:

- CVs are solely used for preparing tenders and for providing EPES consultants with business opportunities in their respective field of expertise. The data provided in consultants’ CVs will only be used with their consent in each individual case;

- Consultants’ contact details will only be used to address each of them respectively in regard to professional matters. Contact data and CV are stored on a server that can only be accessed by authorized persons and is securely protected against unauthorized use.

In case EPES consultants and partners want to change their data or they wish their data to be removed from EPES system, they should write an email requesting this to: office@epesmandala.com

EPES Mandala Consulting Team

Poulton, Robin Edward and Rafaella Greco Tonegutti (EPES Mandala Consulting)

Demander à la bibliothèque locale de commander ce livre pour vous:

Ask your local library to order a copy of this book for you:

Poulton, Robin Edward and Rafaella Greco Tonegutti (EPES Mandala Consulting)

The Limits of Democracy and the Postcolonial Nation State: Mali's democratic experiment falters, while jihad and terrorism grow in the Sahara. 

Lewiston NY & Lampeter, UK: Mellen Press, October 2016.




Conference on DOING BUSINESS IN AFRICA (Virginia Commonwealth University, 4th-7th October 2017):  EPES Mandala Consulting is a sponsor, and is providing both a Keynote Speaker (Dr Michelle Elcoat Poulton) and several of our team members (Zakiyatou, Kalifa, Robin) are presenting papers and leading discussion panels.

Mutinerie en Côte d’Ivoire bloque une évaluation DDR

 The very week in early January 2017 when we were purchasing equipment and air tickets to travel to Abidjan, a mutiny occurred among former rebels who had benefitted from the government’s DDR programme that we were about to evaluate on behalf of the UN. Since these were the people we were supposed to interview, the evaluation has had to be delayed.

New book by EPES authors Fall 2016

Keep your eyes open for this new book coming out in the Fall of 2016, the second collaboration between EPES consultants R Poulton (Mali and SSR expert) and R Tonegutti (migration expert) :

Poulton, Robin Edward and Rafaella Greco Tonegutti. 2016. The Limits of Democracy and the Postcolonial Nation State: Mali's democratic experiment falters, while jihad and terrorism grow in the Sahara. Lewiston NY & Lampeter, UK: Mellen Press

Muhammed Ali dies 3rd June 2016

Muhammed Ali dies 3rd June 2016

We mourn and we celebrate Muhammed Ali who died today.

If we had to name two men who stood out as world role models of the 20th Century, it would be difficult to surpass Nelson Mandela and Muhammed Ali. Both were towering moral personalities. Mandela was worshipped by people outside South Africa, even while he sent 27 years in prison for so-called “terrorism” (a word repressive regimes use to describe political opponents they have excluded from discussion and representation). Ali was worshipped across the world for his supreme sporting skills, for his outrageous-but-hilarious personality, and for preferring prison to the immorality of serving in an imperialist war against the legitimate independence ambitions of the Vietnamese. 

Muhammed Ali was controversial at home, because he stood up against racism in America. He also adopted Islam, and showed the world that how a good Muslim can be a Peace Maker. His moral and religious positions made him all the more admired in Europe. When the BBC held a poll to name the greatest sporting personality of the Twentieth Century,[1] Ali received more votes from BBC viewers than all the other finalists put together:  soccer stars George Best (Ireland) and Pele (Brazil), cricketer Sir Donald Bradman (Australia), golfer Jack Nicklaus and athlete Jesse Owens (both USA) were in the pool.

And that doesn’t take account of famous sporting names who did not make the final:  like Michael Jordan from basketball; modern long distance runners Heile Gebreselassi and Mo Farah, and the legendary Czechoslovak runner Emile Zatopek who won three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki; American swimmer Michael Phelps (22 gold-medals in total); David Beckham King of British soccer; Roger Federer, the durable and elegant Swiss tennis star; Ruth Babe (but no one in Britain has even heard of baseball, let alone Ruth Babe); Joe Davis 15 times world champion and legendary snooker player (what the heck is “snooker?” – well, it is the ancestor of Pool and it was invented in Ooti, a Hill Station resort in Southern in India, by bored by creative British army officers); or my own great uncle Ronnie Poulton, who was captain of the 1913 Grand Slam English Rugby Team and who still holds the record for the greatest number of tries scored in a match (four in an international match, recently equalled by Chris Ashton, and FIVE for Oxford against the lesser university known as Cambridge).

Muhammed Ali surpassed all of these greats. We salute his life and his legacy.

Farewell, Kevin Lyonette

Farewell, Kevin Lyonette

We are very sad to announce the death on 14th February 2016 of a dear and respected colleague. We present our deepest sympathies to Elenor and the rest of Kevin’s family.

What a distinguished man Kevin Lyonette was!  His career in the British Foreign Service and then for the United Nations was one of the very highest quality and distinction.

We only knew Kevin during what other people might call "retirement" and which was for him a joyous period of ROM travel working for the European Union all over the world, measuring impact and judging progress in their development programmes on behalf of the European Parliament and EU taxpayers. He did this job supremely well. Kevin was a great mentor for dozens - maybe even hundreds - of junior experts learning their trade. Many were African technical experts trying to adjust common sense and their understanding of the needs of ordinary people, to fit the abstruse mechanisms of an EU that is led and designed entirely by well-meaning white elitists and accountants (mostly men), who have no experience of the lives of the people they want to help. Le us be frank: that is the reality of bureaucratic and political life in a supposedly post-colonial world! 

Kevin understood this perfectly; and his patience with both sides of the conundrum was exemplary. Perhaps he was sometimes even able to square the circle?  Most of all, however, Kevin was a wise and kind man, and lovely person whom it was a real pleasure to have known and to have had as a friend. We miss him, but he leaves us with beautiful memories.


Happy New Year 2016 to all our consultancy teams.

The ROM first phase (2015-2016) is drawing to a close. The new wave will begin in March-April when new consultants may be added to the roster (according to the EU rules for Results-Oriented Monitoring).

The terrorist attacks in Paris (Nov 13th) and Bamako (Nov 20th) leave us all stunned and saddened.

Nous exprimons nos condoléances à la France et au Mali. 

The terrorist attacks in Paris (Nov 13th) and Bamako (Nov 20th) leave us all stunned and saddened.

The management and staff of EPES Mandala present their sincere condolences to the people of both

countries. In fact, in the Bamako attack, we have lost an American colleague and our heart goes out

to her family and friends.


Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of a daughter.

A beautiful new princess for the British Commonwealth of Nations !  

How exciting !

The ROM has finally started !

AFTER A YEAR OF WAITING, we have won the EU's contract for African Results-Oriented Monitoring, as part of a consortium led by Eptisa.

The first stage is called End-of-Project Results Reporting: collecting data to show what the EU has achieved. The very first mission is already started. Olivier Pêtre, our CEO has travelled to Uganda. Robin Poulton will be the second, traveling to South Sudan in early May 2015.  More news about the ROM later !

EPES Mandala has been short-listed for the new Results Oriented Monitoring contract with the European Commission

We are happy to announce that the two consortia in which EPES Mandala Consulting is a partner for the new Results Oriented Monitoring contract with the European Commission have been short-listed.

In particular, EPES Mandala is going to bid for two lots: Lot 2 Africa and Lot 5 Centrally Managed Thematic Programmes.



Dr Robin Edward Poulton in Mali with MINUSMA

06 June 2014


Dr RE Poulton is in Mali, working with MINUSMA on disarmament issues.


Le Dr Robin Poulton se trouve au Mali où il travaille avec le MINUSMA sur des conceptions de désarmement


Nous présentons toutes nos condoléances aux familles éprouvées par les violences à Kidal les 17 et 21 mai et nous prions pour une solution calme et pacifique aux differends maliens.


WOMEN WAR & PEACE Conference

31 May 2014

AWARD for peace conference

EPES Mandala was one of the sponsors of a conference on WOMEN WAR & PEACE at the Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond Virginia last September.

The conference celebrated the work of women in bringing peace to Liberia and Mali during the 1990s, and looked forward to the role of women in the Malian peace process.

Sister Cities International has just awarded a Humanitarian Award to the  Richmond-Ségou Jumelage, congratulating the sister city commissions in the two cities for being sponsors of this conference.

We are happy to have been associated with them, and we share their pleasure at the award.

New contract awarded Virginia Commonwealth University study visit to West Africa

15-31 May 2014

In the context of furthering international partnerships and education exchange, EPES Mandala has been awarded a contract to escort VCU students from Virginia to West Africa (Ivory Coast, Mali). 

We will be teaching the students about peace in West Africa, following the organisation last September of the conference WOMEN WAR & PEACE.


17 December 2013 in Rome is the launch - at an event organised by INTERSOS, one of our favourite NGOs - of a new book written by two EPES Mandala consultants about the 2012 Coup d'Etat in MALI :


'Silenzio su Bamako. Il golpe del Mali e l'intervento armato', Eds Ruitini, Rome 2013

co-authors Raffaella Greco Tonegutti & Robin Poulton

IF YOU SPEAK ITALIAN, this is the book for you!


If you have Italian in-laws, you must buy them this book for Christmas !


Look out for an English version (updated with the French invasion of the Sahara and Mali's recent elections) to be published in 2014 under the title : Democracy in Mali and War in the Sahara


Madiba has died Long Live Madiba!


We mourn the passing on Africa’s and the World’s greatest leader, peace maker and reconciliator. Nelson Mandela was a lodestone for me, a guiding light for my life and philosophy since my earliest days as a student anti-apartheid activist in St. Andrews, Scotland. Mandela was already in jail when he was put on trial for treason in 1964, and his release from jail on Robben Island was the main political cause to which I dedicated my student years (in addition to rural development and fighting poverty, justice for refugees, international planned parenthood, and fighting against US aggression in the Vietnam war).


In 1969 the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee exiled in London (led by Dennis Brutus, Sam Ramsamy and Peter Hain), decided to launch a campaign to isolate South African sport. The focus was on harassing the South African rugby tour of Britain and forcing abandonment of the planned 1970 cricket tour. The first rugby match was against Oxford University. I started my Master’s at Oxford in September 1969, and so I was the person delegated by SANROC to launch the campaign of demonstrations against South Africa. As we all know, every rugby match attracted tens of thousands of anti-apartheid demonstrators and the cricket tour was cancelled. South Africa was boycotted from international sport, and this inflicted a body-blow to the system and culture of White South African domination.


As a member of the National Committee of UNSA (United Nations Student Association) my first task was to meet with the Oxford UNSA committee, especially the Secretary Ms Michelle Elcoat. Our campaign was spectacularly successful. At the SANROC national mass meeting in Trafalgar Square, I held the M and Michelle held the A of the huge MANDALA banner on the balcony of the National Gallery. In 1972 we married. Though he did not know it, Mandela was the inspiration for our marriage…. And 30 years later he was the inspiration for the name of my peace company EPES Mandala Consulting Ltd.



EPES Mandala uses ISACS to evaluate programmes in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific

"ISACS has proved to be a valuable resource/tool for ‘monitoring and evaluating’ EU sponsored programs on ‘community safety’ in African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) countries. We are not a training institute but we’ve found it useful in:

1. Designing the general methodology for the monitoring and evaluation assignments

2. Developing questions and discussion topics for workshops for local community groups and the security sector

3. Developing recommendations and ‘action plans’. etc."



EPES Mandala sponsors a Peace Conference

Inspired by the threat of War in the Sahara Desert, and also by the work of West African women in promoting peace, we were pleased to help Virginia Friends of Mali and the Virginia Commonwealth University in the USA to put on an impressive conference in Richmond, VA on September 20-21, timed to coincide with Mali's National Day. The lessons of how civil society and women's associations promoted the Malian peace process in the 1990s - and the Timbuktu Flame of Peace on 27th March 1996 - were combined with a celebration of the two Liberian women winners of the Nobel Peace Prize: Liberia's elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the President of the Liberian Women's Peace Network in Liberia (WIPNET, also known as "the women in white"), Ms Leymah Gbowee. There was an impressive showing of the powerful film on WIPNET "Pray the Devil back to Hell" (the 'Devil' in question being Charles Taylor) and the producer of this film, Ms Abigail Disney, made a surprisingly emotional impression on her international audience. One student was overheard to say, "This conference has been a life-changing experience for me." So we may be pleased with our sponsorship and its impact.


Take a look at the conference website and the documentation for each panel:   www.vcupeace.net


We congratulate the people of MALI.

 We congratulate the people of MALI on the election of their new president His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who was sworn in on 04 September 2013.  We wish them peace.

EPES Mandala Consulting is committed to promoting peace

 EPES Mandala Consulting is committed to promoting peace. We do not believe that bombing Syria could be useful: adding more Syrian deaths in order to 'punish' the regime will not help produce peace.

Instead we believe that Conflict Transformation could produce positive new elements if the USA and Russia, together with Allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States were to guarantee the security of Syria and Iran in a Treaty : in exchange of the abandonment - or international  inspection controls  over all WMD.


In the meanwhile EPES Mandala is one of the sponsors of a Conference on Women War and Peace in Richmond, Virginia on September 20-21, focusing on West Africa where we have bone a lot of work. (see: www.vcupeace.net)

The arms trade treaty

 On 2 April 2013, the General Assembly adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. The treaty will foster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilising arms flows to conflict regions. It will prevent human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arms. And it will help keep warlords, pirates, and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools.

Ammunition is a prerequisite for engaging in combat operations. No ammo, no shooting!  Experience from conflict zones and organised crime fighting shows stopping regular flows of ammunition is an effective way to reduce violence involved.

Conflict, armed violence and criminal activities rely on the balance of power created by the use of small arms and all are fuelled by ammunition. Ammunition is heavier to carry and more difficult to hide than firearms themselves. Ammo can also be traced and its origins identified.

A number of States – all major arms exporting governments - already regulate the activities related to ammunition: from manufacture to transfer, from transit to re-export, from brokering to commercial trade. The US system, one of the most comprehensive in the world, places export controls over transfers of ammunition, ordnance, components, explosives and propellants for SALW, controls that include direct transfers, re-exports, licensed production and brokering activities.

The objective of the Arms Trade Treaty is to establish the highest common international standard for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms, in order to prevent international transfers facilitating human suffering, serious violations of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, or contributing to armed conflict, displacement of people, organized crime, terrorist attacks thereby undermining peace, safety, stability and security for communities.

EPES Mandala Consulting supports calls to include ammunition controls in the ATT.

Basil Davison - In memory of a Great African Historian

Basil Davison - In memory of a Great African Historian (9 November 1914 – 9 July 2010)

London 27th January 2011

In London today was held the memorial service for our old and dear friend Basil Davidson, campaigner against injustice, historian of apartheid, and above all the man who brought to the attention of the Western World the African fight for freedom from Portuguese colonial rule during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

During the Second World War Davidson was a hero of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) / MI-6D Section (sabotage) working behind enemy lines in places like Budapest and Belgrade. Later he served in Egypt and in Italy. After the war, as a journalist, he thought he would write about the Cold War from places he knew behind the Iron Curtain … but he was arrested by Marshal Tito on his very first visit, and sent home because he knew too much !  Instead, Basil went to Africa. 

Basil’s early books had titles that set the scene for his life’s work. This is what he taught us when we were students studying international politics and post-colonial Africa : Let Freedom Come: Africa in Modern History ; The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State; A History of Africa ; Lost Cities of Africa ; African Kingdoms ; Black Mother …. When we were children, Africa had no history for the coonial powers had hijacked Africa for the Europeans. Basil Davison did more than any other Anglophone historian to give Africans back their history and we are grateful for it. He never realised, of course, but we can state truthfully that EPES Mandala Consulting exists partly because of Basil Davidson and his commitment to Africa, thanks to the flame he lit in our spirits to keep fighting for African peace.

For his and Mick Csaky’s film series Africa, he won the Gold Award from the International Film and Television Festival of New York in 1984, and also from the United Nations. Basil was also Hon Fellow of SOAS in London, and received Hon Doctorates from the Open Universty and from Edindurgh University. He was the recipient of the 1970 Haile Selassie Prize Trust award for his works on African history, receiving a Gold Medal and Eth $40,000 at a ceremony in Addis Ababa in 1970. In 1976, he won the Medalha Amilcar Cabral.

Thank you, Dear Basil. May you rest in peace!




EPES Mandala Consulting, the Founders and all its staff and team members, present their deepest commiserations and most heartfelt condolences to the people of Haiti whose capital city and nation have been devastated by the January 2010 earthquake.

We present our deepest sympathy also to our friends and colleagues in all the United Nations agencies in Haiti, whose operations and staff members have been shattered by the catastrophe.

One of our Haitian colleagues reports that her parents and her 102-year-old grandmother have been spared, but they are living in the street because the walls of the family house are too badly cracked to be safe… although the roof is still in place because it is built on pillars. Meanwhile all around them are neighbours and friends crying over lost children, parents and loved ones.

With more than one million people said to be without shelter, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims ; and while emergency relief is not an area of our special expertise, we will see in the coming weeks  what practical help we may be able to offer to the people of Haiti.

October 5th and 6th. EC workshop on potential activities in the field of prevention, combat and control of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons for funding under the Instrument for Stability.

Our Brussels team will participate on the 5th and 6th of October at an EU workshop on the smuggling of small arms and light weapons. In partnership with the group IBF, we are advising the EU on tackling small arms trafficking and organised crime. The recent spate of assassinations in Guinea Bissau are directly related to mafia groups smuggling cocaine across West Africa and into Europe: the attorney general's life was threatened after she tried to tackle drug smuggling, the navy commander was arrested for drug-related activities, the army head was assassinated and then soldiers stormed the presidential palace and killed the head of state.

The Validation Workshop will bring together a number of experts from five continents, and the debate will assist the managers of the EU's Instrument for Stability (IfS) to identify key areas (both geographical and thematic) where the inter-regional fund of the IfS can make a measurable contribution to counter the trafficking of small arms and address the increased globalisation of organised crime.


Within this framework, Dr Poulton was in West Africa for the EU in July 2009. Here is a photo taken at a dinner with Dr Hallassy SIDIBE, expert in decentralisation and conflict resolution and Dr Mamadou KANTE who leads a USAID project in participative governance in Mali.


September 2009: EPES Mandala Consulting visits the Arab Republic of Syria

During September the Managing Partners of EPES Mandala Consulting Ltd visited the Arab Republic of Syria, where they met with peace makers and recruited new consultants to the EPES Mandala team. Among the most interesting people in this hospitable country was a distinguished ecumenical peacemaker, Mar Gregorios Yohannes Ibrahim, Metropolitan of Aleppo in the Syriac Orthodox Church - one of the oldest of the Christian churches. 

We believe there is value in adding spiritual expertise to our existing specialist knowledge in security sector reform, disarmament, small arms and terrorism, organized crime, conflict transformation, human rights, child protection and other areas in which we work. This conviction is shown in our name: "mandala' is a Buddhist prayer circle that symbolises harmony, and hints that our approach to sustainable development differs from the traditional Western Cartesian models.


May - June 2009 : EPES Mandala Consultants Melissa Steward and Luz Lainfiesta are in Mozambique in terms of mission: “Technical Assistance for Regional Conference on Child Trafficking in Southern Africa”

Overall objective

The overall objective of this contract is as follows: Provide expert technical assistance to the Government of Mozambique Intra-Ministerial Working Group and appointed partners, such as representatives of civil society and international organizations in :

1) The mapping and consultation process, both in Mozambique and the SADC region, prior to the conference;

2) Providing expert technical assistance in the preparation of contents for the planned high level Regional Conference on Child Trafficking in Southern Africa;

3) Accompanying the Government of Mozambique’s Intra-Ministerial Working Group in the period leading up to the conference as well as the post-conference period.


The overall purpose of this contract is to provide the necessary technical expertise and support to the Government of Mozambique’s Intra-Ministerial Working Group in the preparation of the high level Regional Conference on Child Trafficking. This includes a consultation process in the country and SADC region; as well as the development and production of content for the regional conference; and the necessary follow-up, post-conference.

EPES Mandala Consulting provided technical support for the SADC Conference on Trafficking in Persons.

European Commission –EC-, deeply concerned over the negative consequences and suffering caused by trafficking of children and recognizing that the Southern Africa Countries are highly vulnerable to trafficking as a result of war, poverty and inequality, decided to support the government of Mozambique to host a regional conference on Child Trafficking since 2007.

After a couple of occasions in which Conference were cancelled, EC Mozambique contracted EPES Mandala to provide the necessary technical expertise and support to the Government of Mozambique’s Intra-Ministerial Working Group and appointed partners in the preparation of a High-Level Regional Conference on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in Southern Africa.

EPES Mandala technical experts Lucy Lainfiesta and Melissa Steward worked behing scenes with the assistance of Denise Molica, the team leader, Valentina de Bernardi, the EC Delegation focal point for the conference, and Barbara Kerstiens, Head of the Social and Humanitarian Affairs Section, providing critical technical support for the organization and the content of the Conference. The assistance focused in ensuring that key stakeholders were consulted and content of the Conference was harmonized with the protocol of Palermo, the EU integrated approach to combat trafficking (Three Ps – Prevention, protection and prosecution) and other international and regional tools and initiatives.

The Conference was successfully held in Maputo on May 26-28, 2009 under the leadership of the SADC Secretariat, and gathered over 200 experts, representatives from governments, NGOs, International Organizations, EU Member States, local authorities and civil society associations. The first two days were dedicated to develop a final draft of the 10 years regional plan of action on combating human trafficking especially women and children and the annotated agenda to be discussed and adopted during the Ministerial Conference carried out the third day.

The Conference ended with the adoption of the 10 YEAR SADC STRATEGIC PLAN OF ACTION ON COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN by the Ministries or Official delegates from Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The plan and the RECORD OF SADC MINISTERIAL MEETING ON TRAFFICKING, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN demonstrate the political will of SADC States member to combat trafficking in persons, and set out their commitments to implement cooperative actions to enhance their capacity to address critical issues related with trafficking in persons and hopefully will reduce the number of cases of this criminal acts.

This Conference raised awareness of government of SADC and other regional stakeholders, in regards to Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children in the region; and strengthened their commitment to implement the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. The conference also provided a forum for discussion between Governments of Southern Africa, NGOs, Civil Society and International Organizations, which can be the foundation for future collaboration and further discussions.

March – June 2009: Ghassan Rubeiz is in Egypt

Mission: “Children at Risk Programme Final Evaluation Mission”

Consultant: Ghassan Rubeiz

Overall Objective

The overall objective of the Children at Risk Programme is twofold:

a) The poverty among vulnerable children is reduced and their social development is thus improved.

b) The capacity of the NGOs to contribute effectively to social development is enhanced.

Specific Objective

In line with the priority areas as defined in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) and National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2002-2004, the specific objective of the Children at risk programme is:

a) The living conditions and the prospects of social reintegration of five groups of economically vulnerable and socially marginalized children are improved.

b) Girl’s access to education is facilitated.

c) The NGO sector is strengthened.

d) The relevant authorities (MISA’s NGO department) and the NGO sector cooperate closer.

Ghassan Rubeiz, an expert within EPES Mandala reports :

This spring, I was in a team assigned to Egypt to evaluate an extensive, externally funded, child welfare program. Evaluation involved extensive visits to five groups of projects which served Children at Risk: FGM, girl schools in remote areas, services to children with disability, projects with street children and with working children. A three-member team spent seven weeks in the study of documents, field visits, interviews and discussions with program implementers, experts, officials and funding personnel.

I was particularly interested in projects of disability. Of the many disabled children I visited, one story stands out. A twelve-year old boy had never left his dwelling. His small room had no windows; his mother, who was ashamed for having him, took care of him in secret. The father had abandoned the family. There is progress in this family. The social worker is pleased that the boy is now going on trips with school children. The next therapeutic step is for the mother to accept to walk with her child in his wheelchair through the neighborhood. As she receives support and education through the project she is now proud to have him.


December 2008 Catherine Mariano is in Nairobi

Catherine Mariano is in Nairobi, again working with UNDP Somalia (in a follow-up assignment to our 2007 Somali Peace Conference). Catherine is helping to find ways to implement the Djibouti Peace Accord, to promote peace and facilitate negotiation with the UNDP team. The news broadcasts tell us, however, that there are repeated dissentions between Somali politicians and between the titular President and his Prime Minister. A political solution is the only solution. Unless Somalis can find a compromise, there is not much the UN or anyone else can do, and the problem of piracy will continue along the coastline of this failed state.

The end of the year approaches and this is the moment when the management would like to wish everyone peace and happiness in 2009. The whole world could do with some peace and happiness.

November 2008 Tore Rose is in Myanmar

Tore Rose is in Myanmar (Burma to the old-fashioned) working with the UN on post-hurricane relief efforts. This makes a change from security issues, but the problems are similar and the human cost in misery is no less.

General Henny van der Graaf continues to advise senior Somali political figures on security issues related to the search for new state structures in Somalia, while Ibrahim ag Youssouf pursues the search for peace in Darfur wearing the hat of the African Union.

An interesting new publication has been launched in Vienna by UNCRI

We have an article in the first issue:
“Curbing Illegal Brokering in the Arms Trade: Challenges and Opportunities”

by Valerie Yankey-Wayne and Robin Edward Poulton, in Freedom From Fear,
UNCRI, Vienna, October 2008 p8-11.

October 2008 New bids for European Union Framework Contracts

New bids for European Union Framework Contracts were submitted mid-October and we are very hopeful that one or more of the Consortia of which we are members will win a Framework Contract for the next five years.

Meanwhile Dr Andria Wisler has started her new position in Georgetown University, teaching peace studies and conflict resolution. We send her our warmest congratulations. Andria is the Editor of our Lessons Learned Series and is envisaging the creation of our Conflict Transformation Essays. When she has her teaching under control, Andria would be delighted to receive input from members of our team, or from future members !

September 2008 Colonel Michel Sallé and Dr RE Poulton completed a massive evaluation of the ECOWAS West African small arms programme ECOSAP

Colonel Michel Sallé and Dr RE Poulton completed a massive evaluation of the ECOWAS West African small arms programme ECOSAP. Col Sallé is a Centrafrican diplomat, former Interior Minister of the CAR and currently Counsellor for Security and Terrorism Affairs at the Presidency, with ministerial rank. Michel was able to obtain leave of absence and to join Robin for an evaluation by two independent and complementary small arms specialists - they became friends in 2002 when the latter worked on a disarmament plan for Guinea Bissau at a moment when Michel was Senior Military Advisor to UNOGBIS.

One happy spin-off of this mission was that they found the time to get back in contact with David Stephens, now retired, who was Special Representative of the UNSG in Bissau in 2002. The front page of the website shows a picture of REP and MS in Bissau in 2002, with the leadership of the National Commission for small arms control: André Paolo Nhanca, Executive Secretary and Dr Mario Cissokho, Political Advisor.

Catherine Leila Poulton (Robin and Michelle's daughter) started a new contract in Damascus caring for Iraqi refugee women and girls. She is now working as advisor to the UN HCR, as a specialist on gender-based violence.

June 2008 Catherine Leila Poulton, one of our Founders currently working with International Rescue Committee fighting gender-based violence in Central Africa

Catherine Leila Poulton, one of our Founders currently working with International Rescue Committee fighting gender-based violence in Central Africa, presents a paper at an international conference in Uganda on Gender-Based Sexual Violence.

May 2008 Dr Andria Wisler

Dr Andria Wisler, one of our founders and a graduate of the European Peace University, received her Doctorate from Columbia University in New York. Andria deserves our warmest congratulations. September 2008 she will begin teaching in the Justice and Peace Studies program at Georgetown University, and will become the Editor for the EPES Mandala series of Lessons Learned from the Field, a collection of 'occasional papers' written by EPES Mandala or external experts.

April 2008 Dr RE Poulton presented the results of Afghanistan’s DDR programme

Dr RE Poulton presented the results of Afghanistan’s DDR programme to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York. Dr Poulton led the DDR Evaluation Team, and his report was presented to UNDP Kabul on 7 September 2007.

Dec 2007 Dr Michelle Ecloat Poulton joins EPES Mandala

Dr Michelle Ecloat Poulton joins EPES Mandala to develop new areas of specialty concerning child soldiers, child protection, human rights and gender equality.

June 2007, Peace Price for EPES consultant Kare Lode

Peace Price for EPES consultant Kare Lode

May 2007, Somalia peace mission led by Tore Rose

2007, Continuing our work in West Africa

March 2006, Press release by David de Beer

Press release by David de Beer on the progress with small arms disarmament in Cambodia ( www.eu-asac.org )

2006, Film release: Dealing and wheeling in small arms

Sander Francken is an expert in security issues and has made a number of films about security issues such as drugs, arms and money laundering. Sander's new film DEALING AND WHEELING IN SMALL ARMS was released in theatres in the Netherlands on 4 January 2007. From now on it is available worldwide for theatrical distribution, television broadcast, peace days, conferences and meetings and other events. As Sander tells us, "So far my experience with a number previews is that a screening of the film offers enough aspects, themes and - most important - motivation for audiences to have extensive discussions on the global issue of small arms and even to organize a complete conference of the issue." To see a 2 minute trailer of the film and find out more about it (such as how you can bring it to your event), see the film website.

December 2005, Brussels Small Arms Disarmament Meeting

A group of EPES Mandala founders met together in Brussels in December on the occasion of a major European experts' meeting on small arms disarmament.

Among a group of distinguished experts contributing papers to recommendations commissioned by the European Parliament, Dennis Brennan presented a paper on the legal aspects of small arms collection and disposal, and Robin-Edward Poulton contributed a paper on the role of civil society organizations in small arms collection.

Dr Poulton's paper can be read online at the Roundtable/For Comment page. It is entitled "Civil Society is an indispensable partner for weapons collection and DDRRR within the UN Programme of Action".

UNIDIR Geneva and SIPRI Stockholm co-organized, on 7-8 December, a conference in Brussels titled "Strengthening European Action on Non-proliferation and Disarmament".

At this conference, UNIDIR presented the preliminary results from its projet "European Action on Small Arms, Light Weapons and Explosive Remnants of War". SIPRI presented the findings from its project "Reinforcing EU Cooperative Threat Reduction Programmes: Community Action in Support of the European Union Strategy Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction".

Both research projects are part of a dual pilot study initiated by the European Parliament and financed by the European Commission and the United Kingdom which holds the Presidency of the EU until 31 December 2005.

en Francais

LES FONDATEURS de l'EPES Mandala se sont retrouves a Bruxelles en decembre 2005 a l'occasion de la presentation au Parlement europeen des recommendations d'un groupe d'experts distingues. Maitre Dennis BRENNAN a propose un papier sur les aspects legaux de la destruction des armes legeres. Robin Poulton a contribue une etude sur le role des organisations de la societe civile pour la collecte des armes legeres.

Vous pouvez adresser à Robin-Edward Poulton vos commentaires sur son article intitule "Civil Society is an indispensable partner for weapons collection and DDRRR within the UN Programme of Action". Cet article est disponible en ligne sur la page Debats/Vos reactions de www.unidir.org.

Les 7 et 8 decembre 2005, l'UNIDIR Geneve et SIPRI Stockholm ont organise a Bruxelles une conference intitulee "Renforcer l'action europeenne sur la non-proliferation et le desarmement".

Lors de cette conference, l'UNIDIR a presente les resultats preliminaires de son projet "L'action europeenne sur les armes legeres, les armes de petit calibre et les residus de guerre explosifs". SIPRI a presente les resultats de son projet "Renforcer les programmes europeens de reduction des menaces par la cooperation : l'action de la Communaute pour soutenir la Strategie de l'Union europeenne contre la proliferation des armes de destruction massive". Les deux projets font partie d'une etude pilote engagee par le Parlement europeen et financee par la Commission europeenne et le Royaume-Uni, qui occupera jusqu'au 31 decembre 2005 le siege de la Presidence de l'UE .

link to gallery

May 2005, Book Release: Armed and Aimless

The Small Arms Survey has just published a new book titled Armed and Aimless: Armed Groups, Guns, and Human Security in the ECOWAS Region. The book provides detailed information on more than 35 armed groups that have destabilized West Africa since 1998, and explores important related themes through 6 field-based case study chapters. EPES Mandala staff were expert reviewers for the book.

April 2005, New Arms Law approved in Cambodia

On 26 April 2005 the National Assembly approved the Law of the Management of Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition (create link) which had been submitted for discussion in February 2005. In an accompanying letter, Prime Minister Hun Sen had urged the National Assembly to adopt the law as a matter of urgency. Since 2000 EU ASAC has been co-operating with the Cambodian Government to strengthen the legal framework for small arms management. EU ASACÕs Project Manager, David de Beer, congratulated the Royal Cambodian Government on having taken this important step to strengthen the legal framework controlling weapons management and promised EU ASAC support in having the law implemented. On 12 May 2005 the Law was also approved by the Senate and is now awaiting signature by the King before coming into force.

Read the Report (48K PDF file)

Nov 2004, Analysis of DDR in Afghanistan - Is it succeeding?

Read the Report (360K PDF file)

Spring 2005, EPES Mandala promotes peace and understanding of Africa in Virginia

Registered in London UK and Richmond Virginia, EPES Mandala is keen to improve peace and prosperity through the arts and education as well as consulting and weapon destruction. An exhibition on Mali was sponsored in Newport News during the Spring on 2005 and another is scheduled in Richmond for the Fall.

Go to webpage

June 2005, EPES Mandala consultant leads Geneva call to Action against Poverty

Founder of Millennium Solidarity Geneva Group, Dr Zeki Ergas is the Geneva coordinator of the worldwide G-CAP (Global Call to Action against Poverty) - Make Poverty History - White Band Days - Campaign whose purpose is to eradicate extreme poverty in the world by 2025.

Go to webpage

April 2005, UNDP Liberia Wants Open Dialogue Promoted By EPES Mandala

An EPES Mandala team Dr RE Poulton and Mr Patrick Anderson carried out an analysis for UNDP Liberia January-April 2005 of prospects for peace and working with community-based organisations.

Go to webpage (Analyst of Liberia newspaper report)

May 2005, Henny van der Graaf Speech at the Working Table III meeting in Sofia

March 2005, Civil society crucial to peace, reconstruction and development in Liberia says UNDP

Monrovia, 18 March 2005 - As part of a global CSO Champion Initiative, UNDP in partnership with the University of Liberia hosted a free and open public forum on the role of civil society in peace, reconciliation and development in Liberia. Two UNDP resource persons, Dr. Robin Edward Poulton and Mr. Patrick Anderson, led the discussions, which took place in the University of Liberia's Main Auditorium...


July 2001 First United Nations Conference on the problem of Small Arms and Light weapons in all their Aspects, New York

First United Nations Conference on the problem of Small Arms and Light weapons in all their Aspects, New York – our founders were the stars of a film Fighting Weapons for Development made by Sander Francken and presented by the Dutch and Cambodian governments, presenting the success and rationale for exchanging illegal weapons for community development projects in post-war Cambodia. 9th July became International Weapon Destruction Day – a day that we remember every year and that we try to celebrate by destroying weapons and/or surplus ammunition in one of the countries where we are working.

Novembre 1996, Vers la réintégration des Touaregs au Mali

Après la dissolution, le 27 mars 1996, des mouvements armés, la renaissance du nord du Mali dépend de la capacité de la société civile à créer une ambiance de paix, de l'intégration réussie des combattants dans l'armée régulière et de la relance du développement économique à l'aide de projets proches de la population. Go to webpage (Le Monde diplomatique)