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Senegal: 32 youth from the south are trained in conflict prevention
an article by Agence de Presse Sénégalaise

Thirty-two young people from The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and the Senegal regions of Kolda and Ziguinchor Sédhiou (south) began Monday in Cape Skirring, a training workshop on "Prevention and non-violent conflict management".

This workshop, which ends Sunday, is organized in the framework of the project "Dynamics of Peace" implemented since January by the Boy Scouts of Kolda, Ziguinchor Sédhiou along with youth organizations, women and peace activists from the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, according to the coordinator Henry Ndecky.

When opening the workshop, Mr. Ndecky said that this training will allow youth to the sub-region to analyze their local environment and help resolve conflicts in their countries.

"The youth will leverage what they have learned through outreach in neighborhoods and villages. One hopes that by 2013, the strikes in universities, high schools and colleges are no longer violent," he said, noting that training takes account of the conflicts in the educational system. "These youth will be relays for the promotion of culture of peace, education and development in their respective societies."

He appealed to stakeholders in the Casamance crisis which has been going on for three decades, to lay down their arms "within two years" so that young people can live in a healthy and peaceful environment in this part of Senegal . Henry Ndecky invited the Senegalese government to quickly revive the peace process in the south, together with the separatist Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC).

"The scouts of the sub-region also want peace to return to Guinea-Bissau. We are united by blood and we have to work together to achieve peace in the sub-region," said Mr. Ndecky.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?,

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Latest reader comment:

We have the advantage of an independent evaluation of the Nonviolent Peaceforce initiative in the Philippines conducted by Swisspeace.  The evaluation is very favorable, although in the end, as one reads through it, gets the impression that such initiatives can help but cannot bring peace by themselves.

Here is the executive summary:

Nonviolent Peaceforce in the Philippines can look back at more than two years of unique, relevant contributions and constructive engagement in one of the most difficult, political and volatile, contexts to work in: Being the only international non-governmental organization working with and living in close proximity to the most conflict-affected population in Mindanao, NP in the Philippines was able to support and enhance local structures of cease-fire monitoring, early warning, cross-community dialogues, human rights protection, to offer civilian protection and help to reduce the high levels of community violence.

The accepted offer to NP in the Philippines in late 2009 by the conflict parties GRP and the MILF to join the International Monitoring Team1 (IMT) and its Civilian Protection Component is a direct expression and result of its successful contributions to non-violence and violence reduction of the last two years.

To keep up the important work of NP’s project in the Philippines in the years to come, it is essential to ensure that the activities and objectives of NPP are based on a strategically and conceptually sound footing. This seems even more important given that NPP is going through a remarkable consolidation and expansion phase at the time of report-writing.

The re-focus on its key mandate, strengths and strategic advantages in Mindanao gives NP the opportunity to further enhance its unique work in the area of nonviolence,  peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

This report was posted on June 1, 2012.