Tag Archives: Africa

2019 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Award winners announced

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from Peace Direct

Now in its seventh year, the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards celebrate some of the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders. This year, the three focus areas for the awards were: women-led peacebuilding, youth-led peacebuilding, and music and the performing arts. A panel of international experts selected the winners from 406 applicants, the highest number we have received to date.


Video of award-winning initiatives

The winners — from Syria, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo — were announced at the Alliance for Peacebuilding annual conference, PeaceCon, on 3 October in Washington, D.C. Each received a $10,000 grant to contribute to their work.

“We’re happy to highlight and support the work of these local peacebuilders, because they know best how to tackle problems in their communities. The leaders of these three organizations are providing practical and creative solutions, and directly improving people’s lives,” said Peace Direct CEO Dylan Mathews.

Youth-led peacebuilding: Youth for Homeland in Yemen

Youth for Homeland, founded in 2014, works in rural areas of Yemen to engage communities in peacebuilding efforts, working mainly with young people to develop skills and find alternatives to violence. For example, when one community was fighting over limited water resources, the organization helped establish reservoirs to contain water over longer periods.

The organization plans to use the award to train more peacebuilders. “The main objective is to rehabilitate young people to become peace ambassadors and urge their colleagues and friends to not participate in the war anymore, so that we can contribute to the end of the war in Yemen,” said Abdullah al-Suraihi, founder of Youth for Homeland.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Women-led peacebuilding: Open Art Space in Syria

Many children in Syria have known nothing but war. Three women, two of whom are artists, founded Open Art Space in the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2016. Their work connects children and young people inside and outside of Syria through peacebuilding.

Children participate in free weekly workshops, which offer a safe space to play and connect with one another, a chance to express themselves, and a way to learn about peace through art. To reach children more widely, the women created a website where children anywhere in Syria can practice drawing and art exercises to help process the violence they have experienced.

For co-founder Roula al-Khatib, this award enables the organization to “reach out to more Syrian children affected by the war in remote places to implement art and peace in their daily life. This is an opportunity for us to tell the world that despite the sad war in Syria, there are many people who are working very hard to retain peace back.”

Music and the performing arts: Amani Institute in DR Congo

The Amani Institute, founded in 2016 in North Kivu, DR Congo, uses theater to help young ex-combatants process trauma they have experienced and reintegrate into their communities. The technique of theater enables former fighters to interact with others, and acts as a springboard for dialogue, reconciliation and tolerance.

“This is an acknowledgement that our effort in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being recognized internationally,” said Joseph Tsongo, founder of the Amani Institute. “It will help us continue our work for the next generation and bring peace to the country.”

We celebrate this year’s winners, and all peacebuilding efforts taking place around the world.

We thank our sponsors: the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Away, the Bluegrass Ambassadors, the Pickwell Foundation and Humanity United for supporting this year’s awards and award ceremony.

For more information: contact@peacedirect.org

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Press release from The Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries. These principles are set out in the declarations that Prime Minister Abiy and President Afwerki signed in Asmara and Jeddah last July and September. An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.

Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be achieved between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

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In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalising outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.

In the wake of the peace process with Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy has engaged in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa. In September 2018 he and his government contributed actively to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility. Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict. In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

Ethiopia is a country of many different languages and peoples. Lately, old ethnic rivalries have flared up. According to international observers, up to three million Ethiopians may be internally displaced. That is in addition to the million or so refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. However, many challenges remain unresolved. Ethnic strife continues to escalate, and we have seen troubling examples of this in recent weeks and months. No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early. The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation. Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and has East Africa’s largest economy. A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region. With the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will firmly in mind, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sees Abiy Ahmed as the person who in the preceding year has done the most to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.

Young people from DRC and Rwanda demonstrate in Goma for peace in the sub-region

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article by Justin Kabumba from L’Interview

Several hundred young people from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo marched on the streets this Thursday, October 3, 2019, in Goma capital of the province of North Kivu to support peace in the Great Lakes region.


LINTERVIEW.CD/Photo Justin Kabumba

Under the theme “Our Diversity, Our Opportunity” these sons and daughters came from the two neighboring countries, all dressed in white and blue. They came together to preach peace in the Great Lakes region and to challenge the leaders of the two countries that young people are ready to work for peace.

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Click here for the version in French)

Question(s) related to this article:

Can you add to this analysis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

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“For a long time victims of wars, we take the option of celebrating peace. We are able to preach the culture of peace, because we believe that peace is built, that’s why we mobilize young people to say that we are ready for peace and we support peace,” said Guy Kibira, Provincial President of the youth of North Kivu.

These young people say they are hoping for the return of total peace to the DRC with the new regime.
“The new regime inspires confidence, that’s why we are here, so that they understand that we aspire to peace, we want to live in peace and in this peace that we will have partners who will invest in our region,” he adds.

A young person from Rwanda has the same reaction. He says he is satisfied with the initiative, which according to him would perpetuate the peace between these two countries.

“I came to the market with my Congolese brothers to show that we are the same, and that there are no problems between Rwanda and the DRC. We must live in a good peaceful cohabitation,” said a young man from Rwanda.

This march is part of the regional program “Transboundary Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region.”

These young people with a sign of satisfaction gathered at the Muningi roundabout in Nyiragongo territory where they started their walk before going to the stadium of ISC Goma where several exchanges of experiences were made to launch a strong message to the Congolese and Rwandan authorities that young people are ready for peace in harmony in the Great Lakes region and that the leaders must follow the deep aspirations of the youth of the North Kivu province in the DRC and that of Rubavu district in Rwanda.

Africa: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
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A survey by CPNN

The following 53 actions in 27 African countries include those listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International day of peace” and “Journée internationale de la paix.” These also include some listed on the website of the event map for the International Day of Peace, as well as the facebook pages for the Global Feast and the International Cities of Peace.

About 50 actions are listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years. See the page of actions in the Arab States for those in North Africa.


Beni, DR Congo: While peace is celebrated in other countries of the world, here we celebrate assassinations, massacres, looting

Here are excerpts from the articles.

LUANDA, ANGOLA :

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, will open the 5-day Biennale of Luanda that will take place from 18 to 22 September in the capital of Angola, with the participation of representatives of governments, civil society and international organizations, as well as artists and scientists from the African continent and diaspora.

OUÈDO, BENIN:

The Red Cross of Benin through its local section of Ouédo marked with a particular seal the International Day of Peace. . . Through a caravan in the district of Ouédo (Abomey Calavi commune), the Benin Red Cross has sensitized the inhabitants on the good culture of peace. “Since two years that our section is installed here in Ouèdo, we noticed that there are several points of tension. Sometimes within the same religious affiliation. In these conditions, it was necessary to sensitize each other on the importance of the culture of peace,” said Aymar Rodolphe Sangnidjo, head of the local Red Cross Ouedo. Also present with the organizers was the singer Vivi International, godmother of the event. For her, every opportunity must be taken to teach Beninese the notion of living together and tolerance of one’s neighbor. “For me, the word peace is the most beautiful word that can exist.” she said.

PORTO NOVO, BENIN:

The Federation for Universal Peace (FPU) and sister organizations such as the federation of families, the federation of women and all partner institutions met at the International House of Culture of Porto-Novo to give a special stamp to the celebration of the International Day of Peace. In addition to the religious and Muslim prayers, this is the word of welcome, Emmanuel Allognon President of the Federation of Families for World Peace-Benin chapter, marked the start of activities. The theme of the day was presented to participants by Dr Paterne Zinsou, Secretary General of the Federation for Universal Peace.

BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI :

Mr. Pierre Claver NDAYICARIYE, President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Burundi, was the main speaker at the ceremonies marking the International Day of Peace, 2019 edition. . . .The TRC seeks the truth about what happened in Burundi during the colonial period from 1885 until 2006.

BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI :

The Anglican Church of Burundi celebrated the International Day of Peace

BURKINA FASO :

This day was commemorated in Bobo-Dioulasso through a popular cross-country race that brought together young people from the thirteen regions of Burkina Faso (delegations had also come to the National Youth Forum). According to the deputy resident of UNDP, Isabelle Tschan, the commemoration of this day is relevant, given the national situation in Burkina Faso. She invited young people to take action to fight climate change and promote peace. For Daouda Azoupiou, Minister of Sports and Recreation, sport remains the best way to promote peace. For him, “sport is a factor of peace, sport brings together, unites and contributes to the development of youth”. He also welcomed this youth committed to peace and expressed his willingness to accompany these young people in the search for peace. “Peace concerns everyone, especially the youth.”

OBALA, CAMEROON :

Organized at the initiative of the mayor of the municipality of Obala, Simon Pierre Ediba, and in partnership with the Civic and Political School of Yaoundé as part of the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, the Center for Documentation and Information of Obala held a workshop at the fairground aimed to reinforce the values ​​of living together.

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC :

On the International Day of Peace, +Peace, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, and Impact:Peace launched the Peace in Our Cities Campaign, with 11 mayors and local officials representing over 15.8 million people from Colombo, Sri Lanka; Nairobi Municipality, Kenya; Cali, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; Tripoli, Lebanon; Bangui, Central African Republic; Durban, South Africa; Escobedo, Mexico; Kumanovo, Macedonia; Kibera County, Nairobi, Kenya; and Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, pledging to work towards halving violence in their cities by 2030. The campaign calls on mayors, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and other partners to sign the pledge and join the growing movement to transform global violence.

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC :

The celebration of the International Day of Peace in the Central African Republic, which is facing a crisis characterized by cycles of violence, is also an additional opportunity for the Central African Republic, in addition to the extension efforts provided by the Government and its partners, to understand the Political Peace Agreement and Reconciliation (APPR) and to take ownership of it. Bangui, on occasion, has paid particular attention to the deaf dumb and the disabled, a layer that seems to be forgotten in the peace process, but has a say. Nearly 500 people attended the Boy Rab Youth Center to support and encourage the Deaf Association, whose President Jefferson Mongonou expressed their duty to participate in the peace process, and hence their right to be involved in the peace process.

BOTANGAFO, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC :

In Botangafo, the people celebrated the 2019 International Day of Peace, through a variety of activities including a fairground show by Guira FM, football matches, an information workshop on the Peace Agreement and the Mandate of the MINUSCA peacekeeping operation. There were also talks and debates that brought together youth, women, and armed groups, including Batangafo Sub-Prefect Jean Ulrich Sembe Kpanga, who welcomed the commitment to the success of the various activities listed. as part of this celebration, while urging them to respect the terms of the Agreement and to remain more mobilized for “The Peace and Economic Recovery of the City of Batangafo”.

BOUAR, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC:

In Bouar, in the Prefecture of Nana Mambéré, the International Day of Peace was marked by the final of the Peace Cup, a march for peace that gathered more than 1000 people including local authorities, the members of the prefectural committee of peace and reconciliation, women, United Nations agency staff, members of armed groups, among others. Opportunity for the Nana Mambéré Prefect, Marcel Bagaza, to insist on the need for the various parties to the Peace Agreement to respect its commitments.

NDELE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC :

The celebration of the International Day of Peace in Ndele. The security situation in Birao has focused attention on this very special day, as many of the city’s inhabitants have lost relatives. It was therefore in unison that they called for the cessation of all hostilities throughout the CAR, and Birao in particular. The Prefect of Bamingui-Bangoran, Amine El Mahad, presided over the skit demonstrations on non-discrimination, traditional dances and a football match between the taxi-bikes and the butchers of the city.

OBO and ZEMIO, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC:

In celebration of the International Day of Peace in Obo and Zemio (Haut Mbomou), the population planted trees for peace. Youth, armed groups, local authorities and community leaders women’s associations, people living with disabilities have received the message on the Peace Agreement, and have unanimously called for the dismantling of illegal barriers, the end arbitrary taxes, and the violation of human rights “.

COMORES :

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace, the Grand Mufti called for “impartial justice to preserve peace in our islands”. Calling also the authorities to accompany the volunteers involved in this cause, Said Toihir Ahmed Maoulana expressed a general finding that peace, long recognized as a heritage and wealth in the Comoros “is currently threatened.”
The International Day of Peace was celebrated last Saturday at the Moroni Women’s Home. Several local and foreign personalities took part in the event, including the Mufti of the Republic, the Minister of Justice, the Sudanese Ambassador to the Comoros and his colleague from Saudi Arabia, and representatives of associations engaged in the promotion of peace, among others.

POINTE-NOIRE, CONGO BRAZZAVILLE :

A cleaning operation was organized in Pointe-Noire by the Pointe-Noire town hall in partnership with the Averda Company, and the collaboration of certain associations.
The celebration of the International Cleanup Day was coupled with the celebration of the International Day of Peace. This is the second time this activity is organized. It was launched last year at the national level during the first edition of the World Clean Up Day. Activities were conducted in Pointe-Noire (Ngoyo and Tié-Tié) and Brazzaville by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) which is committed to working towards the achievement of sustainable development objectives.

CÔTE D’IVOIRE :

The Peace and Security Network for Women in the ECOWAS region Côte d’Ivoire (REPSFECO-CI) and its partners urged Ivorian political actors to make every effort to preserve peace. This urgent appeal was launched by Me Diallo Geneviève, the President of REPSFECO-CI, on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at the Sorbonne au Plateau space. This ceremony, held on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace, set up by the United Nations General Assembly, was aimed at raising questions about the danger threatening peace, just a few months away from the Presidential election of 2020, according to Me Diallo Geneviève. So these women are calling on civil society, the media, the international community, to be more professional. “Let’s work together hand in hand to build a lasting peace. Join us to reaffirm our commitment and take concrete steps to build and keep peace in Côte d’Ivoire, “said Diallo Geneviève.
 
BENI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DR CONGO):

Beni’s civil society feels that the International Day of Peace, celebrated every 21st September around the world, has no raison d’être in this city, given the repeated deadly violence against civilians in Beni. Kizito Bin Hangi, president of this civil society, regrets that the people of Beni do not live in peace, while the DRC is a member of the international community and has already ratified several texts related to peace. “Whoever says peace says peace, calm, a city without crackling bullets … But at home in Beni, insecurity is a reality. While peace is celebrated in other countries of the world, here we celebrate assassinations, massacres, looting …” said Kizito Bin Hangi. . . .For the past five years, the people of Beni have been facing horrific and repetitive massacres perpetrated by alleged rebels of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). These killings have already killed more than 3,000 civilians, including hundreds of kidnapped people and thousands of internally displaced people who have abandoned their homes, burned by the attackers.

BUNIA, DR CONGO :

The Center of Non Violence for Reconciliation and Peace celebrated the International Day of Peace

GOMA, DR CONGO :

The Groupe Martin Luther King is a Congolese association for active nonviolence, human rights, peace and reconciliation based in Goma, Nord Kivu province in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. We continue with the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King in Africa. We will organize a training on active nonviolence for the International Day of Peace.

GOMA, DR CONGO :

Goma, as a member of International Cities of Peace, took part in the Global Feast for the International Day of Peace

KANANGA, DR CONGO :

On the sidelines of the international day of peace celebrated Saturday, September 21 in the world, in Kananga several related activities were organized. . . In an interview with the editor of the interview.cd, Albert Ngalamulume said “Since we are in the citizen movement fighting for change during or after the atrocities of kamwina nsapu we never stop to launch the message of peace, carry out awareness campaigns, participate in various broadcasts of radio stations to call the people who had the weapons in their hands to lay them down and make peace.”

KINSHASA, DR CONGO :

The 38th edition of the International Day of Peace was celebrated on Saturday 21 September 2019 in Kinshasa by the United Nations. On this occasion, a march was organized, from the Place de la Gare, via the Boulevard du 30 Juin to finish at the Place des Evolves. Participating in this ceremony on behalf of the Government of the Republic, Raymond Tchedya Patay, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Congolese Abroad, sensitized all Congolese to plant a tree, a symbol of the fight against global warming and the improvement of climatic conditions. To this end, “the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development, in synergy with its partners, must carry out a series of actions in this area starting from the development of the national environmental program for forest, water and Biodiversity . . . Hence, Congolese and Congolese peace and environment efforts will make the DRC the green lung of the planet in order to preserve its ecosystems that allow it and the world to live in peace for a harmonious future. .

NYANGEZI, DR CONGO :

Nyangezi, as a member of International Cities of Peace, took part in the Global Feast for the International Day of Peace

SUD KIVU, DR CONGO :

The International Day of Peace is celebrated while a climate of insecurity is maintained by the presence of armed groups that sow terror and desolation in South Kivu and throughout the eastern part of the DRC. What is at the root of persistent insecurity in South Kivu? What are the internal actors? How to solve this situation? So many questions on the front page of Espace Citoyen this Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:15 on Mama Radio. To advance the debate, post your comment on the facebook page of the Radio.

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Question related to this article:

What has happened this year (2019) for the International Day of Peace?

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UVIRA, DR CONGO :

Uvira, as a member of International Cities of Peace, took part in the Global Feast for the International Day of Peace

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA :

The International Day of Peace was celebrated in Addis Ababa.

GABON :

As part of the celebration of the International Day of Peace, celebrated this year under the theme: “Climate Action, Action for Peace”, the National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP GABON) took part last Friday, September 20th, in the plastic waste collection operation, organized by the United Nations system in Gabon.

GAMBIA :

Click on the link for a video about the celbration of the International Day of Peace in Gambia.

ACCRA, GHANA :

Speaking at the 2019 International Peace Day in Accra, the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Emmanuel Asante, said Ghana continues to be a beacon of peace in the West African sub-region as indicated in the latest global index released by the Economic and Peace Institute Ghana. The Country Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Silke Hollander . . . attested that Ghana had built up an effective peace architecture and that the UNDP was particularly proud to have been part of the journey which led to the formalisation and the strengthening of the National Peace Council and its Regional Peace Councils — which include the diverse religious bodies as well as traditional leaders playing a critical role in conflict prevention and resolution in the country. She pledged the UNDP’s continuous support to the Peace Council to maintain peace and social cohesion.

GUINEE :

Message from the Minister of Citizenship and National Unity on the International Day of Peace:. . . “In my capacity as Minister of Citizenship and National Unity, I would like to remind everyone that diversity of opinion, dialogue and consultation contribute to consolidation of democracy. They are the very essence of this, because they show the capacity of a country to debate the fundamental questions of the life of the state. The bottom line is that these divergences are expressed through legal channels and in a calm climate favoring the free expression of opinions. This requires on the part of all a responsible, patriotic attitude of calm and serenity.”

ELDORET, KENYA :

The Alternative to Violence Trust Kenya held nonviolence trainings to the youths in college and universities since these are the easily manipulated people to engage in violence when it comes to politics and even if they have issues in their institution

NAIROBI, KENYA :

The SOON Readers’ Club No.11243 plans to host peace day event and activities including educational activities and sports.

NAIROBI, KENYA :

On the International Day of Peace, +Peace, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, and Impact:Peace launched the Peace in Our Cities Campaign, with 11 mayors and local officials representing over 15.8 million people from Colombo, Sri Lanka; Nairobi municipality, Kenya; Cali, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; Tripoli, Lebanon; Bangui, Central African Republic; Durban, South Africa; Escobedo, Mexico; Kumanovo, Macedonia; Kibera County, Nairobi, Kenya; and Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, pledging to work towards halving violence in their cities by 2030. The campaign calls on mayors, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and other partners to sign the pledge and join the growing movement to transform global violence.

KABERNET, KENYA

See photos celebrating the International Day of Peace @ Kabarnet Kenya International City of Peace.

LIBERIA :

A SHARED STATEMENT RELEASED BY CAMP FOR PEACE LIBERIA AND NETWORKS IN OBSERVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE, 21 SEPTEMBER 2019
Several civil society organizations including youths from communities, political parties, religious groups, media, people with disabilities have joined together to release this statement in commemoration of the International Day of Peace. . . .The statement calls on all Liberians, especially youths to recommit to collective action as a safeguard for Liberia’s peace and development. During the Liberian civil crisis, over 250,000 people lost their lives, and several thousand were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. The consequences of these actions were grieved. “We need to redouble our collective efforts to prevent violent conflict by addressing conflict through non-violence means. We need to redouble our collective efforts to respond to the crisis in ways that support peace and development. We resolve to respect each other and work collectively to sustain Liberia’s peace.”

BAMAKO, MALI :

The International Day of Peace was celebrated on 19 September in Bamako. . . The day of celebration in Bamako included an exchange session between MINUSMA staff and the population, a friendly football match between MINUSMA and local youth, and a reception followed by a cocktail party. The activities took place in the Kalaban-Coro Kouloubleni district, in the presence of the mayor of the commune, members of the Cri d’Espoir association, traditional and religious leaders, and representatives of civil society. The president of the partner association Cri d’Espoir sent the following message: “I thank all the Malians who are there. To the young people of Kalaban-coro: peace is in the head. The Mayor of Kalaban Coro Kouloubleni thanked the Cree d’Espoir Youth Association for their efforts . . .This event highlighted the vital place occupied by youth in the peace process in Mali.

PAMPLEMOUSSES, MAURITIUS :

The Council of Religions is commemorating the ‘International Day of Peace’ on 24 September 2019 at l’Aventure du Sucre, Pamplemousses from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. On this day, we will bid farewell to the Right Reverend Ian Ernest, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Mauritius and we will launch a booklet titled ‘3 Stages of Life’ a new publication from the Council. 

MAURITIUS :

The International Day of Peace will be celebrated this 21st of September by Global Peace Chain with a summit this Saturday that will highlight Mauritius as an example of peace. This summit will be animated by representatives of different organizations that fight for peace. Proposals and recommendations will then be sent to the United Nations. The different panels will discuss, among other things, the role of women and youth in the maintenance of peace.

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE:

This year, our Aga Khan Academy Maputo Grade 9 students (with Mr. Bernardo) collaborated to organise an assembly for the whole school, to help students define the meaning of peace across many different languages from around the world. During the assembly, students were asked what peace means to them. For some:
‘Peace is a day when there is no war, a day when everyone is united and together.’ 
‘Peace means love to me.’
‘Peace means love, it means stopping conflict and it means we should hope.’
‘Peace is when the country is calm.’
‘Peace for me is the answer to stopping destruction around the world.’
As well as this inspiring assembly, Grade 9 students also arranged several activities for PYP and MYP students, making pledges and gathering together to participate a peace picnic – during which many students made friends with people of different ages and enjoyed some delicious food of course!

NIAMEY, NIGER :

Niger has joined the international community to celebrate September 21st, the World Day of Peace. Under the theme: “climate action, action for peace”, the celebration of the World Day of Peace was rich activities including a tree planting session at the University Abdou Moumouni Niamey, a popular race in Stade Général Seyni Kountché, a conference debate, a football match, cultural events …, all organized by the High Authority for Peace Consolidation (HACP) supported by its partners including the Delegation of the European Union in Niger and the United Nations System in Niger. . . .Finally, to immortalize the commemoration of World Peace Day in style, a cultural evening was also organized on the same day, at the Omarou Ganda Cultural Center (CCOG) in Niamey. The cultural evening began at 9 pm with the performance of slam artists, the presentation of sketches, parades.
 
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA :

Faculty of Peace organisation will hold its annual World Peace Day Conference on Thursday the 19th of September, 2019 at Imaguero Secondary School Hall at Sapale Road, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria by 10:00am. The Theme for this year’s programme is “Corruption: Threat to National Peace and Development”

IBADAN, NIGERIA :

As a member of International Cities of Peace, Ibadan held a feast for the International Day of Peace.

KADUNA, NIGERIA :

The Standard Foundation School, Barnawa GRA, Kaduna marked this year’s Int’l Day for Peace. It was interactive and entertaining as students came to realize practicable actions they should take to mitigate climate change for peace of mind. We also joined voice in the climate strike by a minute silence of all activities in the school.

OGUME, NIGERIA :

Today the International cities of peace Ogume celebrated world peace day with special interfaith prayers held at Ogume town hall.

KUBWA, NIGERIA :

As a member of International Cities of Peace, Kubwa, held a feast for the International Day of Peace.

UYO, NIGERIA :

Peace Mindset Ambassadors will focus on reducing gender-based violence (domestic and sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls) in the home and in the society at large.

REUNION :

Dozens of people gathered on the Human Rights Square in Champ Fleuri, to celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2019. On this occasion, several political and associative personalities explained how peace in the world and among peoples is crucial for Humanity. . . .Among the organizations present were AID, the League of Human Rights, Europe Ecology the Greens, and among others, the Interreligious Dialogue Group. Julie Pontalba, president of the Mouvement Réunionnais Pour la Paix explained that “faced with the banalisation of violence and injustice, we tend to believe that it is immutable that there is nothing to do”. . . . Yet, she explained, “it is possible to act and especially it is “essential to make our voices heard, every moment, because the fight for peace is every day and together”. An analysis shared by Idriss Issop Banian, president of the Inter-Religious Dialogue Group.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA :

On the International Day of Peace, +Peace, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, and Impact:Peace launched the Peace in Our Cities Campaign, with 11 mayors and local officials representing over 15.8 million people from Colombo, Sri Lanka; Nairobi Municipality, Kenya; Cali, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; Tripoli, Lebanon; Bangui, Central African Republic; Durban, South Africa; Escobedo, Mexico; Kumanovo, Macedonia; Kibera County, Nairobi, Kenya; and Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, pledging to work towards halving violence in their cities by 2030. The campaign calls on mayors, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and other partners to sign the pledge and join the growing movement to transform global violence.

TANZANIA :

Click on the link for a video of celebration of International Day of Peace in Tanzania.

LOME, TOGO :

As part of the celebration of the 2019 edition of the World Day of Peace, about 2,300 obsolete weapons and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition were destroyed Saturday at the Lomé shooting fields. The operation took place in the presence of General Damehame Yark, Minister of Security and Civil Protection. The latter had with him, the Director of the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), Mr. Anselme Yabouri and the Coordinator of the United Nations System in Togo, Mr. Damien Mama. “By making the decision to incinerate obsolete weapons that can always hurt, the government is translating its availability, willingness, commitment and determination to make peace the essential element of development,” he said.

TOGO

For the International Day of Peace in Togo, the company CAFE INFORMATIQUE decided to take the opportunity to celebrate Peace and the famous singer and craftsman of Peace, JIMI HOPE.. . . . History will remember that JIMI has always been a man committed to peace. And for proof, we can mention his great artistic project called “The Way of Peace”. It is a monumental fresco in the heart of the city of Lomé (Peace Dove Square). Finally, by dedicating a tribute day and a mega concert to this famous Togolese singer and defender of peace, CAFE INFORMATIQUE doubly marks the celebration of the International Day of Peace 2019.

MBARARA, UGANDA :

In the first 4 days of the peace week, Youth for Peace and Development Uganda, YOPEDU shall visit different schools and hold workshops on peace building attended by students’ leaders and school management. The grand finale will be a street match in Mbarara attended by student leaders and members of society.

CHITUNGWIZA, ZIMBABWE

The International Day of Peace will be celebrated by Zengeza 4 ward 14 peace builders.

ZIMBABWE :

 Platform for Youth and Community Development (PYCD) will be commemorating this day through a sports tournament featuring eight community soccer teams and eight community netball teams. The participating community teams have been picked from various villages in Chipinge district. The sports tournament will be preceded by a march which is expected to denounce the sprawling of gender based violence cases in Chipinge district. The procession will be from Machona village via Chisumbanje village to the venue of the commemoration, which is Takwirira High School on the 28th of September 2019.

Peace Tournament / PAYNCoP Gabon Promotes Peace Culture and Resolution 2250

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

from Jerry Bibang

As part of the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, the National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) took part, Saturday, September 21, in the Peace Tournament, organized by the United Nations system in Gabon.

During this event, PAYNCoP Gabon spoke to young people about the attitudes, values ​​and behaviors to adopt to cultivate the “culture of peace”. These include respect for others, the rejection of all forms of violence, solidarity with the needy, living together, forgiveness and dialogue.

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( Click here for the French version of this article.)

Question for this article:

How can sports promote peace?

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Also, the public was sensitized, through an illustrated guide, on resolution 2250 (youth, peace and security), which urges UN member states to put in place mechanisms that allow young people to participate actively in youth issues. peace and security at all levels of the consolidation or peacekeeping process.

Alongside this outreach, PAYNCoP Gabon also donated school supplies to the children of the Rainbow orphanage “to show them the love and solidarity that should guide all our actions,” explained Jerry Bibang, the National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon. “This is an opportunity for us to thank our partners who are leading these activities, including the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and UNESCO,” he added.

Initiated by UNOCA, the Peace Tournament is an activity that celebrates, in communion and conviviality, peace as a universal value without which it would be impossible to envisage sustainable development. This year, the competition brought together eight teams including the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Directorate General of Human Rights, the French elements in Gabon, the National Gendarmerie, the Pan-African Youth Network for the culture of peace, the United Nations System and the National Police who won the competition. Plans were made to continue the tournament next year.

International Day of Peace: PAYNCoP Gabon helps protect the environment

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

from Jerry Bibang

As part of the celebration of the International Day of Peace, celebrated this year under the theme: “Climate Action, Action for Peace”, the National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP GABON) took part last Friday, September 20th, in the plastic waste collection operation, organized by the United Nations system in Gabon.


Bautrin Ekouma, PAYNCoP National Coordinator Gabon and other volunteers during the activity

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( Click here for the French version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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Indeed, aware that the global climate emergency threatens the security and stability of peoples around the world, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guteres, invited the “citizens of the world” to take measures and take concrete action to protect the environment. Following this call, PAYNCoP Gabon joined the United Nations system for a plastic bottle collection operation.

Led by Mr. Keita Ohashi, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Gabon (UNFPA), the volunteers crisscrossed the crossroads “behind the prison” through “the three quarters” up to the beach of the National High School Léon Mba. Approximately, more than 2000 plastic bottles have been collected and will be handed over to a young entrepreneur for recycling.

In his words of circumstance, Mr. Francis James, the UNDP Resident Coordinator Gabon encouraged young people to take ownership of climate change issues because it is the future of youth that is threatened.

This operation also registered the participation of other associations including the Citizens Movement for Good Governance in Gabon (MCB2G), the alliance for climate justice, Gabon section (PACJA GABON), Youth Students for Peace (YSP), the Federation for Universal Peace (UPF), PlasMandji and many others

Biennale of Luanda: Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace 18-22 September

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article from UNESCO

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, will open the 5-day Biennale of Luanda that will take place from 18 to 22 September in the capital of Angola, with the participation of representatives of governments, civil society and international organizations, as well as artists and scientists from the African continent and diaspora.


© UNESCO

The Director-General will take part in the opening of the Biennale alongside João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenco, President of Angola, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, and Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The presidents of Republic of the Congo, and Namibia are also scheduled to attend the 1st edition of the Luanda Biennale, which will be organized around three main axes:

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(Click here for a French version of this article or here for a Spanish version of this article)

Question related to this article:

Will UNESCO once again play a role in the culture of peace?

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Partners’ Forum, Alliance for Africa: Created by UNESCO last year, the Alliance mobilizes donors, public and private sector companies, regional and international organizations around sustainable development projects in Africa targeting a wide range of areas in UNESCO’s mandate including heritage preservation and support for free and pluralistic media.

Forum of Ideas – Youth and Women’s Forums: three platforms of reflection on the future of Africa, focusing on the dissemination of good practices and solutions for the prevention of crises, and the resolution and attenuation of conflicts;

Festival of Cultures: showcasing the cultural diversity of African countries and the African diaspora.

Born of a partnership between Angola, the African Union and UNESCO, the Forum is designed to promote the prevention of violence and the resolution of conflicts by facilitating cultural exchanges in Africa and the African diaspora, and connect organizations and actors working on this field throughout the Continent. It is to nurture reflection and facilitate the dissemination of artistic works, ideas and knowledge pertaining to the culture of peace. It is inspired by the 2006 Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.

During her visit to Angola, the Director-General of UNESCO will also sign a partnership agreement for the establishment of national doctoral programme in science, technology and innovation, aimed at training 160 doctoral candidates by 2020. The project is part of a wider partnership to strengthen Angola’s education, science, and cultural capacities.

More about the Forum: https://en.unesco.org/biennaleluanda2019

The AU’s role in brokering Sudan deal offers lessons for the future

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . . .

The Chairman of Sudan’s transitional council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, speaks during the power sharing agreement ceremony.
Morwan Ali/EPA

Femi Amao, University of Sussex

The African Union (AU) came into existence after a restructuring of its predecessor – the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). It was created to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent.

While the AU has a clear mandate to deepen the process of economic and political integration on the continent, its predecessor was run on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. This lessened its ability to resolve member states’ internal disputes.

However, the OAU did originate some of the standards that are at the foundation of the AU’s conflict resolution approach. One such standard is contained in the Lome Declaration which criminalises unconstitutional changes of government.

The AU now has a wider legal mandate for internal conflict resolution than its predecessor. This mandate is set out in its Constitutive Act and in its Peace and Security Council Protocol. But, the implementation of this mandate is still a work in progress.

But the AU has in recent days been rightly praised for using its regional laws to broker an agreement between the Sudanese military and the country’s civilian movement. The agreement comes after months of conflict that followed the ouster of Sudan’s despotic ruler Omar al-Bashir.

After al-Bashir was deposed, the military attempted to assume leadership of the country. It attacked protesters who were demanding that authority be transferred to a civilian administration. The attacks led to deaths and injuries.

The agreement, which was brokered with the help of Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime minister, set out key conditions, including the following:

The establishment of a joint military and civilian sovereign council, which will govern the country for three years before elections are held.

Shared leadership of the council. A military leader will lead for 21 months followed by a civilian leader for 18 months.

A bill of rights and freedoms for all Sudanese citizens.

The AU’s involvement has proven the usefulness of its regional laws in resolving internal disputes in member States. So how did it reach this point, and what lessons have been learned from its work in Sudan?

AU intervention

The military takeover that followed al-Bashir’s removal from power amounted to an “unconstitutional change of government” which is prohibited by Article 4 of the AU’s Constitutive Act.

This breach of regional law empowered Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the AU Commission, to denounce the military’s actions.

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Question for this article

Can the African Union help bring a culture of peace to Africa?

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Following the official denouncement, the AU’s Peace and Security Council adopted a decision stating that the actions of the Sudanese military amounted to an unconstitutional change of government. The Council is central to the AU’s legal framework. It was set up to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts. Its April 2019 decision also reiterated the need for a civilian-led and consensual transition and demanded that the military hand over power within 15 days.

Failure to hand over power should have led to the automatic suspension of Sudan from the activities of the AU as provided by the Council’s protocol. However, an extension of three months was subsequently agreed to allow for further negotiations.

In my view, the decision to grant the extension was problematic because it undermined the “automatic” nature of the suspension and allowed the military to continue attacks on civilians without repercussions. Due to lack of progress and escalating violence, the Council eventually suspended Sudan in June.

During the three-month notice period, the AU continued to engage with the key parties in the conflict. This happened even as the military continued attacks on protesters. Finally in July, the AU/Ethiopia mediation team convinced both parties to resume talks. This led to the signing of a constitutional declaration.

In the end, the AU’s mediation was successful. But during the drawn out negotiations over a hundred people were killed and hundreds more injured. This begs the question: what could the AU have done differently?

Lessons learned

While it is laudable that the AU’s intervention in the Sudanese political crisis resulted in an agreement, there are lessons that should be learnt.

The most important lesson is regarding the implementation of the provision for suspension. The 15-day ultimatum that was originally given for the restoration of civilian rule is consistent with previous practice by the AU’s Peace and Security Council.

The threat of imminent suspension could have incentivised the military to act more speedily towards a resolution within a shorter time frame. It could have prevented or reduced the violence that ensued in the following months.

In addition, the AU and its Council need to develop a concrete strategy for dealing with continuing violence in the course of negotiations. The Constitutive Act gives these bodies the power to directly intervene in member states where there is serious threat to legitimate order and a need to restore peace and stability. The means and method of implementation of this power is left to the AU under the law, but could include the deployment of peacekeeping forces.

I would argue that the Sudan crisis warranted direct intervention.

This is not to downplay the crucial role that the AU and the Council played in helping to resolve the Sudan political crisis. Indeed, the role played by the regional body underscores the importance of its legal order and institutions in conflict resolution in Africa.

Its success in this respect will instil confidence among member states. It will also bolster the AU’s image as an effective and efficient organisation on the international stage.The Conversation

Femi Amao, Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

South Africa: Global Youth Peacemaker Network initiative offers ‘real hope for Cape Flats’

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from Independent Online

Cape Town – Mother-of-five Georgina Fabrick, a community activist, lives in a very violent area in Bonteheuwel close to a drug den. Against all odds, she remains committed to presenting her sons with the best possible opportunities to rise above the gang violence and horrifying murder statistics devastating communities on the Cape Flats.

Having listened to a former Ugandan child soldier, Benson Lugwar, 24, recount how he has turned his life around after being forced to maim, murder and pillage, Fabrick has renewed hope. 

This was at Wednesday’s launch of the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative’s (WPDI) Youth Peacemaker Network project on the Cape Flats.


The 45 youths taking part in a five-year private-public partnership to promote peace and sustainable development on the Cape Flats. Photo: Louis Neethling

The 49-year-old Fabrick, who is acting as a consultant and assisted in the interview process to select 45 local mentors from across the Cape Flats – referred to as a “trainer of trainees”, who will receive training for a year – said: “What I heard today has most definitely given me hope for the Cape Flats. 

“I was sceptical at first but I can see that in a very short space of time, they have achieved something.

“I’ve had enough of local NPOs and other organisations coming into our communities, getting the funding and making no difference at all, and within two months they are gone.”

The WPDI is the brainchild of Unesco special envoy for peace Forest Whitaker, an iconic Hollywood actor and director who has been inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. 

The Cape Flats programme is a five-year private-public partnership with global bank BNP Paribas and consumer finance business RCS.

It promotes peace and sustainable development on the Cape Flats by training young men and women to fulfil the roles of peacemakers and entrepreneurs in their communities.

Since its establishment in 2012, the WPDI has partnered with young community leaders from the southern region of South Sudan, Tijuana in Mexico, Northern Uganda and parts of the US, positively impacting more than 300 000 people living in some of the most violent communities in the world.

With such high levels of unemployment, becoming a gangster is the choice many youths make either out of fear, for economic reasons or to boost their social status.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

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“At the moment the gangsters are the role models and we need to change that mindset. If we are going to change anything about the communities, we need to change the mindset,” said single mother Fabrick.

“My belief is that if you take something away, replace it with something. If you take the gangsters away, replace it with something positive. Tell them there are other options out there.

“Maybe it’s time for someone looking in from the outside like WPDI to come in and do something. I was amazed recently to find out how many organisations are out there actively receiving funding in Bonteheuwel, yet our community is still suffering.”

Lugwar, 24,  who runs his own micro-lending business,   is a WPDI trainer of trainees and still studying, said: “I was forcefully abducted in 2002 by the Lord Resistant Army in Uganda on my way to school when I was eight years old. I stayed in the bush for three years.

“I used to live in violence which is worse than what people are experiencing in Cape Town. I was caned and threatened with death if I didn’t kill, burn houses, cut off people’s ears and noses, beat and rob people.”

When he returned home on escaping, he discovered all his relatives and his father were killed, moving in with his mother after he had undergone trauma counselling. In 2017, his life took a significant turn for the better when he joined the WPDI.

“I learned so many things about conflict resolution, life and business skills, information and communications technology. It brought a lot of change and I started reprogramming how I saw things.

“After that one-year internship training, I became more empathetic towards people and their situations. Seventy-five percent of the people in my community have been affected by war, but WPDI has helped bring young women and men together to bring about change in our environment.

“What is needed is the collective responsibility of all community leaders and organisations to bring about peace.

“Training in life and business skills help give the youth focus because they might be committing crime because they have no money and are trying to survive.

“When we fix the mind, create awareness and show them how to be creative to generate an income, that’s when things can change.”

The WDI believes it can help incentivise the youth of Cape Town, who have the “potential to become active vectors of positive transformation”. 

This will be done, among others, by instilling a culture of peace through community dialogues as well as courses in conflict resolution in schools on the Cape Flats. The trainers of trainees will educate 350 people from communities across the Cape Flats to become social development ambassadors.

The  WPDI  will provide their trainers with resources to develop educational projects and small businesses, building resilience and increased opportunities. 

Their Community Learning Centre in Athlone will provide a hub where the youth and residents can attend courses and use computers.

The WPDI is set on empowering the youth on the Cape Flats and emboldening them with the courage to believe their destiny isn’t fixed – it’s in their own hands.

Ivory Coast: National Symposium of Religious Leaders, Kings and Traditional Chiefs for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from Abidjan.net

The Abbot Jacques Kouassi, Priest of the Diocese of Yamoussoukro, during the panels that punctuated this Tuesday, August 13, the first session of the work of the National Symposium of Religious Leaders, Kings and Traditional Chiefs for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, wondered if politicians in Ivory Coast want peace or only power?

It is under the banner of “Conflict Management and Reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire” that religious leaders, kings and traditional leaders have worked out their roles and responsibilities for effective use of inter-ethnic alliances in the resolution of community and/or political conflicts.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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As a contribution, Father Jacques Kouassi took the opportunity to sound the alarm by asking his peers to carry out an analysis of what needs to be done for the good of everyone and not that of a political party.

Faced with the recomposition of the Independent Electoral Commission adopted by parliamentarians and challenged by the Ivorian opposition, he invites kings and traditional leaders to pass judgment on this to avoid the mistakes of the past.

“Without passion, let’s think about it because that’s how it starts. We religious leaders, we are going to talk, but are those who must listen, are they ready to listen? Many of us want to speak, but we must speak not to take sides but for the good of Côte d’Ivoire, “says Father Jacques Kouassi.

Reacting to the ambition of this panel to set up a conflict resolution committee to inform the state authorities, he regretted the fact that in Africa in general and particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, the authorities find it difficult to distinguish between the resources of the state and those of their political party.

He asked if the authorities would be ready to settle conflicts without bias when knowing that it involves ​​his political adversary?

“I asked myself to know, do the politicians really want peace or only want power? Do politicians in Ivory Coast want peace or seek power? ”

He says he asks himself this question constantly, without having an answer.