Category Archives: Africa

Algeria: 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from L’Expression (translation by CPNN)

“the 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games will highlight the role of sport in promoting human rights and the culture of peace”

The National Council for Human Rights and the Center for Anthropological, Social and Cultural Research have just ratified a memorandum of understanding, the content of which concerns partnership, the exchange of activities and cooperation in the field of research scientific. This memorandum is the culmination of the meeting which brought together on Tuesday the participants in a study day centered on “the strengthening of human rights through sport and the Olympic ideals, in the service of development and peace”. 

Simultaneously, the National Human Rights Council and the Mediterranean Games Commission held a meeting whose work focused on “the importance of sport in popularizing peace and human rights”.

The speakers were unanimous in emphasizing that “the 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games will highlight the role of sport in promoting human rights and the culture of peace”.

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(Click here for the article in French.

Question for this article:

How can sports promote peace?

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In her speech at this meeting organized by the National Human Rights Council and the Mediterranean Games Commissioner, the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee for this event, Nawel Benghaffour, indicated that “the 19th of Oran will particularly highlight the use of sport as a tool for the promotion of human rights and the consecration of the culture of peace, dialogue, reconciliation and sustainable development”, emphasizing that “in addition of the sports program, the edition of Oran, which will begin on June 25, includes other activities with economic, environmental, recreational and cultural dimensions”. “They highlight the cultural heritage of Oran in particular and Algeria in general,” explained the speaker.

The President of the National Human Rights Council, Abdelmadjid Zaâlani, for his part underlined that “sport brings people together, creates friendships and knowledge and makes it possible to reduce conflicts throughout the world.” He emphasized the importance of the edition of Oran and its role in achieving these objectives.

Also speaking at the opening of the meeting, the commissioner of the Mediterranean Games of Oran, Mohamed Aziz Derouaz, focused “on the relationship between sport and human rights”, citing ” the role of sport in the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, where athletes around the world boycotted participation in sporting activities initiated by that regime”. He also stressed that “sport is a human right”, noting that “in Algeria sport is practiced at all ages, by men and women without distinction and in all disciplines”.

This meeting served as a forum to honor former athletes, such as fencing champion Zahra Kamir and Mustapha Doubala, the former player of the national handball team, as well as the amateur sports club “El-Hikma” of volleyball for people with special needs.

The work of this study day, which took place at the Center for Research in Social and Cultural Anthropology of Oran (Crasc), was enhanced by the presence of university students and athletes.

Lectures were given on the role of the Olympic values ​​in promoting human rights, peace and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Gabon: Training to Prepare Project of Youth as Weavers of Peace

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

Special for CPNN from Jerry Bibang (translation by CPNN)

(Editor’s note: Two months ago, CPNN carried an article on the launch of the project Youth as Weavers of Peace in Gabon, as part of a project in the cross border regions with Cameroon and Chad, implemented by Unesco, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This article updates the initiative.)

The Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace, Gabon Section (PAYNCoP Gabon) recently took part in the training of trainers workshop as part of the project young people, weavers of peace. It was the town of Oyem, in the province of Woleu-Ntem, in the north of the country, which hosted this training of trainers workshop from May 30 to June 04, 2022.

The meeting brought together ten participants from the public administration, civil society organizations and United Nations experts, making it possible to build the capacities of the target actors on the related themes of culture of peace, social inclusion, human rights, gender-based violence (GBV), the fight against radicalization and violent extremism, human trafficking and migrant smuggling…

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(Click here for the original article in French.)

Question related to this article:

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

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Beyond theoretical knowledge, the training was an opportunity for participants to better equip themselves with the skills and competencies necessary for adult training.

“At the end of these six days of intense work, we are resolutely ready to deploy ourselves for the training of future weavers of peace”, declared Jerry Bibang, on behalf of the participants in the training.

“The Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP) as an implementing partner of this initiative is satisfied with the effective start of these trainings in Gabon and remains completely optimistic for the continuation of the activities,” he added.

The project Youth as weavers of peace in the cross-border regions of Gabon, Cameroon and Chad essentially aims to train and deploy 1,800 young people for the promotion of the culture of peace in the three countries concerned, in particular in the border towns of these three country.

In Gabon, 250 young people are concerned in the province of Woleu-Ntem, particularly in Oyem, Bitam, Meyo-Kye and Minvoul.

Alongside the deployment of young people to promote the culture of peace, the project also provides for the creation and support of a dozen community-based social enterprises to help young people become financially independent and combat unemployment, which constitutes a real threat to peace.

Chad, Cameroon and Gabon: Youth as Weavers of Peace in the border region

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

Special to CPNN from Jerry Bibang

With an information and orientation meeting on March 31, Gabon joined the project Youth as Weavers of Peace that has been developed by the other Central African countries of Cameroon and Chad.


The project team with members of PAYNCOP

The meeting took place in the town hall of the municipality of Oyem, in the province of Woleu-Ntem, in the north of Gabon bordering on Cameroon. It was chaired by the Governor of the province as the project involves the localities of Oyem, Minvoul, Bitam and Meyo – Kye.

The project aims to identify, train and operationalize 250 young people (young men and women 18-35 years old) to become weavers of peace in their respective communities.

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(Click here for the original article in French.)

Question related to this article:

Solidarity across national borders, What are some good examples?

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In addition, nearly 60 young leaders of community-based social enterprise projects will be trained and supported in order to launch their initiatives.

This work will be implemented by several organizations including the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCOP) and will be coordinated by the United Nations System in Gabon, with UNESCO and UNODC as the lead agencies.

“This project comes at the right time because it gives young people the opportunity to contribute significantly to the prevention of violence and the consolidation of peace in our country. It is in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2250 that recommends States to involve young people as actors in peace and security issues,” explained Jerry Bibang, PAYNCoP Permanent Secretary.

“It will also be a real opportunity that will allow young women and men to embark on income-generating initiatives in order to contribute, even a little, to their economic empowerment and to fight against the youth unemployment that is growing in our country,” he added.

The launching ceremony of the project saw the participation of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Gabon, the Representative of UNESCO, the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the United Nations Office Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a representative of the government, and several civil society organizations.

Gabon Candidate for International Peace Ambassador

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY .

An article for CPNN by Jerry Bibang (translation by CPNN)

Gabon has officially presented its candidate for the International Peace Ambassador competition, organized by the International Organization of Young Peace Promoters (OIJPP).

The headquarters of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (Unoca) served as the setting for this ceremony, enhanced by the presence of representatives of several United Nations organizations, including UNESCO, UNFPA, UNOCA and the Coordination of the United Nations System in Gabon.
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(Click here for the original French version)

Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

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The International Peace Ambassador Competition is an initiative that promotes excellence in female leadership to sustain peace between peoples and around the world. Its objective is to promote the involvement of women in peace processes and national and international cohesion for the effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (women, peace and security) and 2250 (youth, peace and security) of the United Nations Security Council.

The event will bring together, next month in Niger, 24 candidates who will represent their respective countries in order to win the final crown. Each of the candidates should present and defend, in front of an international jury, a project that will positively impact women on issues of peace and security in their community.

After the preliminary phases, punctuated by training and pre-assessments of the candidates, it is Mrs. Tamara Moutotekema Boussamba, a young entrepreneur, who will represent Gabon during this pan-African meeting, dedicated to the culture of peace.

“We are seeking the support of the various actors (government, development partners, private sector) in order to help us better support the Gabonese delegation which will have to take part in this meeting. On the sidelines of the competition, there is also an international summit during which Gabonese youth should make their contribution,” explained Jerry Bibang, Permanent Secretary of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP).

Schools in the Sahel: lots of courage, but no teachers!

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article for CPNN by Emmanuelle Dufossez (translation by CPNN)

A few months ago, on the occasion of the Africa France Summit held in Montpellier, the need to enter into a phase of real cooperation with the the people of Africa was finally mentioned in an official and publicized framework, including by President Macron, who assured that this was an official engagement of France.

There is an urgent need to seize this opportunity to advance the project of peace in Africa; cooperation needs a common goal, and what more obvious issue then is that of Peace?

As a French teacher working with a colleague from the municipality of Tessalit in Mali, I would like to share our experience in order to demonstrate that cooperation is not only urgent but that it is above all possible, including in areas which, because they are declared dangerous, are deserted by institutionalized international NGOs and most journalists.


Video made by the students in Mali

Tessalit is in the Kidal region of northern Mali. France is very present on the spot, whether with the Barkhane force, or within the Minusma, whose camps are distributed in the North, most often quite close to the communes, although this is not always a factor of protection of civilians.

It is not a question of questioning the integrity of the blue helmets but of asking ourselves about their capacity for action on the ground without clear international cooperation with the populations on the spot. These people are quite simply the first victims of the conflict. In fact it is time, that this conflict is be clearly described.

Whatever the complexity of the situation, it is important to say that the populations, however abandoned by the successive governments of the country, are taking their destiny into their own hands. They do so within the very limited material conditions which are theirs, with courage and intelligence but without our support. France is aware of the situation, since there are effective collaborators on the spot when it comes to fighting an enemy for the common moment.

In December 2018, on a kind of optimistic collective whim, we had the idea, with my comrades from Tessalit, of organizing a meeting between a group of young people from my college in France and a group of the same age, accompanied of one of the few state teachers present in Tessalit. (See CPNN article of October 19, 2021.) Luckily, my Head of School, very sensitive to the situation in the Sahel, shared our enthusiasm, and had a web cam and microphone installed in my classroom. With the help of the CPE, we brought together a group of highly motivated students. For his part, my comrade Bakrene Ag Sidimohamed, convinced the head of the Minusma camp, located a few kilometers from the city, to welcome the group of young people, so that they could access an internet connection and equipment. allowing the exchange. And the adventure began! First in the form of these regular exchanges, then through joint, more targeted educational projects.

The purpose is not to describe our work at length here. What seems important to me is to provide, through our testimony, an example of how this beautiful idea of ​​cooperation can produce miraculous things: it was after the fact that we realized what we had succeeded in doing. with simple, obvious means, by combining the efforts, the skills, the material possibilities of each other, in France and in Mali. The projects that followed prove that mutual will is the essential ingredient of cooperation, since we have carried them out against all odds, and without any material support, except the provision of internet connection by our respective establishments (my high school in France, Minusma in Tessalit) (for a more precise description of the project, see article 2R3S)

By welcoming the students, the Minusma has fulfilled one of its missions in favor of peace. The positive consequences of this ongoing project are innumerable, but our satisfaction is mainly due to the surge of benevolent curiosity that it has provoked among young people.

We would like this to continue.

But the educational situation in Tessalit is a reflection of what is happening in the Kidal region, in northern Mali, and well beyond, on a good part of the Saharo-Sahel; public schools hardly exist, except sometimes on paper; there are no teachers, no material or so little that it amounts to zero. An example is Issouf Maïga, my colleague from Tessalit, who is almost alone with more than 350 students, who of course end up no longer coming to school, except for specific projects, such as those we are trying to set up together.

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

Question related to this article:
 
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Since I started working with teachers and volunteers in the Kidal region, I have been touched by the incredible commitment of a whole section of the population to advance the cause of the school. The inhabitants build classrooms as best they can, which are sometimes only a roof of dry grass to bring the children together in the shade. They band together to pay a teacher who will accept this difficult and dangerous task, which he will have to face most of the time with equipment and in conditions that are disastrous.

The argument which invokes the dangerousness of the region to leave all the youth there abandoned is not admissible. It is absolutely possible to help this population out of the crisis by its own strength, the local associations and NGOs present on the spot are largely doing the work of the large organizations which have deserted the region: they are the natural intermediaries of cooperation projects, those on which it is possible to rely. By committing to the education of their children, the population of the region is clearly showing their need for peace. They no longer want to see their children go to war.

One can sincerely wonder why for so many years, the international community has failed to put pressure on governments to make education a priority in this region.

We can also wonder how it is possible that despite the multitude of calls for help, requests for subsidies, transport of equipment, nothing happens, even though we bring the pledges of serious work. Most of the time, it is the uncertainty of the viability of the project that is invoked to justify the refusal. But the uncertainty is only due to a series of prejudices about the capacity and the will of the inhabitants. We may be judging in advance, in the light of the many scandals that taint our own humanitarian industry. Yet this is about men and women who want to ensure a future for their children and above all, it must be said, this is something that often comes up, in the exchanges I attend: a future of peace.

Lack of education is an argument for enslavement. Concretely, child labor, particularly in gold mining, is one of the immediate consequences of the absence of schools. One can then wonder if education is really a logical priority, since child labor brings to the system very low cost of wages and therefore of goods.

This scandalous situation is neither recent nor unique.

Schools in the North have been closed since 2012, but the reality of the region is one of general abandonment; what continues to function, despite everything, is essentially the fruit of a collective will. The international community need not search for twelve o’clock to two o’clock forever: in Mali, as in Niger, there are young men and women, who have often been stymied in the midst of their own studies by conflict, and are struggling today for the education of their children. We need to rely on them and support the projects that exist with confidence.

There is no shortage of very concrete examples to put on the table, and beyond the closed schools of major municipalities, there is the question of the children of nomadic populations, a large part of the inhabitants of the region, who have been forced to settle to find some security. Can we really accept that these children are deprived of school, even though we have signed the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child and we are talking about Peace?

Since there are projects out there, why not work with those who are doing them? The question is not to send manuals or desks from time to time, but above all to provide targeted support to each project, relying on local associations and community leaders. We must accept a way of working different from ours in the management of the collective and help these nomadic peoples whose freedom seems unacceptable in the eyes of the powerful, to train their children in the current world.

Without the teaching of vernacular languages ​​and vehicular languages, mathematics and culture, how can these men and women of tomorrow imagine that they will be able to go and train in schools and universities, to come back as doctors, engineers, teachers , to build the Peace they are calling for? And who will train the craftsmen of tomorrow on site, while families struggle to feed themselves? Local professionals must be helped to pass on their skills.

The international community, the donors, must grant their trust without trying to reproduce a Western school model which is not always appropriate. We must start from the premise that the mothers and fathers of the Sahel want the best for their children as much as we do. Simply.

We were recently touched by the forum co-signed by more than 30 elected officials from French communities and published by Cité Unie France. Like us, they call for a consolidation of links with the representatives of the population in the region. Will these multiplied calls be heard, at a time when far too many leaders are tempted by military action? For my part, I remain hopeful, carried by the courage of my friends, and I hope that my call for schools will be heard.

With the Franco-Malian Association Tazunt, for which I am speaking, we can make very concrete and serious proposals to provide real support in educational matters, and we will be happy to respond to your comments. The call of the people of Intescheq must be heard, we attach it here. We can no longer leave these children without help, the situation is becoming more critical every day.

Contact: tazuntazunt (arobat) gmail.com

Mali: ancient manuscripts in favor of reconciliation and peace

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by Mamadou Sangaré in Les Echos de Mali (translation by CPNN)

In order to promote and enhance ancient manuscripts, the NGO Savama DCI met with its partners on Monday, February 21, to talk about strengthening the process of reconciliation and peace.


The project named “Inspiration from Ancient Manuscripts for Reconciliation and Peace” is an initiative of SAVAMA-DCI in partnership with the Ministry of Crafts, Culture, Hotel Industry and Tourism, and supported by the Embassy of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Mali.

Indeed, it is addressed, in the first place, to academics and actors of national education to encourage knowledge and exploration of endogenous sources in order to draw from them possible solutions to today’s challenges.

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(Click here for the original article in French)

Questions for this article:

Can a culture of peace be achieved in Africa through local indigenous training and participation?

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In addition, it is addressed to decision-makers at the levels of the various institutions of the republic, in order to draw their attention to the contribution that the study and exploration of ancient manuscripts can bring in terms of political, economic, social and cultural ideas that support the development of the country.

Without forgetting the customary and religious authorities as well as the political class and civil society. This project allows them to learn from the lessons of ancient manuscripts in their daily actions for the development of the country.

The Ambassador of Great Britain, Barry Owen, invited the diplomatic and partners of Mali to support the efforts of Mali in its quest for endogenous solutions to face these development challenges. According to the English diplomat, it is a question of  sensitizing the general public in general on the importance of ancient manuscripts and the lessons they convey for the development of populations in political, economic, social and cultural life.

The representative of the Minister of Handicrafts, Culture, Hotel Industry and Tourism, Hamane Demba Cissé, indicated that the initiative will make it possible to know about ancient manuscripts, to divulge their teachings in favor of reconciliation and peace. In addition, “these lessons, he said, will serve as references and a guide to lasting peace in a prosperous Mali, based on democratic values ​​and good governance. »

The project revolves around six manuscript works that have been critically edited and translated by SAVAMA-DCI. These include, among others, the culture of peace and the spirit of tolerance in Islam, the council enlightening the villainy of conflict between believers, the principles of justice for rulers and high personalities, the approach to religion on the duties of kings and rulers, human interests related to religion and the body, and development of the morals of nobles.

Non-violence in Africa and the actuality of peace

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article by Ester Masso Guijarro in The Conversation (translation by CPNN and republished under a Creative Commons license)

Did you know that ubuntu is much more than free software? Even more: the name of the famous system, like so many other things, like the human being itself, has its roots in Africa.

The growing war conflicts associated with globalization constitute a problem of maximum relevance in Africa. Along with the direct consequences of badly done decolonizations, new and old forms of conflict turn many parts of the continent into recurrent scenes of wars and massacres, words that also tend to occupy the usual news and contribute, once again, to the disastrous stereotype of inherently troubled and violent, backward non-modern, inexplicably “primitive” Africa.


Portrait of Sudanese women that is part of the exhibition ‘In Their Hands: Women Taking Charge of Peace’. UN Women / Flickr , CC BY-NC-ND

This reflection proposes to distance ourselves from the above and starting as a theoretical framework of studies on peace, to bring up African experiences that show their great dynamism in precisely the opposite of the various forms of violence: the broad and necessary field of peace. conflict resolution that heal deep social and human wounds through non-violence.

The culture of peace in Africa

The “International Day of Peace” (on September 21 since 2001, although recognized since 1981) and the “International Day of Non-Violence” (since 2007, on October 2, on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi) are two different days. Two different things? Is it just a matter of purely dialectical interest that “non-violence” and “peace” are two different concepts – although obviously very related and converging–? Does it matter only to the social scientists, in their intellectua dens – remote and often useless –, or does the United Nations also care, means that it generates a social relevance and that it can matter to ordinary people?

The specific concept of “non-violence” refers to a whole field of studies, applications and interventions on what we now call “culture of peace”, as a necessary perspective to work on alternative ways of resolving conflicts in the globalized world.

On the other hand, speaking of non-violence in Africa means drawing attention to precisely what is often concealed in the most generalized public discourse on the continent: its potential for peaceful conflict resolution anchored in numerous traditions, values ​​and social practices. Let us examine this, instead of its alleged (oft-reported) violent potential.

Thus, we find many traditional African practices that serve for peace, thus distancing ourselves from the old dichotomy between tradition and contemporaneity. As much as many of these values ​​or practices have traditional roots, the fact is that they constitute a reality today.

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

Question related to this article:
 
Can we learn from the conflict resolution methods of pre-colonial Africa?

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The South African example

In recent decades, the examples of reconciling justice (not punitive) after South African apartheid and after the Rwandan genocide (with the gacaca transitional justice) have become essential paradigms. We will focus here only on the first.

Fast forward to April 15, 1996, the day the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission began the first public hearings on human rights violations committed during the apartheid era. Its main goal was to foster national unity and reconciliation, or what the South African people call ubuntu. As Mandela stated: “Let us build a national unity. We may not be able to forget, but we can forgive.” In order to instill that spirit, the South African people agreed to look into the past, because in order to look forward they had to know what came before.

The Commission devoted itself to examining the crimes committed over a period of thirty-three years with three primary objectives: to investigate the crimes, to offer compensation to some of the victims, and to grant amnesty to some of the offenders in exchange for truthful confessions. The process gave priority to rehabilitation, that is, it encouraged the community to welcome those who returned to it after confessing their crimes and showing remorse. This was a pure expression of the ubuntu spirit, which takes into account the totality of the humanity of the persons and their relationship with the community, instead of considering only the acts of transgression of the law committed by the individual.

The ubuntu justice constitutes an outstanding example of so many African cultural heritages that should be considered for their enormous potential for a culture of peace and non-violence, for their possibilities in terms of resilience and social cohesion; African practices and epistemologies that can constitute alternatives of non-violent citizen construction, of great democratic quality.

Conclusions

Ubuntu is surely one of the most paradigmatic examples, even cinematographic, of the matter that concerns us here. However, we could cite so many other practices of non-violence, in the African past and present, that would equally inspire us: the classical Sufi pacifist orientation at the origins of the Muriddiya tariqa in French-colonized Senegal, the Anuak Council of Justice in Gambella (Ethiopia), the ecofeminist movement of the “tree woman” Wangari Muta Maathai in Kenya or even the Senegalese movement Y’en a Marre, created in 2011 by Senegalese rappers and journalists, as non-violent examples of citizen intervention with great transformative power in politics.

In this reflection I distance myself, once again, from the diffusion of the infamous Africa shown by the media, violent and conflictive, devoid of its own resources to solve problems that are often externally generated by international competition.

How many other “Africas” are there that the media does not deal with at all, because good news is not news, it does not sell newspapers or, put more academically, socially adaptive and sustainable strategies do not represent an attraction for the mass media.

Without ever renouncing the necessary denunciation of the deep evils that the black continent is seeing aggravated by globalization, let us also in the West draw on its vast potentials and practices to inspire us in non-violent, just and equitable alternatives for collective life in the contemporary world.

Despite what the media tries to tell us, peace is in fashion in Africa and, luckily, it also has powerful traditions behind it that endorse, reinvent and vindicate it.

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Ester Masso Guijarro is Professor of Moral Philosophy and member of the FiloLab is Unit of Excellence, University of Granada

The Conversation

Niger: Mega concert for peace and social cohesion organized by the public and private press of Dosso

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from ANP Agence Nigérienne de Presse

The collective of public and private media of Dosso organized, on Saturday February 05, a mega concert for the culture of peace and social cohesion in Niger and particularly in Dosso.

The concert was animated by several local artists. To give this event a special cachet, the public and private press collective of Dosso called on the humorist artist, ambassador of peace in Africa, torchbearer of the joking relationship, Adoulaye Segda, better known by his artist name Djingri Lompo and the king of the arenas, holder of the national saber Kadri Abdou dit Issaka Issaka.

(Editor’s note: The joking relationship is an ancient pre-colonial peacemaking tradition in this part of Africa.)

At the call of these two giants of culture and sport in Niger, the Salma Dan Rani wrestling arena which hosted the demonstrations was sold out. Already at noon, the arena was packed, Dosso was emptied of its population in favor of the arena: no one wants to be told about the thrilling fight between the ambassador of peace and the king of the arenas because Djingri Lompo was declared the winner even before the start of the competition.

After a fatiyah followed by the performance of the national anthem of Niger, local artists from Dosso presented their performances. The long-awaited moment was the entry into the arena of the ambassador of peace Djingri Lompo on the back of a donkey to the loud applause of the youth who consider him their idol: security struggled to contain the public.

The ceremony was enhanced by the presence of administrative authorities, regional executives and many guests.

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Question related to this article:

 

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

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Delivering his speech on this occasion, the president of the collective of the public and private press, Mr. Moussa Hamani thanked the population of Dosso for “this great mobilization which demonstrates its deep attachment to peace and social cohesion, virtues dear to our country and to the Dosso region in particular”.

Mr. Moussa Hamani, in passing, recalled the main vocation of the press which is to make “the visibility of the actions and facts of our society”.

But, today, he said, “the press has decided to show the world that it is multidimensional, capable of making its own visibility”. Mr. Moussa Hamani specified that “it is the collective of the public and private press of the Dosso region which sets the example through this life-size concert on a sensitive subject, a universal subject, namely peace and social cohesion in our country.”

“This modest but noble action aims, among other things, to support the many efforts of the Nigerien authorities in the promotion and consolidation of peace.”

It will be, he said, “inscribed in golden letters in the annals of the history of the Nigerien people and in particular that of the Nigerien press.”

Mr. Moussa Hamani paid a vibrant tribute to the “defense and security forces who sacrifice themselves night and day to ensure our peace of mind and may God welcome into his eternal paradise all those who have fallen on the fields of honor.”

“Because peace is priceless and unity is strength”, the president of the collective of the public and private press of Dosso invited the populations to “unite, to form a single block to block the road to malevolent spirits likely to disturb the peace in our country”.

“We must also, he said, cultivate and perpetuate the joking relationship, this richness of our cultural heritage which conveys union, mutual aid, cohesion and peace”.

The president of the public and private press collective of the Dosso region thanked Djingri Lompo and Issaka Issaka, these two ambassadors of peace and social cohesion who have sown joy in the hearts of Dossol residents and Nigeriens as a whole as well as local artists who have demonstrated their commitment to peace in Niger.

Mr. Moussa Hamani also addressed to the administrative and customary authorities, the high personalities, the regional executives, the partners and other goodwill, as well as the schoolchildren the recognitions of the organizing committee for their support having made the success of the show.

Zimbabwe: NPRC to enforce peace pledge ahead of by-elections

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

An article from the The Herald

In an effort to curb pre-and post-election violence, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) will roll-out peace caravans in all areas holding by-elections next month and ensure that candidates abide by the peace pledge signed when they filed their nomination papers.


Commisioner Gutu

Those who fail to abide by the pledge, which was introduced in June 2018 shortly before that year’s harmonised elections, risk being disqualified.

In an interview over the weekend, NPRC spokesperson Commissioner Obert Gutu, reminded all by-election candidates that they are bound by provisions of the peace pledge.

“We intend to roll out peace caravans in those areas where by-elections are going to be held as we seek to unite the people of Zimbabwe by building peace,” he said.

“Participants who violate the peace pledge that they signed when they filed their nomination papers run the risk of being disqualified if they deliberately and unlawfully violate and breach the terms and conditions of the pledge. Delinquent political behaviour will certainly not go unpunished.”

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Question related to this article:

How should elections be organized in a true democracy?

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w-enforcement agents and judicial authorities to prevent and penalise electoral offenders as provided for by the Electoral Act.”

Comm Gutu said the impending outreach was also in response to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s call to sister independent Constitutional commissions to participate in their programmes to ensure peaceful elections in Zimbabwe.

“Peace-building is at the very core of the NPRC mandate. The NPRC has designed and developed an election strategy which is being fine-tuned in time for the ongoing electioneering season.

“This is a well-thought out and well-crafted strategy that acts as a guiding document as we go about our peace-building duties particularly during this period of election campaigning,” he said

Part of the NPRCs mandate includes developing mechanisms for early detection of areas of potential conflict and dispute, and to take appropriate preventive measures.

Towards the 2023 elections, Comm Gutu said the NPRC would play a leading role in all peace-building initiatives.

The NPRC will be going out there in the field to meet and interact with all political players as we seek to foster and sustain a culture of peace and tolerance.

“We will be holding meetings and workshops with all stakeholders specifically targeted at ensuring that the period before, during and after elections is peaceful.”

He urged political parties to avoid fanning animosity among their supporters, highlighting that this was detrimental to ongoing economic re-building efforts.

Central Africa : Safeguarding the Lake Chad basin, a major regional challenge

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

An article from The Conversation (translated by CPNN and republished under a Creative Commons license)

Located at the crossroads of five African countries (Central and West) – Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria – the Lake Chad basin represents an important and vital source of water shared by more than 40 million inhabitants.

This basin is home to biodiversity as well as an extremely valuable natural and cultural heritage. Rich and varied production systems built on diversified uses of space, as well as ancient local conventions, attest to the rational exploitation of natural resources.


Fishermen on the shores of Lake Chad, in 2015 north of N’Djamena (Chad). PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP

For several decades, this area has unfortunately been plagued by an anthropo-ecological imbalance, to which must be added the climatic changes that began in the 1970s; these have led to a gradual drying up of the basin.

As a result, there is competition for the use of natural resources, exacerbated by armed conflicts orchestrated by the sect of Boko Haram that has engaged in illegal timber trafficking, poaching of protected species and agro-pastoral conflicts.
This situation leads to significant population migrations.

“Biosphere reserves” to preserve resources

The challenges currently facing the Lake Chad Basin are three-fold:

– A security challenge for the restoration of peace and security in the countries of the Lake Chad Basin;

– an ecological challenge, with the conservation of biodiversity, the management of ecosystems and their rehabilitation;

– a socio-economic challenge, for the revival of agricultural, pastoral and fish farming activities, poverty reduction, participatory planning and inclusive governance.

To safeguard and sustainably manage the hydrological, biological and cultural resources of this area, contribute to poverty reduction and promote peace, the five states of the basin have decided to apply the model of transboundary “biosphere reserves” and sites of World Heritage.
It is with this in mind that Unesco, within the framework of the Biosphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) project, has set itself the task of supporting the five States in the preparation of files for the nomination of national and/or transboundary biosphere reserves and a transboundary World Heritage site in the basin.

A participatory approach

The various consultations – national, led by BIOPALT and regional, led by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) – have made it possible to identify the major difficulties of the basin and the expectations of the communities in the face of these constraints.

To carry out these initiatives, the participatory approach was adopted. Its modus operandi is built on four main components: know, train and build capacity, rehabilitate and use sustainably, manage and enhance. Here, the various activities were carried out with the support of local and international partners.

The network of project partners is made up of scientists (mainly universities in the Basin, but also other international institutions), NGOs and associations. The work carried out is validated by a scientific and technical council.

A dozen studies on the Lake Chad Basin

From 2017 to 2021, thirteen studies were carried out on the biodiversity, hydrology, culture and socio-economic aspects of the basin. They have allowed a better knowledge of hydroclimatic risks, water quality, biological and cultural diversity and finally the variability and resilience to the climate of this space.

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(Click here for the original article in French)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between the environment and peace

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Two tools have been developed: a portal on water quality in the Lake Chad Basin and a flood and drought monitoring platform. These tools allow the control of pollution of the lake and its tributaries as well as the monitoring of meteorological hazards.

Four workshops – organized around the monitoring of floods and droughts, the monitoring of the water quality of Lake Chad and the establishment of a PHI Cameroon committee – have made it possible to train 90 experts.

Some 2,000 people have also been trained in the peaceful management of natural resources, conflict prevention and the sustainable conservation of Lake Chad. A master and a MOOC have also been created to address the management of biosphere reserves and world heritage sites.

Finally, a biosphere reserve has been created, two others have been proposed as well as a cross-border World Heritage site, while two community radios have been launched to help prevent violent extremism and to promote peace , environmental protection and sustainable development.

Seven income-generating activities have been launched relating to beekeeping, fish farming, agroecological market gardening, rice growing and tree growing enabling 20,000 beneficiaries to diversify their sources of income and strengthen their socio-economic resilience to the impacts of Covid-19.

Three ecological restoration techniques have also been developed, allowing the rehabilitation of degraded lands and the improvement of community skills. Communication actions (website, newsletter and events) aim to publicize the project.

Although 80% of the activities planned under the BIOPALT action plan have been carried out, several points remain to be implemented today: the finalization of four publications, the carrying out of a bioecological and socioeconomic study in Kalamaloué (Cameroon), the realization of a regional workshop relating to the world heritage and the finalization of MOOC on the reserves of biosphere and the world heritage.

Ecological restoration and synergy

Several perspectives are emerging in a second phase of the BIOPALT project. Ecological restoration, for example, has already begun and aims to bring together the various users of the lake and promote peace and development. Income-generating activities have been developed and will make it possible to provide substantial income to actors in the field and to strengthen community management to conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty.

Seasonal movement of live stock across the national borders has been promoted, based on agreements for the peaceful management of natural resources and training (culture of peace, veterinary points). Mobile pastoral schools are being considered.

Finally, a synergy of action between education and literacy is being set up with other initiatives, such as the Project to Strengthen Education and Literacy (PREAT).

The BIOPALT project will thus have made it possible to obtain tangible results in the field of the restoration of degraded ecosystems (ponds, dune plains) and the promotion of income-generating activities based on the green economy.

Training and capacity building on the peaceful management of natural resources, building on UNESCO’s “PCCP approach”, has also been developed, as has the strengthening of cross-border cooperation, regional integration and the production of dossiers for the inscription of Lake Chad on the World Heritage List and the creation of biosphere reserves.

For 50 years, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program has relied on the alliance between exact sciences, natural sciences and social sciences to find solutions implemented at the heart of 714 exceptional natural sites (in 129 countries) with biosphere reserve status.

Authors:

Amadou Boureima, Head of the Laboratory for Studies and Research on Sahelo-Saharan Territories (LERTESS), Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (UAM)

Aristide Comlan Tehou, Researcher at the Applied Ecology Laboratory of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi of Benin

Daouda Ngom, Full Professor, Head of the Ecology and Ecohydrology Laboratory, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar

Mallé Gueye, Teacher-Researcher, Hydrosciences and Environment Department, Iba Der Thiam University of Thiès

The Conversation