A lack of strong governance, particularly in border areas, has allowed armed groups to take control of large swaths of East and Central Africa. This, coupled with the marginalisation of communities, and mistrust between the population and governments is perpetuating violence across the region.
Since violence broke out in 2013, huge efforts have been made to bring the Central African Republic back from the brink of armed conflict. In a society dominated by divisions and mistrust, we have established community peace committees. They are essential to resolving community-level conflict and act as vital link between communities and armed groups.
The rise of the Lord’s Resistance Army and criminal gangs in the border regions of Democratic Republic of Congo, and the absence of effective governance and security have combined to form a deadly mixture of violent crime, land-based conflict and displacement. We work with young people, civil society groups and the military to help improve relationships so these groups can tackle the conflicts they face together.
The optimism that greeted South Sudan’s independence in 2011 was shattered two years later when political disagreement plunged the country into civil war. 3.9 million people have now been displaced from their homes. We’re supporting displaced women and refugees to prevent violence and re-build relationships within their communities.
For a long time young people have been ignored by the peace actors in their communities. We are training young people in mediation, reconciliation and human rights to help them take responsibility for the future, to become the next peace leaders.