Disarmament Demobilization & Reintegration

Just because a peace agreement has been signed doesn’t mean everyone has stopped fighting. We work with former militants to help them put down their weapons, learn to resolve conflicts without violence, work through the tensions that may arise when they return home, and find a productive place in their communities again.

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Baseline study of “Zo Kwè Zo” and Final Evaluation of “Better Together” – May 2016

This study constitutes the baseline evaluation for the project “Zo Kwè Zo” – “All people are people” – and the final evaluation of the project “Better together”. Both projects are funded by USAID and take place in Bangui, Bangassou and Bossangoa. The new project aims to complete the former one, and its global objective is to prevent inter-communitarian violence and to support an inclusive peacebuilding process in CAR. The main activities planned are joint activities with Christian and Muslim youth, youth coaching, radio programs, local dialogue and civil society capacity building.

The project “Better Together” was highly relevant to beneficiaries. Those who received training in conflict management are now involved in their communities, and the civil society could launch a platform who works in the sectors of justice, health, elections and DDRR. However, the project was interrupted from time to time, and the baseline study reveals that even if the security situation improved in the last 8 months, it is still very fragile and there is little information shared with the population around DDRR (disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation). The community perceives that social cohesion has improved, but there are still issues related to the access to basic social services and human rights enforcement. As far as the media sector is concerned, logistical constraints are still huge and isolated communities may lack of access to the radio. However, the population is claiming for more information through this channel and especially on topics such as DDRR or social cohesion. Sensitization broadcasts played a large role in calming the situation in CAR, but the sector is still struggling to analyze its own impact. The baseline study also reveals that religious and community leaders, traditional authorities and Peace and Mediation Committees are the key people to peacefully solve conflicts in the communities, while State infrastructure and governance remain very weak.

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Tomorrow is a New Day, Phase II: ‘Building a Peace Architecture in the Niger Delta for 2015 and Beyond’

The Tomorrow is a New Day, Phase II: ‘Building a Peace Architecture in the Niger Delta for 2015 and Beyond’ is a two-year project funded by the EU and implemented by Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in collaboration with five Nigerian Partners namely Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD), Citizens Direct Network (CDN), Leadership Institute for Transformation and Empowerment – Africa (LITE-Africa) and Institute for
Media and Society (IMESO). The project aims to enhance the culture of nonviolence in the region through increased local capacities; increase participation of community members in the 2015 electoral process; enhance collaboration and communication between authorities and communities to increase level of security in targeted communities; improve local decision-making through enhanced involvement of women in community governance and public affairs; reinforce capacity and knowledge to implement this kind of programming. Some key findings from the baseline were: community trust of ex-militants and police officers is low; strong channels for resolving conflict exist through dialogue and the Council of Chiefs; women’s groups were disjointed and women and the physically
disabled are not involved in the decision making processes.

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From Opponents to Allies

Former combatants are encouraging disarmament in violence-ridden areas of CAR. Bossangoa, one of the first areas affected by the Central African Republic crisis, is a city where people of different faiths lived together for decades. When the Séléka rebels came from the north and occupied the city in […]

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Back home, Emmanuel becomes a radio producer

Youth in the Niger-Delta region suffered the consequences of turmoil and unrest in their cities and villages. Many joined different militant factions, directly entering the fight. Others had to escape, unsure of when they would come back. Emmanuel is part of the latter category. When the conditions worsened, he […]

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From hunter to protector: Guerilla fighter takes oath for peace

“The rebels committed grave abuses in my hometown in March 2013. They killed my brothers in cold blood. I only survived because my wife allowed herself to be raped, in order to protect my life. Having seen these atrocities, I decided to avenge the deaths of my brothers, […]

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Stop Religious Violence

Violence between Christians and Muslims has threatened genocide in the Central African Republic. We’re stopping the destruction in its tracks, working with courageous individuals like Antonio and Aïcha. Here are their stories: “I lost my eldest son, who was only 27. He was killed under instruction from Christian youth […]

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Rapport de recherche sur la perception réciproque ex combattants-populations dans les localités de Duékoué, San Pedro et Tabou

Since the end of the post electoral crisis in 2011, the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of ex combatants represents a major security challenge for the Ivorian authorities. This research analyses to the needs of the ex-combatants and their host communities and identifies the obstacles, which prevent from breaking the mistrust between communities and ex-combatants in order to appease social tensions. It also provides recommendations on how to achieve an effective and sustainable reintegration of ex-combatants in Cote d’Ivoire.

The research was conducted by an independent consultant in January 2014. It is based on a methodology using a participatory approach for collecting and analysing opinions, testimonies and observation of facts from key stakeholders of the DDR process and contacts in the localities concerned. Three different tools for collecting qualitative data were designed: semi-structured interview guide, focus group and qualitative survey questionnaires took place in Duékoué, San Pedro and Tabou. 400 people participated in the data collection, consisted of civil and military administrative authorities, community leaders, leaders of associations, civil societies, and 300 ex-combatants.

Findings show that the key determinants of social cohesion – mutual trust, dynamic inter-community dialogue and, tolerance and acceptance of differences -are absent. In the three localities concerned by the research, the ex-combatants are observed with distrust and resentment, or rejected by the host communities. For their part, the ex-combatants condemn the lack of assistance of community leaders in their reintegration.