In 2013, the political conflict in the CAR took on a religious narrative, leading to the current struggle between Seleka and anti-Balaka militias. The effect on the country’s social fabric has been devastating: communities of Christians and Muslims are now segregated, and some towns are totally emptied of their religious minorities.
Yet, there are opportunities for peace. Interreligious conflict in the CAR is a recent phenomenon. The country’s motto Zo Kwe Zo (All People are People) promoted unity and tolerance for many decades, during which the groups that are now on opposite sides of the conflict used to coexist.
In 2015, we launched a 24-month project named after this motto. It targets communities in Bangui, Bossangoa, and Bangassou, and aims at preventing inter-community violence and supporting an inclusive peacebuilding process.
To achieve these goals, we use a combination of short-term local actions, long-term capacity- and institution-building, and media work. These include:
- Working in close partnership with the Association of Women Communications Professionals to ensure that the voices of women are represented in media;
- Providing coaching for young people from different backgrounds on how to develop and lead grassroots peacebuilding initiatives;
- Producing radio programs on collaborative approaches to conflict, which are aired by radio stations nation-wide and made available to refugees in the DRC and Chad;
- Reinforcing a civil society platform to support the peace process
To learn more about Zo Kwe Zo, follow our Facebook page.