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Nonviolence in Darfur

2-12-2021 Meer dan 60 Darfuri's uit Darfur zijn online getraind in het gebruik van geweldloosheid en het werken aan een vreedzame toekomst in hun gemeenschappen! Nu is ook het eerste team van Nonviolent Peaceforce ter plaatse. Samen gaan ze laten zien dat geweldloze methoden werken, zelfs te midden van een van de gewelddadigste conflicten ter wereld.


Nonviolent Peaceforce schrijft zelf over dit project:


NP is starting a pilot project in Darfur!


Through our new work, NP will help deepen the implementation of Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) in Darfuri communities. Our first team there is training and coaching peacebuilding leaders, as well as identifying, together with conflict-affected communities, appropriate entry points for longer-term protection programming. The team is also conducting orientation workshops about UCP for women, youth or marginalized communities that explore how UCP can strengthen existing community self-protection efforts.


This exciting pilot project expands on the groundwork laid last year, when NP, in coordination with UNAMID, conducted an online course on unarmed civilian protection for youth peacebuilders of Darfuri origin. Through two courses, more than 60 Darfuris from all 5 Darfur states were trained on how to use nonviolence and work towards a peaceful future in their communities!


Online course graduates share that NP's online training has aided in reinvigorating the confidence of Darfuri people. When asked how she sees UCP contributing to ending violence in Darfur, one participant described "I believe that currently we have a good number of youth groups including both men and women who realize that armed conflict never solves problems but instead contributed to long years of suffering. Therefore, if together with trained UCP practitioners we stand together and advocate for unarmed solutions, we gradually will succeed and positively contribute to silencing the guns in our communities, assist the affected population and vulnerable families."


Why now matters

Last year, as mandated by the UN Security Council, UNAMID officially began the drawdown of its peacekeeping mission, and the new political Mission plans to offer support to peace negotiations, as well as support Darfur as Sudan transitions to democratic governance. The new resolution even includes UCP twice!


However, the new Mission does not include a mandate to protect civilians, so it is important that NP supports communities and duty bearers in narrowing the protection gap.

Participants in the 2020 training have already been taking initiative in combatting tensions that have risen from Darfur's history of seasonal migration disputes, inter-ethnic tensions, and gender-based violence.


Now, the youth are organizing to teach UCP in their communities, including in several IDP camps, with especially vulnerable populations. "When I, Hassan and Abutalib (all UCP course graduates) went to Outash IDP camp near Nyala, South Darfur to establish a UCP working group, we met resistance movement activists. We had a discussion about the nature of conflict in Sudan and I took the opportunity to apply conflict analysis tools which was very convincing to them."


Another course participant, Ismail Haroon Adam Degais, explains "I observe attacks happening day by day on a very small scale. If UCP team or trained youth could be deployed, such incidents could be contained before they happen. Early warning and response and rumor control are needed on the ground. I hope NP can train more and more youth in Darfur."


The 2021 Nonviolent Peaceforce pilot project in Darfur is made possible through financial support from UN Darfur Community Peace & Stability Fund (DCPSF) administered by the UNDP and through generous supporters.

For almost two decades, Nonviolent Peaceforce has protected civilians without weapons. We have proven that unarmed strategies work, even in the middle of some of the world's most violent conflicts.
Elaysa Latiban, our local team leader, learned that gun fights had broken out between two factions of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front--and that approximately 30 vehicles with civilians onboard, including children, were trapped in the crossfire. You can imagine their terror!
Nonviolent Peaceforce had established relationships in the area, Elaysa was able to talk to both sides of the conflict and negotiate a ceasefire. Her team then accompanied the parade of vehicles to safety, during which not a single shot was fired.
Elaysa's team is continuing to provide protective presence in the region, and Nonviolent Peaceforce supported the ceasefire committee to ensure no further violence. Our work here is saving lives.

Bron: Nonviolent Peaceforce