CHRDI And WANEP on peace mission in Makeni

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 August 2020:

The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) and the West African Network for Peace (WANEP), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) and the Government of Sierra Leone, have engaged key stakeholders on promoting peace and social cohesion in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, where rioting took place a few weeks ago resulting in the shooting dead of at least five young protesters by the security forces.

The town hall meeting, which was held at Makeni City Council Hall on 26th August 2020, was attended by representatives from the Makeni City Council, Sierra Leone Police, Traders Union, Youth Leaders, Civil Society groups, APPA, PPRC, RSLAF, ONS, Paramount Chief, APC, NGC, SLPP, and others.

The community engagement seeks to contribute to the reduction and mitigation of community level conflict and insecurity by investing in initiatives that address key drivers of conflict and insecurity.

Speaking about the event, Chief Executive of CHRDI, Abdul Fatoma, said his organisation has a new vision for the empowerment and engagement of youths in Sierra Leone, focusing on education as an important priority which will allow young people to develop the country.

“There are a number of youths within the security sector (army, police) who could contribute to nation building, and engage in developmental programmes like infrastructure, agriculture, teaching and vocational training” he said.

The two organisations are using an all-inclusive community security and social cohesion approach, which will empower communities to identify the drivers of conflicts in their communities in a participatory manner, using an integrated and gender sensitive approach.

It is expected that this will help support the communities to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflict in a non-violent manner.

At the same time, the project will also strengthen community relationships by identifying and strengthening cultural, social, and economic connectors that make communities reliant on each other in times of peace and conflict, across sex and age divide.

2 Comments

  1. Good to see the peace initiative is being undertaken by our international partners, UNDP and WANEP, together with Makeni town Council and belatedly the government of Sierra Leone and other stakeholders. I hope whatever good or recommendation comes out of this meeting, is implemented fully by this reckless government. Few weeks after the riots, parents of loved ones that lost their lives or got caught up in the mayhem are still waiting for answers.The only question they have for the government, is WHY? You really can’t make this stuff up.

    I hope the concerns raised by the youths of Makeni in these meetings are listen to and addressed. It should not be just another talking shop like a fish market. Let us not fool ourselves, a meeting of this kind was supposedly held few weeks prior to the riots. Knowing what we know now, about the decision to move the stand by generator, everything that was said or decided upon in those meetings, and by share in competence, was lost in translation. No one it seems know what or when.

    Apparently, one of the government officials was off sick. What baffles me in all this unfortunate incident is, WHY CAN’T WE AS SIERRA LEONEANS LERAN TO IDENTIFY AND SORT OUT OUR PROBLEMS AMONGST OURSELVES BEFORE WE INVOLVE CONCERNED INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS? It goes to show the level of incompetence of the political classes we have in today’s Sierra Leone. Otherwise, the president should have made a statement to the effects after the riots. But his silence was deafening. I am all for peace and stability, but the president has to lead from the front. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  2. The meeting held by the CHRDI and the WANEP is NOT timely and it is not called for at this time, just two days after the burial of our late innocent brother who were murdered senselessly, unlawfully, no words of consolement by these CSOs or CHRDI to the bereaved families, as families are currently mourning and feeling serious pains and trauma, for the lost of their loved ones and they are claiming to have community insecurity or name it conflict blabala. When they already know and aware of where the conflict and the insecurity is coming from and their lack of timely intervention before, during and after the brutally killing of our late beloved gone and never to be forgotten in the history of our generation and the generation yet unborn.

    Please it will better before having or holding this type of meeting let it be after consolation of the the minds of the bereaved families not now. I am calling on UNDP not to fund any of this type of meetings or anyhow they call call them, but to heal the wounds of the bereaved families and friends.

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