ACCORD, in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), organised a capacity building workshop on mediation and dialogue for peace in the Central African Republic (CAR), for government representatives, armed rebel groups, and civil society.
In the aftermath of its 2016 presidential elections, the priority for the CAR government is largely focused on the restoration of peace and security, national reconciliation and economic growth. This can only be addressed by means of constructive engagement between all Central Africans. It is within this context that ECCAS has commenced with initiatives to provide support to these processes by engaging all stakeholders within the country on mediation and dialogue towards building security and stability. Thus a workshop was held on Reinforcing National Mediation and Dialogue Capacities for Peace in the Central African Republic that took place in Bangui from 12 – 14 July 2017.
The three key objectives of the workshop focused on strengthening conflict analysis with a focus on its causes, evolution phases and its mechanisms of prevention and resolution; understanding peace agreements and their implementation; as well as examining the realised progress and challenges in peacebuilding in CAR. Thus the three day workshop was designed to encompass various topics to which experts presented on that included: the current conflicts trends and implications on national Peace Dialogues, the role of the African Union and conflict resolution at the continental level; examining a dialogue approach as a conflict resolution mechanism by means of applying the Satisfaction Triangle Tool; analysing Peace Agreements in Africa; and exploring the role of leadership and ownership for successful conflict resolution.
The interactive sessions provided participants with the opportunity to share experiences and raise concerns of the current dynamics taking place in CAR. The sessions further brought to the fore the matter of Security Sector Reforms (SSR), national reconciliation, social cohesion as well as Disarmament, Disintegration and Reintegration (DDR) processes and the challenges that these pose to peace processes. Participants also engaged in work group sessions in examining the various past peace agreements, and their outcomes, that have taken place in the various regions on the continent.
Of great significance to the event was the attendance of the President of CAR, His Excellency Professor Faustin Archange Touadéra, who acknowledged and reiterated the need for such initiatives to take place in CAR; whilst also recognising the need for support by ECCAS and non-governmental organisations such as ACCORD to continue in its pursuit to bring peace and stability to the country. Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the United Nations Special Representative for the Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) also attended the opening ceremony.