Conflict Management and Community Reconciliation
As at December 2012, Civil Affairs had registered over 1,258 local non-armed community conflicts throughout the DRC. The Conflict Management data base is used as a basic tool by all key partners, including the GoDRC, to undertake risk assessment, identify hotspots, which need to be addressed, and prioritize areas for peacebuilding activities.
Conflicts are defined as active or latent differences of agreement involving at least two or more parties. They can potentially destabilize areas, disrupt peace, cause insecurity and have disastrous consequences for POC. The six criteria that are applied are: duration, escalation, intensity, geographical expansion, complexity and level of insecurity.
Most of the conflicts have been identified in Equateur (203), Kasai Occidental (200), Katanga (190), Bandundu (179), and South Kivu (144). Some of them have resulted in a deterioration in security and in the humanitarian, social, economic and political climate. Others remain latent but have a high potential for escalation and damaging stability and peace, if not addressed.
Conflicts are related to land ownership (37%), control of traditional/customary power (33%), control of natural resources (14%), ethnicity (8%) and politico-administrative rivalries (8%). MONUSCO and the provincial authorities are monitoring 794 conflicts in the PCP zone and 508 in the STAREC zone.
17% of all conflicts have been rated as high risk and 23% as medium risk. Civil Affairs will focus on intervening in high-risk conflicts and supporting the TCAPS to identify preventive measures to resolve specific conflicts and create conditions that will enable peace consolidation (see Restoration and Extension of Functioning State Authority (RSA).
Civil Affairs will support capacity-building for chiefs, community leaders and representatives to facilitate the implementation and strengthening of existing conflict resolution structures and mechanisms, and the establishment of early warning and early response systems. Civil Affairs will continue to support capacity strengthening in conflict resolution for local government and civil society representatives. It will provide training for 750 local government representatives (police, territorial administrators) and civil society i.e. Local Conciliation Committees (LCCs), with a focus on women’s participation. The training will centre on the rapid identification of conflict drivers and addressing root causes. Civil Affairs will continue to strengthen the technical capacities of identified local experts to facilitate their involvement in conflict resolution activities in priority areas. In partnership with Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and/or former local experts, training sessions will be provided in Orientale province.
Civil Affairs will prioritize areas of intervention based on risk assessment (see Restoration and Extension of Functioning State Authority (RSA)) and expand its geographical coverage by building strategic partnerships with regional expert organizations in conflict resolution, such as Search for Common Ground in Equateur, Orientale Province, Maniema and Katanga, and UN-HABITAT in the East. Provincial government, local authorities, CSOs, (I)NGOs and UNCT will contribute technical expertise, financial support etc., and will have considerable impact on conflict resolution initiatives, notably by providing funding to address conflict drivers. Civil Affairs will advocate for provincial development budgets and technical support to be focused on implementing measures to enhance peaceful cohabitation.
Civil Affairs will continue to develop community outreach activities for conflict resolution and for the promotion of a sustainable peace culture in all provinces, taking local opportunities for development into account. Activities will focus on:
encouraging direct contact, facilitating a structured dialogue and promoting good relations between communities affected by conflict, taking gender sensitivity into account and involving all actors, including local Government (administration, military and national police), CSOs, (International) NGOs and United Nations agencies. Civil Affairs will support initiatives to defuse tension, foster rapprochement and provide opportunities for parties in conflict to engage in dialogue and negotiation so that they can reach a common understanding. Activities will include cultural and sporting events involving the parties in a bid to restore cohabitation as soon as possible and strengthen commitment for community reconciliation. The programmes seek to help communities to reach a common understanding and a sustainable solution through the signature of a joint agreement.
As part of the conflict resolution activities, Civil Affairs will support the establishment of Local Conciliation Committees (LCC), comprising members of the parties in conflict. These committees will strengthen the process of direct negotiation between all stakeholders in order to enable them to reach a common agreement for lasting peace.
Civil Affairs will continue to monitor recorded conflicts countrywide, focusing on their dynamics, including POC, stabilization and peace consolidation. Information on key conflict issues and on conflict development will be disseminated to stakeholders on a monthly basis.
Read more about this subject in the ECHOS de la MONUSCO:
Click here to access the ECHOS de la MONUSCO article on: Affaires civiles/MONUSCO: réconcilier les communautés locales pour une paix durable. Click here to access the full magazine.
Click here to access the ECHOS de la MONUSCO article on: Kasaï Occiental: La MONUSCO oeuvre pour mettre fin aux conflits inter-communautaires. Click here to access the full magazine.