Peace building seeks to address the underlying causes of conflict, helping people to resolve their differences peacefully and lay the foundations to prevent future violence.
Why do we need peace building?
The number of violent conflicts has increased dramatically since 2010. The world urgently needs to respond differently.
Violence affects everyone. Wars prevent communities from developing, stop children going to school and make it harder for people to access healthcare. Poverty then drives more conflict, and the cycle continues.
- Around a quarter of all people live in countries affected by conflict and violence.
- Over 68 million people alive today have been forced to flee their homes. This is the highest it’s been since the end of the Second World War.
- Conflicts drive 80% of all humanitarian needs.
- By 2030, it is predicted that half of the world’s poorest people will be living in conflict-affected places.
We need to think differently – it’s time we stopped picking up the pieces and started putting an end to the cycles of violence. It’s time we invested more in peace building.
Currently, Ethiopia is one of conflict affected country in the world; EOTC-DICAC/RRAD in Ethiopia aims to transform the attitudes and behaviors of conflict actors and address (local) causes of conflict. We work together with local communities, religious leaders, youth, women and the local government. We connect our ground-level efforts to higher levels where required and appropriate. Religious leaders, local leaders, Women and youth have a key role in promoting peace and security and so EOTC-DICAC/RRAD will strengthen their roles in peace and reconciliation processes.
What does peace building involve?
Peace building is a long-term process of encouraging people to talk, repairing relationships, and reforming institutions. For positive change to last, everyone affected by a destructive conflict has to be involved in the process of building peace.
Transforming relationships is key to putting an end to violence. That means understanding and dealing with why people are fighting in the first place, and finding ways of moving things forward. This is true whether the conflict is within communities, between societies, or between the state and ordinary people.
In practical terms, peace building can look like any one of hundreds of different actions. It can be bringing different groups together to discuss the issues, or using film and media to help people understand the viewpoints of others. It might be providing support to formal processes of negotiation between governments and armed groups, or ensuring marginalized groups can have a say. Peace is built when we break down stereotypes and when different groups work together.
How DICAC-RRAD address conflict
Simply stopping fighting is not the same as transforming conflict and putting a permanent end to violence. Patient, persistent work to find creative solutions to conflict is needed to build sustainable peace.
Conciliation Resources works to truly understand conflicts, and then we share what we learn with others. We create connections between the different groups involved, and most importantly, ensure the people directly impacted by conflict are leading initiatives to respond to the violence.
Strengthen Social Cohesion and Trust
Violent conflicts lead to mistrust between people, the destruction of the social fabric and to trauma. If people do not deal with their own traumatic experiences and do not regain trust in each other, conflicts may easily start again. People need to learn new ways of nonviolent behaviour and inter-generational cycles of violence need to be broken. Sometimes working directly on peace and conflict is too sensitive. In these situations, bringing different groups together on less sensitive topics of common interest is an effective way of breaking down stereotypes and creating common understanding between groups.
Equip through local ownership
Helping people affected by conflict make a change. We work side-by-side with the people affected by conflict – providing connections, developing skills and equipping them to take part in peace processes. We bring people from affected area to meetings with policymakers, politician and government leaders, so policies can be informed by those experiencing the impact of violence. This entire means that their voices are heard, they lead initiatives and their insight drives action.
Build sustainable solutions
Working together to find different responses. Working in partnership, we find creative ways to initiate dialogue, solve problems and kick-start change when conflicts seem stuck. We accompany our partners, involve the community and influence governments to do things differently. The result – we help build peaceful and inclusive societies.
Connect everyone involved
Building relationships with communities and governments. Developing trusted relationships and networks is vital. We connect groups in conflict who rarely speak or meet, across dangerous and often impassable divides. We work with all sections of society – from politicians to communities – reaching out to people who are bypassed by mainstream peace processes.
Community Based Security, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Mechanisms
In conflict affected areas of Ethiopia; the violent conflicts of the past have led to divisions in society, to feelings of hatred, marginalization and trauma. Formal justice systems are either absent of dysfunctional, corrupt or inaccessible due to distance and costs.
EOTC-DICAC/RRAD supports the establishment and the functioning of this LPCs. EOTC-DICAC/RRAD also aims to improve the effectiveness and inclusiveness of Local Security Councils. These councils are local mechanisms with representatives of local security actors, local government and civil society, whose role is to protect civilians and provide security.
Learn from experience
Analysing conflicts and sharing learning. Analysis is the foundation of our work. Collaborating with others, we learn from diverse perspectives and real experiences, to understand the many factors that cause and sustain conflicts. We share lessons from peace processes across the globe and use past experience to shape solutions for the future – it’s central to everything we do.
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Access to land and natural resources has long contributed to conflict, but our natural environment is changing at a rate never seen before in human history. We work in partnership with local people and communities to develop conflict-sensitive responses to environmental change.
Our approach to peace building
- Mediation support
- Capacity building
- Dealing with the past
- Climate and environment
- Trauma healing and reconciliation