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New Nonviolent Peaceforce Project in Darfur

Date: October 15, 2021

Darfur UNITAMSPhoto: UNITAMS/The 1st UNITAMS mission to Darfur, January 2021.

 

The Pilot 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.

 

Photo: UNAMID/Saeed SalimPhoto: UNAMID/Saeed Salim

 

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.”

Read interviews from the participants of course one and course two

 

Three Course ParticipantsThree Course Participants

 

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.”  

 

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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 like you.

You can protect civilians who are living in or fleeing violent conflict. Your contribution will transform the world's response to conflict.
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