The Peace Direct Blog

Congo: 4,532 militia fighters lay down their guns

Posted by Peace Direct on

Henri inspects weapons given up by militia fightersIn the last  two years in eastern DR Congo, local hero Henri Ladyi and the Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC) have convinced 4,532 militia fighters to put down their weapons and leave the bush.

Of the 4,532 people no longer contributing to the violence and instability in Congo:

The CRC’s success is not only in convincing fighters to give up their guns – their programmes are designed to assist the fighters to live in peace – so they will not return to the bush at the next call to arms. After Congo’s brutal war, poverty is endemic and without means to support themselves, many former militia would drift back to their ranks. The CRC puts each through an extensive programme to prepare them for a life outside the bush. The men are trained in farming, animal husbandry or in a skill, then they are supported into working co-operatives, so they can pool their resources for the benefit of the whole community. For all of this Henri budgets just $200 per person, a fraction of the cost of UN projects.

Henri’s project works because he is right at the heart of his community and he understands the strengths of the people he is assisting. Because of his work these fighters are no longer a threat to their communities. And these numbers only cover the fighters helped directly by CRC. The CRC is also working closely with other local peacebuilding organisations in DR Congo whose work has led to another 4,030 militia leaving the bush.

Without the tireless work of local peacebuilders like Henri, these fighters would still be armed and dangerous in eastern DR Congo.

Henri has made incredible progress in the past two years. But there’s still much work to do. Make a gift today and you could help him end the violence in eastern DR Congo.

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