Over recent months the Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC), our peacebuilding partner in DR Congo, has been working hard to encourage families forced out by war to return to their villages. However the return of these families can sometimes have dangerous consequences, especially if they threaten the stability of established communities.
In Badiya village, after several families returned to their homes, violent conflict broke out between two local communities. People stopped going to the local market because of the fear of violence breaking out whilst they were there.
Each community then set up its own market but this just made things worse.
The traders had fewer customers, and there was less variety of produce available. This in turn increased the level of resentment between the two groups. One of the traders, Kamanyoha, a dairy farmer, told us that his sales of milk were so bad that he had to stop all of his five daughters from going to school because he couldn’t afford to pay for them.When CRC became involved they organised a peace meeting. They encouraged both sides to look at the underlying issues that were causing the conflict. As a result the two communities agreed that they both needed the old market to open again. This was the first step towards a major reconciliation, which finally enabled the returning families to reintegrate properly.
Kamanyoha is now selling 20-30 litres of milk each day, and all his children are back at school. The local chiefs watch out for any signs of conflict, and act as peacebuilders within their own communities. Together they have drawn up plans so that any new conflicts can be resolved promptly, and do not result in violence breaking out again.
Make a donation today and you could help CRC rebuild community life in villages struggling with the legacy of armed violence.