Skip to main content

In one year, local peacebuilder doubles the area covered in war-torn eastern Congo

  • Published

    23 November 2010
  • Written by

    Peace Direct

Local hero Henri Ladyi’s organisation Centre Resolution Conflits (CRC) helps local communities lift themselves out of violence and poverty, by mobilising the people caught in the midst of the conflict. He uses a structure of ‘Task Forces’ – coalitions of former militia, army personnel, civil leaders and others with influence in their community who will stand up for the rights of the people they represent. Henri has established three new Task Forces, doubling his reach and covering areas with little stability and great need – communities that have been caught in the crossfire of government forces against rebel forces. The Task Forces are now considered a crucial partner in peace and development by community chiefs, and by the people within them.

Task Forces work in a number of ways – they escort people who have fled violence back to safety – so they do not have to come through the jungle alone at night, and they work with the host communities to accept those seeking refuge. They have helped over 14,000 people return home. They also negotiate with armed groups in the area, to protect the lives of villagers and to encourage them to lay down their arms and return to village life. So far this year they have secured the release of 444 child soldiers and encouraged 1,320 adults to leave rebel movements; 300 of which have now joined farming co-operatives set up by CRC. Read more about Henri’s work with child soldiers here.

In the areas where the Task Forces operate so many people have experienced violence first hand, they are always poised for the next outbreak, and prepared to flee at the first word of fighting. But often, in areas of such insecurity, words may be nothing more than talk. The Task Forces have investigated and dispelled 71 rumours since January, reassuring people that they do not need to run for safety. After everything these communities have been through, disputes can easily get out of hand when individuals reach for weapons, yet the Task Forces have helped people find peaceful resolutions to 152 conflicts without violence so far this year. It is no wonder the work of the Task Forces is so valued by community chiefs.

Henri’s work is incredible, his Task Forces are a chance for security in regions that have suffered so long with none. They operate in areas that international agencies will not go, and they do not leave once the immediate danger has passed, they are deeply invested in the future of the community because it is, quite simply, their home. And they do all this at a fraction of the cost of international agencies. You can be a part of their amazing work by giving them the one thing they urgently need, your support.


Photo © Fiona Lloyd-Davies


Discover more