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CHRDI, WANEP convey peace message to Makeni

The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) and the West African Network for Peace (WANEP) has in partnership with the United Development Programe (UNDP) and the government engaged key stakeholders in Makeni on the promotion of peace and social cohesion.

The move by the two organizations comes in the aftermath of a riot that occurred in Makeni on July 17 and 18 this year over the relocation of a standby 1.65 Megawatts generator plant to Port Loko by Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority, EDSA. The riot led to the deaths of six innocent civilians with several others injured and properties destroyed.

According to the Chief Executive of CHRDI, Abdul Fatoma, the community engagement seeks to contribute to the reduction and mitigation of community level conflict and insecurity by investing in initiatives that address key drivers of conflict and insecurity.

He stated that his organization has a new vision for the empowerment and engagement of youths in Sierra Leone, with focus on education as an important priority which will allow young people to develop the country.

“There are a number of youths within the security sector (army, police) who could contribute to nation building, and engage in developmental programmes like infrastructure, agriculture, teaching and vocational training” he said.

The two organizations are using an all-inclusive community security and social cohesion approach, which will empower communities to identify the drivers of conflicts in their communities in a participatory manner, using an integrated and gender sensitive approach.

Mr. Fatoma expressed hope that their engagement will help support the communities to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflict in a non-violent manner.

He added that the project will also strengthened community relationships by identifying and strengthening cultural, social and economic connectors that make communities reliant on each other in times of peace and conflict, across sex and age divide.

The town hall meeting at the Makeni City Council Hall on 28th August 2020, was attended by representatives from the Makeni City Council, Sierra Leone Police, Traders Union, Youth Leaders, Civil Society groups, APPA, PPRC, RSLAF, ONS, Paramount Chief, APC, NGC, SLPP, and others.

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