Conciliation Resources has been supporting religious leaders in the Central African Republic (CAR) to support local interfaith "peace committees".
To mark the formal beginning of the Interfaith Peace Platform, Conciliation Resources has signed a partnership agreement with the religious leaders of the three denominations (Catholic, Anglican and Muslim) to help create a national secretariat in Bangui.
The EU Mission Ambassador in Central Africa Republic, Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy witnessed the occasion together with the EU Mission First Counsellor, Henri Got.
The signing was a simple occasion. A university drama group depicted the situation of the conflict expressing how it is not a religious conflict.
The Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga said, "what we have been saying in many words, the drama group has expressed in 15 minutes."
The interfaith Peace Platform aims to establish and support infrastructure for peace at a national level via the national secretariat.
At a local level they are setting up over 20 community peace committees in Bangui and outside the capital in Haut-Mbomou, Mbomou, Haute-Kotto and Vakaga prefectures to promote dialogue between fractured communities and reconciliation initiatives as well as dialogue with authorities.
Conciliation Resources is helping the local peace committees to develop their action plans and supporting them to find ways to link with the national work being undertaken by the religious leaders.
The peace committees are also starting to document incidents of violence to identify trends and factors causing micro-level conflict. At least one committee is planning to help rebuild a local mosque with the active participation of the Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga and Imam Omar Kabine Layama.
We have also started working with the women's group Plateforme des Femmes Croyantes to give opportunities to women to learn about conflict resolution.
The establishment of the Interfaith Peace Platform is part of an 18-month project called Support for community dialogue and peace in the CAR funded by the European Union.