The country has experienced violence for the last two decades, but the recent conflict has occurred between the Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and the Christian anti-Balaka militia. These religious differences are exploited to stoke conflict, incite violence and promote agendas.
GHR's Inter-Religious Action initiative mobilizes religious leaders and communities to improve development outcomes, build lasting community connections and advance peace. One such effort is underway in CAR, where GHR is working in partnership with USAID, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Catholic Relief Services and other funders and peacebuilders to bring stability to the fragile state. In 2015, GHR made a five-year commitment to a Catholic Relief Services-led consortium that includes World Vision, Islamic Relief, Aegis Trust and Palo Alto University. The consortium is working to strengthen the capacity of the CAR Inter-religious Platform, the leaders of which have been instrumental in giving the country hope for a peaceful future.
In Washington, D.C. next week, GHR Senior Program Advisor Andreas Hipple and USIP President Nancy Lindborg will present lessons learned through the CAR peacebuilding partnership with a group of funders and government officials, at an event hosted by the Stanley Foundation and the Peace and Security Funders Group, of which GHR is a member. The discussion will examine the role of public-private partnerships in preventing atrocities, using the CAR project as a case study.
While the Central African Republic is far from stable and more longer-term sustained investment in peace remains essential, progress has been made since the civil war began in 2013, and the country is poised to make substantial change. A democratically elected government is in place and willing to collaborate with the international community, the U.N. has made substantial efforts toward stabilization and recovery and a Commission of National Unity and Reconciliation will be formed in 2017.
In addition to efforts by the U.N. and CAR's government, organizations supported by the partnership between GHR and USAID, as well as other GHR-funded partners like Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry, are working to establish dialogues between conflicting groups. Collaboration and discussion between religious leaders and communities are essential to solving difficult development problems like the ones faced by CAR, and may be key to building the trusting relationships and social cohesion necessary to restoring peace.
To learn more about how GHR is partnering to prevent conflict in the Central African Republic and around the world, contact us.