Committee for Dialogue Founded in Bangui, CAR
In a meeting supported by the International Dialogue Centre, (KAICIID), community leaders in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), convened to establish a committee to promote peace and social cohesion in the 8th district of Bangui. The 8th district is a community that suffered from violence during the conflict in CAR and is in immediate need of dialogue to re-establish social cohesion so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes.
The meeting was led by Imam Kobine Layama, and included Emile Raymond Gros Nakombo, the mayor of the 8th District of Bangui, Kaine Jefferson Lewith, a Member of Parliament and youth leader, as well as local authorities and youth – including a reformed Anti-Balaka militant who acknowledged the violence against Muslims. The committee outlined a series of activities that they will undertake immediately to prevent violence against Muslims and create a welcoming atmosphere so that the displaced Muslim residents of the 8th district can return to the community and rebuild their homes and property.
The committee will be accompanied by Imam Layama, a prominent leader of the district, who grew up in the neighborhood and was an imam at a local mosque before the crisis, but was forced to leave because of the violence. He is once again active in the community, and emphasised the importance of dialogue and KAICIID’s continued support in the country.
"KAICIID supports the leaders of the committee in their struggle for the return of living in peace among the different communities," said Imam Kobine, who recalled the importance of dialogue to resolve conflicts.
The committee is made up former combatants, local authorities, and representatives of women’s organisations and the community. It was formed to promote reconciliation and social cohesion in the community so that the Muslims that were displaced during the conflict can return to their homes. The committee will incorporate dialogue as a medium of exchange in the district and promote awareness at all levels of society. They also have plans to clean up the local mosque, a Muslim school and private property of displaced Muslims to encourage their return. They will also organize the training and capacity building of ex-combatants, youth, women, local authorities, religious associations and displaced persons and seek partners to develop income-generating activities for ex-combatants to reintegrate them into the society and reinforce the social fabric.