Peace Commission Reinstates Civil Society Coalitions for Peace in Six Key Districts

Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC),jpg

By Esther Wright

In a concerted effort to fortify peace and bolster national unity, the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), in collaboration with UN-Women, has successfully reinstated “Civil Society Coalitions for Peace” in six key districts nationwide. The revitalization initiative encompasses Karene, Pujehun, W/Area Urban, W/Area Rural, Bombali and Kono districts.

The inaugural session, held at the Karene District Council Hall in Kamakwie, witnessed the enthusiastic participation of diverse Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) committed to peace-building endeavours within their respective districts. Deliberations entered on the coalition’s mandate, its significance in fostering good governance, the formation of executive leadership and a comprehensive needs assessment aimed at enhancing capacity and effectiveness.

Henryson Jusu, Deputy Director of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, provided insights into the initiative’s rationale, highlighting the widespread public demand for the establishment of CSO coalitions nationwide. Emphasizing their pivotal role in promoting public engagement and empowering CSOs at the grassroots level, he underscored the significance of these platforms in facilitating direct citizen-CSO interaction, thereby fostering civic responsibility and democratic participation.

James Tamba Turay, Senior Programs Manager for Prevention stressed the paramount importance of district-level CSO coalitions as fundamental pillars for sustainable peace nationwide. Delving into critical thematic areas, participants addressed challenges such as substance abuse, gender-based violence, educational conflicts, sexual offenses, early marriage and deforestation. They called upon the ICPNC and other stakeholders to provide essential support in addressing these pressing concerns.

In the organizational segment, the Karene District Civil Society Coalition on Peace elected its executive, with Brima Turay of Radio Sella emerging as Chair and Mariama Thunkara-Mansaray from Big Sisters organization as Vice-Chairperson. Samuel Kamara of the Bike Riders Union was elected Secretary-General, Mariatu Kabiru Dumbuya representing Women Community Solidarity Group as Financial Secretary, Alimamy Bangura of Sella Social Club Union as PRO and Duramani J. Boima as Organizing Secretary. The Executive will serve an initial two-year term.

Similarly, in Pujehun, twenty CSOs convened at the District Council Hall, marking a significant milestone in fostering unity and harmony within the district.

Adekali Sheku Kamara, Deputy Director for Research and Learning at ICPNC, led the proceedings, emphasizing the primary objective of revitalizing the Civil Society Coalition for Peace to promote stability and prosperity.

Participants were equipped with tools and knowledge necessary for establishing and sustaining the Peace Coalition, with a call to forge ahead in unity for the betterment of their communities.

Madam Baby Sellu from Women of Wanjama expressed gratitude to ICPNC for their training and support, pledging unwavering commitment from her organization to collaborate within the Coalition for the greater good of the district.

In all six districts, the meetings concluded with a sense of optimism and commitment towards collective action, heralding a new era of collaboration and proactive engagement in the pursuit of lasting peace and national cohesion.


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