Dear Reader,The year 2020 started with the outbreak of Covid-19 and has just ended with the second wave of this pandemic which has shaken social and professional relationships around the world. While this health situation has significantly slowed the global economy, it has not brought a pause in the violent conflicts that plague human societies in so many countries. Covid-19 has had serious repercussions on fragile populations in these areas of instability and has severely impacted the activity of organizations working for peace.
CPI managed to maintain many of its ongoing activities through alternatives to travel and face-to-face workshops. The Institute invested in particular in remote meetings, which had advantages and disadvantages but provided CPI with opportunities to develop in the area of virtual communication and training. Meanwhile, we are extremely grateful to our partners in the field, including in Nigeria and Zanzibar, who worked with local stakeholders to continue training activities, workshops and early warning mechanisms, and also made targeted contributions to the fight against Covid-19, taking increased ownership and using innovative approaches to meet the unique challenges of 2020.
Although a third wave of Covid-19 is expected this spring, we are confident that 2021 will see the end of the pandemic and the return to a new normality, in which we can benefit from the many lessons and skills learnt in the past year.
In this edition of our Newsletter, you will find a first article tracing the collaboration of CPI with Professor Johan Galtung since the foundation of the Institute. This text was written by Abbas Aroua on the occasion of the 90th birthday of the father of peace studies. The second article, written by CPI partner Khaled Ibrahim, reports on the latest developments relating to Libya.
We wish you a very happy new year and our best wishes for 2021!
The CPI-Geneva Team
News of the Institute
Zanzibar, Tanzania - In August-November, CPI and its Tanzanian partner Friends of Zanzibar implemented field activities aimed at electoral violence prevention as the country held parliamentary and presidential elections in late November. A community based EWRR mechanism set up by CPI and FoZ, in collaboration with the Mufti Office in Pemba was activated. Besides, the Pemba Press Club distributed hundreds of peace awareness stickers, and broadcast call in shows in four community radios and the ZBC radio in the island.
Nigeria - Training of Women IDPs and Training in Responsible Journalism. During the 4th quarter of 2020, CPI’s local partner in Nigeria, Dar al-Andalus Centre (DAAC), conducted two further training workshops. The first, which took place in Damaturu, Yobe State, on October 24 to 26, was a workshop for 60 women from IDP camps. The attendees learned to make face masks, liquid soap and pomade, and were given seed money in order to make and sell these products as a means of income generation. Participants also received trauma counselling and guidance in dealing with extremist messages, in order to share this knowledge within their families and communities.
The second workshop took place in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, and provided journalists and other media professionals on the front line of conflict with reporting tools and a balanced approach aimed at avoiding the escalation of conflict. The approach insists on reducing stereotypes and ensuring objective reporting. Over 40 media professionals attended this workshop, the second of its kind to be held by DAAC in north-eastern Nigeria, and attendees gave very positive accounts of how they will use this approach in their work.
For information on DAAC’s work, please see https://daralandalus.org.ng/
Zoom session with youth from MENA - On 18 December 2020 CPI conducted a Zoom session on the concepts of radicalism, extremism and violence, within the framework of the “Digital Citizenship for Arab Youth” program, involving a group of youth from the MENA region. The program is run by the Center for Citizenship in Jordan, which seeks to consolidate the values of active citizenship and the public good, and to promote positive youth participation in public affairs.