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Interpeace launches Burkina Faso peacebuilding programme

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Interpeace has scaled up its programmes in West Africa to support ongoing peace efforts in the troubled Sahel region. Our nationwide peacebuilding programme in Burkina Faso was officially launched on Thursday, 6 February 2020 in the capital Ouagadougou.

“This programme will support social cohesion and consolidate peace through inclusive and participatory dialogues, from the community to political level,” said Alessia Polidoro, Interpeace’s Senior Representative for West Africa.

Burkina Faso is hard-hit by the worsening violent conflicts in the Sahel. Having a deep understanding of the complex dynamics and actors of these conflicts will be at the heart of Interpeace work in the country.

A team of national researchers from Interpeace is already facilitating a locally owned, driven and led process to conduct an analysis of what drives violence in Burkina Faso and identify existing factors of resilience. The programme’s goal is to promote a culture of inclusive and participatory dialogue that builds trust between different actors in conflict, and effectively respond to the challenges to peace and social cohesion.

“We welcome Interpeace to implement this project. It is innovative in approach from local level where all strata of society will express themselves and give their opinions on the root causes of the current security and social situation,” said Vincent Sawadogo, minister’s representative and Director of Cabinet at Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralisation and Social Cohesion.

He added: “I invite Interpeace to implement this project with all rigour. The government is ready to actively participate in the implementation of recommendations. The government is available, especially my ministry to support this process.”

While only a fraction of young people in Burkina Faso contribute to violence, the common stigma of youth as perpetrators of violence, especially in the media space, remains a shield to the potential of the majority driving substantial positive change in their societies.

Recognizing youth as key players who can bring change and stability to societies in Burkina Faso, our programme has partnered with Fondation Hirondelle to strengthen mutual understanding and trust between young Burkinabès, who often feel isolated from and frustrated by national decision-making processes – and have become the main victims of radicalisation and violence.

“The peacebuilding work envisaged by Interpeace is pertinent. We hope that this programme launched today will initiate the right approach to conflict resolution in Burkina Faso,” said the Emir of Liptako, a region in eastern Burkina Faso.