This report presents the key findings and recommendations from a participatory action research conducted between October 2019 and August 2020 in the Kasaï and Kasaï-Central provinces, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Consultations were conducted among 426 people on the factors causing violence, the resilience capacities that exist to address these factors, and priorities for peace, security and development in the region. These findings are also based on the results of a quantitative survey of 848 individuals on the state of conflict, security, levels of trauma, trust, and socio-economic conditions in intervention sites.
Entitled “**Challenges and Priorities for Peace in Kasaï and Kasaï-Central**“, it is the first report published in the programme initiated in 2019 by Interpeace and its partners, the organizations Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Commission Diocésaine Justice et Paix (CDJP) and Travail et Droits de l’Homme (TDH).
The report shows that while violent clashes between the population and security forces have subsided since 2018, the wounds stemming from the conflict persist and threaten reconciliation and reconstruction efforts. These include the political instrumentalization of customary power, ethnic competition to access political and economic power, and a lack of trust in national authorities and state institutions. Today, the humanitarian crisis birthed by the violence, trauma, economic hardship and mistrust at different levels of the societies are additional impediments to peaceful cohesion generated by the two-year violent conflict.
Faced with these challenges, the report proposes recommendations and actions to prevent the resurgence of violent conflict and restore trust and reconciliation between communities and national authorities.