6 January 2010 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has brought together community, religious and military leaders to identify how conflict-scarred communities can peacefully co-exist in eastern Chad, as part of the first-ever forum of its kind.
During the recent two-day workshop, 150 people from the Sila region – which hosts 95 per cent of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, numbering nearly 170,000 people – also discussed how to integrate those coming home after years of conflict.
“The successful integration of returning IDPs is crucial to the stabilization of eastern Chad,” said UNDP Country Director Pascal Karorero.
The consultative discussions centred on how to establish a culture of peace and mutual acceptance to lessen tensions among the IDPs, host communities, pastoralists and others.
Also discussed were the issues of crisis prevention; peacebuilding and sustainable development; corruption and impunity; environmental protection; and the disarmament of civilians.
Attacks by bandits and rebels from the nearby war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur have uprooted hundreds of thousands of people, with many seeking refuge in eastern Chad.
The forum was a unique opportunity to improve relationships among various groups, El Hadj Toke Dady, Governor of Sila, said, underscoring the importance of the close ties between the Chadian Government and development partners to maintain peace in the region.
UNDP has launched an Early Recovery Programme in the area which seeks to bolster the rule of law, access to justice and security, and promote socio-economic recovery and development.
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