The Peace Centre trained 78 refugee women in December 2019 and they have participated in the formal and informal decision making forums for peace. To further strengthen their skills, The Peace enhanced the capacity of 90 peace mediators; 40 in Yumbe from 7th to 9th September 2020 and 35 in Adjumani from 10th to 12th September 2020 and 15 in Kotido from 19th to 21st August 2020.
During the training the 75 women peace mediators discussed what they did with the skills they obtained during the mediation training in December 2019, with demonstrations on how they handled the conflict cases and they were guided. The training also focused more on advocacy for conflict prevention and peace building, OPM community based service department took participants through the referral pathway, new action plans were developed and participants went out to implement. The 15 participants in Kotido included community development officers whose involvement in peace building has been low since they had never been targeted with peace building initiatives yet are key if peace is to be realised.
From 19th to 25th June 2020, The Peace Centre facilitated the meeting of District Peace Committee meetings that had a total of 142 (42 females and 100 males) participants. The meetings provided platforms where Women Peace Mediators presented women peace and security concerns including; the impact of COVID 19 on women, increasing conflicts in the project districts that called for the safety of women and girls, spaces for women’s participation in peacebuilding, peace meetings and complete disarmament, protection of the unprotected kraals, tracking and recovery of stolen animals, need to resume peace initiatives since the Warriors took advantage of the lockdown and conflicts escalated.
The meetings discussed and agreed on strategies of ensuring conflict early warning and early response systems are functional at the District level. As a result, increased realisation and collective action by District Peace Committees on Women Peace and Security concerns were registered, for example Yumbe District offered radio talk show time for the Women Peace Mediators to profile Women Peace and Security concerns as well as hold duty bearers accountable. The disarmament process was initiated in Kotido.
The Women Mediators Networks also met monthly during this period in Panyangara, Nakapelemoro, Rengen and Kotido Municipal within Kotido district and in Yumbe and Adjumani Districts. They have been engaged in documenting and reporting violations associated with COVID-19 containment measures including sexual and physical violence.