Engaging Civil Society for Peace in the Casamance (2018-2020)

Photo by Jake Lyell Photography for PartnersGlobal

The aim of this USAID-funded peacebuilding program in the Casamance region of Senegal was to strengthen the resilience of civil society—particularly women—in using nonviolent means to resolve conflict in the region.

To accomplish this, PartnersGlobal and our local partners trained local communities across the region in conflict resolution skills, which helped to mitigate low-level intra and cross-border conflicts with the Gambia and Guinea Bissau. Our team is also established dialogue between civil society, local authorities, and security forces to break down existing barriers, created a common agenda for peace, and developed a women’s forum to advocate on behalf of women’s interests in the region.

In the second year of implementation, the program continued reaching civil society in three countries and stakeholders from the security sector in Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau, through various trainings, roundtables, dialogue sessions, and other activities dedicated to raising awareness of peace and security concerns. For instance, PartnersGlobal and its implementing partners finalized a Livre Blanc (“White Paper”), which synthesizes civil society’s main security concerns and priorities for peace and development in Casamance. The Livre Blanc also offers concrete recommendations for key actors in the peace process on how each can play a role in the return of peace and promotion of prosperity not only in Casamance, but throughout Senegal and the sub-region. To maximize the Livre Blanc’s reach and impact, PartnersGlobal and implementing partners organized a National Gathering for Peace in Dakar, Senegal. The Gathering, led by women, featured the participation of over 2,500 members of civil society from Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and The Gambia; and national and local government from Senegal. During the activity, Senegal’s Minister of Women, Family, Gender, and Child Protection accepted the Livre Blanc on behalf of the Senegalese government. The coalition also developed a policy brief detailing actions governments and other actors can take.

This initiative is conducted in partnership with Partners West Africa-Senegal (PWA-S), TOSTAN, and Plateforme des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance (PFPC). Read more about this project here.