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Authors: OBI, N. N.
Keywords: Civil Society Organisations
Consolidation of peace
Republic of Guinea
Issue Date: Feb-2017
Abstract: Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are critical actors in the transition to and sustainability of democracy, especially in the Republic of Guinea which has been threatened by armed conflict in neighbouring countries. Although existing studies have focused on CSOs as important actors for peace-building in fragile states, their capacity for supporting national stability and security has received little attention. This study, examined the role and capacity of CSOs in the consolidation of peace in Republic of Guinea. Structural-functionalist and democratic peace theories were used as framework, while exploratory and case study research designs were utilised. Ten copies of a semi-structured questionnaire were administered on ten CSOs selected through purposive sampling. Some of these include; West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (Stability/Peacebuilding); Mano River Women Peace Network (Peacebuilding); Equal Rights for All (Human Rights); National Institute of Research and Pedagogic Action (NIRPA)-(Education) and Association of African Professionals of Communication (Media). Eleven key informant interviews were conducted with chief executives of the CSOs; seven in-depth interviews were conducted with key officials in the security sector; while 10 focus group discussions were conducted in the selected CSOs. Annual reports of CSOs in Guinea and other publications constituted the secondary data. Data were subjected to content analysis. Peace consolidation in Guinea was linked to the activities of CSOs. Prior to the outbreak of wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Guinean CSOs were active in civic education and campaigns against military rule. After the outbreak of armed violence in neighbouring countries, they shifted from advocacy for good governance to refugee management by offering psycho-social support, counselling for victims of physical and emotional violence, community reconciliation discussions as well as healing and cleansing ceremonies. Through their peacebuilding efforts, the presidents of Liberia (Charles Taylor), Sierra Leone (Ahmad Tejan Kabbah) and Guinea (Lansana Conté) were brought together in a peace summit in Morocco in March 2002 to discuss the security and stability of the region. The NIRPA Civic Education and Culture of Peace program was embedded in school curricula for the teaching of peace education at all levels. Tension arising from the 2009 Conakry stadium massacre was stemmed when CSOs established rights abuses against the government. The success of CSOs in persuading Dadis Camara, former military leader to leave Guinea after a failed assassination attempt on his life de-escalated internal tensions and paved way for transition to democratic rule. In spite of this level of activism, the capacity of CSOs to fully support peace consolidation was hampered by challenges relating to inadequate funding, low capacity and staffing, which depended largely on external donors. Civil society organisations played important roles in initiating, sustaining and consolidating peace in Guinea in spite of limitations imposed by funding. State actors and other stakeholders need to develop local capacity for supporting national stability, security and peace consolidation
Description: A Thesis in Peace and Conflict Studies submitted to the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY of The UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, NIGERIA
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