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The aims of this study were:

  • to fill a gap in analysis and understanding of conflicts in the region by involving local people and their representatives in reflection on the underlying drivers and impact of the conflicts or instability affecting them;
  • to identify some common themes and responses for national, regional and international decision makers. Consultations combined workshops and interviews with people from the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea), the countries affected by the Casamance conflict (Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia) and from Jos and the Niger Delta in Nigeria.

The Policy Brief that accompanies this report identifies areas and provides practical recommendations for the EU to consider, which came out of this consultative process.

These range from recommendations on narrowing the gap between centres and peripheries; preventing youth from being co-opted into war economies, drug trafficking and organised crime; lessons learning on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programmes, and; strengthening the role of ECOWAS in addressing the root causes of conflict in the region.

Conciliation Resources is grateful to Sofia Goinhas for her contribution to this report and to Carolyn Norris who contributed to the research. We would also like to thank staff in EU Delegations in the region for their contributions and support.

People's Peacemaking Perspectives

The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project is a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.