civilians

  • 50 Women Trained On Peace Keeping Skills In Rumbek

    Press Clip Source: Gurtong.net 
    Date: November 1, 2015
    Written by: Mabor Riak Magok
    Read original article: Here

    The Nonviolent Peaceforce South Sudan a non-profit organisation last week trained 50 women on peace keeping in Rumbek Lakes State.

    RUMBEK, 30 October 2015 [Gurtong] - The organisation brought together participants from affected communities of Rumbek Centre and Rumbek East Counties.

    Addressing the participants during the workshop the Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency, Samuel Will Machiek urged the women in Pandor to refrains from instigating and inciting violence in their respective communities, saying that the community is losing potential youth for no good reason.

    He urged the women to embrace and adopt a culture of peace dialogue or discussion starting from the family level between their husbands and children at home and extend this spirit up to the group level in the Payams and villages where revenge killings and cattle raiding is imminently experienced.

  • Ceasefire Monitoring Training Provided In Southern Burma

    Press Clip Source: Burma News International
    Date: August 6, 2016
    Reporting by:Saw Khar Suu Nyar for KIC News
    Read original article: Here.

     

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    Two civil society groups recently gave ceasefire monitoring training in Dawei in Tenasserim Region. Since last year, the Karen Development Network (KDN) and Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) have been cooperating in providing education campaigns on the peace process in southern Burma.

    NP trainer Rosemary Kibaki told KIC News that the recent training in southern Burma focussed on ceasefire “monitoring and civilian protection”, including providing assistance to victims, collecting information and “connecting” with “authorities”.

    Thirty-five people, hailing from fifteen villages in Yebyu, Palauk, and Thayetchaung townships, attended the latest training session that ran for three days ending on 3 August.

    Naw Tha Lay Htoo from Yebyu Township said: “We talked about Nelson Mandela and his achievements and what the government and ethnic armed groups have been doing for the public regarding the NCA (nationwide ceasefire agreement).”

    Similar training was provided in Dawei in March and in Thandaung Gyi, Karen State in February.

     

  • 13 children re-united with their parents in S. Sudan: UNICEF

    Press Clip Source: Sudan Tribune 
    Date: January 4, 2016
    Written by: ST
    Read original article: Here

     

    January 4, 2016 (KAMPALA) - At least 13 children who had been separated by the violent conflict in South Sudan were reunited with parents at the end of December last year.


    According to the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), over 3,300 children have since been reunited with their parents in the aftermath of the civil war in the different part of the country.

    Among those who joined their parents, UNICEF said, were Khan, Delanga and Nyakuar. The trio from Akobo county of Jonglei state were reunited with their parents last week.

    “As the UN helicopter takes off, Khan whispers to his sister that he’s scared. She replies that he’ll soon see his mother and father again, for the first time in years. Then a big smile comes across Khan’s face as he looks out the window and sees the ground moving beneath him,” the agency said in a report.

  • A Nonviolent Alternative to War – Podcast

    Press Clip Source: Metta Center for Nonviolence
    Date: May 3, 2016
    Written by: Soneile Hymn
    Read original article: Here.

     

    This week on Peace Paradigm Radio, we continue the conversation on the Just War Doctrine, and discuss how Nonviolent Peaceforce and activists in the Catholic Church are working (with success) to change the face of conflict as we know it. Eli McCarthy, Director of Justice and Peace for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and Mel Duncan, Founding Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce, join Stephanie Van Hook and Michael Nagler to report on the recent Vatican conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence” where they presented a document rejecting the Church’s just war theory, and outlining a nonviolent alternative to dealing with intense conflict. Don’t miss this discussion of the philosophy of Just War, how nonviolent methods can replace this theory, highlights from the conference, and the process they used to come up with the document that they presented at the conference.

    Read Michael’s article on the conference and it’s significance on Open Democracy!

    Listen in here!

     

  • A role for unarmed civilian protectors at Standing Rock

    “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
    ~ John F. Kennedy

    (Photo by Chris Juhn)


    A few weeks ago, a historical event occurred at Standing Rock. It wasn’t the decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the easement, though that was historic. But something else happened — a ceremony where veterans asked forgiveness from Lakota elders for past wrongs committed by the U.S. military. This was a symbolic gesture that helps to erode old barriers and build new structures for peace. The work that NP civilian peacekeepers do everyday erodes barriers by creating space for dialogue and builds partnership to resolve conflict peacefully. Our teams work in some of the most violent conflicts around the world: South Sudan, Myanmar, the Philippines and Middle East.

    As our supporters, you have asked us many times, “When will NP start working in the US?” That time has come. Your help is needed to raise $50,000 for staff and volunteers to provide prospective presence and create space for dialogue.

  • Adopting active nonviolence and inclusive love in our commitment to a just peace

    Press Clip Source: Pax Christi Peace Stories
    Date: November 30, 2016
    Written by:Bishop Kevin Dowling, Co-President of Pax Christi International
    Read original article: Here.

     

    I begin with the well-known text from Micah (6:8): “... this is what Yahweh asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God...”

    Who will ever forget the witness of over 1 million Filipinos, accompanied by priests and nuns kneeling on the ground in prayer (and soldiers who refused to intervene or act against them) – a peaceful protest leading to the downfall of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986? How did this happen? Firstly, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, an ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to nonviolent social change, led dozens of nonviolent action workshops across the Philippines. After attending a workshop, Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila joined with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in calling for a “nonviolent struggle for justice.” These training workshops, along with a sophisticated election-monitoring mission led by nuns and priests, paved the way for the mass “people power” movement that prevented Marcos from stealing the 1986 presidential elections. The people challenged violence with nonviolent resistance – and won, and Marcos and his wife left the country.

    Fast forward to 2014. In mid-2014, women living in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians area in South Sudan alerted the Nonviolent Peaceforce team living there that women were being raped and sometimes gang-raped by soldiers when they went out to gather firewood and water. The women reported that sometimes the soldiers would describe the assaults as part of their job.

    Often older women took on these jobs to protect the younger ones, and hopefully to decrease the likelihood of attack. So these women had to choose between their personal safety and providing for their families’ basic needs. Nonviolent Peaceforce began accompanying the women when they left the camp, sending 2 or more trained civilian protectors along with them. In the year after this accompaniment was offered to the people, no woman was attacked when accompanied. Instead, the soldiers looked the other way.

  • As Civil War Rages in South Sudan, Kids Struggle to Hold On to Their Youth

    Press Clip Source: takepart.com 
    Date: December 9, 2015
    Written by: Fellipe Abreu
    Read original article: Here

     

    As herds of cattle come and go on a narrow trail across a row of huts made from straw, mud, and wood, they pass a boy of about 15 sleeping in a chair near the main entrance. He is wearing black pants, rubber sandals, and an Ethiopian soccer team shirt. In his lap: an AK-47 rifle folding stock.

    We are in Ulang—capital of Upper Nile state, in northern South Sudan—a region dominated by the Nuer ethnic group, which is opposed to the government, the Dinkas. Such masonry construction is where the opposition is headquartered, and the boy is one of the bodyguards. The region, historically a stronghold of the Nuer, lived in relative tranquillity until May 2014, when it was attacked by Dinka troops, resulting in dozens of deaths. Soon after, Ulang militarized.

    Civil war has raged since December 2013, and approximately 16,000 children have been forcibly recruited by government forces and the opposition, according to the United Nations. Although the country's government and opposition signed a peace treaty in August of this year—and both sides have committed to not recruiting children and young people as soldiers—the cease-fire has been neglected, and thousands of children continue to face the battlefield.

  • Ban Ki-moon visited the UN Protection of Civilian Camps in South Sudan

    Thursday, February 25th, the UN Security General Ban Ki-moon visited the UN Protection of Civilian (POC) Camps and specifically emphasized the need for peace agreements and their implementation in South Sudan. Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) was invited together with other humanitarian actors who are involved in delivering services to the Juba POC camps. The Security General stated that he would do his best to support the peace process being implemented, and he also wanted to thank all the respective agencies providing protection to civilians in those camps.

    This visit follows the appointment by Ban Ki-moon of a ‘High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations,’ this past October, which concluded that “Unarmed strategies must be at the forefront of UN efforts to protect civilians. ”

    In the picture above you see South Sudan Country Director Aseervatham Florington attending a conference with UN Security General Ban Ki Moon in Juba, South Sudan this past Thursday.

    Nonviolent Peaceforce was invited to attend as an organization providing services and protection to internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the UN Protection of Civilian Camps (POCs).

  • Broadening the practice of civilian protection

    Press Clip Source: Humanitarian Practice Network
    Date: January 2017
    Written by:Tiffany Easthom
    Read original article: Here.

     

    Easthom 900x500As violence continues in South Sudan, the protection of civilians has become the central issue. With millions of people displaced from their homes, sheltering in Protection of Civilians (POC) sites on UN bases and in remote villages and swamps across the country, providing effective protection programming is the ultimate Sisyphean challenge. Despite a billion-dollar UN mission with 13,000 armed peacekeepers, ordinary South Sudanese continue to lose their lives at an alarming rate. It is essential to recognise the need to continue to evolve the practice of direct protection, recognising the limitations of what can be done in complex conflict, while assertively looking to scale up what is working and adapt established approaches to address the changing realities of contemporary conflict. This article provides a brief look at one emerging approach to direct protection work, unarmed civilian protection (UCP).

  • Civilian monitors evacuate 300 civilians

    Shan State, Myanmar.

    A few days before December 25th, violence broke out between two ethnic armed groups in the Northern part of Shan State. A girl from a local village was killed and three other civilians were injured during the conflict. Civilian monitors, trained by Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) and supported by local partner Shalom (Nyein) Foundation, responded to prevent further casualties. (Photo: Nonviolent Peaceforce trains a group of local monitors in Myanmar)

    The monitors engaged both armed groups and negotiated a three-hour ceasefire to evacuate 300 civilians caught in the crossfire. They worked with community leaders from a local township, who lent them a few trucks to transport the civilians to a safe area. The monitors referred the injured civilians to local community based organisations, who ensured medical treatment. Approximately, 1,150 civilians have been displaced during these clashes and are taking shelter in monasteries and houses of relatives. During the clashes, clinics, farming equipment and civilian houses were destroyed.

  • Conflict Without Weapons

    Press Clip Source: Conscious Magazine
    Date: July 6, 2016
    Written by: Kathryn Lundstrom, summer intern at NP USA
    Read original article: Here.

     

    I walked into Nonviolent Peaceforce at the end of May hoping for a break from the anger that I kept feeling in policy school. My first year at the LBJ School of Public Affairs had been spent in various states of frustration – some minor when I realized that I didn’t leave all the academic bureaucracy in undergrad, but some other, bigger frustrations with some of the underlying assumptions that my class discussions seemed to be built upon. Contrary to my expectations, it often felt as though most the other students and professors weren’t really there to think through what I saw as the policy issues of life and death – to consider the costs of our country’s actions and investments overseas, to really dig into whether the US has lived up to its goals of democracy and freedom (and to discuss what these words mean), and then to talk about how this could be improved and lives saved. Instead, the classroom discussions often felt like the place where professors expected me to get used to the reality of a “best bad option,” move on, and learn how to navigate strategically through the devastating truths that, well, policymakers’ hands are just tied most of the time and there just aren’t good options. We have to focus on what is best for Americans. Sometimes, bombs have to be dropped. Sometimes, drones are the only option. But, based on my news app alerts, it sure seemed to me like those “sometimes” were far too frequent.

  • Congressman Rick Nolan of Minnesota supporting Unarmed Civilian Protection

    July 23, 2015

    congressman Rick NolanCongressman Rick Nolan of Minnesota yesterday called for the US government to provide more support for unarmed civilian protection (UCP) through initiatives at the State Department and USAID as well as in positions at the UN.

    "When confronted with such atrocities (as in Syria and South Sudan), our typical response is to send in the bombers and drones, ship military equipment, train ‘‘the good guys,’’ or even put our own troops on the ground. By doing these things, we create a state of on-going war. Is it any wonder the result is more violence, rather than less?”

    Read the full speech below or directly in the Congressional Record.

     

  • Developing Local Child Protection Capacity in South Sudan

    Press Clip Source: ReliefWeb
    Date: March 31, 2017
    Written by:US Agency for International Development
    Read original article: Here.

     

     

    It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of conflict-affected communities, it often takes that same village to ensure that children are protected and provided access to critical services. In South Sudan, USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) partner Nonviolent Peaceforce is building local child protection capacity in northern Jonglei State.

    In Jonglei’s Waat and surrounding villages, Nonviolent Peaceforce has facilitated trainings on child protection in emergencies for Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) and Women’s Peacekeeping Teams (WPTs). Through these workshops, Nonviolent Peaceforce teaches community members about child rights and the impact of child labor, conflict, and child soldier recruitment on children’s development.

  • Donor Update on Ukraine

    Thanks to your support, at the request of local civil society organizations, Nonviolent Peaceforce introduced unarmed civilian protection in Ukraine in 2015. There was great need and you responded by funding an NP civilian protector in Ukraine. For several months, our staff built relationships to better understand the conflict, determine NP's role, and to conduct trainings on unarmed civilian protection.* NP trained thirty Ukrainians representing several civil society organizations, community members and local authorities on providing a protective presence to civilians. NP had intended to stay in Ukraine and build our program there, but unfortunately, we did not receive an additional grant to expand our work at the time.

  • Duncan describes impact of Unarmed Civilian Protection

    Press Clip Source: Midland Daily News 
    Date: October 27,2015
    Written by: Ralph E. Wirtz
    Read original article: Here

    Suppose for a moment that your mere presence in a room or a field or at a campground could save a life, stop a rape or prevent an abduction.

    The globe-trotting Mel Duncan was at Delta College Monday night, telling those in attendance that this supposition is true, and that there are people in more than 50 organizations from 35 nations around the world doing those things, protecting civilians just by being in areas where violence is occurring. Unarmed Civilian Protection is a new phenomenom, a one-generation method of responding to violence, he said.

    Duncan is co-founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce, one of those 50 organizations, and he offered proof that the idea is working. He said the primary work of his organization is to “protect civilians from imminent violence.” Teams of unarmed, trained professionals respond in areas where they are wanted. They are nonpartisan and nonviolent and they “live and work in the communities where conflict is,” Duncan said.

    “While we are there, our specific and only job is the protection of civilians, to work with local civilian society to deter violence and to help strengthen the peace infrastructures,” he said.

    The need for finding ways to resolve conflicts peacefully is growing, Duncan said, citing a report from the United Nations Panel on Global Climate Change that stated “the worst is yet to come.” Duncan said climate disruption exacerbates violent conflict.

    “Today, more people are affected by conflict and disaster more frequently and for longer periods than in previous decades and that number in need of humanitarian assistance and protection has nearly doubled in the past decade,” Duncan said. “We now have 60 million of us who are in direct need of shelter and refuge because of violent conflict and persecution.”

    One example he cited was NP’s work in South Sudan. There, in the midst of civil war, more than 4 million people are displaced and many live in “protection of civilian areas.”

  • EU ambassadors in Mindanao to reaffirm support for peace process

    Press Clip Source: Inquirer 
    Date: March 15, 2016
    Written by: Nestor Corrales
    Read original article: Here

    A delegation of ambassadors from the European Union (EU) has visited Mindanao to renew their commitment to support the peace process and development in the region.
    “Our visit to Cotabato City highlights the EU and its member states’ continuing support for the Mindanao peace process and development in the region,” EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said in statement on Tuesday.
    “Our hopes remain high that the positive gains achieved in the peace process will be sustained despite some challenges, especially as the parties remained engaged and committed to continue their journey to peace,” he added.

    Aside from Jessen, other members of the EU who visited Mindanao on March 14 to 15 were Ambassadors Marion Derckx (Netherlands), Thomas Ossowski (Germany), Chargés d’Affaires Mihai Sion (Romania), Nigel Boud (United Kingdom), Deputy Ambassadors Fabio Schina (Italy), Xavier Leblanc (Belgium), Gabrielle Zobl-Kratschmann (Austria), Maria del Carmen Barcia-Bustelo (Spain), Laurent Legodec (France), Attachés Riccardo Dell’Aquila (Italy), Diego Sanchez (EU Delegation), Program Manager Edoardo Manfredini (EU Delegation).
    Jessen said the EU would continue to support the efforts of the parties that recently met again in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the peace process in Mindanao.

    “We are looking forward to supporting the agenda for peace of the next [administration] as we carry on our collaborative efforts with all the concerned stakeholders for peace,” he said.

    The group met with Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Representatives, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad and MILF Central Committee, the Mindanao Humanitarian Team, non-government and civil society organizations involved in peace and development initiatives in Mindanao and the business community.
    The EU said it has adapted its funding programs to the changing needs of the peace process.
    “Last December 2015, the European Union Delegation to the Philippines has launched a new program in support of the peace process and is providing P275 million to allow for a smooth transition and to create conditions for the establishment of the autonomous region of the Bangsamoro and the election of its government,” the EU said.
    EU said the “program contributes to peace building and conflict mitigation, support the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro and strengthen local institutions and political processes.”
    “The grants are being channelled through Conciliation Resources; non-government organizations (NGOs) such as the Non Violent Peace Forces, Fondation Suisse de Deminage, Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung; United Nations Development Programme and Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue,” it said. RAM

     

  • Focus Myanmar (2)

    CONTEXT and History of NP in Myanmar

    “This is not just the longest running civil conflict in the world but probably the most complex. The result is the most complicated peace process we’ve found anywhere. Trying to corral all these groups—18, 20 of them — with their different interests and identities into a single unified peace approach is extraordinarily difficult.”

    -Derek Mitchell, former US ambassador to Myanmar

    After more than 60 years of civil war, Myanmar has embarked on a path towards peace. In 2011 and 2012- the Myanmar government signed a series of bilateral ceasefire agreements with 14 out of the 17 largest ethnic armed groups.

    Though these agreements increased security in parts of the country, they were not followed by meaningful peace talks to address the root causes of conflict.

    In an attempt to negotiate a more meaningful multilateral ceasefire agreement various armed groups got together and formed the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) in November, 2013

    October, 2015- After two years of negotiations, eight armed groups signed the so-called Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the Myanmar government.

    One month later, the country welcomed its first democratically elected civilian-led government since 1962!

    November, 2015-In line with the agreements in the NCA, a process towards the establishment of a formal ceasefire monitoring body, Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committees, was initiated in five States and Regions where EAOs and Government signed the NCA.

    August, 2016- The newly elected government made the peace process a top priority and brought nearly all armed groups together at the first 21st century Panglong Peace Conference to initiate the long-awaited peace talks.

    Despite signs of progress, there are major challenges ahead. Many armed groups chose not to sign the multilateral ceasefire agreement in 2015, they didn't feel that the process was inclusive enough. Civil society groups, and women in particular, have felt largely underrepresented.

    Meanwhile, fighting in many parts of the country has picked up, making peace talks and additional ceasefire negotiations more difficult, eroding trust in the peace process, and impacting the lives and livelihoods of already vulnerable civilians.

    Since 2011, armed conflict and inter-communal violence in Myanmar have displaced more than 240,000 people. Myanmar is also one of the countries at highest risk of natural disasters in Southeast Asia, with approximately 460,000 flood-affected people in need of humanitarian aid as of November 2016.

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    Agreement on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, 2015

    As Myanmar opened up and embarked on a peace process, state and civil society actors started to look for examples and models in neighboring countries. In 2010 and 2011 they visited the Philippines to learn more about the monitoring of the ceasefire agreement in Mindanao and had the opportunity to engage with Nonviolent Peaceforce.

    In August of 2012, Nonviolent Peaceforce was invited by the Government of Myanmar and civil society organizations to support the country's peace process.

    Since 2012 NP has supported local communities in establishing networks that monitor the impact of ceasefire violations and armed clashes on vulnerable civilians. By working with local partners, NP is able to provide training and technical assistance to civilian monitors in their own communities to:

    • Raise awareness among communities about ceasefire agreements.
    • Report the impact of ceasefire violations on communities to relevant actors and encourage ceasefire parties to find ways to minimize harm to civilians.
    • Facilitate humanitarian assistance to civilians that have been impacted by ceasefire violations or armed clashes.
    • Negotiate temporary ceasefires between conflicting parties to evacuate civilians caught in crossfires to safe(r) places.
    • Control rumors to de-escalate tensions and prevent (prolonged) displacement.
    • Engage in dialogue with conflict-affected communities and authorities about the peace process and the role civilians can play to support.

    Nonviolent Peaceforce also:

    • Provides technical assistance and training on ceasefire monitoring to armed groups.
    • Creates linkages between civilian ceasefire monitoring networks across Myanmar to strengthen coordination and collaboration.
    • Facilitates dialogue between armed groups, state actors, humanitarian service providers and civilian monitors to increase communication and coordination to safeguard civilians.
    • NP facilitates dialogue between civilian monitors and representatives of armed groups about the nationwide ceasefire agreement, Hpa An, Kayin State, 2015.

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    NP facilitates dialogue between civilian monitors and representatives of armed groups about the nationwide ceasefire agreement, Hpa An, Kayin State, 2015

     

    STRATEGIES AND THEORIES OF CHANGE

    Nonviolent Peaceforce envisions its application of Unarmed Civilian Protection to contribute to Myanmar’s peace process through the reduction of violence, the building of healthy relationships, and the mobilisation of grassroots initiatives. Nonviolent Peaceforce believes in:

    Violence reduction: The participation of civilians in the ceasefire monitoring process encourages combatants to minimize violence against civilians. In the long run, we believe that the actual reduction of violence will increase confidence in the peace process and provide safer spaces for dialogue.

    Healthy relationships: NP builds healthy relationships with all parties and encourages conflicting parties to address their needs without harming civilian. This models and promote the transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace and nonviolence in the early stages of a peace process. It allows for a smoother transition towards reconciliation.

    Grassroots mobilisation: Mobilising civilians to monitor ceasefire agreements and responding to civilian protection concerns builds confidence among civil society and increases local ownership. A bottom-up, community driven initiatives will not only compliment top-down peacemaking initiatives, but influence them in a meaningful way. Civilian-led grassroots initiatives can increase the attention to civilian protection concerns among decision makers and create opportunities for the voices of vulnerable communities to be heard.

     

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    The spectrum of civilian ceasefire monitoring as presented by NP Myanmar

     

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    OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

    “To reiterate, it is important to highlight that perhaps the greatest contribution of this work will be the many civilians who have changed their beliefs and behaviours. They are becoming less governed by a ‘culture of fear’ and less limited by traditional roles. They are more accepting and promoting women’s leadership, and actively engaged in civilian protection. These are easy words to write, and very hard shifts to accomplish.”

    Ellen Furnari, PhD, Transforming Matters, in her paper on the projects implemented by Nonviolent Peaceforce with the Karen Women Empowerment Group and the Gender and Development Institute Myanmar (Furnari, 2016, p.28).

    Nonviolent Peaceforce's in Myanmar has:

    • Introduced and promoted an application of civilian ceasefire monitoring that is modelled on the theory and practice of Unarmed Civilian Protection and is widely used by local monitoring networks;
    • Trained 500 civilian monitors, together with 6 local partners, that are actively participating in the peace process and protecting vulnerable civilians in conflict affected areas.
    • Supported the establishment of 12 locally driven civilian protection and ceasefire monitoring networks in 7 States across Myanmar and brought these networks together.
    • Trained more than 50 representatives of ethnic armed organizations in ceasefire monitoring, some of which are currently represented in Joint Monitoring Committees of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.

    External project evaluators have judged the efforts of NP and its partners to be a ‘highly relevant contributor to the peace process in Myanmar’.

    "Before the training, we did not know how to engage actors, especially like Tatmadaw and KIO. But the training from NP helped us learn the ways to engage them and build our confidence. It is because of the skills and confidence we got from the trainings; we can now intervene and respond to cases of violence in our communities. I hope NP continues building our capacity and we in return continue protecting our communities"

    – Township Coordinator, Momauk Township, Kachin CCM.

    “In the past 3 days we learned a lot about the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. This is very important for peace. Before I attended this workshop, I felt like playing chess without knowing the rules of the game. But now I understand which way to go.”

    - Liaison Officer of Ethnic Armed Organisation

    OUR TEAM

    Nonviolent Peaceforce in Myanmar has currently 10 staff members, coming from the Netherlands, Kenya, the USA, Nepal, and Myanmar.

     

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    NP staff members and local partner Karen Women Empowerment Group discuss the protection of women, Hpa An 2016

     

    OUR LOCAL PARTNERS

    NP has been working with the following local organizations:

    • Shalom (Nyein) Foundation in Chin, Mon, Kachin, and Shan State;
    • Gender and Development Institute Myanmar (GDI) in Chin, Kachin, and Kayin State;
    • Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG) in Kayin State;
    • Karen Development Network (KDN) in Kayin State and Thanintharyi Region;
    • Kayah State Peace Monitoring Network (KSPMN) in Kayah State;
    • New Generation Shan State (NGSS) in Shan State

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    Map of local partner organisations of Nonviolent Peaceforce that have established and are currently managing, overseeing, and/or supporting civilian monitoring networks in Myanmar (2016).

  • Here’s a novel idea: Peace without weapons

    Press Clip Source: The Star Online 
    Date: November 1, 2015
    Written by: Dariusz Dziewanski
    Read original article: Here

    thestaronlineA WIDE, infectious smile spreads across Rocky George Ambago’s face when he talks about his work. Through his role with the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in South Sudan, Ambago helps to champion an innovative model of peacekeeping called unarmed civilian protection (UCP). The non-profit organisation trains civilians to play a role similar to that of peacekeepers.

    Ambago is committed to bringing peace to his native country. Before joining the NP, he spent almost 10 years fleeing conflict in his homeland. After long periods of exile in the Central African Republic, Democratic of Congo, and Uganda, he was offered resettlement in Canada but refused to leave.

    “What am I going to do outside, when my country needs me?” he explains. Instead, he returned to South Sudan.

    Ambago and his team work to save lives largely by monitoring warring groups and using their presence to exert social pressure so that would-be perpetrators of violence are more likely to act peacefully. NP-trained personnel also act as protective escorts for individuals – for instance, the displaced or those seeking medical attention – who might be threatened by violence.

  • Holy Everything: Don't fight reality, make a change for the better possible

    Press Clip Source: Post Bulletin
    Date: September 24, 2016
    Written by:Emily Carson
    Read original article: Here.

     

    To every problem, there are a variety of possible solutions. The people willing to imagine those solutions are possibilitarians.

    The word possibilitarian was first coined by author and minister Norman Vincent Peale. It describes someone who recognizes and creates new possibilities. Peale thoughtfully advised, "Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities — always see them for they're always there."

    I recently encountered two possibilitarians. First, Perry. Justin and I met Perry while checking out the downtown Rochester PlaceMakers Prototyping Festival. Perry and his PlaceMakers team identified several creative solutions to deal with the city's excess rainwater.

    Perry, an engineer, showed Justin and I how small, inexpensive parts can lead to cost-effective solutions for existing water-related concerns. His enthusiasm for solution-finding was contagious. It was as if he saw the whole world through a lens of limitless possibilities. As he spoke, I began to imagine myself as an idea engineer, too.

    The next possibilitarian I encountered was Mel Duncan. Mel gave a 1-hour presentation on the Nonviolent Peaceforce at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in town. The evening event was co-sponsored by Assisi Heights Spirituality Center, the First Unitarian Universalist Church, Pax Christi Peace Group, and Southeastern Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.

  • Is the UN Working for Peace?

    Press Clip Source: IPA - Institute for Public Accuracy 
    Date: September 28,2015
    Read original article: Here

    President Obama and other heads of state address the United Nations General Assembly today as it begins its 70th session. Video feed: webtv.un.org

    DAVID SWANSON, david at davidswanson.org, @davidcnswanson
    Swanson is author of When the World Outlawed War, War Is A Lie and Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency. He just wrote the piece “The UN: Pretending to Oppose War for 70 Years.”

    MEL DUNCAN, mduncan at nonviolentpeaceforce.org, @Peaceforce
    Founding director and director of advocacy and outreach at Nonviolent Peaceforce, Duncan said today: “At a time when civilians are under increasing threat from war and violent conflict, today’s ‘Summit on Peacekeeping,’ co-hosted by President Obama, ignores an entire effective approach to protecting civilians while focusing on armed peacekeeping.

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