Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a significant move to bolster peace infrastructure and enhance accountability through community-led peace-building initiatives, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), represented by Danielle Carnes, Director of Democracy, Human Rights, and Good Governance in Guinea and Sierra Leone, has launched a transformative three-year people-to-people peace-building project.
This initiative, undertaken in collaboration with partners such as ABCD, Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Trocaire, Send Sierra Leone, and WOFHRAD, sets its overarching objective as contributing to the prevention and mitigation of politically motivated violence by implementing grassroots peace-building strategies.
During the project’s unveiling, Director Carnes emphasized USAID’s commitment to its new people-to-people peace-building initiative, outlining its dual primary objectives. She stated, “Firstly, this activity aims to contribute to the prevention and mitigation of politically motivated violence through people-to-people peace-building approaches, addressing a wide range of disputes across Sierra Leone. Secondly, the program seeks to empower individuals as peace builders and actively reinforce peace infrastructure at both local and national levels.”
Director Carnes reminded the audience that the United States Government has a consistent history of supporting inclusive and participatory peace-building efforts in Sierra Leone, dating back to the immediate post-civil war period. She underscored that promoting civil rights, democratic values, combating corruption, and adhering to democratic principles remain the top priorities for the United States in Sierra Leone.
Addressing local officials and community representatives, Danielle Carnes asserted, “Supporting conflict prevention and mitigation efforts is an indispensable element of United States policy, aimed at defending and promoting democratic values in Sierra Leone.”
Joseph Ayamga, Country Director of SEND-Sierra Leone, highlighted the importance of reflecting on the past civil war as a means of strengthening peace in the country. He poignantly noted, “Peace is a valuable commodity,” underlining the significance of this USAID-led peace-building initiative in Sierra Leone’s ongoing journey towards lasting peace and stability.
With the combined efforts of USAID and its partners, this three-year project promises to make a substantial impact in Sierra Leone, fostering peace, empowering communities, and contributing to a brighter and more harmonious future for the nation. AJ/29/9/2023