The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) conducted a three-day training seminar entitled “The Prevention of Identify-Based Violence” on September 26-28, 2019 in Bangui, Central Africa Republic. The seminar, supported by UK aid from the British people, was organized in collaboration with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Central African Republic (CAR) National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and all Forms of Discrimination. The seminar’s participants were drawn from a diverse cross-section of civil society, academia, religious groups, and government. The Central African Republic’s Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Territorial Administration, Public Security Defense, Education, Social Affairs, and National Reconciliation were among those represented at the event.
The objectives for the seminar included the provision of in-depth training and technical assistance towards the development of national-level and community-level interventions to sustainably prevent identify-based violence (IBV). The training also sought to develop participant’s practical competencies, foundational knowledge, and the skills necessary to consolidate and strengthen the implementation of policies and programs to prevent IBV. This also included the development of strategies for the institutionalization of a National Mechanism for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities in the Central African Republic.
Experts from various parts of Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States held interactive sessions throughout the event. These included a keynote address on “Atrocity Prevention in Today’s World,” and modules dedicated to introductory concepts in genocide and mass atrocity prevention, institutionalizing IBV prevention, best practices for National Committees, the prevention of gender-based violence, education, and more.
The seminar ultimately provided the opportunity for members and potential members of the country’s nascent National Committee and other representatives of government, civil society, and academia to develop their capacities for local prevention through projects and other frameworks for engagement with stakeholders to maximize contributions to security, stability, and development in the Central African Republic. The participants also adopted a five-year work plan that the National Committee will implement to help itself fully institutionalize and to guide future work with international partners, national and local stakeholders, and communities to prevent identity-based violence, genocide, and mass atrocities.