Peace and Conflict Mitigation Programmes

The countries of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region have experienced an unusual number of intra-state or interstate conflicts in recent decades. Each of these conflicts has taken a huge toll in terms of human lives lost, the suffering of refugees and internally displaced people, and the destruction of the social fabric, physical infrastructure, and natural resources.

Consequently, the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation has devoted increasing energy and resources to understanding the kinds of conflict affecting the region. The Foundation launched a number of projects specifically aimed at resolving existing conflicts as well as preventing them from arising in the first place. Both on the local and national level, the Foundation is carrying out activities that seek to contain violence and encourage peace in active war zones, to rebuild societies recently ravaged by wars, and to respond to the early signs of conflict to keep them from breaking out. Interest is also being shown in how existing development programs may sometimes actually be contributing to conflict and how they can be more explicitly enlisted to manage and prevent it.

Recent conflict initiatives have used a considerable variety of approaches to try to influence conflict and build capacities for peace. These include conflict resolution training, local reconciliation projects, projects centered on women as peacemakers, natural resource management, and many others. With these countries,there have been created a number of new indigenous NGOs that receive assistance to implement conflict resolution and peace building programs. As a large number of projects have been implemented, a literature has mushroomed in the field of international conflict resolution and peace building. In numerous conferences, seminars and workshops the various approaches have been touted and discussed as possible ways to achieve some progress in reversing the trend toward conflict in the Greater Horn region. Despite this new flurry of activity, conflict remains a serious problem in the region. Severallongstanding destructive conflicts, such as those in southern Sudan and Burundi, have waged on and on; new conflicts have erupted, such as the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia; and other potential conflicts threaten to erupt, such as in Kenya and possibly Tanzania.

The Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation is focussed on using sport to promote peace in the Region. Annual Tegla Loroupe Peace Races are organized in Kapenguria, Tana River, South Sudan, Karamoja and several other regions of the Horn of Africa.

Peace Forums are also organized between and among warring communities in the region. These have proved effective in promoting and establishing peaceful coexistence among communities. Consultative Security Forums are also organized by the Foundation with the involvement of the government security apparatus.