Guinea-Bissau: Building bridges between civilians and the military

December 21, 2011

The relationship between civilians and the military in Guinea-Bissau is highly complex. Over many years, contact between the Bissau-Guinean population and the military has been strained. As violence erupted and they became more involved in the political sphere the situation steadily worsened.

Interpeace local partner, Voz di Paz, has been working with all parties since 2009 to see how best to overcome these issues and restore trust and confidence.

Building bridges through joint activities

As part of a full programme of initiatives to bring civilians and military together, Voz di Paz organized a walk at the end of November. It was centered in and around Mansoa, the area which is the home to the main military base for the country.

3000 people took part in the civilian/military peace march

3000 Bissau-Guineans took the time to join forces and march for peace. Dressed in white it was a day of celebration. Children, women and male civilians took part.

It was the message transmitted by the kids that was one of the strongest: “We don’t want war anymore! It’s peace we want!‚ÄĚ They chanted this the slogan the full length of the route.

A repeat event is planned for 2012

The same march will take place next year. With participants expressing they want to make it even bigger.

This initiative is part of a nationwide initiative to bring lasting peace to Guinea-Bissau.