Democratic Republic of the Congo
Restoring trust in the Kasai region
In the Kasai region, Interpeace has launched a programme to help restore trust between the national authorities and customary power. The conflict in Kasai is a contention between customary power and the authorities. This makes it considerably different from other conflicts in the DRC, many of which gravitate around the confluence of power, identity and resources. The Kasai programme was initiated following a resurgence of conflict between local militants and national security forces in 2016. The conflict has caused mass population movement in the region, driving tens of thousands across the border into Angola and leaving hundreds of thousands internally displaced. The Interpeace programme in Kasai seeks to facilitate dialogue and mediation for reconciliation, as well as social cohesion among the local communities, the authorities, and the security forces. The programme is of crucial importance because the conflict has posed a significant challenge to the authority of the state in Kasai, where customary power is treated as more legitimate than that of the national state.