TransConflict is pleased to present the profile of Cooperation for Peace and Unity from Afghanistan, a member of the Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation.
- Where – Afghanistan (Asia)
- Website – www.cpau.org.af
- Contact Person – Mustafa Sattary
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address – House number 997, Second Street, Kolola Pushta Road, Kabul, Afghanistan
- Other – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Areas of Expertise
Cooperation for Peace and Unity has expertise in a range of areas, including:
Main Aims and Objectives
CPAU works as non-governmental organization to ensure peace and instability in Afghanistan, furthering the interest of no political entity, neither in Afghanistan nor elsewhere. CPAU’s main aim and objectives are as follow:
- a) Providing training to communities;
- b) Creating linkages between government and communities;
- c) Conflict transformation analysis;
- d) Conflict sensitivities;
- e) Conflict studies;
- f) Providing training to government and state officials, including courts and the police.
Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation
CPAU has worked in different communities through Afghanistan, to enhance their capabilities in order to settle their violence within the law. The revengeful nature of rural communities in Afghanistan is extremely persistent, in which CPAU solely tries to educate these communities and raise awareness.
Where and with Whom?
Since the beginning of the organization, CPAU has worked through most of Afghanistan; regardless of ethnic, religion, region or linguistic dimensions.
Throughout Afghanistan, CPAU worked in provinces such as – Kabul, Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, Ningarhar, Ghazni, Balkh, Herat, Helmand, Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan, Faryab and Kapisa. In addition, CPAU has permanent offices in Kabul, Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan, Faryab and Kapisa.
Although, CPAU’s research teams are working across the country, including the red zone provinces. (i.e. CPAU’s one of research team has just left Kabul for a research purpose to Urzgan province).
CPAU has worked with different donors, and the current donors are the USIP (United State Institute of Peace), EC (European Commission), Dutch Embassy, Swedish Embassy, French Embassy, SIDA, Oxfam Novib and Cordaid.
Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation
In order to uphold its aim and objectives, CPAU has successfully achieved some of its objectives in the field of conflict transformation. CPAU has helped communities across Afghanistan to build peace-councils and solve their problems locally within the law. Regarding this, there are now local peace-councils in:
- Kunduz province (75 Councils);
- Takhar province (45 Councils);
- Baghlan province (40 Councils);
- Faryab province (20 Councils);
- Kabul province (30 Councils);
- Kapisa province (60 Councils);
Peace Councils are based on an informal local tradition of village elders gathering in community councils called “jirgas” or “shuras”. Jirgas originate from traditional Pashtun culture and they are usually a temporary or ad-hoc group of respected elders that convenes when necessary to resolve disputes. A Shura is a group of local elders or recognized leaders who convene regularly to make decisions on behalf of their community. CPAU trains the members of these peace councils in conflict negotiation and mediation to increase their effectiveness at dispute resolution. At the same time these training sessions encourage the Peace Councils to record their cases in notebooks specifically designed for that purpose and distributed by CPAU. The benefit of case registration by Peace Councils is that CPAU has systematic access to data concerning community level disputes. These records are then used to write periodic Local Conflict Trend Analysis Papers (LoCTAPs) to develop greater insights into local dynamics, threats and opportunities.
Before a Peace Council is established, two days are spent mobilizing and informing the public in the town or village. Meetings are held in public places, such as Mosques, to inform residents about the establishment and purpose of a Peace Council in that area. Once the Peace Council has been established, the people of the town or village select the head and his deputies. Five days of workshops are then held to improve the understanding of Peace Council members and build their capacity to manage conflict resolution. The workshop materials include:
- Initially members are given information regarding social and economic development, and their impact and relationship with peace and conflict;
- In the following days, participants discuss and learn about causes of conflict at family, village, district, provincial and national level. They learn to conduct conflict analysis and recognize how conflict can spread across levels;
- On the fourth day, participants are taught practical skills and methods that they can use and apply in council sessions, with the emphasis on ensuring that conflict and violence are not used as dispute resolution tools;
- On the final day, Peace Council members learn and discuss peace, and especially sustainable peace at family, village, district, provincial and national level. It is hoped that these sessions will enable members to reflect on the wider ramifications of their decisions and their responsibility to take actions that enable communities to build safer, sustainable futures.
Peace trainers visit and observe Peace Council meetings to assess how the Councils are using conflict resolution skills to solve disputes brought before them. These visits help trainers to evaluate the Peace Council’s decision making when solving disputes and allows them to evaluate on how future Councils and training sessions can be improved.