"Hope Through Reconciliation: The Brazzaville Foundation ‘Plots for Peace"
ARTICLE published by DIANNE HAMMOND - THE INTERNATIONALPOLICY DIGEST
Libya is a nation with tremendous potential. Yet over the course of the last near-decade, it has been a nation perpetually mired in chaos.
Following the war of attrition that former President Muammar Qaddafi waged on his own people during the Arab Spring, to the total breakdown of authority which led to an outbreak of violence and unrest, festering unabated graft and corruption and the spoils of civil war falling into the hands of deadly militant groups, there is today an outcry from the Libyan citizenry and the international community to pursue all options for reconciliation and lasting stability.
Airstrikes executed by a number of foreign countries and local groups, spurred by the rise of militant organizations in the country as well as the ongoing civil war have destroyed countless lives. Only true reconciliation can bring about peace and that is exactly the mission of the Brazzaville Foundation. Ambitious, yes, but according to its Chairman, Jean-Yves Ollivier, not impossible.
“Inclusion is essential in hosting our Dakar 1 and Dakar 2 talks in Senegal, bringing together a myriad of Libyan representatives,” stated Mr. Ollivier.
The Brazzaville Foundation is an independent nonprofit dedicated to peace and conservation through conflict resolution and prevention. Its name was inspired by the 1988 Brazzaville Agreement which paved the way for a peaceful settlement in South Africa and the ending of Apartheid.
Through a rare combination of discreet, behind-the-scenes diplomatic initiatives as well as more public endeavors, the Brazzaville Foundation’s ‘plot for peace’ (referencing the Chairman’s role in an enthralling, award-winning documentary) has, according to a recent Press Release, seconded by AllAfrica.com, “….won the hearts of key partners like the Senegal President, Macky Sall, and the Republic of Congo Leader, Denis Sassou N’guess,” dignitaries who are playing a forward-facing role in this sensitive Libyan process.
We’ve seen ‘Dialogues’ falter as in the case of Bahrain during the Arab Spring, where parties expressed discontent for not being given a seat at the table. Whether the fault of outside interference or the fault of the powers that be, lessons have been learned “…create a conducive, welcome and comfortable environment. These talks [in Dakar] will help break down any former walls of mistrust, those that have in years past stifled relationships between our brothers and sisters in Libya,” noted Mr. Ollivier.
There is also a diplomatic tightrope to walk. While the Brazzaville Foundation encourages greater community involvement from bodies such as the African Union and United Nations, “…it’s important that the Dakar 1 and Dakar 2 participants meet and dialogue without intermediaries or outside interference; we must all support this process,” continued Mr. Ollivier.
With unbridled economic potential and a pathway to prosperity by way of inclusion, equality and accountability, the interventions held in Senegal are drawing more and more voices to the table, with little scrutiny. All acknowledge the impetus to stop the bloodshed and foster strategic alliances that will re-shape the country, the region and perhaps even the continent for generations to come.