One minute of peace for Central African Republic

Bachir Niang So is a One Young World Ambassador from Central African Republic.

Since November 2013, the Central African Republic has seen some of the worst violence and human rights violations in its history after a military-political conflict descended into inter-religious conflict, pitting Muslims against Christians who had lived together in harmony for more than 50 years.

The conflict has displaced more than 400,000 people and more than 25% of the population, are in need of food aid. Thousands have been killed in the sectarian violence but the exact number is unclear and estimates vary. According to UNICEF, 2.3 million children have been affected by the conflict with 250,000 displaced and between 8,000 and 10,000 becoming associated with armed groups. 

On Thursday 24 July 2014, the mainly Muslim Seleka militia signed a ceasefire with the ‘anti-balka’ Christian militia which offers a chance for peace and reconciliation in my country.

To contribute to the process of dialogue, reconciliation and the continuation of the peace process, young people must organise themselves at national, regional and international levels. With the support of youth organisations in CAR such as the National Youth Council, I launched an international youth campaign called One Minute for Peace in CAR. I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the campaign and invite you to join us.

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One Minute for Peace in CAR
One minute for Peace in CAR is an initiative to harness the voices of young people to promote dialogue, reconciliation and the consolidation of peace in CAR. The campaign provides the opportunity for young people around the world to lend their voices to support the peace process by sharing personal messages with the world.

Objective
The objective of the campaign is to raise more than 500 video messages and pictures of young people across the world demonstrating them advocacy for peace in CAR.

How to participate
It's simple to get involved. Record a short video (under one minute) of yourself expressing your support for the peace process. You can use any device you choose to record the video. Once you have recorded your piece upload it to Facebook and share it on the One Minute for Peace in CAR Facebook page.

What next?
The campaign team will gather and consolidate all of your messages to make a video that demonstrates the strength of international support for the peace process. We aim to have this video broadcast and published on a range of internationally recognised channels including UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website and oneyoungworld.com.

After the online campaign
From 18 to 21 September 2014, we will aim to bring together policy makers, political parties, civil society organisations, artists, religious organisations (Christian and Muslim) and students in Bangui, CAR. Artistic and cultural activities, conferences, competitions and a football tournament will be organised. Prizes will be awarded to youth organisations and individuals that actively contributed to positive actions for the restoration of peace. Finally a statement will be made by representatives of children and youth which will be transmitted to the United Nations.

We appeal to all One Young World Ambassadors and the youth of the world to support us by participating in this campaign and hope that you will join us.