The End of a 30-Year Conflict May Be Near

Following tensions within the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance as well as action by the armed forces of Guinea-Bissau, a young Senegalese boy waits by a tent and his family’s belongings in the Bourgadier camp for displaced populations and refugees, in Senegal, April 7, 2006. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Patricia M. Haslach serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

On the day after Christmas in 1982, the first shots were fired in Senegal’s Casamance rebellion. Thirty years later, the insurgency continues, making it one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. On Thursday, March 28, President Obama sat down with Senegalese President Macky Sall to discuss democracy, economic growth, and this conflict. 

Thanks largely to President Sall’s leadership, there is a chance that this will be their last conversation on the conflict. After his election last spring, the president immediately opened the door to negotiations with the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC), the insurgency rebel group. The State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs,… more »

Youth Soccer Promotes Peace and Reconciliation in Kenya

Youths participate in an annual soccer tournament and sports day in the village of Kogelo in western Kenya, Nov. 4, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Karin L. Von Hippel serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

At a massive youth soccer tournament last weekend in Nairobi, the competition was peaceful, and the hope in Kenya is that the election season also will be peaceful.

Kenyans want to avoid the kind of violence that occurred after the 2007 elections. In Nairobi’s Mathare slum, one of Africa’s poorest and largest and a hotspot of violence in 2007, more than 20 people have died as a result of inter-ethnic fighting in recent months. Bob Munro, who created the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in 1987, thought that a big tournament might be a good way to ease tensions.

Munro has an impressive track record. MYSA was designed, in part, to employ sports to help youngsters gain self-confidence and leadership skills. Besides offering athletics, the nonprofit supports activities that fight child labor, creates libraries and study halls, and helps kids with disabilities… more »

Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Travels to New York City

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 28, 2012

Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Rick Barton will travel to New York City November 29-30.

In New York, Assistant Secretary Barton will meet with representatives from the United Nations, the International Peace Institute, and the Center on International Cooperation. Assistant Secretary Barton will also participate in an academic roundtable at Columbia University and in a discussion with the Business Council for International Understanding.

More information on Assistant Secretary Barton and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations is available on Twitter and Facebook.