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Zainab Bangura

3 October 2005

Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war ended in 2002, leaving tens of thousands dead and a large portion of the population displaced. I am chair of the advisory board of the Network for Collaborative Peace Building in Sierra Leone, as well as adviser to the Peace Building Forum of the International Peace Academy and the War-Torn Societies Project of Geneva International.  After founding the political party Movement for Progress, I ran for president on the party’s ticket in 2002.  I have been a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, advising the body on inclusion and participation within its programs and formulating advocacy positions for its work with the government and development partners.  Also as a  member of the Sierra Leone Women’s Forum, I have served on the board of the International Crisis Group.

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My peace-building activities include:
    * providing conflict resolution training to freed commanders of the three warring factions;
    * founding Women Organized for a Morally Enlightened Nation (WOMEN), a nonpartisan women’s political rights organization, which played a vital role in the campaign against the ruling military junta, the National Provisional Ruling Council;
    * founding and coordinating the Campaign for Good Governance, the largest indigenous NGO in Sierra Leone, which promotes democratic participation, civil society and grassroots organizing, human rights, the rule of law, and the political and economic empowerment of women;
    * identifying grassroots women’s groups that promote women’s rights and the inclusion and participation of women in peace building as a consultant to the Mano River Women’s Peace Network, which brings together women from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone; and
    * formulating a strategy to ensure community empowerment’s sustainability for Sierra Leone office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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