Rome, 22 May 2017. Full support of Sahara tribes to the security agreement for cross-border cooperation between Chad, Libya and Niger
Representatives of Tuareg, Toubou and Awlad Suleyman tribes give their full support to the agreement signed in Rome Sunday 21 May by the Interior and Security Ministers of Chad, Italy, Libya and Niger.
Rome – May 22, 2017. In the framework of the dialogue “The Sahara Triangle: New Perspectives”, fifteen government and tribal leaders from three bordering countries, Chad, Libya and Niger, at the presence of the Italian Minister of Interior Marco Minniti, signed a joint statement of concrete cooperation to “support peace, development and security on their borders and beyond, because “there is no peace without security, there is no security without development, and there is no development without peace.”
The event was promoted by Ara Pacis Initiative and sponsored by the European Commission.
A further step was thus taken to consolidate the peace and reconciliation agreement between the Libyan Awlad Suleyman and Tebu tribes, facilitated by the Ara Pacis Initiative with funding from the European Commission in December 2016 and signed in the presence of the Tuareg leaders on March 28 under the auspices of the Italian Minister of Interior, Marco Minniti and Vice President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Abdulsalam Kajman.
Chadian, Libyan and Niger ministers and tribal leaders call for the immediate implementation of this reconciliation agreement on the part of the Libyan Presidential Council, Italy and the European Union, also in light of the Joint Declaration by the Interior Ministers of Chad, Italy, Libya and Niger, signed on May 21, 2017. The Awlad Suleyman-Toubou Reconciliation agreement is considered fundamental in view of maintaining the trust of key parties involved and as a necessary condition for lasting peace and security throughout the region.
Tribal leaders and ministers underlined the fundamental and binding importance of the link between peace, security and development, recalling the urgency of addressing the root causes of violence, terrorism, illegal immigration, illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings, which are to be attributed to extreme poverty, injustice and failure to honor the dignity of peoples.
“We know perfectly well that security and border control go hand in hand with a full-fledged project and full collaboration with the tribes who are historically the guardians of the Sahara,” said Mr. Minniti. “There is a relationship of mutual trust between us and we rely heavily on this relationship of mutual trust.”
“By extending the scope of the cooperation with Libyan partners to the other two Saharan countries most affected by the phenomenon of illegal immigration, smuggling and terrorism, we have activated transnational tribal networks of solidarity to bolster the official agreements between states in an inclusive way, respectful of the dignity of peoples, key factors for achieving stability and peace,” commented Maria Nicoletta Gaida, president of the Ara Pacis Initiative.
Among the signatories to the statement: Mohamed Bazoum, Minister for the Interior, Public Security, Immigration and Decentralization (Niger); Youssouf Barkay Minister of Institutional Relations (Niger); Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, Minister for the Interior, Public Security and Immigration (Chad); Youssouf Abassalah, Minister of Sports and Youth (Chad), Moulay Iqdeedi Amaa Quineedi President of the Libyan Supreme Tuareg, Alzalawi Mina Sale Qalama Alzalawi, Sultan of the Tebu of Libya, Alsunousi Masoud Zayd President of the High Council of Awlad Suleiman (Libya).
Rome, 29 March 2017. Representatives of two of South Libya’s strongest tribes – the Awlad Suleiman and the Tebu – signed a permanent Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Rome in the presence of a high ranking delegation of the Tuareg.
The agreement was signed by Sheikh Zilawi Minah Salah, Sultan of the Tebu of Libya and by General Senoussi Oumar Massaoud, President of the Council of Notables of the Awlad Suleiman.
The solemn signing ceremony between the two powerful tribes of the great Fezzan region, was held in Rome on 29th March 2017, in the presence of Abdulsalam Kajman, Member of the GNA’s Presidential Council of Libya.
Negotiations between the Tebu and the Awlad Suleiman were supported by the Italian government through the Ministry of Interior and were facilitated by the Ara Pacis Initiative, an international not for profit organization based in Rome, dedicated to supporting the human dimensions of peace.
Ara Pacis Initiative places the human being – with his/her needs, rights, moral resources, resiliency, creativity, spirituality, aspirations, dignity, and capacity to create new beginnings – at the core of conflict prevention, resolution, and transformation, and assists governments, institutions and communities in bringing divided peoples into restored, more just human relationships.
The permanent Peace and Reconciliation Agreement between the Tebu and the Awlad Suleiman tribes was signed at the headquarters of the Ara Pacis Initiative, Torretta de Massimi, and it was the outcome of intense and marathon dialogue sessions that began in Rome in December 2016, aimed at achieving peace, reconciliation, security and development in southern Libya in a perspective of contrasting human trafficking, illegal trades and terrorism.
In the agreement, the two tribes agree to cease hostilities, to re-establish mutual trust and to do everything possible to promote peaceful coexistence. They also promise to work together for the security and development of their region in collaboration with all the other tribes of the Fezzan.
In his speech during the signing ceremony, Moulay Iqdeedi Amaa Qineedi, one of the leaders of the Tuareg delegation, congratulated the Awlad Suleiman and the Tebu delegations for choosing the path of peace and reconciliation.
“We strongly believe that the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement you are about to sign after long consultations and negotiations will send a strong and clear message to our brothers and sisters at home, in our beloved Libya, that this is the right way to go,” Sheikh Moulay said. “Reconstruction of Libya can only take place through the path of reconciliation that will bring stability, peace and security.”
The ceremony to sign the agreement started with a prayer led by a Tebu Sheikh who read a Verse from the Holy Koran calling on all to be fair and good to theirs brothers because God hears and sees everything that men do.
During disagreements, the Sheikh said in his prayer, “you must always follow what God and his Prophet say.”
Referring to the members of the Awlad Suleiman as “our brothers”, the Sultan of the Tebu, holding the Tebu Constitution, said brothers may have conflicts between themselves, but the most important thing is to find a way to reconcile and make peace.
He thanked the Ara Pacis and the Italian government for having strongly supported the reconciliation and peace agreement between the Tebu and the Awlad Suleiman.
The Sultan also thanked the Libyan government represented by Vice President Kajman, for giving its auspices to the effort and moral support during the negotiations.
In his speech before signing the agreement, General Senousi, president of the Awlad Suleiman Council, said they had for long waited and dreamed of “this historic moment”.
He also thanked Dr Kajman for his moral support during the negotiations and for gracing the signing ceremony with his presence.
“We are grateful to the Italian government, to the Ara Pacis Initiative and to the entire Italian people for having supported and helped us reach this historic moment,” General Senousi said.
Stressing the importance of the agreement, the head of the Awlad Suleiman stated that the future of their tribes and of the entire Libya would depend on the success of its implementation.
On his part, Dr Kajman congratulated the Tebu and the Awlad Suleiman delegations for reaching the Reconciliation and Peace Agreement.
“This is proof that we are capable of achieving peace and closing a dark chapter of the past,” the Libyan Vice President said.
He added that it was a great honour for him to be present as a witness to the agreement “signed between our brothers the Awlad Suleiman and our brothers the Tebu, in the presence of our Tuareg brothers.”
Dr Kajman asked God to bless the Reconciliation and Peace Agreement which he described as “a model of reconciliation between all the members of the Libyan society, especially those in the South.”
He further thanked the Italian government for having supported the negotiations through Marco Minniti, Minister of the Interior, and Ara Pacis Initiative for working so hard to achieve this historic moment.
“While it is difficult to reach a peace and reconciliation agreement, it is even more difficult and challenging to implement it and maintain peace,” Dr Kajman said. “I’m however confident that this agreement will be successful because a friendly spirit reigned during the negotiations, and the two parties have clearly expressed good will and commitment to work for restoration of peace and stability in southern Libya.”
Maria Nicoletta Gaida, President of the Ara Pacis Initiative, the organization that organized the meetings and negotiations, congratulated her “extraordinary friends” from the Tebu and Awlad Suleiman tribes for choosing to be architects of peace.
“God is seeing this peace, God will guard this peace, and blessed are you who are the architects of peace,” Dr Gaida told the delegates.
The signing ceremony was a joyful moment indeed. All present applauded and praised God as they shouted Allah Akbar (God is great) and Viva Libya, Viva Italy, while exchanging greetings and embracing each other.
On the 31st of March, at the Interior Ministry, a second set of documents were signed by representatives of the two tribes, Vice President Kajman and the Italian Minister of Home Affairs, Marco Minniti, thus completing the process and opening the way to the implementation of measures in support of the reconciliation agreement.
How the agreement was reached
The delegation of each tribe was composed of the tribal chief, notables, local politicians especially mayors, representatives of the police and military, as well as elders and representatives of each clan and religious leaders.
The two delegations met for the first time in Rome last December, with support from the EU’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, Human Development and Migration, to explore the path towards an agreement of reconciliation and peace.
On this occasion the two delegations broke the ice, decided to pursue the way of peace and were received by Minister Minniti who assured them of the full support of the Italian government in overcoming all the obstacles they could meet in their search for peace, reconciliation, security and development.
Returning to Rome in March, each delegation held a series of separate meetings to come up with the terms and conditions for entering into dialogue to prepare the agreement.
At the end of those meetings, each delegation prepared a draft of what it wanted to be included in the final agreement.
The two delegations then officially met to share ideas on how to prepare the agreement.
Each delegation read its draft proposal and it emerged that both proposals had many points in common.
A commission composed of representatives of the two tribes was then formed to reconcile the two drafts and incorporate the other new ideas that emerged during the joint sessions.
Vice President Kajman’s consultants and staff members of the Ara Pacis Initiative helped the commission sort out technical issues during the preparation of the final version of the agreement.
Rome – 29 March 2017. The tribes of the Libyan South – the Awlad Suleiman and the Tebu – in the presence of the Tuareg leadership sign their reconciliation agreement in Rome, Torretta dei Massimi, home of Ara Pacis Initiative.
Operationalizing The Libya Initiative
18 March 2013 – The Ara Pacis Initiative is pleased to announce that in April 2013 the operational phase of THE LIBYA INITIATIVE action plan will be launched with initial training and experience-sharing sessions in the media, justice and social healing fields. The first course of multimedia training will be inaugurated in Tripoli on April 3rd 2013 by the President of the National Congress Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, by the Minister of Culture, Habib Mohammed Al-Amin, and by the Minister of Media, Mohamed Yousef Sharif. The course will focus on the professionalization of competencies and talents of young people already active in the collection of testimonies, memories, stories and news…Read More
Nobel Peace Laureates Honor Liberian Women
24 January 2013 – The Nobel Women’s Initiative—led by Nobel Peace Laureates Leymah Gbowee, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire—concluded a six-day visit today to Liberia hosted by the Gbowee Peace Foundation to learn first-hand from women’s organizations, government officials and women community leaders the powerful work being done in the country to end gender violence and bring about lasting peace and reconciliation. The delegation witnessed the resilience and strength of Liberian women and aims to share the stories and experiences of Liberian women in building peace with women in other conflict and post-conflict regions of the world.
Happy New Year
Announcing The Libya Initiative
Promoting Tolerance through Human Rights Education
27 September 2012 – Ara Pacis Initiative Council Member and Vice President of the Italian Islamic Religious Community (COREIS), Imam Yahya Pallavicini, was a featured speaker of today’s United Nations panel on “Civil Society and Education on Human Rights as a tool for promoting religious tolerance”. Imam Pallavicini delivered remarks focused on “The best practices of Governments and civil society related to education and training programs as a tool for promotion and the guarantee of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue: the Italian Islamic Religious Community” alongside dignitaries and speakers from all over the world including event co-Chairs Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh as well as keynote speaker UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and representatives from NGOs, associations, foundations, governments and international institutions. Held as a side event of the UN General Assembly in New York, the panels explored the role of the international community in promoting tolerance and religious dialogue through education and engagement with civil society.
Rev. Cox Leads PACIS Conference for Syrian Opposition Leaders
16 May 2012 – The PACIS Project, led by API Council Member Rev. Brian Cox, is holding in the coming days a conference on Syrian National Healing and Reconciliation, taking place May 18-20 in Egypt. The first of two faith-based reconciliation processes, the PACIS project will work with Syrian opposition leaders to assist them in their assertion of moral authority and their articulation of a vision for national healing and reconciliation by creating a model and a core leadership group to become the indigenous leadership of this work. The PACIS Project in Faith-Based Diplomacy is a joint venture of the Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University Law School in Southern California and the International Center For Religion and Diplomacy, a Washington DC based non-governmental organization….Read more
“One Day After Peace” Featuring Robi Damelin
29 April 2012 – “One Day After Peace”, a powerful documentary featuring Robi Damelin premieres today at Canada’s Hot Docs film festival. A film by Erez Laufer and Miri laufer, “One Day After Peace” explores whether the means used to resolve the conflict in South Africa can be applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Born in South Africa during the apartheid era, and later losing her son, who was serving with the Israeli Army reserve in the Occupied Territories, Robi Damelin has experienced both conflicts firsthand. Robi’s thought-provoking journey leads from a place of deep personal pain to a belief that a better future is possible…Read more
Dr. Abuelaish Receives Calgary Peace Prize
8 March 2012 – The Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary awarded the sixth annual Calgary Peace Prize to Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, leading doctor, professor and author from Gaza and Member of the Ara Pacis Initiative Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation. The Consortium noted that “his condemnation of violence and his unwavering commitment to promoting peace made him an outstanding nominee. We are honored to recognize the strength of his conviction to neither hate nor seek revenge, and the multiple ways in which he brings this vital message not only to Israelis and Palestinians, but also to the global community.” Read more
A Special Thank You
1 February 2012 – The Ara Pacis Initiative would like to thank the following people for their invaluable financial and in-kind support: Don and Peggy Shriver, Massimo Gregori and Matteo Landricina. Without your generous assistance, the Ara Pacis Initiative would not be what it is today. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Donna Hicks on the Role of Dignity in Conflict
6 September 2011 – Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, the new book by Donna Hicks, is the first to explore the common human desire for dignity and the consequences when dignity is either violated or honored, offering guidelines to help individuals and communities understand the power of dignity and how it can lead to a more peaceful world.
“This book is a must read for those who want to experience peace in their everyday lives and peace in the world around them. Without an understanding of dignity, there is no hope for such change. If you want to find the weak links in a democracy, look for where people are suffering. You will most likely see a variety of violations. If you want peace, be sure everyone’s dignity is intact.” — Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Read full article
15 July 2011 – It is with deep sadness that we join with many others in grieving the loss of our dear colleague Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, who died yesterday following a tragic road accident. We remember her through the thoughts she chose to share with us…Read full article
The Power and Limitations of Forgiveness
8 April 2011 – “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate”, a forthcoming PBS film by acclaimed writer, producer and director Helen Whitney, explores the timely, nearly ubiquitous applications and limitations of the concept and practice of forgiveness through a compelling range of stories, from personal betrayal to global reconciliation after genocide. Divided into two 90-minute acts which will air on April 17th and 24th on PBS stations across the United States, the film suggests that the decision to forgive or not is a choice at the heart of our shared humanity. Interviewed at length in the film, Ara Pacis Initiative Founding Member Donald Shriver makes the case that societies cannot truly recover from the injustices in their past without acknowledging them publically. Read the article
Embassies Gather for Stakeholders Meeting
25 March 2011 – Representatives of fifteen Diplomatic Missions gathered yesterday in Rome for a stakeholders meeting organized by the Ara Pacis Initiative and hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants, representing countries from all four corners of the globe, gathered to discuss the organization of an international forum on the human dimension of peace. Read the article
10 February 2011 – Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), believes that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to a female activist who has led the way towards new paths for peace. Among those on his shortlist are Ara Pacis Initiative Founding Member Leymah Gbowee as well as Memorial/Svetlana Gannushkina and Ory Okolloh. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, also a Founding Member of API, is likewise mentioned as a strong contender. Read the article
2010 News Archives – click here
L’evento di lancio di The Libia Initiative Tripoli, 4 maggio 2013
“La Dimensione Umana della Pace: Verso una Cultura Politica di Perdono e di Riconciliazione”, Roma, 2-3 luglio 2012
Inaugurazione del Consiglio 19-22 Aprile 2010
Tra il 19 ed il 21 Aprile Roma afferma nuovamente il suo ruolo di capitale del dialogo e della pace, ospitando l’inaugurazione del Consiglio internazionale per la Dignità, il Perdono, la Giustizia e la Riconciliazione, un organismo dedicato ad intensificare gli impegni relativi alla dimensione umana della pace. Quasi 50 Membri, provenienti da 20 paesi di tutto il mondo, si sono radunati per dare vita al Consiglio sotto gli auspici del Sindaco di Roma, On. Gianni Alemanno.
Il 2 dicembre 2009 l’Iniziativa Ara Pacis è stata formalmente presentata al pubblico in un evento che ha visto la partecipazione dei seguenti esperti di riconciliazione: Izzeldin Abuelaish (Gaza), Ali Abu Awwad (Cisgiordania), Robi Damelin (Israele), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) e Hatidza Mehmedovic (Bosnia-Erzegovina) che hanno presentato il proprio lavoro ai cittadini di Roma e agli studenti delle scuole superiori. Ha preso parte anche la d.ssa Abigail Disney, presenziando alla proiezione del suo premiato documentario, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, dedicato al movimento per la pace delle donne liberiane, ispirato da Leymah Gbowee.