Great Lakes region

In the DRC, FAS worked to mobilize and support the African Women's CAUCUS to obtain a greater number of official seats within the Inter-Congolese Dialogue. The most successful intervention was made on International Women's Day on 8 March 2002, when the women's delegation attended the Inter-Congolese Dialogue's Plenary Session. Women comprised 30% of the participants, and as a show of solidarity they all wore identical dresses.

In Sun City, South Africa, the CAUCUS organized press briefings and interviews, which were eventually disseminated around the DRC; the women's delegation appealed to Congolese women to demonstrate and mobilize throughout the country. With the support of FAS and UNIFEM, the CAUCUS was able to hold discussions with various participants in the negotiations and played an important mediating role between the various groups. It was also able to mainstream its concerns into the final documents of the peace accords.

In Burundi, CAFOB, with the support of FAS, lobbied persistently for women to participate in the Burundian peace process. This lobbying resulted in women from CAFOB being able to attend the Arusha peace talks in Tanzania in October 1998 as observers. These peace talks eventually led to the signing of a draft peace agreement in August 2000.

Mano River region

At the peak of the crisis between Guinea and Liberia in 2001, and just as the international community was pulling out of the area, the women of MARWOPNET stepped up their activities. With the number of refugees fleeing into Guinea from Sierra Leone and Liberia reaching unprecedented levels, relations between the three countries were deteriorating. 

frontilne activities

Marie Sherman on the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone in July 2001

However, Marwopnet succeeded in bringing the leaders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone back to the negotiating table at a summit in Rabat, Morocco, in March 2002. There, the leaders agreed to restart peace talks, to initiate dialogue between their ministers for defence, to reopen borders, to rebuild diplomatic relations, to decrease the proliferation of small arms and to increase economic cooperation. This was huge progress compared with the previous deadlock.

Although cooperation between the countries was more forthcoming, conflict within Liberia itself intensified in 2003. The Akosombo talks in June 2003 sought to end this violence. FAS supported the participation of a delegation of women from Marwopnet Liberia in the Akosombo talks, during which the President of Marwopnet, Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman, signed the peace accords as a witness.

frontilne activities

Theresa Leigh-Sherman, President of Marwopnet, at the signing of the peace accords, Akosombo, Ghana, June 2003