Balancing on the rope of Peace

by Isabel Corthier

At the reconciliation event

In a war-torn country like the CAR, brothers and sisters, Christians and Muslims are pitted against one-another. The chance that a small incident can escalate into violence or a resumption of conflict, is very real. Bangassou, a town in the south of the CAR, is struggling to keep peace in their region after the Seleka rebels had occupied it.
Laypeople, politicians, priests, Muslim leaders and civic/cultural organizations each use their own strategy to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.
In this void between normalcy and war, the people of Bangassou struggle to carry on.
For some time this fragile calm has been maintained; the residents of Bangassou have spared themselves from the cycle of retributive violence which has cursed so many other communities in their country.
Unfortunately since the Anti-Balaka rebels entered Bangassou in May 2017, the situation has deteriorated and the peaceful town has been caught up in the conflict.

Together with Stephan Van Diest I visited Bangassou in 2015 to make this series. Because of the volatile security in the country, we entered Bangassou by pirogue after driving 400 km through the jungle of Congo on motorbikes.

This year the series “Balancing on the rope of peace” won gold at PX3 in Paris in the category press/other.

 

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