DW AngolaReport on Research in Huambo Province, November 2002 – March 2003

Report on Research in Huambo Province, November 2002 – March 2003

01/10/2003

This report presents findings of an ‘Action Research Project on Priorities for Peace-building in Angola’, with the objective of to identify opportunities and threats for the peace process in Angola over the short and medium term, following the end of Angola’s long civil war in April 2002.  The need for this research was based on recognition of the vast challenges that Angola faces in strengthening the peace process and ensuring the country’s stability, and on a desire to make a positive contribution to that process. The fieldwork was conducted in five peri-urban areas, two rural areas and three Gathering Areas in Huambo from November 2002 to March 2003.  The research was conducted through unstructured discussions, focus groups discussions and questionnaires.

The research indicates changes in the underlying social structure and political and economic context that have repercussions for the capacity of communities to organise themselves and resolve problems.  It is these capacities, however, that will be essential to the consolidation of peace and to development and stability. Community solidarity in rural and peri-urban areas in Huambo has been reduced. Traditional practices and culture have been weakened. Community and social groups can be exclusive, and may divide as well as unite. Community groups are linked to outside institutions. The capacity of communities to resolve internal conflicts has been weakened. The capacity of communities to influence local administrations is weak. Communities have limited access to information from outside.

The capacity of communities to deal with new challenges is constrained by these changes. New challenges include the return of IDPs, reintegration of ex-combatants, land conflicts, the presence of small arms, banditry and robbery, reconciliation and future elections. 

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