At the moment I am preparing to go back to East Africa. As I prepare I have to project the path for peace. Often there is so much noise from those that think they know what is going on that I must turn off the world just to see reality. One of the largest distractions I have witnessed is the behaviour from those that arrive in fragile countries and do next to nothing. For the most part such behaviour is unintended but the lack of seriousness has compounded the degree of difficulty for those that can do the job and do their work.
In some countries where chaos has reigned for decades there is a culture of chaos, corruption and violence. The Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) is the flag bearer of such a situation. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Columbia also have a similar situation. Newly added to the list of chaos culture is Iraq. There are many others which can be put on this list.
The work to rebuild a society is hard work, in reality it is more frustrating than difficult. The bottom point is that to rebuild you have to change each time to some degree. As much as the work is to assist in rebuilding a society it is also about building yourself. Each situation is different and there is no set playbook. There is no set plan for peace because peace is human ideology and everyone sees the world through their unique point of view. In any given society there are thousands of people and each one has to evolve from a violent/corrupt reality to a peaceful reality in some degree.
Even though I just wrote that there is no one way, all we have is education. From there comes the trust and desire to be peaceful. As the work to rebuild moves along there are times when trust is killed, I have had the horrible experience more than I care to remember. Such an experience really does put a hole in the heart. Each time hurts just as much, the only difference is you know how to get through it. Then you sit back and rework the path to peace. For example, what is taking place in DRC right now is horrible.
The United Nations is taking a huge hit because it is seen as failing. In fact it is not the United Nations but the people within these countries and the power holders that ensure chaos remains. The average people in these countries are dying because of a lack of seriousness in peace efforts.
It is not just the large organizations that hinder peace operations, sometimes it is the individuals that hinder progress. These people come into the area and basically act like semi tourists. They spend more time on busses and traveling than actually doing their job, although it is easy to blame the harsh conditions along with the enormity of the task.
As I prepare to leave I go through all the past points of where it seemed a lost cause. I think of those that helped and those that hindered and you never know how it will go until it is over. At this point all I am hoping for is a situation where people are really going to work.