Community radio station re-opened in Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, that has an ongoing history of conflict between different rebel groups and the government, community radio stations take on the role of connector between opposing groups. However, many became inoperative due to looting or attacks. The RELSUDE-project, supported by the EU Bêkou Trust Fund, helps re-establish six radio stations. Now, Radio Zereda has been revived.
Radio Zereda is located in the city of Obo, in the South East of the Central African Republic (CAR). Zereda means “Peace” in the local language Zandé, a very suitable name for this radio station that has played an important role in fostering peace in a country in conflict. Radio is the most accessible news source in CAR: nomads, small communities, and even fighters in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) listen to the radio. Therefore it has great potential to impact the local life, and sooth tensions before they can result into conflict.
Two years of silence
After their establishment in 2008, Radio Zereda has embedded itself in the community and made radio for peace every day. In 2019, Radio Zereda was forced to close its doors after several attacks of armed groups. Thousands of people were then deprived of essential information about what is going on in their region. Thanks to the support of the Bêkou Trust Fund, the station is back on air. Now it can continue to provide daily information and promote dialogue and social cohesion between the different populations in the country.
Radio Zereda is the first station to be re-established. Soon the other five community radio stations will be brought back on air. They are all located in the South East of CAR, in the cities Mobaye, Zemio, Kouango, Alindao and Bakouma. This is the country’s most unstable and conflicted region, and therefore the area where these stations are most needed.
The RELSUDE-project is implemented by Free Press Unlimited in collaboration with the network of Community Radio Stations RMCC. The project is set up by a consortium of ACTED, OXFAM, CONCERN, COOPI and IMPACT, and aims to promote peace by strengthening the role of media as a catalyst for conflict prevention, rehabilitation, reconciliation and stabilisation. It is financially supported by the European Union. Read more about the project here.
Photo in header: Jeppe Schilder.