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Nonviolent Peaceforce helps protect women, children in South Sudan

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Doug Hostetter

(Read caption) Tiffany Easthom (far right), Nonviolent Peaceforce's country director in South Sudan, addressed a high-level briefing on 'Broadening the Concept of Peacekeeping' at the United Nations in March. The NGO has 65 workers in South Sudan, where conflict, poverty, and a lack of education present strong challenges to the new East African nation.

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With the threat of armed conflict with Sudan on its northern border, and Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) raiding its southern border, the new country of South Sudan – formed only last year – is facing a hard task in finding the peace it so desperately needs.

Nonviolent Peaceforce is quickly becoming a growing presence there among the international nongovernmental organizations trying to help. In just three years the Brussels-based NGO has grown to 65 people based in eight field sites around the struggling East African nation.

On the southern border with Uganda Nonviolent Peaceforce is working to assist those who flee from the LRA and those who live within striking distance of its forces.

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Some of those conscripted into the LRA "have been gone for many years," says Tiffany Easthom, country director for Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan in a phone interview. "We help them track their families."

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