Pastor Victor Dogos of N’djamena, Chad, is the first recipient of the Michael J. Sharp Global Peacemaker Award. The award was created by Mennonite Central Committee this year to acknowledge courageous peacemakers.
As a Christian, Dogos works with Catholics, Muslims, Protestants and tribal leaders in Chad to encourage people of all religions to live together in peace. National and community leaders call on him to resolve violent conflicts and intervene in situations with the potential for bloodshed.
He uses his training in theology, law, communication and peacebuilding to mediate and to teach how to resolve conflicts. He has negotiated with the government and the military for the release of innocent civilians and has worked with government security forces to help them see the long-term effectiveness of peace over violence.
Dogos is a member of the Chad Advisory Council, which advises the government on matters of government policy and reconciliation with opponents. He helped pave the way to a peace accord between Chad’s provisional government and 45 armed groups in 2022. This led to the creation of a new transitional government.
MCC established the $4,000 prize in honor of the courageous peacebuilding work of Sharp, a former MCC staff person in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While working for the United Nations in 2017 to verify human rights violations, Sharp, 34, and his colleague Zaida Catalán were executed by unidentified assailants.
Dogos is from a Muslim background but converted to Christianity.
“Against this background, he would not be easily accepted as a mediator, facilitator or bridge builder between Muslims and Christians in Chad,” said Mulanda Juma, an MCC representative in Rwanda and Burundi. “It required creativity, courage and peace leadership skills to successfully build bridges between these two faith communities in conflict.”
Dogos leads the peace and justice department of an ecumenical Christian organization in Chad.
Supported by MCC, Dogos trained at Eastern Mennonite University’s School of Peacebuilding Institute in 2015 and 2018.