By Nontobeko Zondi
Meeting with stakeholders from university, NGOs and government to discuss the evolving nature of conflict across the African continent.
ACCORD undertook consultative meetings in the Democratic republic of Congo and Burundi from 13-16 August 2018. The theme of the consultation was “Strengthening Local and National Capacities for Mediation and Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi”. The consultation was aimed at engaging key stakeholders in the respective countries on how to build national resilience during or immediately after peace processes to ensure that an environment exists to achieve sustainable peace.
The consultation brought together approximately 15 stakeholders from the university, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government working conflict management, mediation and peacebuilding in the DRC and Burundi respectively. The discussions of the event mainly focused on the evolving conflict across the continent, looking specifically at the opportunities for building capacity in mediation and conflict management.
This consultation provided ACCORD an opportunity to reflect on what has been done to contribute toward dealing with the conflicts and what still needs to be done to contribute towards peace in the DRC and Burundi. One of the gaps identified is the need to build the capacity that of the university, NGOs and government in mediation and conflict management in order to build and maintain infrastructures for peace in the DRC and Burundi.
The key points that were raised and discussed included: the need to create a culture of dialogue within societies. Furthermore, highlighted the need to train journalists in conflict management as they have the ability to incite conflict or promote peace through their reporting.
ACCORD aims fill the identified gap in building capacity of the NGOs, government and university on conflict management and mediation in the DRC and Burundi.