African Great Lakes
Peace Dialogue Follow Up After Election Crisis — IPB/HROC February 2020
IPB – HROC in collaboration with Buterere Peace and Democracy Group (PDG) conducted peace dialogues in Buterere zone following the 2015 elections crisis in Bujumbura. These peace dialogues aimed at improving collaboration between locally elected Quarter Heads from the ruling party and opposition on one hand and the another hand the peaceful coexistence of political parties opposed to the 3rd term of the president.
As a result, they improved peaceful coexistence between political parties opposed to the 3rd term of the president and thus the protest against the candidacy of the president and the consecutive political violence. Today in this zone, the violence between the political party members in conflict stopped and they cohabit in a mutual respect due to the communication established at community level and at the zone level. This made it possible for them to sit together in joint meeting to discuss what caused them trauma and how to overcome their frustration.
Youth who were known to be more active actors in the conflict raised their awareness of the influence of their behavior on their life and that of the community. They know their role as peace makers, especially during this last period when they were actors and victims of conflict on both the opposition and in ruling party and its allies. Peace dialogues improved their conscious on their role and ways to contribute to the safer communities as a precondition for community development and the wellbeing that youth aspire to when participating in political claims.
When we are approaching the coming 2020 elections, IPB-HROC conducted a HROC follow up on February 23, 2020 to awaken representatives of Buterere community’s minds including that of the Peace and Democracy Group members to stand firm on each one’s role to keep peaceful coexistence as before and inspire other zones forming Bujumbura Mayorship as they did during the 2015 election crisis.
During the follow up, PDG’s members made a review of what they learnt during the HROC workshop as the photo aside illustrates
40 participants were there including six police representatives, 15 females and 21 Males.
First of all I’m a Mutwa who got the chance to be part of HROC Program since 2010 election period. I’m one of the ten Buterere PGD’s member until today. I’m also a HROC facilitator and community healing companion. Before attending 2015 HROC training, I was a man traumatized by fear and lost all trust from my friends, and ignored others. I didn’t have any vision for the future. All these were the result of the mistrust towards Hutus and Tutsis who always pointed they fingers saying: you, “Batwa“ are useless and ignorant. This was a kind of brainwashing directed towards us. After attending IPB-HROC peace activities I understood how what we went through in Burundi affected us and we were living under tough consequences of trauma and violence was one of them. I got chance to recover from it and started to build a future vision built on peace as a solid foundation.
This meeting come to to refresh what we have so far leant and become an awakener session to prepare ourselves for working towards 2020 peaceful elections.
I’m one of the security agents recently sent to secure Buterere zone. It’s my first time to hear about HROC program and its contribution towards peaceful coexistence. In remembrance of what happened in Bujumbura during the 2015 election in matter of violence, I didn’t know what made people in Buterere to be the first one in restoring within its different quarters. I come to learn that the collaboration between civilians, local authorities and security agents made it possible to meeting together whenever needed and discussed on daily peace issues. My conviction is that should continue in the same ways.
My recommendation is to have a complete workshop for new policemen in charge of securing Buterere zone.