African Great Lakes  

Workshops on Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP) in Burundi

by Friends Women’s Association

On May 14-24, under the leadership of FWA, QPN Burundi organized a ten-day workshop on Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP). The venue was Kinindo training center (Mission Suedoise). We had a total of 20 participants, including 10 men and 10 women from 9 different Quaker organizations: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Evangelical Friends Church (EFC), Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), FWA, Healing and rebuilding our Communities (HROC), IPB, MIPAREC, and Voluntary Group in Favor of Women and Chidren in Difficulties.

The next step is to apply those skills during the 2020 elections monitoring as QPN Burundi and networking with students at Selkirk college who were doing UCP that same time. The Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College and AFSC Burundi have supported the training.

Additionally, we shared the unarmed civilian peacekeeping skills to more than 300 students at the National University. The presentation was done in five different parts:

  1. What is UCP and why UCP in Burundi
  2. Principles of UCP: Nonviolence, nonpartisanship, primacy of local people, independence and respect of human right
  3. Strategies: Conscious visibility, Multi-level diplomacy, confidence building, direct protection, Structures enhancement and capacity building
  4. Experience sharing
  5. Questions and answers

One of the important parts of the training was that we had conference calls with students at Selkirk College in Canada. They were also doing UCP course.