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  • Forfatterens bildeTonje Hundevadt

Hvordan Quaker Peace Network jobber med forsoning i Burundi

Dette er en artikkel skrevet av Parfaite Ntahub som jobber i Burundi med forsoningsarbeid. Hun jobber i nettverket Quaker Peace Network som består av ulike internasjonale og lokale fredsorganisasjoner drevet av kvekere.

Burundi er et land med en historie med dype og langvarige konflikter hvor behovet for forsoningsarbeid er stort. Til neste år går Burundi igjen til valgurnene. Mange frykter at landet igjen vil oppleve voldelige demonstrasjon og uro, slik det gjorde i 2015.

The Quaker Peace Network (QPN) of Burundi is a consortium of 9 Quaker, national and international peace building organisations[1]. Its foundation in 2001 was the product of a shared vision for a peaceful, reconciled and prosperous Burundi. The bloodshed and brokenness the country has incurred at various times in its history were the catalysts for action to rebuild from what is left and avert further horrors. Driven by this firm determination to create a better tomorrow, many of QPN Burundi’s actors have created peace initiatives in the wake of another bloody episode: the civil war which lasted 12 years from 1993. Recognizing that there is strength in numbers and in the sharing of capacities, especially where the same values are at play, the nine organizations decided to work together as Quaker Peace Network Burundi.

Over the years, QPN Burundi members have accumulated extensive experience in a broad range of peacebuilding activities at the grassroots level. The impact of our ongoing efforts has been significant indeed, with countless lives and communities being transformed for the better. In addition to reconciliation work, we have engagedin trauma healing, conflict prevention and management, advocacy, women economic empowerment, sustainable development and elections monitoring and observations both in Burundi[2] and abroad: Rwanda in 2010, Kenya in 2007 and in 2013, DRC in 2011. All this work was done under the support of Quaker Service Norway (QSN), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Mennonites Central Committee (MCC)

Burundi is in the process of entering the 2020 elections. Because of our past wounds from elections periods, many Burundians expect violence whenever elections are around the corner. This is the reason why QPN Burundi has organized a ten-day training on Unarmed Civilian Protection training in May 2019 for 20 people from QPN member organizations.

Different exercises were used such as crossing the river and the cat and the rat (A group of people had to combine nonviolent strategies to protect rats from being attacked by the cats)

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

What is UCP and why UCP in BurundiPrinciples of UCP: Nonviolence, nonpartisanship, primacy of local people, independence and respect of human rightsStrategies: Conscious visibility, Multi-level diplomacy, confidence building, direct protection, Structural Engaging and enhancement and capacity buildingExperience sharing Questions and answers

From left to right: Pascasie, Ashlyn, Evelyne, Hermes and Parfaite Energizer at the National University

Now in from October 29, 2019 to November 10, 2019, a delegation of five people from Burundi was supported by Nonviolent Peaceforce for UCP applied training in South Sudan. During our stay in South Sudan, we spent time observing and talking with practitioners, partner groups and beneficiaries about how to set up and operate UCP related projects. At the end of our field exposure in Bentiu and Mundri, we had a three-day workshopin Juba at to reflect upon our experience and to discuss how it can apply to Burundi particularly in the 2020 elections. We are now going back home with the first draft of our proposal for the 2020 elections monitoring. Actually, the main goal is to contribute to violence reduction during elections period as QPN Burundi. Many activities will be done including trauma healing workshops, dialogue sessions for both young people and community elected leaders, training on early warning early response (EWER) and establish local EWER teams in the most affected communities. Building on QPN successful elections monitoring in 2010 and 2015 which included SMS system, we will increase youth and women as protection teams to provide monitoring on the election days at the polling places in the most vulnerable communities.


[1] (HROC): Healing and Rebuilding Our Community; (FWA): Friends Women's Association; (THARS): Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services; (MIPAREC): Ministry for Peace and Reconciliation under the Cross; (GVFEFD) : Groupe de Volontaires en Faveur des Enfants et des Femmes en Difficulté; (IPB) : Innovations in Peacemaking Burundi ; (AFSC): American Friends Service Committee ; (MCC): Mennonite Central Committee; (EEABU) : Eglise Evangélique des Amis du Burundi (Kwibuka and Kibimba)

[2] Burundi National elections in 2005 and 2010.

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