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Tujenge Amani: an Innovative Conflict Prevention and Mediation Project

"Tujenge Amani!" means "Let’s build peace!"

The Tujenge Amani project was launched in 2013 following a chance meeting between its initiators, Katharina Vögeli and Déogratias Buuma, and Aimedo Kalangiro, a demobilised Raia Mutomboki leader. With the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Action pour la Paix et la Concorde asbl (APC) in Bukavu, this conflict prevention and mediation project has now developed an innovative methodology that is particularly well adapted to the fragile context in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the regions of South and North Kivu. Tujenge Amani relies on establishing platforms for dialogue between all the actors and assist communities in building their capacity for conflict resolution. Although less visible than high-level political mediation, this type of approach nevertheless helps address the root causes of conflict and points the way towards lasting solutions. It also embodies the values of respect, openness and tolerance, which are fundamental to Switzerland’s engagement in highly complex contexts and its collaboration with partners on the ground. This project now is hoped to be spread and replicated in other regions.

The methodology adopted by Tujenge Amani will first be presented by Katharina Vögeli (values and principles), Deogratias Buuma (managing a complex political context), Sosthène Maliyaseme (project phases and tools) and Prof. Adolphe Kilomba (impact assessment). The floor will then be opened to the audience for questions and comments.

 Panelists:

Déogratias Buuma, Executive Secretary, Action pour la Paix et la Concorde asbl (APC), Bukavu, DRC

Adolphe Kilomba, Professor of transitional justice, international humanitarian law and human rights at the Université Catholique de Bukavu, DRC

Sothène Maliyaseme, Head of Programme, Action pour la Paix et la Concorde asbl (APC), Bukavu, DRC

Katharina Vögeli, Senior Peace Advisor, FDFA, Embassy of Switzerland in DRC, Kinshasa

They will be accompanied by:

Aimedo Kalangiro, Demobilised Leader of the Raia Mutomboki, Bunyakiri, DRC

Duco Tellegen, Director of the “Tujenge Amani” documentary, Utrecht, Netherlands

A light networking cocktail will follow the discussion.

 

*  *  *

Since roughly 1994, the Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed incessant uprisings, invasions and devastating conflicts. Millions of people have lost their lives as a result of war and violence. Covering an area the size of western Europe, this vast country is currently home to some 4 million displaced persons. Eastern parts remain at the mercy of an estimated 70 armed groups, whose funding is sourced from the region’s abundant natural resources – gold, coltan and diamonds. In these remote forest lands the local population, abandoned by the state, was being increasingly impoverished and exposed to the brutality of these armed groups. In order to defend themselves, the inhabitants of South Kivu set up their own militia groups known as Raia Mutomboki, which managed to drive out most of the armed groups by the end of 2012. But then the Raia Mutomboki themselves started terrorising the communities they were supposed to protect. A solution had to be found.

“In the past, we thought that white men would bring us peace, or the president of the republic would fight to restore peace. But in the end we realised that it is up to us to create peace and that everyone can contribute.” Yvonne Ciza, representative of the women's organizations of Bunyakiri and member of the Tujenge Amani project

This documentary tells the story of how a victimised population has become resilient and determined to fight for peace: Tujenge Amani! (Let’s build peace!). 

Wath the trailer

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Location

GCSP, Maison de la paix, Chemin Eugène Rigot, Geneva

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