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A look back on 2009 – D.R.Congo

  • Published

    8 January 2010
  • Written by

    Peace Direct

It has been an incredible year for Henri and his organisation Céntre Resolution Conflit (CRC). Henri has set up three Task Forces across North Kivu, creating a network of police, militia, army, civic and community leaders, all of whom are united in their struggle for peace. The Task Forces have mediated in disputes across the district, stopping violent outbreaks and have worked to bring rebel soldiers out of combat and back into their communities.

CRC has also focused on peace education, working with schools and local communities. Henri uses radio to reach militia groups and his connections and networks to organise meetings in schools, church groups and communities. These are just some of the highlights from this year.

Working with rebel soldiers:

  • In March the Task Force negotiated with the Mai-Mai militia group and persuaded them to hand over 250 child soldiers to the UN.
  • Realising the burden of feeding child soldiers had become too much for some militia, Henri negotiated the release of 100 children by exchanging them for goats. Read the story in The Independent.
  • Following consultation with the Task Force, 271 Mai-Mai rebels and 47 child soldiers have chosen to come out of combat and be integrated into the national army.
  • The Mai-Mai leaders asked us to convey their plan for peace to the international community. Read the result.

Peace Education:

  • CRC’s Peace Education project trained 60 teachers to integrate conflict resolution training into the school syllabus.
  • The Task Forces organised 19 sessions in Beni churches reaching 5,700 people. The sessions focused on the need for peace and non-violent conflict resolution.
  • Over 1,000 young people outside of schooling have taken part in peace education sessions.
  • CRC organised a large peace parade and celebratory football match between the police and the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUC) in Beni on International Day of Peace

Nov 09:

When the town of Lubero was attacked by the FDLR, local people began to question the humanitarian organisations. Whilst the FDLR had surrounded the town and trapped villagers, the humanitarian staff were able to move freely between rebel lines. FDLR would not attack because of fear of international repercussions, and villagers were angered by this inequality, some began to react with violence . Negotiation sessions were being held but civic society leaders held separate meetings from those organised by the humanitarian organisations. Henri was able to use funds from the Peace Direct Champions scheme to host a meeting in which all parties came, and reach a shared understanding of the situation.

These are just some of Henri’s amazing achievements. 2010 will see the reach of the Task Forces expanding with the aim of stopping violent conflict and building a culture of peace in a country ravaged by war.


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