300,000 people died in Burundi’s Hutu-Tutsi civil war from 1993-2005, in a little-reported parallel to the Rwandan genocide. Now elections are scheduled for 2015 and a South Africa-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission is promised, but killings and tensions recur. The 2015 elections could be a trigger for these tensions to erupt – but peacebuilders in Burundi are organising ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Frontline peace activist Landry Ninteretse runs Action for Peace and Development, a Burundian NGO that engages Burundi’s young people to avoid political violence and build peaceful civil institutions. Young people are crucial to peace in Burundi, where 65% of the population are under 20 years old. As in many conflict-affected countries, they are highly vulnerable to recruitment and political manipulation, due to their lack of prospects and education.
Landry is coming to London to give briefings to policy-makers and media in the UK, and to share his experiences of conflict management and peace education with young Londoners. He will offer training at the Truce 2020 project in Newham, Britain’s most diverse borough, where many of the audience have turbulent backgrounds and face tensions every day in their local communities.
For information on his visit, or to arrange a briefing session, please email Jonathan Lorie at Peace Direct on [email protected].