Women of DRC and Great Lakes region engaging in the peace building processes
ACORD has been instrumental in the facilitation process involving women engagement at peace talks and mediations in various African countries. For the last couple of years, ACORD has worked closely with a group of regional organisations (ISIS-WICCE, EASSI, Akina Mama wa Africa, among others) on issues of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). ACORD believes that conflict and SGBV cannot be delinked, it is important that factors contributing to sexual violence within conflict context be looked at in wider dimensions including, political, economic, rule of law and governance. Thus, the proposed peace and mediation framework offers an ideal opportunity for women in DRC to position themselves and strategize beforehand on what to contribute in regards to content and strategies for the implementation of the framework.
Watch Leonie Abela Sendegeya, ACORD's Regional Program Coordinator on Peacebuilding, discuss the Goma meeting taking place from the 1st to 5th of July 2013 in Goma, DRC.
The upcoming training in DRC will enable women to discuss the framework at length and come up with concrete programs promoting lasting peace that are gender sensitive. Involvement of women in peace talks is an important opportunity that allows them to air their concerns and be active participants in the peace making process.
It is in this regard that ACORD in partnership with ISIS-WICCE, is organising a 3 day training on conflict transformation, peace building and conflict mediation techniques targeting women from the ICGLR namely, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. By enabling women from these countries take part in the trainings it will strengthen a regional approach to conflict transformation and peace building in the region, while lobbying for the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on the peace building processes across ICGLR countries and Africa. UNSCR 1325 addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution, and sustainable peace.
Despite certain regions of DRC experiencing relative peace since the early 2000’s, other regions like Eastern DRC experience constant unrest through attacks from rebels and militia who inflict crimes against humanity on the population. The women and girls experience uninhibited rape and sexual abuse. Ongoing efforts to ensure that peace is restored to the DRC are currently underway. More specifically, the Ban Ki Moon lead mediation process which resulted in the signing of the Peace, Security and Mediation framework for DRC and the region was signed by 10 African Heads of States in Addis Ababa in February 2013. The framework has been referred to as a framework of hope as it lays the foundation for developing programs that will promote lasting peace in DRC and the region. The Framework describes a three-step approach to deal with lasting and sustainable peace. It comprises of a national, regional and international approach. The national approach requires the active participation of the DRC government; the regional approach aims at strengthening regional cooperation through deepening economic integration with a special consideration for the exploitation of natural resources and the international approach seeks a renewed commitment to ensuring lasting peace and stability for DRC and the countries within the region.
Download the Peace, Security and Mediation framework for DRC and the region.
The upcoming training is strategic as it positions the women to actively contribute and participate in the road to sustainable peace in DRC and the region.