Peace Beyond Borders:

A bottom-up peace process in the Great Lakes

Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda
June 2016

Assignment for Oxfam Novib

Recurrent conflict in Rwanda, Burundi and (North and South Kivu provinces of) Democratic Republic of Congo, collectively known as the Great Lakes region, will not be solved by top-down policies. Peace can be effectively attained only by engaging communities in understanding the root causes of the conflict and defining ways to address it. The Oxfam-led Peace Beyond Borders program worked with communities to define why the conflict kept recurring – issues of competition over land and weak governance are central – and to draft and implement a bottom-up “Regional Roadmap to Peace”.

The program aimed to reach over 1 million people – about 28% of the total population in the target area. These people benefited through having increased understanding of the causes and consequences of conflict, support for their urgent livelihood needs, and the confidence and skills to participate in the peace process at local, national, and regional levels.

The Peace Beyond Borders program trained 72 peace brokers, who are recognized and selected by their peers in their communities as contributing to peace and conflict transformation through their character or actions. These peace brokers are the drivers of the bottom-up process of developing the Roadmap to Peace. All participants signed a commitment to engage in voluntary peacebuilding activities, such as facilitating community consultation and dialogues, organizing intercultural activities, perform mediation & conflict resolution services, and represent their communities in the Virtual Regional Parliament.

For more information visit Oxfam’s Peace Beyond Border’s website.

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