Tag Archives: Africa

Angola: President’s aide encourages African Union to stick to peaceful conflict resolution

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A press release from EIN News Desk

The Minister of State and Chief of the Security Affairs of the President of Republic Pedro Sebastiãon Thursday [December 6] encouraged the African Union (AU), in particular its Peace and Security Council, to keep close coordination with the economic communities and regional mechanisms for the prevention, management and peaceful resolution to conflicts on the continent.,

[In Luanda, Angola}, Pedro Sebastião was speaking at the opening ceremony of the ministerial meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), on behalf of Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço.  

He said that such coordination with regional mechanisms should promote national reconciliation and draw lessons from past and present processes.

It should also facilitate the exchange of experiences within the framework of the African peace and security architecture for the “silence of weapons by 2020”.
 
In view of the conflicts to continue topping the international agenda, the president’s aide defended combined efforts between the AU and the UN Security Council, as a privileged international body for the maintenance of international peace and security in order to gather resources for true solidarity between countries in response to the phenomena that still cause instability on the continent.

Among the conflicts that cause instability on the continent, he highlighted the problem of terrorism in the Sahel, Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions.  

He recalled that it was precisely in the spirit of solidarity with the “brother peoples of the Great Lakes region” that Angola was invited to contribute to the mediation process, with a view to resolving the disagreement between Rwanda and Uganda.

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Question related to this article:

Can the African Union help bring a culture of peace to Africa?

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Angola’s effort to bring together these two brother countries  resulted in the signing of the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding.

Pedro Sebastião stressed in his speech that the culmination of the armed conflict in Angola, after three decades, is a living example that political will is the crucial element in achieving peace.  

In the specific case of Angola, he noted that inclusive dialogue played a decisive role in achieving lasting peace “which we carefully take care of for the maintenance of this acquired good with blood, sweat and tears.”
 
“Today we can assume that the culture of peace is a fact of life in our country,” said the Angolan leader, noting that the country is available to share its experience regarding peace and conflict management and help the countries of the continent in this matter.

The official noted, however, that Angolans are aware that peace in the country has also benefited from the valuable contribution of the African Union and its member states, where some of their children have paid with their life, highlighting the case of Maitre Aione Blondi Beye.

According to the head of the President’s Security Affairs, political stability and democracy can only be achieved through the creation of strong institutions and the adoption of behaviours that ensure the peaceful resolution to conflicts inherent in human societies.  

To him, democratic processes and inclusive systems of governance ensure the development of a national environment of stability, fostering the creation of a culture of peace.  

The most worrying cases for Angolan diplomacy and the AU’s PSC are those of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the tension in the Great Lakes region (involving Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda).
 
The official also referred to the latent conflicts  in South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), as example, where Angola is directly engaged in finding a solution.  

The PSC meeting is part of the peace-building strategy and the promotion of sustainable development.

The opening session of the meeting of the body gathered 80 entities, including 15 foreign ministers from the African Union (AU) PSC states.

Angola took over the presidency of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on December 1.

PAYNCoP Gabon Pleads for Youth Involvement in the National Commission for Human Rights

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

An article by Jerry Bibang

The National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for Peace Culture (PAYNCoP Gabon) took part, from 26 to 27 November 2019, in a sensitization workshop on National Human Rights Institutions.

Organized by the Ministry of Human Rights and the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) with the support of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the United Nations Regional Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Central Africa, this meeting brought together several experts including those of the United Nations System, the Government, the National Commission for Human Rights as well as those of the Organizations of Civil society.

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(Click here for the original French version.)

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“The goal is to operationalize the CNDH through the sharing of good practices and contributions from each other,” said the Representative of UNOCA at the beginning of the workshop.

During the work, PAYNCoP Gabon advocated for a greater involvement of civil society organizations, especially those representing young people. In this sense, the National Coordinator suggested changing the age criterion which sets the minimum age of 40 to be a commissioner at the CNDH.

“If it is possible to be a deputy or Minister at 35 in Gabon, why set the age of commissioners of the CNDH at 40 ?” questioned Jerry Bibang. “This provision constitutes a factor of exclusion and a violation of the right to participation of young people in the management of public affairs,” he explained. It is opposed to regional and international legal instruments that encourage the participation of young people including the African Youth Charter and resolution 2250 (youth, peace and security) of the United Nations Security Council, he added. before insisting that the youth component should be taken into account in the current reform of the National Commission on Human Rights.

The various proposals of the workshop aim at modifying the text creating and organizing the CNDH of Gabon in order to bring it up to international standards, in particular the principles of Paris. The draft text to be amended will be submitted to the competent authorities.

Gambia: Banjul Regional Forum 2019: Engaging Young African Leaders to Achieve the 2030 and 2063 Agendas

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An article by Debbo Mballo in Vivafrik (translation by CPNN)

The third Regional Forum of the 2017 Banjul Forum action plan took place from 28 to 30 October 2019. It was supported by UNESCO and its partners in order to better appreciate the level of the involvement of young women and men in national processes of democratization, governance, national reconciliation and the construction of a social environment conducive to the culture of peace. It facilitated exchanges to find ways and means, modalities of action, and forms of expression the most appropriate for a better commitment.

The 2019 forum focused on the roles and place of young people in governance, democracy and human rights, as well as new forms of innovative expressions and demands by young people in these processes. It was a platform to catalyze and accelerate the implementation of the African Union’s roadmap for investing in youth, with a focus on youth civic participation and youth engagement. as co-creators of sustainable solutions for Africa.

These periodic meetings consolidate a tradition of reflection, discussion and action on the place of young Gambians and West Africans in the societal space, and to better understand their roles in the processes of transformation and democratization of society. .

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question(s) related to this article:

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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The overall goal of this initiative is to strengthen the capacity of young people to exercise transformational leadership at the community, national and continental levels in the democratization process of society.

This conference planned to achieve the following specific objectives:

1. Provide a platform for sharing experiences of lessons learned and reflections on the role of youth in democratic and peaceful transitions in Africa: (Allow young Gambians to learn from other countries’ experiences and enable African youth to benefit from the experience of young Gambians);

2. To secure a space for dialogue and action among the various sections of the youth (young academics, young activists, young humanists, young social entrepreneurs, etc.) on their own concerns and perspectives as well as those of their country, their region, the continent and the global world;

3. Secure a space of intergenerational dialogue where young people can exchange with “old young leaders” around important and / or topical issues such as the issues of governance, democracy, peace, violence and so on. as well as issues related to equality and equity (including gender), the enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, social inclusion, human rights etc. ;

4. Secure a space for dialogue and action between youth and authorities on the concerns and perspectives of countries, the region, the continent and the global world with a focus for each forum on particular themes.

5. Present, enrich and validate the results of the “MOST Policy Oriented Research” entitled: “Youth and spaces of freedom in Africa: emerging forms of expression for democratization and achievement of the SDGs”, conducted at the request of young people during the 2017 Banjul Forum.

PAYNCoP Gabon Partners with the National Youth Council to Stop Violence against Youth

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

To CPNN from Jerry Bibang, PAYNCoP National Coordinator (translation by CPNN)

In the face of renewed violence against young people in Gabon, the National Coordination of the Panafrican Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) and the National Youth Council of Gabon (CNJG) joined forces on Saturday, October 26, to firmly condemn this phenomenon which harms Gabonese youth. Their press conference had the support of several youth organizations in Gabon.

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Questions related to this article:

Rights of the child, How can they be promoted and protected?

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In the statement, read by Fernandez Ona, President of the CNJG, the young leaders recalled the international legal provisions relating to the protection of the child in particular Article 16 of the African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of the Child that states: “The States Parties to this Charter shall take specific legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child against all forms of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and in particular any form of or physical or mental abuse, neglect or abuse, including sexual abuse, when entrusted to the care of a parent, legal guardian, school authority or any other person having custody of the child.”

Also, the 2040 Agenda of the African Union on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child, in its aspiration 7, urges the States Parties to provide protection against all forms of violence against children. In the same vein, the Constitution of the Republic, in its Preamble, reaffirms the need to ensure and protect the physical and moral integrity of youth.

“In spite of these normative devices, it is sad to note the recurrence of cases of violence against young people on the national territory,” said Jerry Bibang, PAYNCoP National Coordinator. “The violence is multiple and varied, including physical, sexual, economic, verbal and psychological violence,” he added, respectfully urging the Government to take concrete measures to eradicate this phenomenon.

Chad: Women’s Ministry salutes community peace initiatives

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An article from Al Wihda (translated by CPNN)

The Minister of Women, Early Childhood Protection and National Solidarity, Dr. Djallal Ardjoune Khalil, received in audience on Monday, the delegation of the National Union of Young Professionals for Consultation and Peaceful Coexistence (UNJCP), led by its secretary-general, Sidick Sougui Lony.

The exchange between the minister and the delegation focused on peace, the disarmament of the civilian population and peaceful relations between the different communities of the province of Ouaddaï.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question(s) related to this article:

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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UNJCP Secretary General Sidick Sougui Lony briefly explained to the Minister the merits of the UNJCP mission in Ouaddaï province.

“We are working in Abeche to promote the culture of peace. We call on our civilian brothers to lay down their arms because it is useless for a civilian to own a weapon, “said Sidick Sougui Lony.

The minister congratulated UNJCP for this noble and patriotic initiative. She went on to point out that peace is an inestimable wealth. According to the minister, without peace, no society can evolve.

In addition, the Minister of Women, Child Protection and National Solidarity, Dr. Djallal Ardjoune Khalil urged the UNJCP to move forward in its quest for a united, strong and prosperous Chad . The ministry undertakes to accompany the National Union of Young Professionals for consultation and peaceful coexistence in all its actions.

The two sides agreed to combine joint efforts to intensify advocacy for peace and peaceful coexistence.

Guinea: Wanep and partners promote peace and development

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An article from Guinee 360 (translation by CPNN)

“Peace at the center of development in the Republic of Guinea” is the theme of a press conference held this Saturday, October 19, 2019 in Conakry.

This is an initiative of the Catholic Organization for Human Advancement (OCPH), in collaboration with Wanep-Guinea, funded by USAID, for a period of two years, a project entitled: “Cultural Cohesion Project for Peace and Prosperity”.

The objective of this project, according to its coordinator, is to enable communities in Conakry and the interior of the country to develop a culture of peace and to achieve greater prosperity.

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Click here for the version in French)

Question(s) related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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“It is designed for citizens to strengthen social cohesion within and between ethnic groups,” said Moïse Bangoura.

The Wanep-Guinea representative at the meeting listed some of the flagship actions carried out by this project: “Through this project we have achieved some results. We conducted capacity building activities for multi-actor platforms. We also strengthen the capacity of local elected and appointed authorities. Because one of the observations we have made in our country it takes the state a lot of time to manage conflicts that impede development,” said Boubacar Mansaré

The PM of the cultural cohesion project for peace and prosperity has focused his intervention on the socio-political crisis that Guinea is going through: Jonas Mamadi Kamano recalls that OCPH, CRS and Wanep are not activist organizations, but they tackle the root causes of conflict by doing analysis, research and proposing solutions.

“Before there is a crisis, from the signals we try to do some in-depth analysis and we make recommendations. We tell the different actors what to do so that the conflict does not blow up,” he explains.

Outreach and training are also strategies provided by this project to limit the damage in Guinea.

Protection of human rights and peace in Cameroon: The international association Kofi Annan is engaged

. HUMAN RIGHTS .

An article by Marcel Ndi from Agence Cameroun Presse (translation by CPNN)

The Kofi Annan International Association has just presented the project to the press in Bafoussam, an activity that will be launched in the next few days.

Indeed, the Project “237- Peace and Good Governance”, is a new concept of the International Kofi Annan Association for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Peace. It is a Support Program for Restoration, Peacebuilding and Improvement of Local Governance in Cameroon.

According to Dr Serges Mboumegne, president of this association, speaking to the media in Bafoussam, the project will extend over 12 months with two components: support for the contribution of households to the construction of sustainable families in Cameroon, and capacity building for local elected representatives and local populations for effective participation in local governance.

With the support of the Civil and Political Rights Network of Cameroon, the program will be implemented in the regions of the West, North-West and South-West Cameroon with the relocation of certain programmed activities in the English-speaking areas in Bafoussam region of West in case of high security risk.

As a reminder, the International Kofi Annan Association’s mission is to work for the promotion and protection of human rights and peace with a view to contributing to the construction of a sustainable rule of law and respectful of the full respect of human values.

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Click here for the version in French)

Question(s) related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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• NATIONAL

Contribute to the eradication of violence against children and women;

Disseminate international and national instruments in the field of human rights and peace;

Reduce cases of human rights violations;

Contribute to the respect of the rights of the elderly and to the integration of disabled people;

Promote the culture of peace

Advocate for youth participation in public policy development;

Reduce individual and collective conflicts at work;

Contribute to the improvement of the situation of detained persons;

Support sustainable development policies;

Denounce cases of flagrant violations of human rights;

Provide legal advice and legal assistance;

Contribute to the fight against corruption;

Contribute to the promotion of democratic practices.

• ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Support peace initiatives

Encourage actions for integration

Encourage mediation

Call for compliance with international commitments on Human Rights and Peace.
 

2019 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Award winners announced

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An article from Peace Direct

Now in its seventh year, the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards celebrate some of the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders. This year, the three focus areas for the awards were: women-led peacebuilding, youth-led peacebuilding, and music and the performing arts. A panel of international experts selected the winners from 406 applicants, the highest number we have received to date.


Video of award-winning initiatives

The winners — from Syria, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo — were announced at the Alliance for Peacebuilding annual conference, PeaceCon, on 3 October in Washington, D.C. Each received a $10,000 grant to contribute to their work.

“We’re happy to highlight and support the work of these local peacebuilders, because they know best how to tackle problems in their communities. The leaders of these three organizations are providing practical and creative solutions, and directly improving people’s lives,” said Peace Direct CEO Dylan Mathews.

Youth-led peacebuilding: Youth for Homeland in Yemen

Youth for Homeland, founded in 2014, works in rural areas of Yemen to engage communities in peacebuilding efforts, working mainly with young people to develop skills and find alternatives to violence. For example, when one community was fighting over limited water resources, the organization helped establish reservoirs to contain water over longer periods.

The organization plans to use the award to train more peacebuilders. “The main objective is to rehabilitate young people to become peace ambassadors and urge their colleagues and friends to not participate in the war anymore, so that we can contribute to the end of the war in Yemen,” said Abdullah al-Suraihi, founder of Youth for Homeland.

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Questions for this article:

How important is community development for a culture of peace?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Women-led peacebuilding: Open Art Space in Syria

Many children in Syria have known nothing but war. Three women, two of whom are artists, founded Open Art Space in the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2016. Their work connects children and young people inside and outside of Syria through peacebuilding.

Children participate in free weekly workshops, which offer a safe space to play and connect with one another, a chance to express themselves, and a way to learn about peace through art. To reach children more widely, the women created a website where children anywhere in Syria can practice drawing and art exercises to help process the violence they have experienced.

For co-founder Roula al-Khatib, this award enables the organization to “reach out to more Syrian children affected by the war in remote places to implement art and peace in their daily life. This is an opportunity for us to tell the world that despite the sad war in Syria, there are many people who are working very hard to retain peace back.”

Music and the performing arts: Amani Institute in DR Congo

The Amani Institute, founded in 2016 in North Kivu, DR Congo, uses theater to help young ex-combatants process trauma they have experienced and reintegrate into their communities. The technique of theater enables former fighters to interact with others, and acts as a springboard for dialogue, reconciliation and tolerance.

“This is an acknowledgement that our effort in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being recognized internationally,” said Joseph Tsongo, founder of the Amani Institute. “It will help us continue our work for the next generation and bring peace to the country.”

We celebrate this year’s winners, and all peacebuilding efforts taking place around the world.

We thank our sponsors: the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Away, the Bluegrass Ambassadors, the Pickwell Foundation and Humanity United for supporting this year’s awards and award ceremony.

For more information: contact@peacedirect.org

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Press release from The Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries. These principles are set out in the declarations that Prime Minister Abiy and President Afwerki signed in Asmara and Jeddah last July and September. An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.

Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be achieved between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

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In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalising outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.

In the wake of the peace process with Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy has engaged in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa. In September 2018 he and his government contributed actively to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility. Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict. In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

Ethiopia is a country of many different languages and peoples. Lately, old ethnic rivalries have flared up. According to international observers, up to three million Ethiopians may be internally displaced. That is in addition to the million or so refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. However, many challenges remain unresolved. Ethnic strife continues to escalate, and we have seen troubling examples of this in recent weeks and months. No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early. The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation. Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and has East Africa’s largest economy. A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region. With the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will firmly in mind, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sees Abiy Ahmed as the person who in the preceding year has done the most to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.

Young people from DRC and Rwanda demonstrate in Goma for peace in the sub-region

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An article by Justin Kabumba from L’Interview

Several hundred young people from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo marched on the streets this Thursday, October 3, 2019, in Goma capital of the province of North Kivu to support peace in the Great Lakes region.


LINTERVIEW.CD/Photo Justin Kabumba

Under the theme “Our Diversity, Our Opportunity” these sons and daughters came from the two neighboring countries, all dressed in white and blue. They came together to preach peace in the Great Lakes region and to challenge the leaders of the two countries that young people are ready to work for peace.

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Click here for the version in French)

Question(s) related to this article:

Can you add to this analysis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

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“For a long time victims of wars, we take the option of celebrating peace. We are able to preach the culture of peace, because we believe that peace is built, that’s why we mobilize young people to say that we are ready for peace and we support peace,” said Guy Kibira, Provincial President of the youth of North Kivu.

These young people say they are hoping for the return of total peace to the DRC with the new regime.
“The new regime inspires confidence, that’s why we are here, so that they understand that we aspire to peace, we want to live in peace and in this peace that we will have partners who will invest in our region,” he adds.

A young person from Rwanda has the same reaction. He says he is satisfied with the initiative, which according to him would perpetuate the peace between these two countries.

“I came to the market with my Congolese brothers to show that we are the same, and that there are no problems between Rwanda and the DRC. We must live in a good peaceful cohabitation,” said a young man from Rwanda.

This march is part of the regional program “Transboundary Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region.”

These young people with a sign of satisfaction gathered at the Muningi roundabout in Nyiragongo territory where they started their walk before going to the stadium of ISC Goma where several exchanges of experiences were made to launch a strong message to the Congolese and Rwandan authorities that young people are ready for peace in harmony in the Great Lakes region and that the leaders must follow the deep aspirations of the youth of the North Kivu province in the DRC and that of Rubavu district in Rwanda.