La MONUSCO initie une réflexion sur la résolution des conflits à l’occasion de la Journée Internationale de la Paix

In Kalemie, a theatrical performance on the theme of peace. Photo MONUSCO/Marcelline Comlan

28 Sep 2021

La MONUSCO initie une réflexion sur la résolution des conflits à l’occasion de la Journée Internationale de la Paix

Lydie Betyna

From Kinshasa to Bunia, via Kalemie and Goma, the International Day of Peace (IPJ) was celebrated on September 21, 2021 by MONUSCO, through holding thorough reflections on issues such as community conflicts resolution, youth involvement in the construction of peace, or yet responsible management of information by the media with a view to preserving peace. 

Community conflict resolution

In Kalemie, the UN Mission organized discussions around the issue of community conflict resolution. The celebration of this day took place in a particular context: that of MONUSCO’s exit from Tanganyika in June 2022. 

Through a leaflet containing 10 messages relating to the exit strategy and intended for the public, the head of MONUSCO office in this province urged the various communities represented to get involved in building a lasting peace. 

About a hundred participants met that day, in the presence of the Provincial Minister of Finance, representing the Governor of Tanganyika, and several members of the Provincial Government, provincial MPs as well as officials from the various public departments. 

Civil society actors, including women's associations, religious leaders and traditional chiefs, many young men and women from all social categories, as well as UN staff members, Mission and Agencies, also participated to this celebration of peace. 

Different speakers followed one another to appeal for peace, an end to community conflicts, social cohesion and dialogue. 

Finally, to celebrate peace, songs and plays were performed by the participants. 

Media for peace 

The management of information in general, and the one relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination in particular, was at the center of the discussions the same September 21, 2021 in Kinshasa, where MONUSCO had brought together several Congolese media platforms to celebrate peace. 

The participants debated on "how, in the execution of his profession, a journalist can avoid lapsing into stigma, disinformation and the propagation of hate speech, but also refrain from spreading Fake News and ensure "Fact Checking" ". 

The exchange forum was organized in collaboration with UNESCO, WHO and regulatory (CSAC) and self-regulatory (UNPC) media bodies. 

Recommendations in the form of a roadmap were adopted at the end of the forum. They can be used as data for the situational analysis of the press, currently in preparation, and for parliamentary productions. 

Youth engagement 

In Bunia, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, representatives of the Congolese army (FARDC) and the UN Mission interacted with fifty young people, including ten girls, representing the Youth Parliament in that city, the Urban Youth Council and the Provincial Youth Council. 

The meeting took place in MONUSCO Conference Room to discuss the role and involvement of young people in the effort for the restoration of peace in the eastern province of the DRC where there are about fifteen armed groups. 

Young people are in fact the most likely to join the ranks of these militias, and to allow themselves to be manipulated by certain enemies of peace to create disorder and insecurity. 

MONUSCO's acting head of office in Ituri, Teohna Williams, called on these young people to say no to violence. 

The future is you; you are among the most important members of the different sections of the society. Stand up to say no to violence. Peace is not a naive dream, it is a glow in the dark that guides us on the path to a better future for mankind, " she said. 

This message resonated with the young people attending this event. 

"We must fight, unite and not divide, if we want to put an end to armed groups," said Benonie Sankombia, deputy director of the office of the chaiperson of the Youth Parliament of the City of Bunia. 

The participants also asked the authorities to effectively and quickly start the disarmament, demobilization and community reintegration and stabilization program, DDR-CS, and to put in place lasting strategies to put an end to the looting of natural resources in Ituri, in particular, and in the DRC, in general. 

According to them, it is these scourges that plunge young people into unemployment, leading some to heed the calls of armed groups. 

Finally, in Goma, the role and mandate of the substantive sections of MONUSCO in the consolidation of peace and stabilization in North Kivu was the theme of the meeting organized by MONUSCO to celebrate the International Day of Peace in the North Kivu. 

About twenty students from different universities in this city and about ten journalists from the local press participated in this forum.