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Introduction: 

In Rwanda we support the peaceful reintegration and reconciliation of genocide survivors, perpetrators and ex-combatants.

We bring together the groups most affected by the 1994 genocide and its consequences: survivors, ex-prisoners, ex-combatants and young people, to build trust and understanding between them. Dialogue clubs, trauma counselling and micro-finance schemes enable them to identify common ground for cooperation and coexistence, and to learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully. We also promote spaces for dialogue between citizens and authorities on land reform and rural development, to ensure this leads to equitable growth and a reduction in the risk of conflicts.

Our work is important because resilience at both the individual and societal level is crucial to building sustainable peace in Rwanda.

We have been working in Rwanda since 1996.

Why: 

Rwanda has come a long way since the 1994 genocide. More than three million refugees have returned to the country, sixty thousand combatants have been demobilised and thousands of former genocide prisoners have returned to their communities. Internal security has improved, infrastructure has been rebuilt, the economy is improving and more women are taking part in political and economic life.

However, the country still faces a number of risks and challenges to peace. Economic development and land usage reform are taking place against a backdrop of unresolved trauma. Below the surface, communities across the country are still deeply divided and fragmented as a result of their experiences during and since the genocide. Without greater healing and reconciliation, there is a real danger that these tensions between communities could spiral into violence again in the future.

Rwanda also faces external instability in neighbouring eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which since 2012 has witnessed an escalation of violence by the M23 rebel group. This has led to tense relations between the two countries, especially after a UN report accused Rwanda of helping to destabilise eastern DRC – an accusation which Rwanda strongly denies.

The government and the people of Rwanda have made remarkable progress in re-establishing normality after the chaos and trauma of the genocide, with the support of the international community. It is important to continue to consolidate this progress and to ensure that peace is lasting and sustainable in the country.

The power of dialogue

An innovative project in Rwanda is helping to heal old wounds by bringing genocide survivors, ex-combatants, ex-prisoners and the youth together through dialogue.

 

Heads of state sign DRC peace deal

On Sunday 24th February 2013 the heads of state of 11 African countries signed a Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes region. The agreement is supported by the Secretary General of the United Nations, SADC, ICGLR and the African Union.   This framework is a welcome contribution to peacebuilding efforts in the DRC and in the region, providing a broad regional and internationally supported process to start implementing the many existing peace accords, such as the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes region.  

Help us rebuild fractured lives in Rwanda

 

The people of Rwanda have come a long way since the 1994 genocide that took nearly a million lives. Yet the stories captured in our Fractured Lives photo exhibition show that survivors, ex-combatants and ex-prisoners are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

 

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Women’s political participation and economic empowerment in post-conflict countries

The Great Lakes region has in the last ten to fifteen years seen an increase in women’s representation and involvement in politics and the public sphere, a positive outcome of the region’s peace processes and political transitions.