Impunity Watch trains Burundian civil society organisations on leading local efforts to ensure the non-recurrence of violence
Impunity Watch organised a series of trainings for representatives of 19 Burundian civil organisations working in the field of transitional justice from 16-30 June 2020 in the three provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Cibitoke, and Muyinga. The training sessions focused on building the capacity of civil society organisations to lead efforts aimed at ensuring the non-recurrence of violence.
Participants were trained on developing political strategies for their organisations, building networks with their peers, and supporting victims more effectively. Participants committed to sharing their acquired knowledge within their organisations enabling the latter to create more awareness about transitional justice as well as mobilise the wider communities to participate in transitional justice processes in Burundi. Moreover, community initiatives will gradually take shape, which can help strengthen social cohesion and create a positive impact at the community and national levels.
“As representatives [of civil society organisations], we commit to sensitising the groups that were marginalised in our society, so that they know that they should participate in the reconstruction of the social fabric in the aftermath of our country’s past,” said one of the participants.
Creating awareness around formal justice mechanisms at the community level is essential since it enables communities to express their needs at the right time, said another participant, noting that political decision-makers will have to take these needs into account when setting transitional justice policies.
This training is part of our project entitled “Akariho karavugwa” which means, “what happened cannot be kept secret, we must talk about it to prepare for the future.” The project aims to contribute to the reconstruction of the social fabric and to the promotion of local processes of transitional justice, focusing on memory and inter-generational memory trauma. With the support of the Belgian Development Cooperation, we are implementing this project with three partner organisations: MIPAREC, THARS and Association Dushirehamwe.