Democratic Republic of Congo - Initiative against weapons fuelling crisis in Great Lakes Region
From 24 to 28 March 2013, the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN), the Jesuit African Social Centers Network (JASCNET), the Jesuit Refugee Service Great Lakes, the Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa, the African Jesuit Aids Network (AJAN), and the Hekima Institute of Peace and International Relations (HIPSIR), met in Nairobi to explore joint advocacy actions to address the conflict in the Great Lakes Region. The initiative is part of the GIAN Peace and Human Rights Network.
Since almost twenty years, conflicts and wars affected millions of women, children and men in the Great Lakes. Only in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) two million people are continuing to suffer from massive displacement and daily human rights violations in the Great Lakes, such as sexual and gender-based violence and recruitment of child soldiers.
Despite some relevant international initiatives to address the conflict (mainly led by the United Nations and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region) no significant step forward has been taken in eradicating the root causes of the conflict. Daily reality in the region continues to be characterized by deaths and massive human rights violations against the population and by expensive emergency responses conducted by the humanitarian organizations.
The Jesuit institutions who met in Nairobi strongly feel that the time has now come to effectively advocate for the end of the conflict. Therefore, they agreed on collaborating among themselves and on unifying efforts to design a common advocacy strategy. For more information...