Sweden Signs Agreement to Support Interpeace’s Cross-border Dialogue Programme in the African Great Lakes Region from 2017 – 2020
December 1, 2016
The Government of Sweden has committed to supporting Interpeace’s Cross-border dialogue for peace in the Great Lakes for a second four-year phase Between 2017 – 2020. This was in response to a strong request by people from all walks of life in the region for a continuation of the cross-border dialogue initiatives that fosters more sustainable regional peace.
An agreement for this support was signed on 30 November 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, by Mr Mikael Boström, Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation and Interpeace’s Regional Director for Eastern and Central Africa (ECA), Mr Jean Paul Mugiraneza.
The programme first launched in 2013, with support from Sweden and the Swiss Development Cooperation. It is designed and implemented jointly by Interpeace and its six partner organisations from the region: the Centre for Conflict Alert and Prevention (CENAP) in Burundi; Never Again Rwanda (NAR) in Rwanda; and in the DRC’s North and South Kivu provinces, Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Pole Institute, Centre d’Etudes Juridiques Appliquées (CEJA) and Réseau d’Innovation Organisationnelle (RIO).
The programme seeks to foster cross-border dialogue among local communities, civil society organisations, persons in key decision making positions or in regional institutions in the three countries. Its ultimate goal, in the long run, is to foster a common understanding that will allow the citizens and all other stakeholders to act together as change agents for peace in the region, which has suffered numerous conflicts with devastating cross-border implications since the late 1950s.
Interpeace and the partner organisations seek to do this through facilitating an open and inclusive dialogue on taboo issues that continue to fuel regional conflict, and to bring out action-oriented solutions and policy influence. It hence seeks to minimise prevailing tensions, suspicion and mistrust among the peoples of the three bordering countries of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which have impeded a collaborative cross-border effort for sustainable peace for decades.
“Sweden has been a strong partner and supporter of Interpeace’s work in the Great Lakes and elsewhere in the world,” Mr Mugiraneza said at the brief ceremony. “On behalf of Interpeace and partners, we are grateful for the generous support and proud of this partnership with the Government of Sweden, which will go a long way in the process of building lasting peace between communities in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC.”
The signing ceremony was attended by Swedish Embassy staff, as well as programme staff from both Interpeace and some of its partner organisations.