Between August 5 and 7, AIPR’s Director of African Programs, Dr. Ashad Sentongo, participated in a workshop organized by the East African Community (EAC) in Nairobi, Kenya. The list of participants included representatives from religious, academic, political, and humanitarian organizations from Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and other various bodies of civil society.
In his opening remarks, the EAC Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Charlese Njoroge, highlighted the progress made by the Community towards establishing durable structures for peace and touched upon some of the challenges faced by the EAC in its efforts to effectively manage current and future conflicts. The workshop functioned as a follow-up event to the 2nd EAC Peace and Security Conference, which took place in Bujumbura, Burundi in November of 2013. The Burundi Conference produced a recommendation for the expansion of roles played by CSOs, women, youth, religious communities, the media, and other groups in the field of conflict prevention, management, and resolution. Elaborating on the recommendations of the November event, workshop participants identified a number of specific intersectional roles in the overall process and produced a work plan to guide the implementation of associated projects at community, national, and regional levels with the goal of improving peace and security in the region.
Consistent with AIPR’s mission of building a world that prevents genocide and other mass atrocities, the EAC’s efforts to prioritize peace and security are essential to regional stability, development, and, ultimately, political integration. Under The Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States agreed to collaborate in the prevention of conflicts within or between communities and states. To this end, various initiatives by the Peace and Security Department are underway to build the requisite cooperative mechanisms that would aid communities and states in identifying, responding to, and preventing existing and future threats to peace and security.