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Call for transformation from ‘Solemn Declaration to Solemn Deliverables’ – ACCORD attends 27th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative meeting

To contribute towards the agenda of the AU Summit and influence the decision making process of member states, women's rights and gender equality advocates have for a number of years held meetings prior to each summit. The meetings seek to...

04-02-2016 in Business Development

ACCORD ranked in top 100 Think Tanks worldwide in 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index

"The challenge for the new millennium is to harness the vast reservoir of knowledge, information, and associational energy that exist in public policy research organizations so that it supports self-sustaining economic, social, and political progress in every region of the world...

02-02-2016 in General

ACCORD Publishes Special Edition of African Journal of Conflict Resolution on ‘Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Societies’

Social cohesion is a key variable in the recovery of countries from violence and/or conflict. Such countries face the often simultaneous challenges of nation-building, reconciliation, social engineering and achieving justice and reconciliation. In this vein, ACCORD was pleased to publish...

29-01-2016 in Knowledge Production

SACOIR overview presented to DIRCO

On 19 January 2016 the Executive Director of ACCORD, Mr Vasu Gounden, attended a meeting with H.E. Nkoane Mashabane, the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, along with the other members of the South African Council on International...

27-01-2016 in Executive

A celebration of the life of Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Son of Africa

ACCORD is honoured to have contributed to the publication of a book celebrating the remarkable public life of Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim which includes service as the United Republic of Tanzania's youngest ambassador, to his three terms as Secretary-General of...

25-01-2016 in General

Gender advising for effectiveness of peace support operations

Understanding the gendered dimension of conflict is essential if peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations are to succeed in the long-term. Gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping environments involves identifying the various impacts of conflict on the lives of women and men and on...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

TfP/ACCORD Conducts Research for the Enhancement of the Mission Support Function in AMISOM

In light of the progress made by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2014, and cognisant of the changing situation in Somalia, a number of activities have been conducted in AMISOM, as directed by the African Union Commission (AUC)...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP conducts Mediation, Negotiation and Humanitarian Intervention training for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

Senior military and police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) completed a three-day course on Mediation, Coordination and Humanitarian intervention conducted by ACCORD/TfP held from 2-4 November 2015 in Mogadishu, Somalia. This initiative is part of ACCORD's...

17-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Regional Specific Technical Visits and Support on the Application of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Rostering Tool

In June 2015, the African Union Commission (AUC), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) finalised and subsequently launched the African Standby Capacity (ASC) roster which marked an important milestone in support of AU peace operations. This paved...

15-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD calls for first ever global conference on peace

On 21 November 2015, during ACCORD's 2015 Africa Peace Award celebration, I made a call for the United Nations (UN) to convene the first ever UN Global Conference on Peace. The call was made during the presentation of the Africa Peace...

14-12-2015 in Special Projects

ACCORD facilitates a workshop for women leaders in Central African Republic on mediation and negotiation

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), organised a three-day workshop on 3-5 December 2015, in Bangui, in the Central African Republic (CAR).

11-12-2015 in Peacemaking

Vasu Gounden appointed to serve on the SADC Mediation Reference Group

In 2014 the Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, Vasu Gounden, was appointed by the SADC Summit to serve on the SADC Mediation Reference Group. On 09-11 December 2015 Mr Gounden participated in the Regional Mediation Training Curriculum Validation Workshop...

11-12-2015 in Executive

ACCORD/TfP co-hosts the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Rostering and Training Linkage Roundtable

In March 2015, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Department (PSD) finalised the development of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) system, thus paving way for the population of the roster. The ASC has been developed and established to address...

11-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Consolidating the gender, peace and security agenda in the Southern African region

2015 marks an important year for the women and peace and security agenda. In 2015 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action celebrated its 20th anniversary and the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on "women and peace...

11-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Climate and conflict – recent work by ACCORD

Conflicts can be triggered by the impacts of environmental change, and even measures to adapt to climate change need to take the potential for conflict into account. With the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) or Paris Climate Conference underway, the...

07-12-2015 in General

ACCORD hosts Fifth International Training Programme on Peace and Security in Africa

ACCORD together with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, based at Uppsala University and Indevelop, a Swedish consultancy working for sustainable social development, has for the last 18 months been undertaking a International Training Programme on Peace and Security...

07-12-2015 in Peacemaking

ACCORD/TfP supports the launch of the IGAD Woman and Peace Forum Board

Women, men, girls and boys experience different forms of harm and respond differently in situations of armed conflict. ACCORD provides a platform for learning how to respond to these different needs, interests and approaches to ensure that peace processes are...

04-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD/TfP joins the AU Peace and Security Council Session commemorating fifteen years of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

Realising Africa's collective commitments towards promoting gender-equal societies remains amongst the most urgent, immediate and long term priorities for the continent. The pervasive human rights, socio-economic, health, and political inequalities that continue to manifest and disproportionately impact women and girls...

04-12-2015 in Peacekeeping

Burundi Intervention

In Burundi in 2014, ACCORD saw the ending of one programme and the start of a new one. After ten years of operation, the Legal Aid Clinic Project (LACP) ended, due to shifts in the funder's areas of focus, and the consequent reduction of project funding. The close-out phase involved the closing of the four ACCORD rural offices that were involved in the implementation of the LACP (for more detail on the history of ACCORD's work in Burundi, see further below). Activities over the period included providing mediation services and dialogue forums, conducting conflict transformation and peacebuilding trainings, research and analysis (in collaboration with ACCORD's Great Lakes Project) and providing technical and strategic support to the Bureau for Strategic Studies and Development (BESD) on governance related issues.

ACCORD has commenced with a short-term project on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of National Solidarity of the Government of Burundi, and in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The overall objective of the project is to ensure the voluntary return of the IDPs in these areas, and to contribute to the monitoring and verifying of the government's evaluation process, with reference to the Kampala Protocol on IDPs. In addition, the work will assist UHNCR and other partners to put in place programmes or activities of reintegration that will ensure sustainable solutions for IDPs. Throughout its involvement in Burundi, ACCORD has been working closely with locally-based Burundian structures, both at a governmental and non-governmental level. ACCORD's overall focus in Burundi is to contribute to peace, reconciliation and effective governance by engaging with different sectors of society to consolidate peace efforts and to build conflict management capacity.

ACCORD is an impartial conflict management organisation that thrives on the principle of not taking sides in any conflict situation but rather seeks to assist the parties reach a settlement on their own terms. Indeed it is this philosophy that has earned ACCORD respect in a number of countries where it has worked and continues to work, including Burundi.

History of ACCORD's Burundi Programme

ACCORD started working in Burundi in 1995, and opened its first in-country office in Bujumbura in 2003. In 2004 ACCORD opened two additional offices in the towns of Ruyigi and Rumonge, followed by the opening of a fourth office in the town of Rutana in beginning 2008. From 1995 to 2014, ACCORD's work in the country focused on facilitating interactions among key stakeholders in Burundi and between relevant stakeholders and their counterparts in Africa. This included second track assistance during the Arusha negotiations. In addition, activities in Burundi concentrated on skills development to build the capacity of community leaders, civil society, political actors and other relevant role-players in conflict prevention, management and transformation. Lastly, ACCORD contributed to ensuring that the ongoing process of the repatriation and reintegration of Burundian refugees took place in a smooth and conflict-free manner by providing legal assistance and mediation services to both returning refugees as well as welcoming communities.

Burundi is a small, landlocked country in Central Africa (27 830 km2), with approximately 7 million inhabitants. The country gained independence in 1962, where after it experienced on-and-off, latent and manifest conflict. More than half a million people died following the crises of 1965, 1972, 1988, 1991 and 1993. The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi which was signed in 2000 as well as the subsequent cease-fire agreements with various rebel movements that did not participate in the Arusha peace talks paved the way for the holding of democratic elections in 2005. This marked the beginning of the country's post-conflict reconstruction phase which focused on consolidating peace by continuing with efforts towards a peace agreement with the one remaining rebel movement, Forces Nationales de la Libération (FNL) and initiating processes to allow the country to come to terms with its past. Naturally, rebuilding the Burundi's economy after years of conflict is paramount to the success of peacebuilding efforts in the country.

Throughout its involvement, ACCORD worked closely with locally-based Burundian structures, both at a governmental and non-governmental level. The idea of working with local structures ensured that the process of contributing to peace in Burundi became a joint initiative between ACCORD and local organisations in the country to ensure sustainability. Evidence of the sustainability was that following capacity building workshops in conflict management that were conducted for community leaders ACCORD noted more than 250 cases that were successfully resolved by community leaders without assistance from the ACCORD Burundi Intervention staff."