The Burundi Country Office of ACCORD conducted two three-day workshops for the 23 National Commissioners of the Commission Nationale de Terre et Autres Biens (CNTB) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme in Burundi from 9-16 July 2007.
CNTB was recently established by the government of Burundi to address widespread conflict relating to land and other properties that have arisen following Burundi’s independence in 1962.
Present to address the Commissioners at the opening ceremony of the relevant trainings were a representative from the 1st Vice President’s Office, Ambassador Antoine Baza, the UNDP Country Director, Mr. Antonius Broeck, the President of CNTB, Mr. Abbot Aster Kana, and the Coordinator of the ACCORD Burundi Operations, Ms. Jenny Theron. In addressing the Commissioners, the dignitaries emphasized the importance of the work with which the Commission is charged given the severity of the problem and the importance of land in the Burundian tradition.
During the first three days the Commissioners were given basic conflict analysis and management skills as well as negotiation and mediation skills in an interactive workshop grounded in theory but using role plays as a learning modality. The next three days focused on Burundian land-related legislation. The combined trainings are expected to assist the Commissioners in assessing whether land was illegally or legally granted to the relevant parties and to make use of mediation to resolve disputes. The Commissioners displayed noticeable enthusiasm for the topics presented and contributed to the quality of the training with their inquisitiveness and active participation.