ACCORD’s Burundi staff trained in peacebuilding

Specialised contextual training given to the staff members stationed at the ACCORD's Burundian field office.

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Carolyn McAskie (foreground left), Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Burundi and Head of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), and Ignace Ntawembarira (foreground right), Governor of Rural Bujumbura, visit a military camp hosting South African ONUB peacekeepers in Kabezi commune to appraise the security and humanitarian needs of the local population (UN Photo/Martine Perret)

In collaboration with ACCORD’s Burundi office, the organisation’s Peacebuilding Unit organised a 3-day peacebuilding workshop for Burundi Intervention office staff, to enhance the staff’s skills and understanding of peacebuilding challenges in Burundi. The workshop also looked at identifying possible engagements to enhance sustainable peacebuilding in Burundi.

The workshop was conducted in Bujumbura from 27–29 November 2012, with a total of 34 Programme staff attending. The participants represented all five ACCORD offices in Burundi: the Head office in Bujumbura, and offices in Bubanza, Rumonge, Rutana and Makamba provinces.

ACCORD Burundi office staff specialise in land conflict mediation, and the workshop provided an avenue for staff to link the work they are doing with existing challenges – for example in elections and transitional justice, that are affecting the country’s peacebuilding process. The workshop was very interactive and through several group works, participants were able to analyse key challenges to the peacebuilding process, and established institutional recommendations for further engagement.

The workshop contributed to local ownership, as the content was developed through locally driven peacebuilding processes. Transitional justice and election challenges are major issues in the Burundian peacebuilding process, and these themes were carefully chosen for the purpose of the workshop through previous consultations and engagement with major stakeholders in Burundi through its Peacebuilding Unit and Burundi Interventions office. ACCORD remains committed to supporting the peacebuilding process through capacity building and local ownership in Burundi and the continent.

The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of Finland.