Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)

Feminist Leadership Development

Ms. Patience Ayebazibwe, Program Officer AMwA
The ICGLR Regional Civil Society Forum convened the second General Assembly from 7th to 9th in Dar es-Salaam Tanzania.The Assembly was aimed at constituting the new leadership of the Forum for the next two years. It was attended by Civil Society Organisation delegation from the 8 countries of Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The meeting also brought together representatives from the development partners, ICGLR secretariat, Levy Mwanawasa Democracy and good Governance Centre, National Coordinators from member states and government representatives from the Republic of Tanzania that hosted the meeting.               

AMwA's member of staff Ms. Patience Ayebazibwe who led the Uganda delegation was elected the Regional Secretary of the Regional Civil Society Forum. AMwA has previously served as a vice chair of cross-cutting issues one of the ICGLR thematic areas a position that AMwA effectively utilized  providing leadership through mobilization, coordination and support for civil society members from all member states of the great lakes region to effectively participate and influence at different foras. This is firmly demonstrated by the the 2011 Special summit of Heads of States and government of the Great Lakes Region on Zero Tolerance on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), whose 80% content is contribution of Civil Society.

AMwA has continued to play a critical role in the Great Lakes region including resource mobilization for CSO work, capacity development  for civil society members from the region especially women to enable them take part in peace negotiation and decision making processes thus ensuring  cohesion of society voice at different spaces. Cognizant of the role AMwA continues to play in the region and achievements the Regional Civil Society registered greatly contributed to the successful election of Uganda (Represented by an AMwA Staff) in a lead position ahead of Kenya.

Responsibilities of the new task of the secretary will include among others, supporting the Regional Civil Society Chair in ensuring smooth functioning of the bureaus and the secretariat.  In addition, she will be an information and reference point for the Regional Civil Society Forum. There is no doubt that AMwA will fully utilize her new position and build on the previous experience to step up the Civil Society engagement in the region. 

PRESS STATEMENT

     For immediate release -

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

December 2015

Civil Society calls for immediate resumption of inclusive dialogue on the Burundi situation

We, the Interim Regional Coordination Committee of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region’s Civil Society Forum, are deeply concerned with the deteriorating situation in Burundi. Many lives have been lost and hundred others displaced due to the ongoing predicament, causing unprecedented refugee crisis.

As the Regional Civil Society Forum, we recall the agreements espoused by Member States in the ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development and Peace and Security cooperation framework for the DRC and the region that enjoins Member States to promote sustainable peace and development.

We therefore wish to state as follows:

  1. Resumption of inclusive Inter- Burundian Dialogue to explore ALL options to return Burundi to normalcy, placing Burundian citizens at the heart of the dialogue. We call on ALL regional and international bodies, including the EAC, AU, EU, UN and others to make this dialogue a priority.
  2. We call on the government of Burundi, regional and International community to implement their responsibility to protect the citizens of Burundi. The duty to prevent mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State.
  3. We call upon the ICGLR Heads of State and Government Summit due in January 2016 to schedule a special session to discuss the issue of Constitutionalism. The region’s future will be better secured under strong institutions and practices grounded in the principles of Constitutional Convergence enshrined in the ICGRL Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
  4. There is need for a continuous monitoring of the situation in Burundi, with the goal of bringing to account ALL those involved in perpetrating crimes against the Burundian people, regardless of political persuasion, ethnic extraction, or station in life.

In conclusion, we urge for a serious relook at the Burundi situation and hope that the region can take measures that are in line with the ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development and Peace Security Cooperation frameworks.

Signed:

Interim Regional Coordination Committee

 
 

 

The Burundi Crisis:

 

PRESS STATEMENT

 

For immediate release 20th November, 2015

We, the undersigned, ICGLR National Civil Society Committee, Uganda Chapter, Women’s rights groups and the wider civil society under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, decry the deteriorating situation in Burundi where a number of lives have been lost while over 200,000 refugees have fled the country.

Bearing in mind of the violent past in Burundi, we are equally concerned that if the situation is not arrested, the Great Lakes Nation of Burundi is teetering dangerously on the brink of an all-out civil war or genocide degenerated from a low-intensity conflict rife with sporadic small- and heavy-arms fire to targeted assassinations, disappearances and torture of dissidents.

Although this mayhem has directly affected the entire resident population, we are particularly concerned with the impact that this has meted out on the most vulnerable sections of the population: women, children, the physically handicapped and the elderly. In the capital, the heartrending episode in which six markets were torched, with merchandise ranging from foodstuffs to clothes has obviously deprived women of their livelihood.

In the fog of war generally and anarchy specifically, the unending misfortunes of women and children transcend economic woes—it affects their social wellbeing and physical security. While water- and air-borne disease, pestilence and hunger wipe out scores of hopeless children, women have to contend with (gang) rape, sexual assault, molestation, all manner of abuse and systematic violence.

In this regard, the undersigned civil society groups working to advance peace and security reiterate their support for the efforts being undertaken under the leadership of the East African Community as well as the ICGLR and the African Union to ensure that the Arusha Peace Accord is adhered to.

We therefore make the following calls to the AU, the ICGLR, the EAC, the UN and Civil Society Organizations;

• The East African Community/ African Union jointly and urgently convene inclusive talks between the Burundian government, opposition groups, and civil society organizations;
• The Burundian government to protect the gains of peace and reconciliation that have been realized in the past decade ensure that law and order is restored in Burundi and the human rights of all citizens are respected;
• The International Community puts in place a humanitarian corridor and buffer zone to facilitate relief operations for the affected populations;
• The Africa Union Peace and Security Council to urgently deploy peace keepers to restore peace and order and protect human rights of all Burundians;
• The EAC Secretary General to prepare periodic reports on the situation in Burundi for EAC deliberative bodies;
• The Civil Society to monitor and advocate for full implementation of the commitments signed by the parties.

Issued by the ICGLR Uganda National Civil Society Committee:

1. Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMWA),
2. Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD),
3. ActionAid International, AAI
4. Action for Development (ACFODE),
5. CARE International in Uganda
6. Centre for Conflict Resolution (CECORE)
7. Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)
8. East Africa Sub-Regional Support Initiative (EASSI)
9. GWED-G
10. HIAS
11. International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI),
12. Isis Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE),
13. Regional Associates for Community Initiatives (RACI),
14. Uganda National NGO Forum

 

For more information contact:

Akina Mama wa Afrika(AMwA)
Plot 30 Bukoto Street Kamwokya
Tel: +256 414 543 681| Mob: +256 772 429837
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