EAC Member States Seek End to Regional Violence

1841 Views Bujumbura, Burundi

In short
Busokoza stated that they shall spare no efforts in implementing measures to eliminate threats to peace and security. Adding that Burundi shall not allow the region to become a hideout of ill-doers, but a haven of peace for investment to prosper for the benefits of both their respective countries and the people.

The second East African Peace and Security conference in Bujumbura Burundi has opened with a call to member states to find the cause of violence in the region.
 
At the opening of the three day meeting, Burundi First Vice President Bernard Busokoza noted the need for partner states to foster and maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to peace and security through permanent cooperation’s and consultations.
 
Busokoza stated that they shall spare no efforts in implementing measures to eliminate threats to peace and security. Adding that Burundi shall not allow the region to become a hideout of ill-doers, but a haven of peace for investment to prosper for the benefits of both their respective countries and the people.
 
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He also notes that the East African region is facing new and emerging threats such as home grown terrorism with strong external ties, tribal confrontations, religious radicalism and resource based conflicts among others. This has resulted into the region lagging behind in terms of development of its people majority of who still survive on one dollar a day despite the huge economical potential.
 
Busokoza thus raises questions that he believes the conference shall find answers to such as what is causing the persistence of violent conflicts in the region.
 
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Betty Bigombe, who during the LRA war led the Ugandan mediation team, argues that most people who lead wars take advantage of the diversity of the people to sow conflict.
 
On the hand the Ugandan state minister for water and environment states that the dynamics of conflict have changed in the sense of terrorism, human and drug trafficking and youth unemployment which can be a trigger for conflict.
 
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Leontine Nzeyimane the EAC Affairs Minister in Burundi also adds that it is time to implement specific measures to detect and deter peace threat and terrorist activities. However, this can be done only through strengthening their intelligence to cope with these unbearable elements.
 
The Treaty establishing the East African Community stipulates promotion of peace and security, stability within and good neighbourliness among partner states as one of its core objectives.
 
The conference is aimed at peace building, conflict prevention and resolution and explore how the communities in the five member countries can learn from each other.
The conference is being held under the theme, promoting a culture of dialogue and tolerance for conflict prevention and peaceful co-existence.
 
Participants are expected to assess peace and security challenges facing their communities, past experiences and best practices. They will also identify operational steps that can be taken to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace co-existence.
 
The EAC region has known in the recent past the worst violence conflicts including the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the Lord’s Resistance Army two decade war in Northern Uganda, the decade long civil war in Burundi and the 2007-2008 Kenya post-general elections violence and political instabilities.