Africa News Bulletin

Burundi: Production SFCG/Génération des Grands-Lacs – Youth must get involved in the cessation of hostilities

Words, rumours, stereotypes, globalization all kill. According to political scientist Elie Abibu, an expert in the Great Lakes region, young people have a leading role to play in order to put an end to political tensions between the countries of this sub-region.

“It is not they who are suffering, but it is the people who are paying a heavy price. It makes you wonder if our leaders favor the people or the agreements made. Questions that some young people in the Great Lakes region ask themselves.
It is within the framework of the Génération Grands-Lacs program where young people from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo exchange views.

This program produced by the NGO Search for Common Ground, with the support of Swiss Cooperation and USAID, gives the floor to these young people and asks several questions. “What is the impact of these tensions on the relations between the peoples of these three countries? How can young people get involved in the evolution of diplomatic relations within the Great Lakes region? “
Politicians take us hostage to satisfy their interests” , words often heard in youth circles in the Great Lakes region decrying the behavior of certain leaders, who do not properly fulfill their mission or their duty to protect the people.

Often used during socio-political crises, young people find themselves embroiled or even manipulated. The young people met in Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma gave their points of view on the tensions in the Great Lakes region in order to improve good relations in the region.

For these young people, the time to militate for the causes dictated by politicians is resolved: “Often, these politicians imbibe us in hate messages, and this pushes us to look at each other with a baleful eye. We must be positive by refusing to swallow this hatred. “ , loose one of the young people questioned.

Youth have their work cut out for them

If such a country is in conflict with its neighbor, seeks another, that does not mean that I must necessarily be on bad terms with a colleague or a colleague from this neighboring country.

These young people call on their colleagues not to take part in the propagation of messages which are likely to fuel tensions in this region of the Great Lakes.
Political scientist Elie Abibu, an expert in the Great Lakes region, does not go overboard: “The governments of the three countries must find mechanisms for a ceasefire for the good of the population.

According to him, pending an agreement between the states in disagreement, young people can play a crucial role in the consolidation of peace. He calls on them to stop the cycles of violence.
“It is the young people who must decry the desires satisfying certain politicians. They have the full power to stop these tensions, by ceasing to take their word for everything politicians say. Because it is these young people who are used when clashes break out. This is not an easy task, but young people must be able to analyze the situation well and not indulge in violence” , indicated this political scientist.


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