In Burundi, Women Peace Mediators Avert Conflict
Between 1993 and 2005, the civil war in Burundi cost approximately 300,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands displaced. In 2015, strife erupted once again.
The conflict stirs up painful memories for 59-year-old Rose Nyandwi. In 1972, she dropped out of school after her father was killed. Decades later, in 1993, she lost her husband during the Civil War. But she did not let loss consume her.
The widowed mother of eight children managed to restore balance, a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging to her community through her work with women’s organizations. Today, Ms. Nyandwi is a mediator in the southern province of Makamba with the Women Network for Peace and Dialogue. Since January 2015, the UN Women-supported organization has worked hand-in-hand with national authorities and civil society organizations and communities to prevent violence and conflict.
“Victims of conflict trust us to solve their problems in an effective and respectful manner,” said Ms. Nyandwi. “Our strategy is to build partnerships … to avoid the community thinking we are acting on our own.”