Great Lakes women leaders meet in Burundi

A woman with her baby leaves Ngululu, 80km north west of Goma, DR Congo after the village and others nearby were attacked and burnt by members of the Congo Defence Front. A meeting in Burundi July 9, 2013 will discuss the crisis in DRC. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION MEDIA GROUP

A three-day conference bringing together 100 women leaders from across the Great lakes region is set to start in Bujumbura on Tuesday.

The Burundi meet aims to develop a road map for the engagement of women in peace processes.

The conference, which has been organised by the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region in Africa, in partnership with Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

It is also expected to look at ways of implementing the “Peace, Security and Cooperation” (PSC) Framework and the United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in the Great Lakes Region.

The PSC Framework is a milestone in national, regional and international efforts to bring peace in the Great Lakes region and in particular in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where sexual violence continues at appalling levels and is regularly used as a weapon of war.

The framework was signed on February 24 by 11 African countries and was the fruit of a concerted effort between the UN, ICGLR, the South African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union.

The conference will also consolidate an integrated regional approach for the effective participation of women in conflict resolution and peace building through the implementation of a Regional Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 in the Great Lakes region.

“A common plan will help to ensure that women’s voices are heard “from the bottom up and adhered to and implemented by Governments from the top down,” Ms Mary Robinson, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region in Africa, said in a statement.

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