EAC Women Stand Together For Peace Process
By Diane Uwimana
Women from the EAC met on 24 February and established the East African women solidarity movement for peace and security in the region. They have the main objective of fostering the African women solidarity and pleading for Burundi.
“The Burundian issue in the region is not sufficiently discussed and we want women and other populations to question the indifference and inaction of the EAC Heads of State”, says Marie Louise Baricako, Chairwoman of the Women and Girls Movement for Peace and Security.
Baricako says Burundian women seek to promote this solidarity of the EAC women in order to push them and all the populations of the region to plead for Burundi. The same view is shared by Carine Kaneza, the spokesperson for the movement. “We want to develop solidarity of the African women.
The Burundi crisis will have to challenge others from the EAC because what affects Burundian women also affects them”, she says. Kaneza also says that the regional integration should not focus only on the economic process but also on human integration.
In a statement of solidarity, the EAC women said they have been following cases of violence in Burundi very closely. They said they are concerned about the loss of lives, mass displacement, person disappearances, torture and rape of women and girls as well as the inaction of Burundi authorities on these peace negotiations to take place and end violence.
“Some Burundian women and girls have been active inside and outside the country to influence both the government and the Arusha peace Process towards the ending of the crisis. Unfortunately, their voices have not been heard by those in charge”, said the statement.
The EAC women have called upon the EAC Heads of State and the Mediator of the Arusha Peace Process, to strongly commit to a peaceful resolution of the Burundi crisis.
On 16 February, some members of the women and girls movement for peace and security have organized demonstrations in Arusha, Tanzania when the fourth round of the Inter-Burundian dialogue took place.
They wanted to demand the right to participate in the session. According to them, the UN resolution 1325 states that at any stage of conflict resolution and even in the implementation of signed agreements, women must be effectively represented. They said out of 33 participants, only two women have responded to the invitation of the Facilitator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue.