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“The violence in DRC has to end, even if only through a series of small, incremental steps”

2011 December 8

The future of the DRC is clouded and the outcome of the recent elections still uncertain. Only small steps will help to overcome violence.

The elections in DRC at the end of November have been accompanied by eruption of violence around ballot stuffing and other irregularities. Sosthène Serge Nsimba, the Media and Governance Programs Director of SFCG in DRC, writes in the Christian Science Monitor about his thoughts regarding the elections. Sosthène argues that the causes of the conflict in DRC are known, but that more attention needs to be given to solutions. “I see my countrymen and -women every day, living their lives in a struggle to survive, and I see the violent conflict, which escalated during this week’s elections, that holds them back.  Unless we transform our conflicts and address their known causes, DRC will remain trapped at the bottom. Fortunately, there are signs of hope and paths forward.”

Sosthène sees signs of hope where trainings have been conducted. He draws from the example of training police and soldiers, which has led to massive reduction of sexual violence. SFCG has been involved in these trainings for years. Sosthène recommends reaching out to population in a similar way and raise awareness that violence does not bring any solutions.Some efforts have been done in this direction with independent radio stations. Working closely with the National Independent Election Commission (CENI) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), SFCG developed election spots which encourage people to vote and participate positively in the elections.

In October, the broadcasting of radio spots went nationwide on over 175 radio stations in every province of the DRC. The latest spots focus primarily on discouraging election violence.

Even with the elections SFCG continues with its regular programming. SFCG has unveiled posters which shake the emotions of viewers in order to promote positive attitudes regarding questions of rape. The three posters cover diverse themes and encourage people to condemn rape, to resist social and cultural factors which lead to rape, and accept the children born out of rape.

Sosthène concludes in his editorial that, “If human development is to happen, the humans in question must not live in fear. The violence in DRC has to end, even if only through a series of small, incremental steps. Only then will a nation as rich in natural resources as ours be able to begin its desperately needed climb up the ladder of development.”

SFCG contributes to these small steps with its radio programs focusing on the elections, with the campaign against sexual violence, with trainings of police and soldier and many more peacebuilding tools.

Read the full article here.

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