Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

YOUTH AND CIVIL SOCIETY SEMINAR IN BURUNDI

A group of 50 youth gathered in Bujumbura, Burundi, to participate in the ‘Civil Society Engagement in Peace Initiatives’ seminar. The main objective of the seminar is to discuss the role and mandate of the National Youth Council and its strategy for the development of action plan on youth peace and security. In addition, the seminar intends to share with the youth form EASF Member States knowledge and skills in matters of civil society engagement in peace and security.

The seminar was opened by the Brig. Gen. Leonidas Niyungeko, Chief of the Training Department in the Burundi National Defence Force. He stated that the Republic of Burundi has been at the forefront of youth empowerment and many youths have been sensitized on the continental framework on youth peace and security as part of the country’s youth empowerment programme.

In addition, Ms. Tiri Mary Rose, the Director General of Peace and Security Department with the Ministry of Youth and EAC Affairs of the Republic of Burundi delivered her remarks at the opening ceremony. Ms. Tiri Mary Rose thanked the Eastern Africa Standby Force and all the youth leaders from Member States for coming to Bujumbura to be part of this important youth and civil society seminar.

Ms. Mary Rose said, “the government of Burundi recognizes the vital role youth in the economic and social development of our country. Africa has potential youth power that can change the image of Africa. Africa is a power house of youth. What is needed from us is addressing the mechanism of changing this potential youth power in to meaningful agent of peace and security.”

On his part the Head of the Peace Operations Department, Brig. General Kabissa Domitien, representing the Director of EASF, presented his appreciation and gratitude to the host nation, the Republic of Burundi, for hosting the seminar. He pointed out: “The importance of youth in conflict resolution cannot be underrated. Our youths are the agents of change, and inclusion of young people in peace and security agenda is key to building and sustaining peace. Their role in economic development in any country is very critical as they are always the majority.” In this regard, “I urge you, our youth, to always be the advocates for peace,” concluded Brig. General Domitien.

The event is part of EASF’s continued effort in engaging young people in matters of peace and security with special focus on civil society engagement. Talking on behalf of other youths from EASF member states, Mr. Sohail Ahmed from Sudan thanked the Republic of Burundi for hosting the seminar and called on his fellow youth leaders from the region to be the agent of change and promoters of peace initiatives. He emphasized that by the end of the seminar, youth leaders from EASF Member States should take home what they have acquired during the seminar and apply in their respective countries.

Photo Gallery:YOUTH AND CIVIL SOCIETY SEMINAR IN BURUNDI

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