Tuesday, 17 July 2012

UN conference on ATT (July 2nd to 27th July 2012

From 6th to 20th of July, with the support of Action On armed Violence and Control Arms, I am participating in the Armed Trade Treaty taking place at UN headquarter in New York. This conference started on 2nd of July and was dedicated to discussions between governments to adopt a strong ATT. Reason of my participation in this conference Festival I am coming from Burundi which an affected country of illegal trade and traffic of small arms. I am at second a victim while being child soldier when war started in Burundi and as I left some of my best friends during the war. At third, I am running an organization “CEDAC” which is helping 25,000 victims of war in Burundi (including widows, orphans and disabled people). These three reasons pushed me to have a determination for a moving forward with the ATT. Participants were coming over 193 countries with a commitment for a strong ATT. Discussions are ongoing and after an opening week, characterized by procedural delays and wrangling, this past week delegates finally got down to content discussions. However they still do not have the basis for negotiation on most of the key elements of the treaty. The optimistic view is that there will be a negotiating text by Wednesday. However, States are running at least a week behind schedule, and there are now only nine working days left to hammer out an agreement. This is disappointing because so much work was done in preparatory meetings and there is a lot of support for a strong Treaty, but now the sceptics are really blocking. A progressive group of countries has emerged but really should have been more organised from the beginning. I am very glad to see that many stake holders including representatives of states who are here in New York have a strong commitment with ATT and encourage them to move forward with it not only to fight the illegal trade and traffic of arms but also for the prevention and the assistance for all victims. For more information about Eric’s Organization, please visit: www.cedac.webs.com www.ericniragira.blogspot.com http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/22/987333/-Ex-Child-Soldier-Hutu-Now-Leads-Training-Centre-for-Ex-Combatants http://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/burundi/peacebuilding-organisations/cedac/

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Conference on Community Security and Community-based DDR (USA and Nederland)

From 28th of November to 8th of December 2011, I participated in serie of conferences on community security and community-based DDR in The Hague, Netherland . WFM-IGP’s partners organizing the conference are the Dutch Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, the Dutch Peace, Security and Development Network (PSD Network), and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). PSDN, an initiative of the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Clingendael bring together various actors including policy makers, NGOs, business organizations and knowledge institutes on issues of peace, security and development.

The final conference and international policy meetings on, “Community security and community-based DDR,” have bring together representatives from civil society and the UN, in order to share knowledge and enhance the scope and sustainability of the lessons learned about community security and DDR, as well as explore the potential for practical implementation at the grass roots level with policy makers in New York.

As the founder and Executive Director of the Training Centre for the Development of Ex-Combatants (CEDAC), I was invited to participate and serve in ensuring the content of the conference is well informed by broad range of different experiences from around the world.

Conference in The Hague (1st December-2nd December 2011)

These conferences started in Conflict Research Unit ‘Clingendael’: Bezuidenhoutseweg 161 The Hague; third floor on 1st of December 2011 with a meeting of local expert on DDR from Burundi (Eric NIragira), DRC(Henri BORA),Colombia( Ildefonso Henao) and South Sudan (Geoffrey .L. Duke) with the participation of international expert, policy makers and practitioners.
The meetings of local expert was followed the next day by a meeting with presentations of key study of Burundi, Colombia, DRC and South of Sudan.
The meeting started with Welcome and introduction by Hans Rouw and Luc van de Goor (Head of the Clingendael Conflict Research Unit) followed by a speech of the representative of Ministry of foreign affairs of Nederland Government.
After speeches, participants got an opportunity to assist the presentation of the synthesis report of the expert working group and share views and lesson learned. The afternoon was characterized by the case studies and I took the opportunity to start with my work in CEDAC on the reintegration. I focused my presentation on two aspects of the work of CEDAC in different activities of fighting against armed violence and the socioeconomic reintegration of ex-combatants. The first aspect was different campaigns of sensitization against small arms and light weapons realized in Burundi with the support of UNDP and GRIP. Many ammunition and guns have been collected by CEDAC since 2005.
According to the socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants, we explained how CEDAC helps ex-combatants in generating income with the support of different partners with a particular attention to UNDP. Participants got an opportunity to ask a different question at the presentation which was highly appreciated. The meeting in The Hague was closed by the presentation of other case studies of Colombia, DRC and south Sudan..

Conference in New York (5th December-7th December 2011)

The conference started on 5th December 2011 by a meeting of local experts with the staff of WFM-IGP at WFM-IGP in New York. The objective of the meeting was to present our work and share the objectives of the conference with UNDP.

The conference with UNDP started on 6th December 2011 at Headquarters of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). After a welcoming and introduction of UNDP representative (BCPR) and Clingendael, the floor was given to the local experts from Colombia and Burundi to present their work on reintegration programs. As the local experts from DRC and South of Sudan didn’t get U S, their presentations have been realized by experts from Clingendael Conflict Research Unit. The methodology of the meeting was the same as in the conference in The Hague. After a presentation of each local expert, participants asked questions for clarification.
The model of Burundi was highly appreciated and the UNDP representative (BCPR) manifested his will to continue focus his work on Burundi.
The conference was closed by the giving of recommendations focusing on how to improve effective reintegration in the field.

The following day, we held a meeting dedicated to Burundi with participants coming from different organizations and UN. The objective was to share with them the actual situation on reintegration and insure discuss opportunities of implementing other activities in Burundi. The meeting was closed with a high commitment to work in Burundi.

My presentation at International House, 7th of December

With the help of two friends from University of Columbia, I got an opportunity to be invited to speak to people in New York about the work of CEDAC at International House. International House is an exceptional residential of 700 members selected from over 100 countries. More than housing for graduate students and trainees in New York City, it offers a unique experience in cross cultural exchange that transcends the classroom.
The mission of International House is to enable its members from around the world to live and learn together in a diverse residential community that builds life-long qualities of leadership, respect and friendship.
This mission is achieved by daily interaction among its residents through programs, facilities and residential life designed to foster diversity of thought and experience.
International House was conceived by the late YMCA official Harry Edmonds following a chance encounter with a lonely Chinese graduate student in 1909. The philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Cleveland H. Dodge family led to its construction at 500 Riverside Drive in 1924.
The international House also hosts speakers each year, previous speakers include Nelson Mandela, and other US and international politicians. On 7th December 2011, I was the guest to speak at international House in front of a large number of interesting people included directors of foundations who were interested in CEDAC and Burundi. I can mention here, Mr Jim Luce, a US philanthropic. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

Jim founded the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation to support young global leadership impacting positive social change and the NGOs that support them.
Then, my presentation was focused on the work of CEDAC and different projects already implemented in Burundi. Participants appreciated the work of CEDAC and the determination of the leader of CEDAC. “The model of CEDAC could be used in other countries that experienced war in different places of the world.”
The presentation was closed by a gift from the Director of International House dedicated to the Director of CEDAC.


The different conferences were very interesting for CEDAC and Burundi and I seize this opportunity to say that in these two weeks of meetings in Nederland and USA, I would like to thank everyone who took a moment to let me share the project in Burundi and thank you for the contribution and encouragement for the work of CEDAC in Burundi.

Eric Niragira

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

CEDAC in process of helping victims of war in Bujumbura area

As part of the Project "Protection of the transit Site of Maramvya area the province of Bujumbura, the training centre for development of ex-combatants "CEDAC" with the support of UNDP is realizing activities of management of Maramvya Site.
This camp complaining IDPs, Refuges and ex-combatants has been managed cause of the call of Burundian Government that solicited a help from UNDP to protect these people who were in bad situation. So, that CEDAC has been chosen among other UN organization as WFP that used food for work during all activities that need human means and Red Cross to provide material tools for construction.
CEDAC started its activities with the adduction of water.
Before this activity , habitants of the camps drunk water given by UNICEF and it was not enough cause UNICEF was obliged to transport water from Bujumbura where is so far from the Maramvya Camp.

The second activity concerned the management of the track of access to the camp
CEDAC used a topographer to draw and manage the track. Notice that the camp was inaccessible before we started to manage the road. We rented truck for the transportation of the sand used to manage the road and the sand was collected by the member of the camps from the Muzazi River

The final activity was dedicated to the construction of new hangar for the refuges and the management of hangars that have been destroyed by the rains

Let us note that with the support of donors, CEDAC will continue to carry out such work that helps victims of the war in Burundi

Eric Niragira

Monday, 11 July 2011

Unite Nations conference on arm trade treaty,Monday 11th july -15th july 2011,New York

In the UN office in New York os helding a UN conference on Armed Trade Treaty from Monday 11st to 15th of july 2011. CEDAC has been invited and supported by its UK partner NGO called Action on Armed Violence for attending this important conference .
The aim goal of the conference is to share information among states and Civilian society working on arms on how to establish a very strong international treaty on trade and control of arms.


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Landgraaf Training on the reintegration of Ex-combatants,June 19-26

With the support of International Alert,I am in the training on the reintegration of ex-combatants organized by Transitional International in Landgraaf ,Nederland.
In this small and beautifull city of Holland,courses started on sunday 19th at 3PM by the welcoming speech of Irma Specht,Director of Transition International.
Different notions as : Definitions,phases,regional dimensions of DDR,Reintegration planning,DDR in peace agreement,preparing for reintegration,Reintegration strategies and programmes,Economic Reintegration,social and political reintegration,Psycho-social factors,special concerns will be learned in according with simulation exercises;
I am very interested by this important training which has highly received the participation of different stakeholders of DDR around the world.
I hope also CEDAC will benefit for this important training.

Eric Niragira

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Communiqué de presse CEDAC

Faisant suite à des récentes actes de violence que nous remarquons dans quelques provinces du pays et essentiellement la province de Bujumbura Rural,le Centre d’Encadrement et de Développement des Anciens Combattants « CEDAC » a l’honneur de porter à l’opinion nationale et internationale ce qui suit :

Le CEDAC condamne énergiquement les actes de violence commises ces derniers temps surtout que nous étions dans une phase post conflictuelle où les efforts de tout un chacun étaient vivement souhaités pour sauvegarder la paix et promouvoir le développement.
Ces actes de violence surgissent également au moment où le peuple burundais croupisse dans la misère liée à la pauvreté.

Face à tout cela, le CEDAC lance une voix forte aux ex-combattants de garder un comportement responsable en ayant de véritables apôtres de la paix comme nous le prônons pour toujours en combattant toute acte de violence partout où ils se trouvent.

Nous encourageons le Gouvernement et toute l’opinion nationale et internationale à utiliser toutes les voix possibles pour favoriser l’arrêt immédiat de ces actes de violence.
Au peuple burundais, nous encourageons la culture de patriotisme et de fraternité et aux bienfaiteurs du Burundi, nous leur encourageons à continuer à appuyer le Burundi dans ces moments difficiles.

Le CEDAC manifeste sa vive détermination de continuer son programme de lutte contre la violence armée au Burundi en étroite collaboration avec toute partie intéressée, pour un bon avenir du Burundi.

Fait à Bujumbura 2 juin 2011

Eric Niragira

Président Fondateur et Représentant Légal

Monday, 18 April 2011

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Training on the role of economic actors in peace building , Sweden,march 31st to 6th april 2011

Dear readers ,I would like now to speak a bit about the training on the role of economic actors in the peace building which is been held in Sando ,Sweden ,from 31st march to 6th april.

As an actor working in peace building in Burundi,i got a chance to participate in this training which is organized by folke bernadotte academy.
The first day was characterised by the analysis of conflict and kee element used to solve any kind of conflict.

We are now studying how economic power can be used to prevent conflict .Thhis training gave really an opportunity to share information on social and economic reintegration of formers combatants to people coming from more than twenty countries

Eric from Sando ,sweden

Monday, 24 January 2011

Conference on armed violence and development,Amsterdam 23rd-25th January 2011

From 23rd to 25th January 2011 is holding in Amsterdam a conference on armed violence with stake holders in different region of the world.

I have been invited in this conference in order to give my contribution about the work of CEDAC in Burundi.
The conference began on Sunday with the reception realized by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and IKV Pax Christi who are the main organizers of the conference
Today, we started the conference on two aspects as measuring armed violence and victim assistance. I participated in the group of victim assistance with the Moderation of Nerina Cevra, specialist of Survivor right and victim assistance in AOAV.
The group started the work with my presentation when I was talking about the work of CEDAC in victim assistance and armed violence in Burundi, a presentation which has been highly appreciated by the participants.
According to recovery and inclusion to victims , Dr Ken Rutherford from the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ,USA, gave his presentation where he showed the importance of Peer to Peer Support in the recovery to victims or survivor of armed violence.
I am still continuing the conference and it is really interesting to the work of CEDAC in Burundi.

Eric Niragira