Date: October 31, 2019

Venue:  Katindo Military Camp in Goma / Katindo

Participants: Military couples, the total of participants were 37.

Materials used: Bible, family code and notes on Peace, Justice and Reconciliation.

Facilitator: Daniel Kilangalanga, ALARM Congo Peace Building Coordinator

Context motivation

DR Congolese law assigns to military the mission of defending territory integrity and to protect people with their properties. Unfortunately, most of militaries and police are source of insecurity and looting. Killings are done by people with military uniform and most of them are really militaries.

Due to the wars from 1990 up to now and most of the wars were ethnic/ tribal. When the armed groups are brought in the arm without any preparation, they entered with the ethnic ideology instead of being a national army for all Congolese. This situation brings ethnic conflicts among militaries.

Another issue is that most of military families are in conflicts due to the polygamy, with many children when even the first wives are legally married.

For all these reasons above, in consultation with the provincial military chaplain, the General Peace Building Conference on Peace, Justice and Reconciliation was organized on the day and date indicated above.

Conference objectives

  • Promoting peace in Katindo Military camp
  • Popularizing the law on dowry to the Militaries
  • Encouraging militaries for reconciliation

Activity

In the matter of peace, our focus was on the meaning of peace, the consequences when people live together without loving each other and the benefit that result when people live peacefully together.

In the matter of reconciliation, we let militaries couples know that this is processes of eliminating hostility, hatred and obstacles in order to restoring break relationship, friendship and communion. It is the establishment of good relationship between former enemies, whether individuals or groups.

It is a gracious and voluntarily ameliorations of negative link by cleaning the factors which produce conflict between persons, groups and the community. We emphasized on this because, the army is divided into many of groups. For example, those from west are in conflict with those from eastern; those recruited from armed groups re in conflicts with those that went into army following normal process; the tribalism is very developed. So the solution of having a good and strong army is the reconciliation and the consideration of each other.

Concerning Justice, our focus was on the legal marriage. In fact, most of the militaries are not legally married and apart from that, they go here and there picking wives. For that reason, militaries’ families are so wide. And they are facing many problems because, the children are not educated, many of the children are enrolled in Street Children, others are involved in looting, killing. So by equipping them in the matter of justice, they will discover the dander that look out for their families and by God’s grace they can avoid making birth many children as well as avoiding polygamy.

Testimony

Major BITESHIBWE, the provincial chaplain, spoke on behalf of all the participants.

He said: “Our army, our families, our country need teachings in the specific domains of Peace, Justice and Reconciliation. Sometimes we fail not because we are not able but because we are not united, we are not reconciled, and we do not consider each other. From these teachings, I realize that the solution of our problem is in our own hands but we are still living in ignorance”

Recommendation

All the participants recommended ALARM to organize such conference once more in Katindo military camp with so many military couples. They also wished ALARM to have time with all militaries during the parade by the permission of General Commander of 34th military region that include the whole North Kivu Province.  The militaries and their wives present at the seminar wished ALARM to organize this seminar once again with the military couples also with other militaries during the parade.

For militaries that came from west, they wished ALARM to organize such conferences in west, starting by Kinshasa, the capital city of the country.

Me Daniel KILANGALANGA

ALARM Congo, Peace Building Coordinator.