n Africa Insight - Peacebuilding in the midst of violence - a systemic approach to building peace in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 43, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Communities emerging from violent conflict confront complex challenges that are specific from one context to another. The 2002 Peace Accord for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signed in Pretoria, South Africa, marked a post-conflict chapter for the country and inaugurated a range of actors and strategies to sustain the path to recovery. Despite considerable fissures that reveal micro-macro gaps, laudable exemplars of peacebuilding are found in the DRC. Based on a field study conducted in South Kivu, this article contends that positive peace endures in non-linear intervention and, therefore, to enhance total systemic change for peace requires 'whole' community integration of vertical and horizontal networks. With there being no single intervention that can provide systemic change, this article suggests policy strategies that can work from the 'top down', the 'middle out', and the 'bottom up' across structural, attitudinal and transactional domains.

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