Mobilizing Burundian Youth for Peaceful Elections in 2015

In partnership with USAID, Collectif pour la Promotion des Association des Jeunes (CPAJ), and Search for Common Ground (SFCG) CEDAC have commenced a two year project preparing youth for peaceful elections in 2015. This long-term project aims at strengthening the capacity of youth in resisting political manipulation and violence in the lead up to the 2015.

In 2010, elections were marred by accusations of intimidation, political violence and ultimately an opposition party boycott that handed the ruling party a virtual monopoly on power. The current absence of political dialogue, the deteriorating economic situation and an environment of ongoing insecurity have left Burundian youth feeling marginalized and vulnerable. This vulnerability leaves youth open to political manipulation and recruitment into armed groups.

The Intamenwa! Or indivisibles team has designed and is currently implementing a project based on the following hypothesis. That "If understanding of and confidence in the benefits of collaboration and solidarity are strengthened among youth, then they will be more likely to resist manipulation and spurn violence in the lead up to the 2015 elections." 

The project began by bringing youth leaders from similar backgrounds and affiliations together. Both of the youth groups, namely those who support either the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) and those who support Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), actively engaged in group discussions on the role of youth in the pre-electoral process. These youth groups have embarked on a journey together to ensure a peaceful election in 2015. These groups have made a commitment to work collaboratively for a better future by focusing on youth participation in problem-solving and development. 

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