Challenges of managing peace building in multiethnic communities in Africa : a case study of Burundi
MetadataShow full item record
The main focus of this study is to investigate how to build new grounding inter relationships among Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa of Burundi communities as a way of real peace and true reconciliation through human dignity founding a fraternal co-existence in their communities. In spite of various efforts initiated by different Burundi governments, governmental and nongovernmental organizations to reconcile Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa of Burundi, peace building in the communities remains a challenge. Hence, the justification of what raises the curiosity of inquiring into the handling of the challenges of peace and reconciliation among Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa of Burundi. The study is modeled on three supportively intertwined theories, namely Kantian categorical imperative, Mounter personalism and Ubuntu Ethics; conceptualizing an approach that underpins human dignity through the understanding of the concept of a human person and their interrelations within the community. These interrelationships motivate what bounds together both individuals and society. Ethics through this theoretical framework justifies what Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa communities ought to value in order to reconstruct their social cohesion and socialize their co-existence as a way of peace building through human dignity. Thus, in this study Ethics remains a main guidance to the critical inquiry into the challenges of peace and reconciliation in Burundi in order to arrive at proper choice of means and ways of handling the ethnic conflicts in Burundi communities. The main objective of the study aims at exploring new ways and possibilities of managing the multi-ethnic nature of Burundi communities through human dignity in order to effectively reconcile Bahutu and Batutsi communities; and recognize the rights of Batwa community. The study recognized that peace building in Burundi communities is significantly concretized in the conscious undertaking on human dignity by all the members of the communities. The rehabilitation of human dignity in communities unfolds the understanding of common good expressed through justice, politics, social identity, laws, rights, development (poverty eradication) that Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa need today in their mutual respect bounding them together. The significance of the need for this human dignity offers an opportunity to mitigate personal interests that are the main cause of the ethnic conflicts and diverse defense mechanisms twisting social interrelationships by covertly protecting self-desires that compromise the well- being within the communities. These defense mechanisms that nurture mistrust and hatred among Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa of Burundi include ethnic ideologies and myths. Ultimately, addressing social inequality structures through reparation in communities underpins the process of peace building through human dignity in Burundi. Recognizing the need of Ethics in Burundi communities mediates the discernment of the above elements that constitute human dignity. This study was mainly guided by qualitative methodology and supported by the quantitative. The study involved Bujumbura (rural and urban) and Ruyigi as selected areas of data collection. In the procedures research methodologies the study used content analysis, close ended and open-ended questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focused group discussions as research instruments. The research findings reveal that although Burundi enters an ending war period, peace building through dignity is still a challenging path to embark on. Reconstructing communities through human dignity implies redressing the challenges of the social, political, economic and psychological strata of human dignity damaged by decades of ethnic unrest in the communities. Nonetheless, the study findings indicate that peace-building process is still possible in Burundi communities through a commitment to ethical values. Hence, the study shows that the implementation of the recommendations suggested is a significant contribution to peace building project in Burundi communities.