The role of civil society organizations in peace building in post-genocide Rwanda: a study of selected charity organizations (1994-2009)
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The study was about 'The role of civil society organizations in peace building in the Post Genocide Rwanda (1994-2009) and the area of study was Kigali'. The general objective of the study was to evaluate the role of Civil Society Organizations in peace building process in the post genocide Rwanda while the specific objectives included; examining the role of CSOs in the peace process, establishing the state civil society relationship and the challenges facing the peace building process in the post genocide Rwanda. The study was based on the premise that civil society groups have the potential to make significant contributions to peace building in a post conflict. This study mapped out key local and international organizations with projects and programs aiming at contributing to peace building as envisioned in their missions and visions. This study is comprised of five chapters; chapter one consists of the general introduction, background to the study, statement of the problem, the conceptual framework, scope of the study, key terms, research objectives and questions, Justification of the study and ethical considerations. Chapter two consists of literature review, chapter three outlines the different methods and tools used to collect and analyse data. Chapter four presents and discusses research findings, Chapter five presents Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations of the study. The study established that there was an active peace movement in Rwanda with efforts to manage all aspects of conflicts. CSOs had created avenues to manage hostilities by spearheading unity and reconciliation, trauma healing, research on genocide, building a culture of peace, economic and social rehabilitation, advocacy for justice. The state-civil society relationship was found to be modest and improving though sometimes characterized by suspicion, lack of proper channels of communication, reliance on ad-hoc or personal contacts. This study also highlights that the government of Rwanda’s inability or unwillingness to allow full civil society participation in governance and advocacy issues will continue to threaten the country’s pursuit of transparency and the fulfillment of national peace building objectives. Thus, the study recommends the need for more rigorous and systematic analysis of CSOs and their role as the country moves through a series of transition, the need for longer-term financial support to CSOs to create better incentives for capacity development, the need to strengthen forums for CSOs-government communication and coordination, as well as an empirical assessment on the various approaches by CSOs to help guide peace building efforts.