The challenge of recovering from war trauma in the African great lakes region: an experience from Centre Ubuntu in the Projet Colombe Network

Ntakarutimana, E. (2008). The challenge of recovering from war trauma in the African great lakes region: an experience from Centre Ubuntu in the Projet Colombe Network. Intervention, 6(2), 162-166.

The African Great Lakes Region has been impacted by various wars since 1990. Although peace agreements are now in place, the region is still unstable and recovery is very slow. As a result, there are large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people, often severely traumatized by war, in the region. Most are living in degrading circumstances, which contribute to escalating incidences of alcohol and drug abuse, domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases. A climate of fear, suspicion and hatred between ethnic groups also needs to be addressed in order to rebuild trust, reciprocity and a sense of social values, and belonging to a network. This applies to groups within the countries, as well as to the relationships between countries, such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and the DRC have similar social groups influencing each other. The issue of armed groups and refugees is therefore a cross border problem requiring networking and working together towards solutions.

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