The national council of the branch of IFOR in the Republic of Congo, Movement International de l'Reconciliation Congo (MIR Congo) was held from 17 to 23 August 2015, the Séminaire Saint Gabriel de Dolisie. It coincided with the organization of the 5th Edition of the National Meeting of Initiatives of Peace under the theme: “Dare to dialogue and build peace among people and nations through non-violence and reconciliation.” The following statement was released following the meeting :

The MIR Congo is an apolitical, non-governmental, non-profit, intercultural, movement bringing together men and women of all ages, of all conditions, Christians and believers of all faiths, which adhere to the principles of non-violence and reconciliation in their actions for the respect of human dignity, justice and social peace. These values re rooted in the Gospel and enriched through the thought and experience great peace actors such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

The 36 delegates to the Council of Dolisie in 2015 came from local groups of Pointe-Noire, Brazzaville, Kinkala, Owando, Missafou, Mindouli, Makoua, and joined to those of the host community. Among those attending the meeting were those who come from public institutions and organizations of civil society working for peace, including the High Commissioner for the Reintegration of Former Combatants and ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture). The Bishop of the Diocese of Dolisie, Bishop Bienvenu MANAMIKA, shared with the participants during the workshops. Father Beranger MABOUNDA, Bursar of the Seminar, representing the Director of the place of training, added to the significance of the gathering during his presence at the closing ceremony.

The Council assessed satisfaction with the vitality, activities and finances of the association since the last Council of Loango in July 2011. Aware of changes within and in the environment of the association since its inception ten (10) years ago, the Council updated the mission of MIR Congo, redefined its shared vision. The values f respect for human rights, democracy and good governance, as well as community development goal are now clearly embedded in the amended Constitution.

The Council expressed its deep concern at the manifestations of violence in the form of, discrimination, exclusion, violations of human rights in many countries around the world, with the instrumentalization of cultural, racial, tribal, and religious differences. It found that in response to the upsurge of terrorism in all its forms, the international community responds in vain with more violence.  It noted that to try to resolve the current crisis migration, countries are tempted to protect their borders through measures that also reflect the violence, without addressing the root causes that force these men, women and children to risk their lives in traveling across borders seeking safety and security. All at once, there is growing poverty and increased economic disparity, social and cultural inequalities among people. This violence is increasingly complex, and it is amplified across borders, in addition to traditional or customary violence.

But the realities of violence at home, are that both African and international institutions, provoke tensions and discord, are plunged into despair and lack of prospects for the future. They constitute a threat to the consolidation of democracy and peace in the Congo and in the world. They are an obstacle to the fundamental freedoms and development.

To contribute to courageously face these situations of violence, fight and overcome the injustices they include, MIR Congo is committed for the next four years to engage the following: promoting the culture of non-violence and peace, by the training, education and awareness, particularly involving young people and women; promote and defend human rights, democracy and good governance through training, education and interventions; support the implementation of gender policy within and outside the MIR, and contribute to the elimination of violence against women and children; implement the peaceful resolution of all conflicts, whether interpersonal, social and international, through dialogue, mediation; accompany the dynamics of reconciliation between individuals, groups, nations, and the healing of trauma born of violence, rehabilitation and socio-economic development of communities; grow, expand and deepen the spiritual foundation of the MIR, for theological reflection on active non-violence, strengthening the spirituality of members, participation in the ecumenical movement and inter-religious dialogue; continue strengthening solidarity and developing a work in real networks, integration and more active participation in networks of existing peace actors or created; enhance its visibility, improve communication, strengthen existing groups and antennas and support the expansion of the movement in all administrative departments of the Congo and other countries; strengthening the financing capacities of the projects of the association through credible partnerships, monitored and effective.

The National Council elected a new National Bureau: President (Jean Pierre MASSAMBA), Vice-President (Dieudonné BADIATA), Secretary (Jacques Dieudonné Poaty), Treasurer (Florian NACKOUNDILA). The activities of this Office will be evaluated by two (2) Auditors: Pascal AKEBE OLOUKA and Rodrigue Louzolo ZOUMBILA.

Translated from French to English by the IFOR Secretariat.