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Limerick - Event Notice
Saturday May 05 2007

Prospects for Peace and Democracy in DR Congo

category limerick | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Tuesday May 01, 2007 14:49author by John Lannonauthor email john.lannon at ul dot ie Report this post to the editors

International Conference, University of Limerick, 5 May 2007

A major international conference entitled "Prospects for Peace and Democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo" will be held in the University of Limerick on Saturday May 5th. The conference, which is open to all, will be held in the Jean Monnet Theatre and will run from 9am to 5pm.

The conference will provide wide-ranging discussion on the DR Congo's recent troubled history, and will look at the factors hindering efforts towards peace and democracy there. There is an exciting line-up of prominent international speakers, most of whom either live or work in the DR Congo, or have done so in the past.

The conference will cover politics, economics, corruption, security, peacekeeping, human rights, and much more. And as well as offering analysis it will also provide people with practical opportunities to get more involved in tacking the daily suffering of men, women and children in the DR Congo.

Admission to the conference is free, but attendees are invited to make a contribution (according to their means) to the spread of Congolese food that will be served at 1pm. This food will be prepared by members of Campaign for Democracy in Congo (CDC) and their families.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

09.00 - 09.30 Registration & Coffee

09.30 - 09.45 Conference Opening & Background Remarks
Professor Tom Lodge, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick

09.45 - 10.30 The Policical Agenda in DR Congo: An Internal Perspective
Jean-Marie Vianney Kabukani, UDPS

10.30 - 11.15 Peacekeeping in the Congo: An Irish Soldier's Perspective
Retired Colonel Michael Shannon

11.15 - 11.30 Coffee/Tea Break

11.30 - 12.15 The EU Africa Strategy in Action - The EU policy mix in the DRC between 2002-2007
Rory Keane, European Commission

12.15 - 13.00 The International Community and the Congolese Peace Process: Hero or Villain?
Jason Stearns, International Crisis Group

13.00 - 14.00 Congolese-style Lunch

14.00 - 14.45 Saving Africa from Corruption and the Exploitation of Mineral Resources
Robert Crem

14.45 - 15.00 Coffee/Tea Break

15.00 - 15.45 Campaigning to end Violence Against Women in the DR Congo
Gégé Katana, SOFAD, DR Congo and Alphonsine Masaba, SOFAD IRELAND

15.45 - 16.30 Panel Discussion and Closing Remarks
Discussion chaired by Professor Tom Lodge

18.00 - Entertainment
Music provided by Elikya and BANKA (New Stars)

SPEAKERS

Tom Lodge
Tom Lodge is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Limerick. Before his move to Ireland in 2005 he was Professor of Politics at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has authored several books on South African politics including Mandela A Critical Life (2006) and Politics in South Africa: from Mandela to Mbeki (2002). In 1999 he directed research programmes at EISA, a non-profit organization promoting credible elections and democratic governance in Africa.

Jean-Marie Vianney Kabukani
Jean Marie Vianney Kabukani is UDPS National Secretary responsible for relations with political and social groups. The UDPS (Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social) is one of the largest political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is committed to non-violent political change. Mr Vianney holds a state diploma in science, and is a former school teacher. He is also a former deputy secretary of UDPS Youth, and is involved in a range of cultural groups. He is a fluent speaker in several languages including French, Lingala and Swahili.

Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon is a retired Colonel who served with UN forces in numerous peacekeeping operations including operations in the Congo, Cyprus and Lebanon where he served of Chief of Operations of the UNIFIL force. He has also worked with the OSCE and the European Union, where he was involved in election monitoring in Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Africa and Russia. Col. Shannon has brought his vast experience in peacekeeping and peacebuilding in an international environment to bear on the conflict in Northern Ireland when he agreed to become the Chairman of the Irish Peace Institute based at the University of Limerick. Col. Michael Shannon served as Chairman of the Irish Peace Institute from 1999 until 2006.

Rory Keane
Rory Keane (PhD Limerick, Marie Curie Fellow) works on issues relating to security and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the European Commission in Brussels. He previously worked with international organisations (OSCE and UNIDIR) and NGOs (CEP, ISIS-Europe) on horizontal issues relating to security and development, in addition to security sector reform in Africa and the Balkans. His most recent publications include, "Security System Reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Role Played by the European Union", DCAF, Geneva (forthcoming June 2007); "EU Foreign Policy: A mix of human security and realist elements" in In Sandra J. MacLean, David R. Black, and Timothy M. Shaw eds., A Decade of Human Security. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, November 2006; "Police reform amidst transition: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe", (with Downes, Mark) The Journal of Civil Wars, Vol 8, No 2 (June 2006)

Robert Crem
Robert Crem is a former CEO of GECAMINES, the state mining company of the DR Congo. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's he was also director/CEO of several other mining companies in the region, including PETROZAIRE/ SONATRAD, Société des Mines du Rwanda, Société Burundaise des Mines, GEOMINES and ZAIREETAIN. From 1984 to 1995 he was an advisor to President Mobutu, but since then he has been an outspoken critic of corruption and external interests in the DR Congo. Mr Crem was also Professor of Mining at the Université Officielle du Congo (UOC) and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and served as an officer in the Belgian Army and the "Force Publique du Congo Belge".

Jason Stearns
Jason Stearns is a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group working on the Great Lakes region of Africa, in particular the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. He has examined various aspects of the transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the manipulation of ethnic identity in the Kivu provinces where he lived for three years, and electoral politics in Kinshasa. He has worked on Central Africa since 2001 in several capacities, including two years as a demobilisation officer for MONUC and one year as a human rights advocate.

Gégé Katana
Gégé Katana is president of the Solidarity Movement of Women Human Rights Activists (SOFAD), based in Uvira, eastern DR Congo. SOFAD works through a grassroots network of 625 women to research and campaign against sexual violence. It also educates local communities on women and children's rights, and lobbies the government to deliver justice and reform discriminatory laws. Gégé Katana has been subjected to persecution for many years. Her movements are routinely under surveillance and she was completely banned from travelling between 1996 and 2003. She has been arbitrarily arrested on several occasions and her children have also been harrassed. In 2004, armed men completely stripped her house of all her belongings. She has received death threats from the Congolese army and from different armed factions, including the Mai-Mai.

Alphonsine Masaba
Alphonsine Masaba is a Congolese woman who has been living in Ireland for the past 4 years. She is the President of SOFAD Ireland, which was set up in 2006 to support the work of SOFAD in DR Congo. Alphonsine is a mature student at VITOS College and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. She is also active in a voluntary capacity with DORAS Luimni (a development organization for asylum seekers and refugees) and Amnesty International (Limerick Group), and is a member of the New Communities Partnership (NCP) in Limerick.

Conference queries can be sent to john.lannon@ul.ie, kyle.murray@ul.ie or kikangalamm@yahoo.fr.
Telephone: 087 8225087

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