Initiative for Peace and Development
press release for Gatumba remembrance: 2014
UBUNTU is an independent, non-profit organization created by individuals from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo living in Europe. The organization operates in Europe but most of its activities are focused on the African Great Lakes Region, particularly the Itombwe -Minembwe highlands in the South Kivu Province of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The primary purpose of UBUNTU is to promote initiatives aimed at:
• Bringing about peaceful cohabitation;
• Promoting economic, social and cultural development;
• Preventing violence;
• Promoting a spirit of tolerance between and within different groups;
Convinced that sustainable peace may only be viable if it is accompanied by empowering socio-political and economic initiatives at the grassroots level, the founders of Ubuntu strive towards initiating and supporting any project aimed at improving the livelihoods of inhabitants of the Itombwe/Minembwe highlands.
Since the colonial era, the Itombwe/Minembwe highlands have been in the margins of national development programs sponsored by the Congolese state. Yet, they represent one of the most beautiful and diverse territory in terms of geographic variation and biodiversity. Inhabited by several ethnic groups including the Banyamulenge, the Bafuliro, the Babembe, the Banyindu and the Barega, the region has witnessed numerous episodes of ethnic tensions and violence for several decades. Inhabitants of the territory have particularly suffered during the last two decades of conflicts of in the DRC. Because of misguided ethnic politics and poor governance throughout the region’s history, the rich potential of this immense territory has hardly been tapped in. Thus, in promoting peace and empowerment for all, Ubuntu initiative seeks to channel the good will of both local and non-local actors in efforts aimed at moving from conflict to inclusive and sustainable development.