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WINTER 1999: v4i1 INDEX







WINTER, 1999: Volume 4 Issue 1

Knocking Horns: Peace and Conflict in Burundi

Near Kitega, the second biggest city, located in central Burundi, is a group called Peace and Reconciliation Ministry under the Cross. This diverse organization consists of eight men and one woman: Quaker, Catholic, Pentacostal, and Anglican; Tutsi and Hutu; young and old; less educated to well educated. Four or more members of the group go to remote villages and give three day workshops on peace and reconciliation. They gather villagers in a central place—sometimes including soldiers—sing, dialogue, pray, and teach nonviolence and reconciliation. Their goal is to form an active peace committee for the community.

Knocking Horns: Peace and Conflict in Burundi is the English translation of their manual, including nineteen illustrations drawn by a member of the group. This is an excellent introduction to reconciliation and peacemaking with refreshing examples from the Burundi context. For instance, “Conflict is like a hippopotamus. When you see a hippopotamus in Lake Tanganyika, what do you see? A very small part of its back, its ears and some of its head. Most of the hippopotamus is hidden under the water. When we observe two people or two groups fighting, we are only seeing a part of their conflict. We see people hitting each other, burning houses or firing guns. However, most of the real conflict cannot be seen. The real conflict is usually a collection of hidden things which cause us to act angrily but which we don't easily speak about.”

In November 1998, after four members of this group gave a workshop, they were arrested for subversive activities. They took this opportunity to educate the military investigators with their peacemaking message. After four days, they were freed and given governmental approval to hold their workshop sessions.

A copy of this 32-page manual is available for $8.00 (postage included) with proceeds going to the Peace and Reconciliation Ministry Under the Cross. Make checks payable to Baltimore Yearly Meeting, with a notation of "Knocking Horns" and send to:

African Great Lakes Initiative
Friends Peace Team Project
c/o David Zarembka
17734 Larchmont Terrace
Gaithersburg, MD 20877