Establishment of the first Peace Court in Shabunda (South Kivu)

May 9, 2014

The Assistants at the Court of Peace of Shabunda at work. Credit: Benedict Almeras, UNDP, 2013

Bukavu, 17 september 2013- It is the first time that a Peace Court is established in Shabunda (South Kivu) in order to allow locals easier access to justice. This court is also one of the essential tools when it comes to restoring the State Authority throughout the territory.

The construction and the equipment of the Peace Court were realised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNOPS in the context of a joint project of support of Penitentiary and Judicial Institutions (AIPJ). The project has been officially operational since the deployment of its peace judges and its magistrates in August 2013, which was made possible through the support of UNDP and MONUSCO.

The commencement of activities of this Peace Court represents an additional step in the restoration process of the State’s authority in the Shabunda area, which has been suffering from the uncontrolled activities of armed groups for years. It therefore represents an essential element for the reinforcement of local institutions and for a better consideration of the rights of the population of the territory.

The Peace Court makes justice more accessible to its population, which previously had to turn to the Uvira Court , at 300 kilometres away. It will thus contribute to faster processing of criminal, civil and land court cases for the entire population of Shabunda.

For Andre Mvunzu Luwau, Attorney General of South Kivu, the establishment of this peace court in Shabunda has not only created a system of justice but has also installed State authority in the territory. The obstacle of the remoteness of the courts has been removed. Instead of having to travel long distances, the Shabunda people can now turn to the court to assert their rights in a more affordable way.

Designed and financed in the context of the ISSSS with support of the governmental STAREC programme, the AIPJ project is run by the UNDP in partnership with MONUSCO, the International Migration Organisation (IMO), UNOPS and The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) .It has also received funding from PBF, The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Canadian Government. [1].

Since 2012, the support project for penitentiary and judiciary institutions has also trained over 200 prison and judicial officers in North- and South Kivu and has helped to strengthen the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.


[1] Meaning of acronyms used:
STAREC : «Programme de Stabilisation et Reconstruction des Zones Sortant des Conflits Armés » (Stabilization and Reconstruction Plan for War-Affected areas );
ISSSS : « Stratégie internationale de soutien à la sécurité et à la stabilisation » (International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy);
MONUSCO: Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation du Congo (The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo); UNOPS: Bureau des Nations Unies pour les Services d’Appui aux Projets (The United Nations Office for Project Services).
PBF: Fonds de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la Consolidation de la Paix (The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund).

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