COMESA Signs MoU with Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation

COMESA Secretariat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR). The aim is to cooperate in promoting and fostering sustainable peace, truth, reconciliation, stability and transnational justice in the COMESA region. The two will cooperate with Member States in violence prevention, reconciliation and transitional justice.

The MoU also provides for capacity building for African Union Member States, the COMESA Committee of Elders, Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organisations, youth and women. Election observers will also be trained on transnational justice, mental health, psychosocial support services and management of elections in conflict-induced countries.

Speaking during the brief ceremony held at the COMESA headquarters in Lusaka on 6 May 2024, Dr Dev Haman, Assistant Secretary General in charge of administration and finance acknowledged the need for extensive collaboration in order to achieve sustainable peace and security on the continent. He emphasised the need for both COMESA and the CSVR to pinpoint specific activities to focus on extensively, rather than attempting to work on a larger number of activities at once. This he said would help achieve results efficiently, effectively and at a faster rate.

He also emphasized the need to work on identifying the root causes of violence and for regional bodies to partner in effectively addressing violence and resolving conflicts at the grassroots level in a timely manner.

CSVR Executive Director Annah Moyo-Kupeta expressed gratitude to COMESA for its positive response to the signing of the MOU and for its willingness to partner in areas of common interest.

She emphasised the importance of strengthening collaboration to achieve a greater impact across the continent in a bid to achieve the “ideal” state of affairs, peaceful, violence and conflict-free societies.

“As CSVR, we have an active, growing engagement with regional bodies, such as COMESA and the African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) as a technical partner to ensure enhanced synergy and resources such as expertise and funds for the undertaking of violence prevention activities across the continent.

The MoU also allows for supporting election management bodies in the region, support to the COMESA inter-parliamentary forum, mainstreaming gender and youth participation in democracy, governance and development initiatives among many other areas.