Equateur: Enyele and Monzaya communities make peace

Mbandaka, 15 March 2011 – After more than a year of deadly armed conflict between the Enyele and the Monzaya, two communities in Dongo in the Kungu territory in Equateur province, the two communities have decided to make peace, thus turning a page on a bloody chapter in their common historical heritage.

The reconciliation ceremony took place in Enyele village on 12 March, in the presence of the provincial Governor, and a delegation from the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) and UN agencies.

This newfound peace is the outcome of coordinated efforts of mediation and peace building by MONUSCO, together with Search for Common Grounds, a partner NGO, and several UN agencies.

The violence started in Kungu territory in 2009, and developed into an uprising that engulfed a large chunk of the province including the capital, Mbandaka.

At the reconciliation ceremony, the Enyele and the Monzaya communities signed a non-aggression pact, which is part of a series of a process which is to be concluded by the signing of another deal at the end of March.

While there is a slow return of the population that fled during the conflict, some residents are expressing misgivings about the peace dividends.

Jean-Tobie Okala/MONUSCO