“Early Warning System for the prevention of Genocide” against Pygmies in volatile Great Lakes conflict zone.

IPACC is running a crowdfunding campaign to support the early-warning system against genocide in Africa’s Great Lakes region, run by the Programme d’Integration et Development des Pygmees-Kivu (PIDP), a Bambuti Pygmy NGO.
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Background
In 1994, up to one million Rwandans were murdered in a predictable and preventable genocide.

Researchers had indicated in the previous year that indigenous Batwa (Pygmy) people were being randomly and systematically killed in Rwanda. That information should have triggered an early warning to the international community to recognise the threat of a genocidal war which would fall particularly harshly on indigenous peoples. 

The effects and consequences of the Rwandan genocide spilled over into the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where Batwa and Bambuti Pygmys continue to suffer extreme marginalisation from the political-economy, systemic ethnic/racial bias, much lower standards of living than other ethnic groups, and are subject to forced labour, rapes, killings and other serious rights violations.

Rights-based advocacy and capacity-building
Since 2013, IPACC has supported the PIDP, based in Eastern Kivu, in building capacity to regularly submit data on human rights violations against indigenous men, women and children to the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights (OHCHR). 

PIDP is the first indigenous peoples’ organisation in Africa to monitor and report on such information. The disaggregated data has been used to enhance early warning mechanisms for the prevention of genocide. This is an important innovation in Africa.

The data collected by PIDP is aslo a useful tool that can promote the human rights of indigenous peoples in volatile African conflict zones. PIDP has used the data to effectively advance rights-based advocacy and legislative reform in the DRC .The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for DRC used PIDP’s data to make four formal recommendations to DRC on safeguarding the rights of its indigenous peoples.

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PETITION TO AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS:

Indigenous Environment Defenders.

Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples have lived symbiotically and sustainably within Africa’s ecosystems for millenia. Their Traditional Knowledge Systems are treasure houses of indigenous knowledge.

Under colonialism, African hunters and nomads suffered land dispossession and cultural oppression. In the post-colonial era, they’ve advocated for their land, cultural and human rights.

Now, in this Age of Climate Change, Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples are recognised as frontline guardians and managers of African biodiversity, and provide early warning for climate change trends.

We appeal to African governments to formally recognise the Traditional Knowledge Systems and practices of hunters and nomads.

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