Sensitization activity of some community leaders on agricultural techniques in MURAMBI in SAKE

Sake, Masisi, North Kivu, D.R. Congo: International City of Peace

We welcome Jacques Muhindo and his colleagues in the Masisi Territory of D.R. Congo who have established Sake as an International City of Peace. Mr. Muhindo has an overriding mission of clarifying the conflicts affecting the Masisi Territory as well as the historical conflicts throughout the Rift Valley in D.R. Congo.

Note: Introduction page with information primarily at the time of joining International Cities of Peace. For updates, please contact the liaison.


Learning of young people on the production of trees for reforestation step of filling polyethylene bags at SAKE


Historical synthesis of the city of Sake, Masisi, D.R. Congo

It is for more than two decades already that our province of North Kivu, our cities and our villages undergo repeated wars and security instability, all this does not happen without very harmful consequences in the life of the population, particularly in the economic, social, education, health, environmental fields, etc. So far the security situation remains precarious. Since then, the efforts of the Congolese government and the international community have been felt through the operations that the FARDC continues to carry out to restore peace and restore state authority throughout the province. to do.
International City Sake for the Consolidation of Peace, the ICP SAKE in acronym which is a permanent framework for exchanges and collaboration between civil society organizations and the Civic and Patriotic Education Service and Social Actions of the FARDC, organizes a series of activities in several areas aimed at bringing the military and civilians closer together and aimed at mobilizing all the living forces of the population (economic operators, religious denominations, young students, pupils, women, peasants, humanitarian workers, etc.) in order to become fully involved in the search for peace and the sustainable development of our country.
The ICP Sake wants to reconcile the efforts of the civilian population with those of the Congolese government and the international community through Sake in the process of restoring peace throughout the province of North Kivu and everywhere in the East of the ground floor. ICP SAKE is very much about supporting everyone’s efforts for civilian protection and community resilience.
The ICP SAKE is apolitical and all its members remain apolitical.

Vision of ICP SAKE 
The consolidation of peace, stabilization and sustainable development of eastern DRC through the restoration of State authority guaranteeing respect for human rights, the protection of civilians, especially children and women and environmental protection.

Mission of ICP SAKE 
Mobilize all the living forces of the population in order to collaborate and support the Congolese State through the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo FARDC and the Congolese National Police PNC and as well as the international community through MONUSCO in the process of the consolidation of peace, the protection of civilians and the socio-economic recovery of the communities most affected by the conflicts. ICP SAKE advocates for good governance, the participation of all for the well-being of all.


Young people taught about the production of vegetable crops at SAKE

Excerpt from


By Jacques Muhindo

For half a century already, the territory of Masisi has been subjected to an infernal cycle of violence which has become commonplace, even a fatality. Indeed, protean and inextricable conflicts sparing no vital area. Women are raped, tortured, mutilated, murdered and made widows. Many children remained orphans. To survive, some of them are forced to enlist in rebel armed groups of all stripes. Many of the little girls are reduced to sexual slavery and have unwanted pregnancies. Huge costs at the macroeconomic and sectoral level are the source of great intra- and inter-community asymmetries, very cynical living conditions as well as massive movements of populations in search of security and well-being.

Moreover, history teaches us that on many occasions and at different levels, draft solutions, both at local and national level, to stem this terrible phenomenon have been multiplied. Unfortunately, the large number of actors, the rivalries and above all the dynamics of the confrontations between the multiple armed groups and their allies, the contradictions and the versatility of each other have made it difficult to draw up and apply the various peace agreements. peace.

Finally, the vicious circle of conflicts in which the people are trapped tends to become a fate. The observation is that at the institutional level, the alliances and misalliances between the Congolese political leaders, sometimes unstable and contradictory, only produce a jagged peace. Indeed, the governance expressed by the will of Congolese politicians at all levels most often favors private and selfish interests to the satisfaction of the general interest of the communities, because they find in politics a shortcut to get rich easily on the backs of the people. Moreover, the solutions to conflicts have always been the product of a tiny elite which, moreover, ignores in whole or in part or ignores the fundamental needs and aspirations of the vast majority at the base. “Whatever you do for me without me, you do against me,” said Gandhi.1

While at the institutional level, the steps for peace portend a bad omen, at the local level, many initiatives in terms of peacebuilding – the wicks of which still smoke today – have borne significant fruit. Unfortunately, for lack of support at the institutional level, they most of the time lack tone. For better performance, notes the Solution for Peace and Recovery SPR project, it is necessary to ensure that the methods and solutions to problems and/or conflicts are in the hands of local actors.

However, although sustaining peace initiatives must be in the hands of the latter, they must of course benefit from national anchoring and international support. Otherwise they would just be a flash in the pan. These initiatives should aim to strengthen institutions in how to manage national heritage, but also to empower citizens at the bottom, with particular attention to strengthening the social and economic factors that make communities more resilient to various conflicts. they face without resorting to violence. For SPR, in its Participatory Action Research PAR approach, the art of peace must be a common task and a shared responsibility requiring the cooperation of many actors. Peace must also be inclusive, without discrimination, involving gender and IGA Income Generating Activities.

To do this, it is imperative to work to create spaces open to the participation and initiative of all, in particular women and other marginalized groups. With this in mind, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women in relation to peace and security recommends in its very strongest terms “to take into account the special needs of women and girls when repatriation and resettlement and for post-conflict recovery, reintegration and reconstruction; adopt measures that support peace initiatives by local women’s groups and local dispute resolution processes, and involve women in all mechanisms for the implementation of peace agreements; to adopt measures guaranteeing the protection and respect of the fundamental rights of women and girls, in particular in the fields of the constitution, the electoral system, the police and the judicial system”. Therefore, continues the aforesaid resolution: “there is an urgent need to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations”.
The SPR project was part of this dynamic through the development of the capacities of local actors and leaders through participatory analyses. Rather than thinking and deciding for communities, SPR wants to act as a catalyst by encouraging local actors to identify needs and determine priorities, to seek solutions and to make decisions. In this logic, our giant with feet of clay will be able to face upsurges in almost eternal conflicts that raise more questions than attention in people’s minds.

Tree planting activities with young people from LUHONGA to SAKE and member of ICP SAKE


Typology of conflicts that have disrupted the peace

On the other hand, the history of the territory of Masisi is dotted with several conflicts that interfere with each other. A cross-sectional analysis of these conflicts in the Biiri, Kibabi and Muvunyi Shanga groups reveals 8 large-scale conflicts, a map of which we would like to present on the following pages. These conflicts had been identified and validated by the communities with the support of Aide et Action pour la Paix (AAP) in 2018, as part of the implementation of component 1 of the Amani kwa Maendeleo project, in French Solution pour la Peace and Recovery (SPR).

With the exception of a few conflicts that are specific, such as the conflict related to water between the inhabitants of the high plateaux and the residents of Lake Kivu, the conflict between fishermen and sailors in the Muvunyi Shanga group, the conflict over customary power reported in the groups of Biiri and Muvunyi Shanga as well as the conflict between the Pygmies and third parties encountered only in the Biiri and Kibabi groups, and finally the conflict of family abandonment caused by mining activities in Kibabi, all the other conflicts are common to the three groups and have as their basis access to land.

1) The land conflict between farmers and herders
2) The land dispute linked to customary royalties
3) The conflict linked to bad governance
4) The conflict between Pygmies and customary chiefs
5) The conflict between the population and the State linked to harassment and illegal barriers
6) Inter-ethnic conflict
7) The conflict of interest related to drinking water between the inhabitants of the mountainous axis and those of the edge of Lake Kivu
8) The inheritance conflict

Causes, actors and consequences

To better understand the dynamics of the causes and actors as well as the consequences of the conflicts identified on the previous pages, it is logical to associate each type of conflict with its causes and the consequences that each conflict brings with it.

PDF of the entire manuscript



LETTER OF INTENT with signatures





Jacques Muhindo

“I am a young Congolese, agricultural engineer with A0 training. As a young leader in my community, I coach young people in several areas and always as a team so that they are accustomed to living together in peace. We organize some cultural activities to bring communities together to get used to different cultures.”




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ABOUT SAKE, MASISI, D.R. CONGO (from Wikipedia)

Sake is a town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the eastern province of North Kivu. It is located at the northwestern extremity of Lake Kivu at the edge of the volcanic lava plains in the bottom of the Western Rift Valley. Masisi is a town in the North Kivu and is the administrative center of the Masisi Territory. North Kivu is a province bordering Lake Kivu. It’s capital is Goma.

Young people taught about the production of vegetable crops at SAKE.


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