Holding the Tension: Peace in a Conflict Zone

Holding the Tension: Peace in a Conflict Zone

“How is the safety of the road to Lubarika?” We asked the MONUSCO head of security at the UN base in Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“It is practical, but be prudent.” our host responded. “You can go, but be wary. There are bandits on the road that will stop vehicles and sometimes kidnap or kill people.” Our usually cheery host spoke straight-faced.

Our group chuckled nervously, perplexed. Would we really take a risk to go to Lubarika? After what we already went through?

Our Reading List

Our Reading List

It has been said before that knowledge without passion is boring, but passion without knowledge is dangerous. Therefore, we always strive to be as well informed as possible about the places, people, cultures, and conflict that we are working among. In this way, we are better able to listen to those who live daily in these places to make our work as effective and locally-focused as possible. Here are some of the books, articles, movies, and news reports that are informing us currently:



Dancing in the Glory of Monsters:

This book is a history of the conflict in the Eastern Congo. It provides an wide-reaching view of this processes, people, and problems that led to the current state of affairs, while protecting the dignity and histories of the victims, most of whom were/are civilians. A lengthy but must-read for those interested in not only the Eastern DRC but Rwanda and Burundi as well.

Blood Coltan

This short (less than an hour) documentary can be found online and illuminates the economic roots of the perpetuation of militia activity in the Congo and how outside companies, especially the recent past, turned a blind eye to the violence and chaos surrounding their engagement, especially through the purchase of natural resources. It is an eye-opening account of the consequences of civil war and introduces the viewer to rebel group leaders and followers, as well as the citizens that live with these realities.

'Why We Fight': Voices of Youth Combatants in Sierra Leone
Author(s): Krijn Peters and Paul Richards

A much more scholarly approach to understanding youth engaged in combat, this article helps to broaden the mind of the reader to understand that children engaged as child combatants are not without agency and should not be generalized as just “child soldiers.” Rather, there are reasons that they join fighting groups other than just being kidnapped or coerced, and there are ways that they choose to rebel against their captors if they have, or to abstain from violence while in the group if they so choose. For those interested in learning more about child combatants, this article focuses on Sierra Leone, but is a gateway to understanding so much more about this subject.

Turning up the volume on Social Media

Turning up the volume on Social Media

There is so much that we have learned the past 10 years with ForgottenSong's work around the world.  I (Charles) am also almost finished with a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  As a result, we want to be more engaging with not only insight into our work, but in educating and equipping you our followers with different ways to understand and get inspired by peacebuilding in conflicted countries, and even here at home.  

To get started, here's the first video update to tell you more.


ForgottenSong Video Update

What Are Some Ways We're Engaging?

We want to share some of the sources of inspiration, empowerment, and insight that we've been impacted by with you.  Therefore, we'll not only be sharing more content of our own of past and current projects, but also sharing things like interviews with other peacebuilders, inspiring stories, insightful books and articles, and, of course, taking you along for the journey when we travel.

Start following us now on Facebook and Twitter if you don't already! (There are links at the bottom of this email.)