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The solution to any problem lies within the problem

Stephanie Wolters, in her article Dancing with Demons, provides insight into Jason Sterns' book, Dancing in The Glory of monsters:The Collapse of the Congo, and The Great War in Africa (Public Affairs). Wolters goes hard on Sterns' belief that the underlying issues of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not a result of man's evil heart. The two experts on issues in the DRC share the same sentiment that in order to understand the contributions to the devastation in the DRC, one must first understand its contributors and their concerns. By examining the sources of poverty, corruption, violence, and brutality, the possibilities of creating solutions come to fruition. Sterns' perspective in his book suggests that contributions to the present conflict range from changing agenda and shifting alliances, to the role of Western powers in the conflict.

The following is solely my opinion in reflection and support of both Wolters and Sterns' positions.

Despite being a small portion of the population, both the Congolese Tutsi and Banyamulenge communities have subtle similarities and varying contributions to the present conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to social scientists, the two groups have made "disproportionately visible" contributions to the war over the past two decades.

If ever given the opportunity, I would like to facilitate and video graph a mediation interaction between Congolese Tutsi and Banymulenge communities in order to establish communication ultimately leading to: an understanding and knowledge of one another's positions and concerns, create an empathic and symbiotic relationship between the two groups, and encourage them to mutually suggest consensus-based action solutions to their contributions to the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the same time re-integration practices are being implemented, there should also be conflict resolution training, sensitivity instruction, and activities that promote positive change. These efforts would be inclusive of the planning and participation of the Tutsi and Banyamulenge people. The same leaders of the groups that have motivated their members to remain loyal to causes which create conflict, MUST be leaders in setting forth an example which members of the group emulate.

Africa's history, culture, and tradition is based on a particularly "ancient" tribal/hierarchal, and royal, system which must not be psychologically compromised. As with any communal, organizational, corporate, or familial structure, any unintentional intrusion will be perceived as a threat (if "non-birth-right" individuals or entities permeate its structure) without being welcomed in by its well regarded leaders and members. Knowing this, comfort, trust, commonalities, equality, managed distribution, consensus building, interactive brainstorming, and reward/recognition are mandatory variables in establishing an egalitarian and almost utopia-like community; in order to start addressing and resolving conflict. Most importantly is the fact that once results are visible, members of the group will adopt the behaviors of the role models/leaders within the community. Notice that I said community as opposed to "groups".

Through this process, members of the community come together through interactive/active mediation. Soon, social and economic development, gender equality and human rights laws, and even celebrations and festivities will all be accompanied by the homogeneity of the indigenous people. Such an environment is conducive to creating a democracy amongst the people and within its cultural boundaries. These are the actions that influence society, governmental affairs, and corporate and social interests. In echo of both Wolters and Sterns, I agree, the problem is not innate, and the Congolese people should not be written off. Solutions come from within.

Agree to discover
Agree to understand
Agree to be understood
Agree to dis-agree
Agree to actively manage and prevent
Agree to find solutions

Source: Retrieved 7/15/11

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