About 40 high level participants are expected to participate in a regional seminar on the theme, “Mediating Elections-related Conflicts” being organised in Bujumbura, Burundi, by the American Friends Service Committee from 9 – 11 June 2010. The aim of the seminar is to contribute to peaceful elections by sharing experiences, knowledge and building mediation capacity within Burundi and other African countries.

Participants will include representatives of national electoral commissions; constitutional courts; Ministries of Home Affairs; political parties, professional mediators, eminent personalities and civil society organisations from Burundi, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

Elections-related disputes are best resolved through dialogue, negotiation and diplomacy. Therefore, this conference is a timely opportunity for political experts and political actors from five African countries to share experience and expertise of dealing with elections-related conflicts. During the three-day seminar, participants will explore and draw lessons from themes such as common sources of elections-related disputes, mediating political disputes in highly charged environments, managing post-electoral tensions and the role of women in mediating elections-related conflict.

According to Jacob Enoh Eben, ASFC Burundi Country Representative: “Events like this one bring together key players in elections from different countries to help enhance their expertise of dispute mediation through sharing lessons from challenges and successes experienced in different contexts.”

About AFSC

Created in 1917 in Philadelphia, the American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organisation that works internationally in the areas of peace, social justice and humanitarian assistance. The organisation has been working together with local partner organizations to support sustainable peace in Burundi since 2004.