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La sensibilisation grâce à la musique : Le rythme de « DDR »

Posted: Tuesday, 26 February 2013, New York | Author: Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions

In January 2013, the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), launched a project to produce and distribute sensitization songs and messages targeting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). This project, in partnership with the UN peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of South Sudan as well as the United Nations Office in the Central African Republic (CAR), involved consultants from The Voice Project and was funded by the German Government.

The LRA, beginning in Uganda, has spread and expanded its area of operations across remote parts of the CAR, the DRC, and South Sudan, carrying out brutal attacks, abductions, and massacres against civilians. The group operates in small bands, attacking isolated communities over a wide area. This makes radio broadcasting a useful communication tool; and reports indicate a correlation between sensitization messaging and defection across the LRA-affected region.

The regional approach of this project, which aims to encourage defections from the LRA through the use of messaging in locally-broadcast music and radio programmes, is unique in peacekeeping, which has tended to implement country-wide mandates. “It’s a positive regional approach” said Elizabeth Kissam of the DPKO-DDR Section. “The production team is incorporating a wide-range of recordings from the region into ready-made radio programmes including songs with verses in several languages.”

During the project’s initial phase, over 85 sensitization songs and messages were recorded in Gulu, Uganda; Yambio, South Sudan; Obo, CAR; and Dungu, DRC. The songs, which are recorded in Acholi, English, French, Lingala, Sango, Swahili, and Zande, are translated into English.

They stress reconciliation, forgiveness and the chance of a new life, as heard in the Acholi song ‘Odugen Gang’, recorded by the Ocer Campion school Choir, in Gulu, Uganda: “In times of hardship we help each other, So you don’t have to go through this alone.” In addition, cross-border videos are underway including messages from radio broadcasters, community leaders, and musicians from across the region.

Moving forward, videos and recordings of songs and messages will be distributed and broadcast after consultation with BINUCA in CAR, MONUSCO in the DRC, and UNMISS in South Sudan to ensure that the political developments of the area are accurately reflected in the sensitization messaging.