Strong, independent institutions crucial for sustainable peace in post conflict situations: Deputy Public Protector
Strong and independent institutions are crucial to ensuring sustainable peace and development in post conflict situations, Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kevin Malunga said. He was speaking at the conclusion of a conference that focused on the role of Ombudsman/Mediators and Religious leaders in the prevention of conflicts. The conference was organised by Ombudsman of Burundi, Dr Mohamed Rukara.
Adv. Malunga told the conference that such institutions anchored peace building and created stability in society and encouraged participants to use them to create social harmony.
He said the conference and the discussion was timely as Burundi and other parts of the continent were dealing or have dealt with conflicts in recent years.
Adv. Malunga lauded the organisers for ensuring that delegates were drawn from countries that were in post conflict situation. He said he was confident that the discussions at the conference, by different sectors of society, would be crucial in ensuring that those with differing opinions on issues of governance did not resort to violence or war.
The Deputy Public Protector emphasised the importance of Public Protector-like institutions saying these institutions were created to among others mediate between parties at disputes to ensure that sustainable peace and stability which are crucial to development were achieved.
Adv. Malunga told the delegates this has been a trademark of the work he has been doing in mediating disputes between complainants and state organs especially on service delivery issues.
In his message of encouragement to his counterparts whose countries experienced turmoil in recent years, Adv. Malunga lauded Mediators and Ombudsmen for their resilience and continuously acting as the conscience of their respective states even under difficult environment.
He told the participants that the discussions should be taken beyond the conference and encouraged them to continue in their efforts with respective partners in government and other sectors of society towards building a peaceful and stable Africa.
Adv. Malunga said he believed everyone shared a view that corruption, conflict and other forms of maladministration were among the main contributors to instability and under-development in the continent.
This, he said, called for a united front by all partners in society against maladministration and social conflict in the continent.
Speaking on the importance of constant dialogue between Mediators, Ombudsman and Public Protector-like institutions, Adv. Malunga said the engagements provided an opportunity to compare notes, support and advise one another.
This, he said, was crucial to ensuring that the institutions achieved their mandates and contributed towards building a united and peaceful continent. He said his office was consistently invited to events on the continent to share the South African experience in nation building and governance.
Adv. Malunga emphasised South Africa’s historical interventions in the Great Lakes region including Burundi and that this engagement was a continuation of a historical partnership.
The attendants also had a meeting with the President of Burundi His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza where issues of peace and stability were discussed.
It was attended by ambassadors, religious leaders, academics and representatives of various civil society organisations. Other speakers included second vice-President of Burundi and Executive Secretary of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association, Dr Otiende Amollo.
Adv Malunga led a Public Protector delegation that included representatives from the African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC) which is a partnership between the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Ombudsman and Mediators Association in the continent.
The work of the Public Protector has generated significant interest on the continent and the institution continues to learn from and impart to other similar institutions fundamental principles of good governance.
For more information, contact:
Ms Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson: Public Protector South Africa
Tel: 012 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399