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June 12, 2023

Minister of the Interior and Security in South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Notifies Community of ABA ROLI’s Early Warning and Response System in Eastern DRC

Large portions of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are remote and lack immediate access to government services. Time and distance often prevent rapid response to a community’s safety concerns, and scarce resources can result in little assistance to survivors. In response to this, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor has funded ABA ROLI’s Early Warning and Response System in Eastern DRC. The program established a network of community observers who rapidly identify threats to the community’s safety and report through a locally established civil protection unit. 

The following message was shared by the DRC’s Ministry of the Interior and Security in South Kivu province, DRC, in late May, notifying residents of ABA ROLI’s programming.

*South-KIVU / Ministry of Interior, Security, Decentralization and Customary Affairs*

*Early warning system, by the American Bar Association (ABA) supports the provincial Civil Protection Service in the fight against atrocities**.

In addition to the presentation of courtesies to the Minister of the Interior, Me Albert LABANI MUSAMBYA, the Coordinator of the American Bar Association, Mr. Hervé ZIHALIRWA presented the economics of the project set up by his organization in partnership with the Provincial Government under the leadership of SEM Theo NGWABIDJE KASI. It was this Monday, May 22, 2023.

Since 2013, the ABA has been a major partner of the Provincial Government, which supports Civil Protection through its various projects, particularly in the context of the prevention of atrocities against civilians.

It should be recalled that the territories already benefiting from this Project implementing an early warning system are: FIZI, MWENGA, UVIRA, KALEHE, before extending into the territory of KABARE, where twenty Community Observers will be trained, thus playing an essential role, that of reporting information and sharing it with the response providers via the Civil Protection service.

The Minister reiterated the commitment of the Provincial Government in the daily and permanent collaboration with its partner ABA for the effectiveness of the project.

*For the Communication Unit of the Provincial Government, AKILI BERNARD*

Original Message in French : 

**SUD-KIVU / Ministère de l'Intérieur, Sécurité, Décentralisation et Affaires coutumières* 

*Système d'alerte précoce, l'Association du Barreau Américain (ABA) appuie le Service provincial de la Protection civile dans le cadre de la lutte contre les atrocités** .

Outre la présentation des civilités au Ministre de l'intérieur *Me Albert LABANI MUSAMBYA* , le Coordinateur de l'Association du Barreau Américain, *Monsieur Hervé ZIHALIRWA* a présenté l'économie du projet mis sur pied par son organisation en partenariat avec le  Gouvernement provincial sous le leadership de *SEM Théo NGWABIDJE KASI*. C'était ce lundi, 22 mai 2023.

Depuis 2013, ABA est un partenaire de taille du Gouvernement provincial qui appuie sous ses  différents projets la Protection civile dans le cadre notamment de la prévention des atrocités contre les civils.

Il sied de rappeler que les territoires déjà bénéficiaires de ce Projet mettant en oeuvre un système d'alerte précoce sont : *FIZI, MWENGA , UVIRA,  KALEHE,* avant de s'étendre dans le territoire de *KABARE* où vingt Observateurs communautaires seront formés, jouant ainsi un rôle primordial, celui de remonter les informations et de les partager avec les fournisseurs de réponse via le service de la Protection civile.

Le Ministre a réitéré l'engagement du Gouvernement provincial dans la collaboration quotidienne et permanente avec son partenaire ABA pour l'effectivité du projet.

*Pour la Cellule de communication du Gouvernement provincial, AKILI BERNARD*

ABA ROLI DRC team meets with the Ministry of the Interior, Security, Decentralization and Customary Affairs

ABA ROLI DRC team meets with the Ministry of the Interior, Security, Decentralization and Customary Affairs

South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The combination of ongoing conflict with forced displacement, chronically weak institutions, and underdevelopment has deprived large segments of the population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of their physical security and access to basic services. Cycles of recurrent violence, in turn, erode public confidence in the government’s ability to provide security, basic services and justice for widespread abuses and violations. The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) works alongside government and civil society partners to strengthen government institutions -- with a focus on the justice system -- and reinforce people’s capacity to demand justice and accountability.

ABA ROLI has been implementing the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) since 2012. First set up in South Kivu and North Kivu provinces, and later expanded into Ituri, Haut Katanga, Tanganyika and Maniema, the EWRS has recorded 10,921 alerts received by the Congolese Civil Protection Unit, of which 10,162 were shared with response partners following verification and analysis, and 5,626 alerts received assistance. Since its inception, the EWRS has also been a vital source of information for communities. During the Ebola virus outbreak in North Kivu, more than 9500 requests for information on disease were processed. Similarly, when a volcano erupted on May 22, 2021, in Goma (the provincial capital of North Kivu), more than 77,000 calls and 19,000 SMS requests for information regarding the volcano were received throughout the province of North Kivu. Between 2018 and 2022 the system identified over 300 cases of sexual abuse.

The program has successfully managed the EWRS across numerous DRC provinces, particularly in the Eastern part of the country, and trained community leaders on the adoption of the system through an advocacy conference among other activities. Working with the Civil Protection Units ABA ROLI was able to bolster their capacities to warn communities of potential threats, leading to this recognition from the Ministry of the Interior and Security.

Learn more about ABA ROLI’s work across Africa.