Drumming for Peace in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Drumming for Peace, Pamoja Kungoma Ya Amani (together around the drum of peace, in Swahili) consisted of a tour of three youth drumming groups from DRC, Rwanda and Burundi performing in Rwanda and the DRC to promote peace and reconciliation in the war-torn African Great Lakes region.
Many of the performers were demobilised child soldiers or civilian survivors of unspeakable violence or mixed (and often warring) ethnicities. “I was particularly struck by the group of Rwandan Tutsi female drummers who courageously performed in an eastern DRC village of Hutu refugees, some of whom were genocidieres who fled Rwanda after the genocide,” remarked one observer. “I am certain some of the locals, who would normally not have been sympathetic to them, were deeply moved by their rythms.”
Maziar Bahari was supported by the Prince Claus Fund and Search for Common Ground in organising this event.
Drumming for Peace in Burundi
Ruciteme Drumming Group in collaboration with Maziar Bahari toured for two weeks around Burundi to celebrate the unsung heroes of the civil war: Hutu and Tutsi men and women who rescued members of the other ethnic group. The Prince Claus Fund and Search for Common Ground supported the tour.
A website was created to document the event: Burundi Voices
Ruciteme is a mixed ethnicity band of Hutu and Tutsi young drummers who performed together bringing a message of peace and reconciliation to war-torn Burundi.
Each performance was accompanied by presentations by the heroes and people they had saved.