Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Turning War into Peace: An Insider’s Story

Featured Speakers: Betty Bigombe, US Institute for Peace (USIP)

Betty Bigombe demonstrates the skill and nerve it takes to mediate negotiations between bitter enemies. In addition to her research on mediation strategies at USIP, Bigombe was instrumental in laying the foundation for peace negotiations between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda. Working as a government official and an independent actor Bigombe has endured gender discrimination and threats to her life in order to pursue mediation efforts between these two groups. Bigombe has demonstrated immense courage and insight in what she calls the “art of mediation.”

Currently, Bigombe is writing Turning War into Peace, a book designed as a guide for others working in the field. Bigombe is concerned that the current focus on peacekeeping strategies is limiting the use of effective diplomacy; a tool, which Bigombe argues can prevent a conflict from escalating in the first place. Even though she was unable to halt the war between the government and the LRA, she hopes that her personal account will help future mediators to pursue their mission with better insight and preparation.

Sponsor: United States Institute for Peace
Location: 1200 17th St. NW
Date: June 15, 2007
Time: 12:30- 2:00pm
Approximate Number of Attendees: 45
Intern Attending: Alexandra Martins

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