1999 Oak Fellow Lecture Series

"Women's Rights in the Congo" with Immaculee Birhaheka
November 17, 1999
Ms. Birhaheka is President of the Congolese organization, Promotion and Support of Women's Initiatives (PAIF).  The organization researches and does advocacy related to a broad range of women's rights issues, including violence against women, women's working conditions, and inheritance rights. The group conducts regular public awareness activities on women's rights via local radio in eastern Congo. It has significantly contributed to the emergence of a genuine women's movement throughout eastern Congo through its leadership of a coalition of twelve women's groups. Its work has been deeply influenced more recently by the recurrent wars and ethnic strife that have plagued the region over the last decade. PAIF has reported to us the high incidence of violenceagainst women, including rape, by all the armies and armed groups involved in the conflict.
 
"The Challenge of Defending Human Rights During War: Experiences from the Congo and Elsewhere in Africa"
October 26, 1999
A panel on defending human rights in conditions of war with Jo Wells (Amnesty International), Suliman Baldo (Human Rights Watch - Africa) and Scott Campbell (Human Rights Watch - Africa). Each of the panelists discussed their experiences working with Didier Kamundu Batundi in protecting human rights in the Congo as well as their work on human rights protection in Ethiopia, the Sudan, Eritrea and West Africa. For more information, a press release is available on the Colby News page.
 
Carolyn Nordstrom, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
October 18, 1999
Carolyn Nordstrom of the University of Notre Dame's Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and department of anthropology presented "War, Peace and a Dog Called Remember" in the Pugh Center at Cotter Union. Nordstrom has worked in several war zones, including Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Angola, studying local-level impacts of global militarization and civilians' experiences of and attempts to mediate terror-warfare. She also served as a 1994 United Nations Elections Observer in Mozambique's first postwar election.
 
"Human Rights in the democratic Republic of the Congo: My Experience in a War-Torn Dictatorship" with Didier Kamundu Batundi, Oak Fellow 1999
September 29, 1999
Kamundu Batundi, 29, received the 1998 Reebok Human Rights Award for having founded a human rights organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that promotes peace and protects human rights across ethnic lines. He and his organization have secured medical care for torture victims, confronted an angry mob to save a busload of ethnic Tutsis from violence, documented rights abuses by the national army and local militias, and petitioned for the release of political prisoners. For more information, a press release is available on the Colby news page.
 
Emmanuel Dongala-Boundzeki
September 23, 1999
Emmanuel Dongala-Boundzeki, a writer from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, read from his fiction and presented "An African View of Human Rights." (Co-sponsored by Colby's Amnesty International group and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.)