Marie Rose Cimpaye – Burundi

Linked with Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development ACORD.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Hagukora ikibi wogikorerwa … It is better for one to suffer than to make someone else suffer.”

Marie Rose Cimpaye - Burundi rogné.jpg

Marie Rose Cimpaye – Burundi

She works for Habamahoro.

Marie Rose Cimpaye, of the Tutsi ethinic group, was born in 1961 in Karuzi, Burundi. She enjoyed the good relations among her neighbors, until they fled for their lives in 1993. That was a shock that triggered her to action. She decided to act to create a better life for all.

She now has to strive to regain the lost social environment. With her friend and neighbor she founded a women’s association, Habamahoro, meaning “Let there be peace”. She is of the Tutsi ethinic group and was born in 1961 in Karuzi, Burundi.

She and her friend and neighbor, Colette Ndaruaniye, a Hutu, began to risk their lives trying to reconcile their communities by visiting one another. Colette lived in the Buhiga district, in Karuzi. Hutus lived on the hill while the Tutsis were displaced from the region. They began to visit one another, but would be tortured by their own people when they returned home.

Their resilience and persistence attracted others who began to follow their example. As a result the two communities were reconciled. Marie Rose and Colette created an association, Habamahoro, meaning ‘let there be peace’. It unites women from both Hutu and Tutsi communities.

Paradoxically, Marie Rose admits that the hostility manifested by the people of her own ethnic group, gives her energy to go on. She is also encouraged by the warm welcome she receives from those who are not from her ethnic group.

Although she did not have an official network, she and Colette Ndaruaniye together with their 15-member women’s group were trained in Peaceful Conflict Resolution by Accord Burundi (e-mail).

Her vision of the future is to regain the trust and the good coexistence that their ancestors once knew and lived with. The reality however is one full of fear and lack of confidence among people that makes life miserable among residents and the displaced people. Moreover, injustice is prevalent because the guilty are not punished for their crimes. (1000PeaceWomen).

A second example is the Habamahoro group from Karuzi province, which consists
of 30 women. One of them, a woman trainer who attended the first gender-sensitive training courses on conflict transformation techniques, was outraged at the behaviour of fellow Tutsis in her community who would incite Tutsi IDPs to kill any Hutu who passed near the camp on their way to hospital or the market. On the other side, Hutus killed Tutsis when they came to the hills to collect whatever they had been growing before they were forced to flee their homes. The Dushirehamwe trainer invited 15 Tutsi women from the IDP camp and 15 Hutus from the hills to her house, in order to discuss the situation. She wanted to share the training she had received and explain to them the negative impact of conflict on women, and women’s role in the development of the family and the country … (full text).

Members of parliaments, civil society representatives, youth activists, students and lawyers met in Nairobi, Kenya on the 27th March 2007 to dialogue on the exacerbated sexual violence against girls and women during conflicts and post conflict periods. The one day seminar facilitated by ACORD opened dialogue among peace activists across the world to share testimonies and facts on victims of conflict. (full text).

Sorry, I can get no other information in english (or french) of Marie Rose Cimpaye – Burundi, being certified it would be the wanted person.


Global Family Rescue;

Femmes et Paix;

Prévention des Conflits au Burundi.

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