Amatora Mu Mahoro

Amatoro Mu Mahoro is a project established by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Civil Society Coalition for Election Monitoring (Coalition de la Société Civile pour le Monitoring Electorale, COSOME), the Quaker Peace Network-Burundi (QPN), the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace (Commission Episcopale Justice et Paix, CEJP) and Oxfam Novib, with the support of USAID. The system was developed in collaboration with Accord, American Friends Service Committee, La Benevolencija, Human Rights Watch, International Alert and Search for Common Ground.

It is supported by Burundian National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), which is responsible for organizing the 2010 elections. Amatora Mu Mahoro (Elections in Peace) is Burundian first-ever nationwide election violence prevention system. The system identifies areas susceptible to electoral violence as well as successful peace initiatives around the country. It aims to support appropriate responses and promote the peaceful holding of Burundian 2010 elections, the first since all rebel movements laid down their arms and officially ended Burundi's long civil war.

Amatora Mu Mahoro will run through the end of September when the last of the five elections scheduled for this year (communal, presidential, national assembly, senate and local) will take place. The program is a joint effort of over a dozen Burundian and international organizations. The Amatora Mu Mahoro system draws on the International Foundation for Electoral Systems(IFES) ongoing EVER Project (Elections Violence Education and Resolution) which has seen successful results in monitoring and preventing election violence in over a dozen countries since 2003. The system also introduces the Ushahidi web platform in Burundi. Ushahidi was developed by Kenyans in response to the electoral violence that shook the country in 2007/2008, and allows the rapid sharing of information on peace and violence incidents, via SMS.

Amatoro Mu Mahoro draws on a rigorous research methodology that reports verified occurrences of peace activities and election-violence incidents gathered from over 450 monitors in all of Burundi's 129 communes. By offering comprehensive, reliable data for violence mitigation efforts, the program seeks to consolidate Burundian achievements in peace-building in the last decade. Burundi has been the focus of significant attention in recent years given its success in completing the post-conflict peace process, holding peaceful elections in 2005 and bolstering democratic progress in the midst of the troubled African Great Lakes region.