A delegation from the Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM), a joint initiative of the European Development Banks DEG, FMO et PROPARCO, stayed in Lokutu from August 15 to 22, 2022, to advance the mediation process between PHC and local communities to address a complaint placed by the communities in 2018. The delegation consisted of a Head of Delegation, the Chief Mediator, an assistant and an interpreter.
During their previous visit to the DRCfrom May 23rd to June 3rd, 2022, the ICM experts met with complainants and group leaders to gain a more in-depth understanding of the grievances they had filed with ICM that will be discussed during the mediation.
The recent visit by the ICM team to Lokutu has again moved the mediation forward. During this visit, the ICM delegation selected the individuals who will take part in the mediation; seven members of the Lokutu communities, one civil society representative, and four PHC representatives will be part of the mediation discussions.
After selecting the mediation participants, the main mediator offered a training session on conflict resolution and the principles of negotiation on August 21. The purpose of this training was to prepare participants and help them understand the process and the rules of mediation.
The ICM delegation visit to Lokutu ended on a positive note. John Esonga, president of a civil society organization in Basoko/Lokutu, noted that:
“The mediation process initiated by the ICM experts is a good thing, because it makes it possible to address complaints within the framework of mediation instead of bringing them before the legal authorities. During the exchanges with the ICM delegation, I noted the willingness of all stakeholders to bring the mediation process to a successful conclusion.”