FECCLAHA’s history traces back to the year 1994 when a group of religious leaders travelling to Pretoria-South Africa, to witness the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, lawyer, and former political prisoner as President of South Africa on 10th May 1994.
At the time, the Rwandan genocide in which members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, some moderate Hutu and Twa were killed by armed militias, was ongoing (between 7th April and 15th July 1994). As the Church Leaders flew over Lake Victoria, they saw bodies from Rwanda’s massacres washing down the Kagera River (locally known as Akagera River) into Lake Victoria in Uganda.
This sad occurrence left the religious leaders in deep thoughts. Consequently, a series of massive consultations and meetings at national, regional and global levels were held seeking a common understanding and approach to issues of peace, justice and reconciliation in the region. These included: the November 1996 consultation in Johannesburg, South Africa; March 1997 meeting in Entebbe, Uganda; August 1997 meeting in Kigali, Rwanda; and the September 1997 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
This culminated into the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA) akin to FOCCISA in South Africa and FECCIWA in West Africa.
FECCLAHA was officially launched on 4th March 1999 to foster ecumenical fellowship that promotes justice, sustainable peace and development in the countries of: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. FECCLAHA was then registered in Kenya in February 2001 where its Secretariat arm is based.