FECCLAHA’s history traces back to the year 1994 with 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 10 May 1994.
At this same time, the Rwandan genocide which occurred between 7th April and 15th July 1994 and where members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, some moderate Hutu and Twa were massacred by armed militias was ongoing. As they flew over Lake Victoria, they saw bodies from Rwanda’s massacres washing down the Kagera River also known as Akagera River into Lake Victoria in Uganda.
This sad occurrence left the religious leaders in deep thoughts and with worrying questions on what they should do. Consequently, a series of massive consultations and various meetings at national, regional and global levels were held by Church Leaders seeking a common understanding and approach to issues of peace, justice and reconciliation in the region, culminating into the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA).
The meetings 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.
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 registered in Kenya in February 2001 where its Secretariat arm is based.