Monday, February 28, 2011

Fatty Ponder Over Traditional Mechanisms of Conflict Resolution

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- "Before the advent of the statutory laws, there exist traditional laws in most African societies. "These societies create and empower a recognize body in the community to rule justice and solve conflicting issues whenever they arise by their own traditional mechanisms says Mr. Seedy Fatty Faculty member of Peace Ambassadors The Gambia.   
According to him, groups and societies had disputed and competed or struggled against one another over scarce commodities and resources, land, money, political power, and ideology, adding that in most cases it resulted to conflict in the communities but was quick to say that they solve the conflict traditional ways.

He was presenting a paper on Conflict Resolution Mechanisms i.e. Traditional way of Resolving Conflict at a two days training on "Understanding Conflict" at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Bundung from 26th-27th February 2011.
The two days training is an ongoing training for 2010-2011 Peace Ambassadors The Gambia recruitment training, and was the second module.
He adds: "They have even fought one another and bitterly sought the elimination or to debase the rivals, in order to control these resources, pointing out that communities were at conflict."
 However, he continued, "these societies and groups have found their own ways and means for averting or resolving conflicts." The nature and causes of conflict and mechanisms of resolving them are deeply rooted in the culture and the history of every society; they are many importance ways unique to them.
The traditional mechanisms of conflict resolution, he said , the following methods can be use that is mediation, compensation, negotiation, restitution, arbitration, 'sanaguya' (joking relationship), 'Dankutonuya' (clain relationship) etc.
According to Fatty, the process of conflict resolution is subjected to cultural diversity in communities adding that the application of this mechanisms defer from one society to another and from one ethnic.
He explained that in some cases, issues that result in conflict may be similar but the procedures and rules to settle the disputes may, nevertheless differ according to culture and customs of the community they lived.
The mediation method, he said is the most prominent mechanism of conflict resolution, saying that, it requires a third party to facilitate the mediation process between parties. According to him, mediation both in the past and present is being use to resolve conflict between communities that are at conflict. " villages or families that are also at conflict, in most cases, mediation is the mechanism that is applied to solve the conflict."
On the negotiation, he stated that this form of conflict resolution unlike mediation does not need a third party in most cases. Rather the two parties in conflict will sit and compromise and arrive to a conformity that both think is best for them. 
For the compensation, Fatty said it is applicable to both criminal and civil wrongs against an individual. It is different from fine, simple. 
According to Fatty, the following can be actors in the traditional mechanisms on conflict resolution that is family heads, clan elders, alkalos or village heads, council of elders, imams/ pastors, scholars, chiefs, and other  influential members of the society.
He remarked that comparison also happens in traditional mechanisms of resolving conflict that, he said , it does not take longer time to solve problem in the community, it fosters peace in the community, people build confident in the process, and it rebuilds relationship.
 For the statutory law, Fatty said it takes time to solve a problem, it foster enmity, people lost confident, little or no equality before the law, requires a lot of resources, focus on the individual, and break social relationship at most often.  
 In summing his presentation, Fatty said that traditional mechanism for conflict denote long persistent social  practices ,rooted in local cultural settings, aiming at resolving conflicts, reducing  tension, and rebuilding social relationship.

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