Peacebuilding Manual/Resolving Conflicts

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Peacebuilding Manual

Resolving Conflicts

After understanding peacebuilding and its impacts, its major causes and conflict prevention, the next step that a peacebuilder must know, before intervening, is about the various mechanisms to resolve conflicts before the peacebuilder intervenes. The result is determined by the choice about a specific style of resolving conflicts. For example, with the choice of juridical procedures, conflict parties stop communicating directly with each other, each lawyer has the goal of achieving as much as possible for his/her client. With mediation, the conflict parties chose to get support to understand each other better and to find a common solution agreeable to both.

Formal mechanisms In terms of formal state institutions, the police are often consulted to help resolve conflicts, especially in urban areas, where there is a much larger police presence. Police is involved when conflicts either involve violence or have the potential to turn violent; either involving short-term physical control and management of a conflict, or when alternative means of resolving the conflict have failed. Local government institutions often suffer from a lack of capacity, and in some cases legitimacy, to be in a position to resolve conflicts authoritatively.

Informal mechanisms OHW’s experience indicates that conflict resolution is largely done by community or tribal councils of elders (usually known as jirgas or shuras). These councils of elders has a variable membership, comprising elders and others with relative wealth, influence, or power in the locality, such as mullahs. They rarely include women, youth, or the poorest members of the community. They have a degree of legitimacy and institutional constancy but fail to be properly representative or inclusive, and members generally have little or no training in dispute resolution or conflict management. They tend to apply customary laws, such as pushtanwali, or sharia law. Comparatively, shura-s are perceived as being more effective than formal state mechanisms: in an Asia Foundation 2007 survey, over 75 per cent of respondents agreed that shuras were fair and trusted, followed local norms and values, and were effective at delivering justice; whereas just 57–58 per cent believed the same of state courts. Consistent with these findings, research commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suggests that when shura-s address disputes, the most common outcomes are peace between the disputants and compensation for the victim”.

There are five broad categories in Conflict Response Styles.

The Ways of Managing Conflict could include: