NAYCONF delegates trained on conflict resolution mechanisms
By Sulayman Waan
As the National Youth Conference and Festival (NAYCONF) progresses smoothly in Banjul, delegates at the Peace and Security Thematic Session were trained on conflict resolution mechanisms.
The session provided delegates the opportunity to further discuss ways and means of mitigating conflicts.
Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution.
The conflict resolution topic was presented by Bakary Sonko, a peace advocate who reminded participants that conflict analysis should be accurate and factual to ensure easy conflict resolution.
“One cannot analyse a conflict by sitting in one place. An analyst should make proper findings and ask questions while analyzing a conflict situation,” he said.
Mr. Sonko said conflict analysis is based on one’s observation. He said conflict sometimes escalates and is erratic owing to the way it is handled.
He noted that sometimes mediation teams will discuss with both parties to cease fire but in the end, the conflict will intensify to another level. “If two people are fighting, someone will just come and tell them to stop fighting without knowing the root cause of the conflict,” he said.
“Under normal circumstances, if a group of people is denied something in a society they will tend to get it by all means possible. This is what prompts other people to become freedom fighters for a particular community,” he said.
Sonko said to ensure sustainable easy conflict resolution and peace in the country there is a greater need for Government to establish a National Peace Commission (NPC).
“This commission will ensure there is sustainable development such as proper healthcare services and facilities, efficient water supply, and other facilities because there cannot be sustainable peace without sustainable development. These two are interlinking,” he said.
Yankuba Manneh, a national delegate said: “In my view, there is a disconnection of efforts between Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) poised to promote peace and security in The Gambia. There is a dearth of political will in this drive and Government needs to up its game as the CSOs complement their efforts. There should be a complementarity,” he said.
“The Government must at all times provide the basic necessities of life by creating that enabling environment for this realization because these essential needs of life once they are not met, they have a potential to provoke conflict,” he added.
Saihou Sissoho, a delegate from Banjul said there is a greater need for conflict analysts to provide accurate information to the public. “They should conduct a balanced and thorough analysis,” he said.
Yankuba Manjang, a peace educator said to address conflict, there is a need for a mediation party to engage both parties to ensure there is negotiation and resolution of that conflict.