NILI – Peace-building is the responsibility of each community across Afghanistan, said participants in a UN-backed radio discussion broadcast in the central highlands province of Daikundi.
Religious scholars and other community leaders participating in the recorded discussion, which was later broadcast to an audience estimated at 60,000 people in and around the provincial capital, spoke against violent extremism.
“Islam teaches peaceful living and brotherhood,” said Mohammad Rahmani, a Ministry of Haj official in Daikundi, underscoring the link between peace and community development.
Rahmani went on to add that Daikundi’s “relative peace and security” is attributable, in part, to the role of religious leaders working alongside provincial authorities and civil society in resolving local conflict.
Afghanistan’s religious scholars, known as Ulema, are respected community leaders often exerting influence on the decisions of individuals and communities. Their role in promoting peace and reconciliation has been widely recognized as critical.
Established around a decade ago, Daikundi is a mostly rural province, with many villages lacking basic infrastructure and most of its population consisting of small agricultural communities.
To conclude the lively discussion, panellists recommended that government offices actively support locally led conflict-resolution initiatives and roll out more awareness-raising programmes about the development benefits of building peace.
The radio discussion, supported by UNAMA’s Bamyan regional office, was broadcast as part of a country-wide outreach initiative aimed at creating platforms for local communities to engage in dialogue on key issues.
UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.