Surobi leaders call for local communities to embrace mediation, peace

Report
from UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
Published on 19 Jul 2017 View Original

KABUL - Addressing residents of the Surobi district of Kabul province in a UN-backed radio discussion, government officials, women’s rights activists and a broad range of other community leaders emphasized the critical importance of institutionalizing the principles of peace at all levels of local society, from the social to the political.

The radio programme, supported by the central regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), focused on the principles of peace at the community level, and in particular on resolving disputes among communities living in Surobi’s Uzben valley, with the idea being to generate greater ownership of mediation and peace efforts among local residents.

In opening the discussion, the principal of Surobi High school, Mawlawi Sidaqat, described how mediation activities have a special significance in Afghanistan as the primary mechanism for resolving conflict, and called on community leaders to play their part in quickly resolving disputes at the local level.

Malik Hayatullah, an elder at the event, stressed that all communities in Surobi should live in harmony and prosperity. “We have a proverb that says forgiveness is sweeter than revenge,” he said. “And we therefore support our district mediation committee’s efforts for resolving inter-tribal conflict in the district.”

The event, part of a series of broadcast radio and television discussions UNAMA has been facilitating across the country, was organized to bring community leaders in Surobi together to exchange ideas on the most effective ways to resolve disputes that have emerged between communities living in the district.

The programme, which was edited from the longer discussion prior to its broadcast, was aired by local radio in and around Surobi, reaching an audience estimated at 100,000 people.

Surobi is populated with more than 100 communities living in mostly rural villages. The district borders Parwan and Kapisa provinces to the north, Laghman to the east, and Nangarhar to the south.

UNAMA continues to work with government officials, civil society groups, community leaders and human rights activists across the country to create platforms using radio, television and social media so Afghans can more regularly engage in dialogue and discuss key issues affecting their communities.

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.

UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.