A Community based peace-building approach

September 2, 2010

Please check out this fascinating new collection of testimonies from the Afghan organization Cooperation for Peace and Unity:
Nomadic and Settled Communities, A Community based peace-building approach

This is the introduction to the study from CPAU project manager Khibar Rassul

We are pleased to present testimonies of nomadic and settled community members which CPAU has collected since November 2009. CPAU has been working with nomadic and settled communities in Nangarhar, Laghman and Wardak towards the promotion of a community based approach to conflict resolution and conflict transformation. This program has involved training workshops for members of these communities and the gathering of 30 personal testimonies from members of the two different communities. The testimonies have been gathered in-order to give voice to the people and bring out their perspective on this conflict which enable greater understanding of the
conflict and of potential common ground were progress can be made towards stability. All 30 testimonies can be found online in English, Dari and Pashto at http://www.cpau.org.af/Peace_building/NomadicSetCom_AComPBapp.html

The testimonies give us an insight into the deadly and violent conflict which has occurred against both sides, building an understanding of these people’s experiences, perspectives and perhaps even the feeling they have towards each other. The testimonies have also shown us that there is potential for stability between these people. Their past experiences prior to the 1979 revolution tell of beneficial mutual trade and good relations between elders of both communities. These relationships enabled them to solve their disputes internally, limiting the level of violence and the magnitude of the conflict.

As one nomadic participant said; “previously when conflicts occurred between us and the Hazaras, for example if our cattle crossed over to their agricultural lands and inflicted damage, we would pay for their looses and the conflict would be solved; now they ask us to leave the area and never return”.

And as one settled participant said; “the conflict with the nomads in Behsud region goes back in time. During the revolution for 10 to 15 years the nomads could not come to the area. During the government of Taliban and Karzai, the nomads arrived to the area, the people of the area had no problems with them. In fact, we spent 100,000 USD on building karezes and canals and allowed the nomads and their livestock to use these. If any problems occurred between the people of the region and the nomads our elders and leaders would discuss it and the problem would be solved. The fighting began with the 1387 (2008) nomad attack on upper Kujaab Valley”.

In November CPAU will publish a conflict analysis report about the conflict between nomadic and settled communities in the Behsud region of Wardak which will draw upon the testimonies published today as well as additional primary research amongst the communities.

The project is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). CPAU does not endorse the views of any particular community in the project but seeks to provide a platform through which the communities can engage one another and explore ways of addressing their conflicts.

CPAU is an Afghan non-governmental organization and has been working in
conflict resolution and transformation in Afghanistan for the last 14 years.
More about CPAU’s approach to community conflict resolution and our ongoing
research programmes can be found at www.cpau.org.af <http://www.cpau.org.af> . Please feel free to
pass this email on to any contacts who may be interested.

Kind Regards,
Khibar Rassul
Project Manager and & PR Coordinator
Cooperation for Peace and Unity (CPAU)
Kabul, Afghanistan
+93 (0) 788092387


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