Inter-faith Conflict Transformation workshop held in Malakal

12 Nov 2010

Inter-faith Conflict Transformation workshop held in Malakal

12 November 2010 – The Fashoda Youth Forum hosted a five-day Inter-faith Conflict Transformation training workshop in Malakal from 7 to 11 November with support from UNMIS and non-governmental organizations.

Christian and Muslim leaders were among the more than 100 people who attended the workshop, which had as its theme "Southern Sudan inter-faith dialogue on sustainable peace during referendum and beyond."

"The main purpose of this workshop is to train the participants to assist in the prevention of conflict that may occur prior to, during, and after referendum," said Fashoda Youth Forum Director John Oyec Lwong. "We want (the referendum) to be successful in a peaceful manner."

The ecumenical workshop addressed a variety of topics ranging from the identification of possible events that could trigger the conflict and conflict analysis to mediation through dialogue to find common ground between Christians and Muslims.

UNMIS Human Rights Officer Alfred Zulu found the first day of the workshop to be particularly engaging. "The facilitators who were from Kaduna Centre for Conflict in Nigeria had brought big impact to the participants on how to detect early sign of inter-religious or inter-ethnic conflict and violence based on conflicts that happened in Nigeria," he said.

The participants, who were drawn from all of Upper Nile State's 13 counties, were divided into Christian and Muslim groups for one exercise, according to Mr. Zulu. They were asked to tackle tough questions such as what they disliked about the other religious community.

"Each group provided their answers with different scenarios," he said, "and at the end of the session the groups discussed and analyzed their answers and scenarios together."