Peace and Social Justice Studies Program

Sonam Yangzom ’13, Caux Scholar Program

Posted on by Webteam


Today we discussed Indigenous Approaches to Justice in African countries. Indigenous practices are used in some of the countries in Africa after their wars to satisfy both victims and offender. It was very hard for victims to live in the same communities, side by side, as if nothing happened between them. We watched “Fambul Tok” in the class. Fambul Tok tells the story of healing in post –conflict Sierra Leone through the intimate stories of perpetrators and victims. In the documentary, victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of traditional based truth telling and forgiveness ceremonies. I felt very sad while watching the movie. It is very sad to realize how human beings can be so cruel and inhumane to each other. In Fambul Tok, forgiving offenders and reconciling with them was the only way for them to move forward in their life.

I did my presentation in the afternoon on current Tibet issues. I was so happy to get such a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness of current Tibet issues to a very diverse audience. I was quite surprised because I did not realize until today that I actually knew so much about Tibet. I underestimated myself.

A Caux Scholar from Kenya did her presentation on the Tana Delta conflict in Kenya. Tana Delta is an ecosystem located at the coast province in Kenya. The Delta is considered to be the second most important estuarine and deltaic ecosystem in Eastern Africa. The cause of the conflict is ethnic skirmishes between two competing lifestyles; pastoralists (predominantly Muslim) and farmers (mostly Christians). They have long standing dispute over natural resources (land and water). She also talked about what peace building efforts that has been already undertaken, like inter- religious group meetings/prayers to encourage dialogue between the warring communities. I learned that dispute over natural resources is one of the most common causes of conflict in African countries.


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