Dumisha Amani project updates: FCS supports peace-building approaches for communities in Micheweni District

Pemba, August 5, 2022. The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has supported capacity building among various stakeholders on conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Pemba.

The training, which was conducted through a community dialogue session, was held in collaboration with the Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC) as an intervention to ensure that communities are well informed and able to amicably resolve conflicts and maintain peace.

The dialogue session involved religious and political leaders and community influencers from Njuhuni and Mihogoni Shehias in Micheweni District. During the session, the Project Coordinator, Ms Safia Saleh Sultan, urged community members to utilise the peace-building approaches learnt to create awareness in their communities and ensure that more people are aware of initiatives aimed at maintaining peace.

Capacity building provided to the various community groups is among ways of building the legal capacity of community members to resolve conflicts since they adversely affect community members the most and have negative effects. Frequent community disputes include land disputes, marriage disputes, custody disputes and disputes about debts,” she said.

In her presentation on mitigating community conflicts, Ms Siti Habib Mohamed, a lawyer with the ZLSC, spoke about resolving conflicts out of court where and when appropriate. She explained that during conflict resolution, the mediator must be attentive to both parties and refrain from being biased.

She encouraged participants to raise awareness within their communities of paralegals when they face legal challenges to avoid losing legal fees and time when following up on their cases.

The ZLSC’s Zanzibar Monitoring Officer, Mr Khamis Haroun Hamad, urged citizens to work towards unity and cooperation, which are key to maintaining community peace and resolving conflicts before they get out of hand.

One of the participants, Mr Mkitu Hassan Mwalimu, praised ZLSC for the capacity-building session and promised to be an ambassador and champion for peace in his community.

”Maintaining peace is important because once it is lost, it is usually difficult to rebuild,” he said

With the support of FCS, the ZLSC is implementing a peace-building initiative in Pemba.