Tolerance Under Siege: African Principles of Conflict Resolution
Dispute settlement mechanisms through grassroots courts are widely popular in Darfur, Oromia, and the Tana Delta. Community leaders, respected elders, religious leaders, and village chiefs have played a significant role in promoting traditions, handling conflicts, and maintaining peace and stability. Political manipulation by governments and the proliferation of modern weapons have significantly affected those courts’ ability to continue their traditional peace-building role and contributed to a major escalation of armed violence in all three countries. The Judiya and Native Administration in Darfur, the Mangama and Michu in Benishangul-Gumuz and western Oromia, and the Ibisa, the Gasa, and Matadheda councils in the Tana Delta are fundamental community-based dispute-solving mechanisms. Their decline due to government manipulation and easy access to arms hugely contributed to conflict.