We are in Arua conducting a 3 days training for District Peace Committee members, monitors and analysts targeting Electoral Commission officers, Police, District Community Development Officer, National Women Council, youth, Persons with disability representative, district information officer, CSOs and Religious institutional representatives supported by DGF Uganda. The training aims to enhance capacity of peace committee’s members to detect early warning conflict, respond and mediate conflict that may arise before, during and after election.

Our facilitator Canon. Joyce Nima Bernice will take participants through the three-day training and Key topics to be facilitated include understanding Peacebuilding concepts (negative and positive conflict, phases and dimensions, conflict cycle, conflict analysis and tools i.e. human knot, dung beetle, tree, onion, timeline, conflict spectrum, negations, mediation skills, communication in the electoral process, lobbying and advocacy, power mapping, reporting and report writing.

From the session on the Conflict Cycle, participants note that conflict is latent, escalates and dies at a certain stage or resumes; at latent stage, tension builds up and this is when peace building initiatives start and at this level restoration of peace should be done. As peace mediators we need to ‘see, smell and hear’ the early warning indicators of conflict and respond to reduce the conflict from escalating.

Participants took part in a role-play on conflict analysis and resolution using the human knot conflict analysis tool. From the exercise, participants noted that violence usually starts small and gradually grows, mini conflicts occur besides the huge violence/conflict, and in resolving conflict one needs to know the initiator of the conflict, analyse the conflict, talk to people and follow the chain of conflict to resolve it. In addition, one of the participants noted that if a peace mediator has poor communication skills he or she can escalate the conflict.

Day 2 of the District Peace Committee members, monitors and analysts training kicked off with a recap of day one; participants shared the key issues learnt during the sessions which included; peace and peacebuilding and the new component of positive and negative peace, root causes of conflict, use of connectors in mediation work and identification of dividers when conflict happens, stages of resolving conflict and response to conflict, conflict analysis and tools used such as dung beetle, timeline, Onion, tree and human knot game.

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