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Refugees Informed on Peace Building

May 21, 2008, 6:02 AM | Article By: By Augustine Kanjia

The Youth Ambassadors for Peace (YAP), in collaboration with the UNHCR Gambia, recently gathered a number of refugees to inform about peace building.

We all know peace is a good thing and that we should work toward a world full of peace. Fabakary Kalleh from the YAP, presenting his first paper on this subject, said that peace building starts from birth.

He believes that we can't have peace until all parties agree. Making an example of an empty glass, he asked if you poured water into the glass up to the middle would the glass be half full or half empty. Participants couldn't agree which it would be. He said that until everyone agreed that all of them were right, that the glass would be both half full and half empty and there would continue to be arguments. In the same way that there will be no peace between opposing countries and sides until everyone agrees that each party has their own point of view which is correct.

He also said that peace has both positive and negative angles. He thinks that the military believe in negative peace, they force peace on people through war, the victors will be happy and have peace but the losers will not. "People say that if you want peace you have to be ready for war", but he disagrees, "We say that if you want peace you just have to be ready for peace." He believes that this is not true peace, that true peace is attained through negotiation and agreement. All parties have to accept each other's views, accept what they need and not just take whatever they want. "Greed leads to confrontation and if one loses reasoning things go bad" he stated.

Kalleh said refugees should value what they have now, their neighbours, life, family and others. "The world was safer five years than today and so shall it be in five years to come." It seems he does not believe we are going in the correct direction towards a completely peaceful world.