EDITORIAL: On URR reconciliation!

Jan 12, 2021, 12:29 PM

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador once said that  faith does not mean shying away or hiding from the challenges of the world, but rather it means being responsive, compassionate and understanding in the front-line challenges of human life.

This goes to show the importance of reconciliation in the advancement of world. Reconciliations are key to harmonious living in any community. The more we forgive and reconcile, they more we stand to progress in life. All major faiths in the world encourage and promote reconciliation and forgiveness.

Recently, a day’s peace, justice and reconciliation bantaba was held in Nyakoi Madina Koto village in Wulli West District of the Upper River Region (URR). The forum could not have come at a better time, when our country needs national reconciliation.

The forum, organised by Beakanyang with funding from the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund, brought together over 100 participants mainly victims and survivors of human rights violations and their perpetrators.

Reconciliation could be sometimes be emotional for victims and perpetrators coming face-to-face, but are needed to bring unity and oneness.

And what makes this event special is the fact that it was held in “Badingbung” a mandinka parlance meaning (family house), which is one of the oldest methods of settling dispute at family level. This method used to be an effective and oldest means using traditional approach to seek truth, justice and reconciliation at the community level.

This traditional method of addressing disputes or misunderstanding in our local settings is still widely cherished and hailed by many, as key to fostering social harmony in communities.

Establishing the truth is crucial in any reconciliation forum, as the truth shall set one free. It also enables community to heal easily, thereby restoring our broken relationships. We must bear in that respect for human rights is crucial to promoting social-cohesion, peace and sustainable national development.

What is exciting in the whole process is the fact that perpetrators accepted their wrongs and seeks for forgiveness. And the victims have found space in their heart to open a new chapter.

Let’s forgive and reconcile. Together we can make our Smiling Coast the best place on the face of the earth.