The words (as translated) of a participant in the “Promoting Peaceful Co-existence and Access to Education among Communities in Jebel Boma County” initiative.
Before the introduction of a new method of conflict management, our communities had conflicting issues with their neighbours, resulting in too many deaths and injuries. When I was young, I witnessed a group of armed men attack my village and burn every single house to ashes. It was hard to believe. Such humiliating events which claimed lives of people. Our properties were looted and all the crops cut down. Imagine how difficult life was to people who are only depending on farm products. It was an experience that, as a young man, I did not forget. I had promised to pursue them and do the same as they did to us. As a result of that attacked, livelihood continued to deteriorate with many having nothing to eat after losing their properties and all the products from the farm.
Hatred and enmity continued in Jebel Boma County for a long period of time. Road ambushes and revenge killing was rampant. With a few changes in peoples’ heart, they came to realize the continuation of crises will not benefit them; instead it has inflicted more damages than good to them.
Today, with ambition of peace in my heart, it is privilege to engage my fellow community members to participate in peace building and to forget about the revenge killings and road ambushes and embrace in doing good and become real ambassadors of peace in the community. We should report conflict related issues to Chiefs, Police and Local government to eliminate the state of being hostile and rebuild trust among people.
My gratitude and appreciation goes to ACROSS and their partners for their support on peace initiatives that has brought some changes in the lives and the hearts of communities living in Jebel Boma County. My special request to them is to continue supporting us and the local Government in peace building, reconciliation and healing interventions for the communities living in Jebel Boma County. This will enable peaceful coexistence and harmony that will create a healthy environment for free movement of human beings and free project activities implementation that will enhance safe livelihood development.
My dream is to see a real change in Jebel Boma County during my remaining lifetime and holistic transformation toward peace and harmony so that kids study and men and women engage themselves in doing something meaningful for their livelihood. Unity and forgiveness shall be our daily county anthem for better development of our county and our country.