A WEEK LONG Workshop on Peace Building is currently underway at the Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG) conference room in Honiara. The training workshop was officially opened on Monday morning by the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) Dr. Abraham Hauriasi. The workshop was organized by the Commission on Justice, Reconciliation and Peace and is facilitated by Reverend Raki Tigarea and Mrs. Leibling Toganivalu from the Institute of Mission and Research, at Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji.
Dr. Abraham Hauriasi in his opening address said the necessity of having such a training is underpinned by a number of factors: Solomon Islands is in a post conflict situation. Most, if not, all communities in the country would have experienced conflict, some in more serious form than others, during the period of the ethnic tension . Some people may have been emboldened by what they have witnessed and experienced during that period so that any hint of disagreement between any parties, whether blood related or not, could quickly escalate into open hostility and even physical confrontation. We hear of increasing cases of more violent behaviour perpetrated by people resulting from even very minor issues. Hence, we could be witnessing more and more communities who are torn apart from conflicts.
The General Secretary also said that with the increase in development in all its various forms, we are witnessing growing number of cases of conflicts arising from competing claims over the resources required from these developments and the sharing of benefits from these activities . All of us here would have experienced ourselves conflicts or disagreements within our families or communities resulting from the use of tribal or family owned resources. Many families have been separated as result of disagreements over the use of their land and the harvesting of forests or marine resources. Many communities and families have become dysfunctional due to conflicts amongst themselves.
Thirdly, with the growing population of our communities, there is bound to be conflicts caused deliberately or unintentionally by any members of the community. And with our kinship relationships, a minor disagreement between two people could quickly involve all members of the tribes or clans.
Given the propensity of these factors to cause conflicts, we need more peace builders in our communities. Having sustainable peace in our communities is paramount to achieving all we want to do, including our mission related programmes and activities.
Given the rapid increase of antisocial behaviours, tensions and conflicts in our local communities, ACOM and other churches must be equipped with trauma healing skills, conflict management and conflict resolutions and conflict transformation knowledge and skills; Reverend Mark Graham, Commission Justice, Reconciliation and Peace said. “Equipping every diocese in this field will enable them to respond effectively to all forms of conflict and violence,” he concluded. Fifteen participants representing the seven dioceses in Solomon Islands, Institution and representatives from other Church denominations are attending the training that will end this Friday.
News story and pictures from ACoM Communications