Tuesday, May 28, 2024

After Violent Clashes, an Advocacy Carnival Fosters Peace Between the Sohm and Faraba Sutu Communities

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By: Alieu Jallow

Two years ago, a conflict erupted between the communities of Sohm and Faraba Sutu following a post-match dispute that arose among fans. The clash resulted in the hospitalization of over 20 people and damage to properties. This unprecedented friction severed ties between the two neighboring villages and further threatened the social fabric.

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In an effort to reconcile their differences, the Alkalos of the two communities organized a football match last August as part of a reconciliation process aimed at healing wounds and restoring harmony.

In a similar move, on Friday, April 12, 2024, the youth of the villages organized a peaceful advocacy carnival to foster a deeper understanding of peaceful coexistence between the two communities, especially among the youthful population.

Yankuba Jarju, the newly elected youth chairperson of the Sohm Youth Association, highlighted the longstanding rivalry between the two communities, heightened by a football match a few years ago.

Jarju emphasized that the peace advocacy carnival not only brought the two villages together but also served as a catalyst to inspire communities to join in the celebration of peace and unity. It also served as a platform to foster understanding, empathy, and solidarity among participants.

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“The reconciliation journey between the villages of Sohm and Faraba Sutu demonstrates the transformative power of community-driven initiatives in resolving conflicts and promoting peace. By harnessing the spirit of sports and youth engagement, the peace advocacy carnival became a beacon of hope and a testament to the resilience of human connections in overcoming adversity,” Jarju outlined.

Ebrima Sanneh from Faraba Sutu stated that the carnival allowed members of Faraba-Sutu and Sohm to engage in open and honest dialogue, thus helping to create understanding and enhance empathy between the two communities.

“It raises awareness about the importance of peace. The carnival serves as a platform to educate the communities about the detrimental effects of conflict and the importance of working together to maintain peace and harmony,” Sanneh noted.

During this inaugural peace advocacy carnival, young people from the two villages had a roadshow and wore T-shirts labeled “Bena Sohm and Faraba Sutu Carnival 1st Edition” to promote resolution and tolerance.

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