Why Ugandans should concentrate on Building Lasting Peace

It should be noted at the outset that there are two distinct ways to understand peace building. According the United Nations (UN) document An Agenda for Peace, peace building consists of a wide range of activities associated with capacity building, reconciliation, and societal transformation. Peace building is a long-term process that occurs after violent conflict has slowed down or come to a halt. Thus, it is the phase of the peace process that takes place after peacemaking and peacekeeping.

In this narrower sense, peace building is a process that facilitates the establishment of durable peace and tries to prevent the recurrence of violence by addressing root causes and effects of conflict through reconciliation, institution building, and political as well as economic transformation. This consists of a set of physical, social, and structural initiatives that are often an integral part of post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation.
We should generally agree that the central task of peace building is to create positive peace, a “stable social equilibrium in which the surfacing of new disputes does not escalate into violence and war.” Sustainable peace is characterized by the absence of physical and structural violence, the elimination of discrimination, and self-sustainability. Moving towards this sort of environment goes beyond problem solving or conflict management. Peace building initiatives try to fix the core problems that underlie the conflict and change the patterns of interaction of the involved parties. They aim to move a given population from a condition of extreme vulnerability and dependency to one of self-sufficiency and well-being.
To further understand the notion of peace building, many contrast it with the more traditional strategies of peacemaking and peacekeeping. Peacemaking is the diplomatic effort to end the violence between the conflicting parties, move them towards nonviolent dialogue, and eventually reach a peace agreement. Long-term peace building techniques should be designed to fill this gap, and to address the underlying substantive issues that brought about conflict. Various transformation techniques should aim to move parties away from confrontation and violence, and towards political and economic participation, peaceful relationships, and social harmony.
This longer-term perspective is crucial to future violence prevention and the promotion of a more peaceful future. Thinking about the future involves articulating desirable structural, systemic, and relationship goals. These might include sustainable economic development, self-sufficiency, equitable social structures that meet human needs, and building positive relationships.
Peace building measures also aim to prevent conflict from reemerging. Through the creation of mechanisms that enhance cooperation and dialogue among different identity groups, these measures can help parties manage their conflict of interests through peaceful means. This might include building institutions that provide procedures and mechanisms for effectively handling and resolving conflict.
I recommend that, parties must replace the spiral of violence and destruction with a spiral of peace and development, and create an environment conducive to self-sustaining and durable peace. The creation of such an environment has three central dimensions: addressing the underlying causes of conflict, repairing damaged relationships and dealing with psychological trauma at the individual level. Each of these dimensions relies on different strategies and techniques.
The structural dimension of peace building should focus on the social conditions that foster violent conflict as well as integral part of building peace is employed by reducing the effects of war-related hostility through the repair and transformation of damaged relationships.
In addition to the above, relational dimension of peace building should be centered on reconciliation, forgiveness, trust building, and future imagining.
Peace building measures should integrate civil society in all efforts and include all levels of society in the post-conflict strategy. It’s the role of every Ugandan to contribute to peace building, all society members; from those in elite leadership positions, to religious leaders, to those at the grassroots level and every Ugandan for all have a role to play in building a lasting peace.
By. Buregyeya Junior Gilbert
Programs Director –Youth Aid Africa