Indigenous approaches to peacemaking and conflict resolution: The case of inter-clans and political conflict in Msinga villages in KwaZulu-Natal province
This article is based on the study that examined communities’ indigenous approaches to peacemaking and conflict resolution and seeks to determine whether the government’s responses are concomitant with local knowledge of peacemaking and conflict resolution through a case study of Msinga villages in the North of the KwaZulu-Natal Province. It focuses on inter-clan wars, which have a long history in the study areas; the scars of violence are still fresh in the minds of men and women living in these areas. In the qualitative study, face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with local traditional leaders, village elders, both men and women, and local government officials and the youth.
The findings of the study demonstrate that there is still mistrust between members of these communities to the extent that any tension can lead to violence. The findings also show that, although there have been and still are many peacemaking and conflict resolution initiatives, these seem to be ineffective in bringing about peace and the sense of a united community. Furthermore, many local citizens and women believe that government imposed approaches have limited their effective participation in peacemaking and conflict resolution.
The contestation and in fighting between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress has further undermined ordinary citizens’ full participation as they try to wrest control from the other group; this continues to deepen divisions in an already divided society.
Keywords: Traditional approaches, peacemaking, conflict resolution, peace, inter-clans conflict and community participation