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Batswana indigenous conflict resolution methods: a narrative

Otsile Ntsoane


This article is written as a result of the observation that most African communities have lost their old forums for systematically consolidating their knowledge base and for sustaining local means of resolving problems and conflict. This article aims at taking us back to community power which was exercised by wise women and men. As wise people the elders ‘work for the peaceful resolution of differences between and among people' and they bring people together for these purposes. Through the use of narrative, the author shows that a problem-solving approach that posits that conflict is not something that has to be won, but rather something that has to be solved, is the most democratic and sustainable way of handling conflict. This article intends to advocate and reinforce this idea. The article also shows, without specific reference, that western approaches to peace have proven themselves unequal to the task of ensuring peaceful coexistence in the African environment.

(Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: 2002 1: 15-26)