Role of social media in conflict resolution and peacebuilding focus of El Fasher debate
EL FASHER - The role of social media in conflict resolution and peacebuilding was the topic of a UNAMID-supported debate to mark the International Day of Peace.
Held under the theme ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All’, the 24 September event was organized in partnership with the Centre for Peace and Development Studies at Omdurman Islamic University and held in El Fasher, North Darfur. Similar events were held in other parts of Darfur.
The Deputy Wali (Governor) of North Darfur, Mohamed Beraima, and UNAMID Force Commander, Lieutenant-General, Leonard Ngondi, were among the participants, who also included university students, civil society organization representatives, government officials and UNAMID staff.
The event included a photo exhibition and a Darfuri village to illustrate the Mission’s activities across Darfur, a painting competition and the distribution of peace messages.
Dr. El Sadig Omer, one of the debate participants, said that social media plays an important role in disseminating a culture of peace and conflict resolution, along with contributing to freedom of expression and supporting distance education.
Another debate participant, Omer Abdulhameed, highlighted the negative role of social media, particularly in being a vehicle for the dissemination of rumours amongst communities.
Hamza Rasheed, the winner of the painting competition, pointed to the importance of peace for development, security and stability in Darfur.
Lieutenant-General Ngondi shared a message from UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who called for a global ceasefire: “We must never -- ever -- stop pressing for an end to armed conflict”, said Mr. Guterres in his message.
Mr. Beraima commended UNAMID and the Centre for organizing the debate. He encouraged participants to explore positive ways to use social media in support of peace.
Dr. Emad Salim, Director of the Centre, highlighted the university’s objectives, which include activities associated with community development, peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. Celebrated around the world on 21 September, it is commemorated through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.