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Causes of Conflict transformation in Assiut

  • المركز الإقليمي للوساطة والحوار
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015

The situation estimation of conflict transformation in Assiut aims to draw a picture uncovering the forms of local conflicts, their aspects, causes and their relative effect on the settlement of social peace or on causing domestic violence. And then drafting plans for promoting civil peace, and therefore achieving the sustainability of development on one hand and overcoming social peace obstacles on the other hand.

This estimation was part of RCMD’s conflict transformation program which targets mapping the social, economic, historical and cultural state of conflicts in Egypt. In order to strengthen the Egyptian scientific community’s ability as well as the civil society and the state to be able to understand those problems with their backgrounds and the deep overlapping with these problems which stand in the way of the community and development with all their forms.

The conflict transformation estimation in Assiut has proposed a set of key questions, most importantly; what are Assiut’s geographical, climatic, population and developmental characteristics, and its location in Upper Egypt. The estimation targeted identifying the nature of conflict zones in Assiut’s degree of severity, and their complexity regarding religious, economic and tribal factors. The estimation also aimed at drawing a map of social, religious and political formation and their complexity with current conflicts in Assiut, in addition to evaluating the civil society roles in facing local conflicts and tension, as well as relevant parties and ways to integrate them into civil peace.

In answering those questions, the estimation adopted the research for action and participatory research methodology, meaning to start a research and put assumptions, questions and results that come from collaboration between the research team and local leaders in conflict zones, so the influential actors in conflicts in Assiut would adopt the study’s results in reality.

In this context, the estimation was based on forming a cooperative framework with youths, activists, local leaders and official and customary reconciliation committees in Assiut, for participatory effective results.

The estimation came out with a set of key recommendations, such as, that there is competition between customary reconciliation committees and official ones in conflict resolution in Assiut, which requires conducting dialogues and coordinating between them, through the expansion of common and mutual membership between those two committees. There is also a need for the legal legitimacy –from the state- to recognize the role of these committees and to integrate them as a part of the judicial system, and not an alternative to it.

It was also noted that despite the large number of civil society institutions working in the relief or development fields in Assiut, poverty rates remain high. As the more you move away from the city center to the sides, the governorate suffers from its poor infrastructure and the lack of the basic services.

This is in addition to the predominance of relief work over civil society organizations work, and the absence of a local vision for development and its priorities in the governorate.

The estimation mentioned that the presence of the university in the middle of Assiut, has caused remarkable degrees of interaction between and with women, and therefore, it seems important to strengthen women’s vision for themselves and the society’s vision for them, as the collective memory bearers, actors in development and participants in the public sphere.

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