detail - Foundation Office Syria and Iraq
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Against this backdrop the Syria/Iraq Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Women Empowerment Organization (WEO) conducted different projects in the areas of Qayyarah, Haj Ali, Salamiyah and Mosul in Ninawa throughout 2018. They consisted of training sessions for tribal and religious leaders, women and youth from both the host communities and IDPs as a first step to reaching more stability. The focus of the trainings was on the principles of mediation and conflict management, as well as on practical skills to mediate conflict between community members and strategies for community mobilization. They were essential in bringing various stakeholders together and discuss issues related to the stabilization in areas recently liberated from ISIL. It was an opportunity for them to understand each other’s priorities, challenges and progress and work together to ensure a peaceful society made up from different ethno-religious groups.
The trainings were followed by a conference in Erbil to bring together further actors and try to agree on recommendations regarding social cohesion and peaceful coexistence between host communities, returnees and IDPs willing to return. Participants of the above-mentioned trainings had the opportunity to exchange and discuss with government officials, representatives of local authorities, media, and local as well as international organizations. The conference first discussed the main barriers and challenges for the stabilization efforts and conflict mitigation in Ninawa, and then tried to find solutions for to achieve peaceful coexistence among ethnic and religious groups.
As a whole, the projects contributed to decreasing the tensions between returnees and host communities by having them sit together with decision-makers and think of solutions to facilitate the smooth reintegration of IDPs. Moreover, the discussions that took place during the conference resulted in the creation of a list of key points and recommendations regarding the increasing of instability, social cohesion and the issue of broken social fabric. Participants in the conference agreed on a set of recommendations tackling issues such as hate speech, trust-building, lack of community initiatives, support to those who were affected by the recent conflict in Ninawa, and children without official documents.