Fambul Tok facilitates town hall meeting at Bauya to strengthen Peace Mothers and Community Welfare and Mediation Committee (CWMC) capacity to facilitate mediation and healing programs, and restore cohesive communities in Kongbora chiefdom, Moyamba district in southern Sierra Leone. The meting supported by Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (AJTLF) discusses the following:
- Chiefdom speaker is slow in taking action as the Paramount Chief is sick
- Inadequate health facilities, for example, 4 out of 10 sections in the chiefdom have Public Health Units
- Land conflicts among sections: Tangea, Senehun, Gondama and Mowoto
- Increase in gender based violence (GBV)
- Increased failure in public exams
- Non-payment of revolving micro credit loans by beneficiaries that stalls the assistance programme.
Bauya Town Hall Meeting
Section chiefs, youth leaders, peace mothers, community welfare and mediation committee, women’s leaders, treasury clerk, chiefdom speaker, people with disability, health and education ministries representatives were among participants.
On Monday 28th December 2020 Fambul Tok
Bonfire ceremony at Tangea
Healing and Reconciliation Ceremony
(FT) organised a truth-telling and reconciliation bonfire ceremony at Tongea section, Kongbora Chiefdom, in the Moyamba district with support from the African Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF).
Delivering his welcome address Tangea section chief Matthew Yamba Saspo said the bonfire ceremony is very timely. He said Tongea section is not short of disputes and these disputes should not be left unresolved. He welcomed FT and all members of the community to the bonfire ceremony.
Fambul Tok Sadiatu Pessima explained the role Peace Mothers have to play in maintaining peace in their communities. She encouraged women to take the lead in healing the wounds in their communities.
In her statement, Peace Mothers head Isatu Mosima called on peace mothers to be dedicated in their activities. She encouraged other women to join them, as membership is open.
The reconciliation committee successfully resolved nine cases including that of Momodu Sesay and the section elers.
Explaining to the reconciliation committee, Momodu Sesay expressed dissatisfaction over the treatment he received from section chief Matthew Y Saspo, section speaker Ernest Marva and town chief Abdul Hassan. Momodu Sesay said the three men accused him of stealing planks of boards from a nearby bush. He said they later found out that he bought the boards. Momodu said it was frustrating and disrespectful for him as he was preparing for the burial of his father-in-law. Chief Saspo apologized on behalf of the two but insisted that senior chiefdom authorities were behind the matter. They readily accepted reconciliation and shook hands.
The community members offered both Christian and Muslim prayers the following day.
Fambul Tok with support from Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF) held healing and reconciliation ceremony at Gondama section, Kongbora Chiefdom, Moyamba district over the weekend.
Section chief Daniel S Harding in his welcome address said such gathering was very important for the betterment of the section. He said he was aware of the good work FT has been doing in bringing peace to his section. He welcomed FT and community members to the ceremony.
Fambul Tok staff Joseph Kalokoh facilitated the ceremony. He said “this is a women led approach to resolve community disputes in a non-judicial way”. He further explained the importance of women in Gondama in establishing peace in the section. He ended by saying the whole process was voluntary and people should feel at ease to tell their stories.
Among the numerous cases that came up was one between Zainab Mattia and her brother-in-law Sylvester Gbassay Jongo. She said Mr Jongo did not allow her daughter to use the toilet. She continued that Mr. Jongo beat up her daughter when she attempted to use the toilet. A bitter quarrel erupted and over a year now they have not been on speaking terms. They both agreed to be reconciled and the case was resolved.
Another was between Mariam Frank and Febian Yonnie. Mariam explained that her son and Febian’s son had a fight but Febian beat her (Mariama) son. When she intervened Febian used insulting language on her. She said she refused talking to her since that time. The committee was able to mediate between them and they are now talking to each other.
Gondama Peace Mother head, Mamie Jeneh, recalled that, “ family grudges like these if left unresolved might result to nasty atrocities in times of unrests as it happened during the 11-year brutal civil war. We don’t want to go down that road a second time!” She said peace mothers would continue to engage with the other issues that need inclusion of more community stakeholders to resolve.
After the healing and reconciliation ceremony the people (both Christians and Muslims) gathered in prayers. They asked for bonds to be strengthened and prayed for lasting peace.