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The conflict in Darfur started in 2003 when one of the parties JEM took arms against government of Sudan whom they accused of supporting Janjaweed in attacking innocent civilian of African origin (black). The conflict is about resources as the nomadic tribes (Janjaweed) facing drought are going after the territory of sedentary farmers. Therefore the two worrying groups/parties are, the Sudan Liberation Movement/army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) as one party and Official Sudanese Army and Janjaweed being the other party.
Communications steps in conflict resolution
As communication is known to be a two way process, where there is giving and receiving of information, then the mediator should bring the two parties to the negotiation table.
Because there have been disagreements and fighting between these groups, getting them to speak directly with each other will be a good choice. For this process to be effective private venue where there will be no media should first be arranged. This need to be a private talk and it doesn't need to be a face to face talk with the leaders but three-four representatives from both sides can do. The mediator should make sure that these individuals give ideas not the solutions; find something they will both work on in solving the conflict. Meeting privately will eliminate communication barriers such as environmental factors that have nothing to do with the content of the discussion. This is why media should not be allowed.
Both groups should be encouraged to begin discussion with a soft start. Psychologist, John Gottman (2001) found that using a soft start up helps prevents major arguments when differences are present, also by bringing up problems gently and without blame". Critical remarks should be avoided as it will make the other party to be defensive.
This is another skill that when employed in this communication process will help a lot in conflict resolution. Agreeing to disagree will be the best principle to adopt. Both groups should be encouraged to ask for clarification on the opinions not well understood.
Start with what you all agree as the problem and explore options that meet both parties' needs. Fisher, G., (2004-2010) said that "they should not try to make decisions but come up with ideas to work on for peace". Conversations that are difficult and can hurt feelings should be avoided. on the way forward. Calm communication during chaos, conflict, or crisis is a skill everyone needs (Susan Gillpatrick 2010).
This is one of the steps in communication process from Stephan's article. Before bringing both parties to the discussion table and expecting them to understand each other, the negotiator should first talk with each party and establish their side of the story. This will help during talking as the mediator be able provide good communication process where both parties will have a chance to point out their views without interruptions.
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