Radio is the first tool towards conflict settlement in Rwanda_NAR report

Rwandan youth listening group

The conflict onion highlights the needs, interests, and goals/positions of the
respective parties. This approach is based on the experience that in peaceful
situations, where mutual trust is high, people tend to act according to their
actual needs. In instable situations, where trust is gradually decreasing, people
tend to put forward more abstract, collective interests. When conflict escalates
the process of moving away from actual needs further accelerates leading to
the retraction towards positions and claims that arise out of conflict dynamics
and which have little in common with the initial needs.

During mediation, the mediator can well employ the conflict onion to increase
his understanding of the conflicting parties’ respective interests and needs. On
most occasions the mediator will see that the parties’ actual needs are in fact
reconcilable with each other. This might be the first step towards conflict
settlement/ resolution.
Distribute the copies of Trainer Tool 2.18. Tell participants that this handout
includes background information about the conflicting parties covered in the
previous case study – (1) Sissy and (2) the other girls. Inform them that they
are expected to use the information provided to create a conflict onion for
their respective party. Each group will only deal with one party and later
present its findings to the rest (e.g. 2 groups learn more about Sissy while
the other 2 are concerned with the other girls).

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