Joint Efforts To Engage Religious Leaders In Peace Promotion

By Sailu Bah
Nine civil society and community based organizations in the Gambia on
Friday, 8th May, 2015 held a workshop at the Father Farell Hall to
involve Islamic and Christian scholars in the work to engage youths inpromoting and sustaining peace in the Gambia under the project called
Network for Peace and Inter-Cultural Dialogue (NetPID).

The organizations included are Conscience International (CI), which
head the coalition, Sensitive Youth Association (S.Y.A) in Bundung,
Triple D Foundation, Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD), Fortress
of Development in Africa, Youth Consortium for Progress, Unique
Foundation, Biodiversity Action Journalists and the Association for
Young Peace Advocates.
In his welcoming remarks, Shiaka Ceesay, Director of Conscience
International, said they recognise the development challenges facing
them and the importance of promoting peace for  sustainable development’.
He said the workshop is a platform to bring people together to tackle
the greatest challenge of mankind and that is promoting peace in
communities for people to live in harmony.

”We believe this event will provide opportunities to develop
sustainable solutions that can be a stepping stone to conflict
resolution and peace building in communities,” said Mr. Ceesay.

He urged participants to make the best use of the occasion and also
thanked the organisers for what he called the ‘laudable initiative.’
Addressing the youth on Christianity and Peace, Pastor Edith Anthony
Ibeneme applauded the organisations for their foresight in coming up
with the initiative. She said peace is fundamental and should be
safeguarded. She noted that there cannot be peace for anyone whose
relatives and friends are at war.
Pastor Ibeneme said as Christians who believe in Jesus Christ, they must
promote peace both at home and abroad.
Dr. Omar Jah, a renowned Islamic scholar and academician, urged the
youths to be more tolerant and avoid violent conduct. He said it is a
principle of Islam that people from different tribes are nations and should be toleraterant of each other because they all exist for one purpose which is to
love one another.

Dr Jah urged the young people to be pro-active in order to sustain
peaceful co-existence. He also advised against the caricature of other
religions.