TFIM Resource Base

Tradition- & Faith-Oriented Insider Mediators (TFIMs) as Crucial Actors in Conflict Transformation

The baseline study stems from the observation made by The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers that in certain conflict contexts religious and traditional peacemakers exhibit remarkable potential as mediators. The study considers their peace mediation roles, their potential, the constraints under which they work, and reflects on the opportunities for collaborative support that links various actors within conflict contexts.

Download the report here: TFIM Full Report – Peacemakersnetwork 2016

Download a synopsis of the report in English here and in Arabic here.

The study provides general information on the nature of conflicts in Mali and the role of religion and tradition in Malian society. It analyses the nature and role of TFIMs, the levels at which they intervene, their approaches and methods, their successes and challenges, and assesses their needs. To add to this, the study explores the potential controversies and risks associated with supporting TFIMs in a highly violent and politically tense environment.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study – Mali

Southern Thailand
The conflict in Southern Thailand is not about religion; it is essentially about ethnic identity. Nevertheless, one of the root causes for the conflict is perceived to be the misuse of religion to create violence. 11 years of deadly conflict in the southern border provinces of Thailand have left more than 6,000 people killed and around 11,000 wounded. While the majority of those killed have been Malay-Muslims, the majority of the injured have been Thai-Buddhists. Tit-for-tat tactics are occasionally applied by both ethnicities. In such an environment, the role of tradition- and faith-oriented insider mediators in resolving the violent conflict is amplified. The following overview is a study of the role of TFIMs in the conflict in Southern Thailand.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study – Southern Thailand

Myanmar’s  recent emergence from five decades of military rule, its gradual transition to democracy, and the religious and traditional dimensions of its multiple conflict contexts, make the country a highly relevant example for the baseline study on TFIMs. The study is primarily based on a seven-day field visit to Yangon and various parts of the Mandalay region in April 2015, during which a series of conversations were held with a range of actors comprised of religious leaders from the Buddhist, Muslim, Baha’i and Christian faiths as well as interfaith groups, prominent writers, intellectuals, academics and representatives from NGOs, CSOs, women´s groups and a number of state agencies.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study – Myanmar

On account of its history of armed conflict, Colombia has had an extremely rich and varied experience of mediation at different levels (local, regional, national), for different purposes (humanitarian, social, political), under different formats (formal, informal), and between different actors. As 80% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church and 15-20% belong to Protestant churches, religious or faith-based actors play a prominent role in both conflicts as well as their resolution processes. The case study explores the approaches, successes, challenges and opportunities of TFIMs in Colombia.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study – Colombia

Given Lebanon’s historical legacy of civil war and its social structure, one might easily be tempted to assume that identity politics and confessionalism are the main variables shaping mediation processes within Lebanese society. In fact, mediation has become a common means of dealing with different kinds of disputes, and the forms and modes of mediation have become as diverse as the conflicts themselves. Differences can be observed with respect to the techniques and procedures applied by mediators, and the context in which mediation takes place. The present report aims to elaborate on some forms of mediation that currently exist in Lebanon.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study – Lebanon

Since gaining independence in 1964, Kenya has had its share of conflicts. Many of the conflicts that date back to the first decades of independence are still ongoing, in varied forms and intensity. Given the fusion of tradition and religion in Kenya´s social fabric, TFIMs employ both traditional and religious mechanisms to mediate in local conflicts. The case study explores the roles of TFIMs in Kenya and highlights the various approaches TFIMs have taken and continue to take in conflict transformation.

Download the case study here: TFIM Case Study Kenya