“As we all observe a 24 hours of nonviolence in commemoration of the International Peace Day 2020, I would like to focus on culture as a medium of peace amidst the current pandemic and lockdown,” he said in an interview.
United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 21ST September as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
“This year 2020 the day is observed under the theme “Shaping Peace Together. We are all encouraged to celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic” Musiitwa said.
Musiitwa urged leaders to focus on peace and accept the fact that having divergent political ideologies does not mean enmity but simply diversity hence ‘unity in diversity’ and the ability to avert the fear reflex when confronted by the ‘otherness’.
“It’s become more evident that we need each other to face challenges before us hence an urgent need for cooperation and multilateralism for globally agreed shared, policies that integrate culture into peace building strategies and programmes with emphasis on promotion and support of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue,” he said.
Musiitwa added that, “A few weeks ago, social media was awash with pictures of Kanyamunyu a Ugandan businessman Undergoing Mato Oput ceremony.
“I would like to commend Kanyanyumyu for taking this brave step and I wish everyone would take this route, the world would be a better place to live.” he said
Mato Oput is a peace, forgiveness and reconciliation process in the Acholi Culture among the worrying parties. It is carried out in the case of accidental or intentional killing of an individual. The ceremony involves two clans bringing together the offender and the family of victim with the aim of social restoring harmony.
Mato Oput is a clear demonstration that culture is an essential part of conflict and conflict resolution.