Surobi local leaders canvass for peace and development using radio

4 Apr 2019

Surobi local leaders canvass for peace and development using radio

SUROBI -  Leaders in the Surobi district of Kabul province are turning to radio to urge community members to join local peace initiatives and development projects.

Elders’ Shura members, religious scholars, women’s organisations and local authorities are increasingly using Surobi Radio to canvass for peace and community action on challenges affecting the district.

The district’s only station, Radio Surobi, backed by UNAMA, produces a wide range of programmes every year aimed at creating awareness and engaging communities on key issues such as democratic processes, peace, women’s rights, protection of civilians in armed conflict and the recurring inter-tribal conflicts.

Station manager Sar Malim Azizullah says the radio programmes are very popular and reach as many as 100,000 people including in Kapisa and Laghman. For many communities, especially in remote villages, radio is the only source of information and an opportunity to engage and interact with local authorities.

“I once attended a meeting of the local conflict resolution committee in Surobi when one person came up to me asking for an update on a conflict we had talked about in a radio programme” said Azizullah.

Mosa Khan, a listener from the village of Uzbin says the radio programmes have been impactful.  “I was inspired by one of the radio discussions where religious scholars talked about peaceful coexistence and resolving of disputes amicably,” Khan told UNAMA.

More than 100 communities, in mostly rural villages, live in Surobi, one of the 15 districts of Kabul province which has in recent years been plagued by violent intra-and inter-tribal conflicts.

Last year, a mediation process supported by UNAMA and led by the Kabul Provincial Governor, Mohammad Yacoub Haidari, and community leaders from 14 rural districts, helped two tribes to resolve a longstanding conflict over a land dispute and a killing in the Uzbin valley. 

In one of the recent radio programmes, Surobi local council head, Rahmatullah, said the significant drivers of conflict in the district are underdevelopment and poverty. “People are poor, illiterate and jobless,” he said.

UNAMA’s Central Region office supported the radio broadcast as part of a countrywide outreach programme aimed at creating opportunities using radio, television and social media for local communities to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting them.