የደቡብ ምዕራብ ኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች ክልል

Ethiopian Peacemaking Database

In the Southwest Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, we introduce two practices from the Dawuro and Kefficho peoples.

Ethnic Group: Kafficho

Name of Reconciliation: Shuune Shefiro

Themes: Administration; Elderly; Tree Shade; Neighbor; Witness; Relative; Compensation; Ritual

Location of Reconciliation Process: Kefa Zone, South West Region

About Shuune Shefiro:

Shuune Shefiro is a traditional peace restoring process widely practiced by Kafa People, located in South West Region. Shune Shefiro has been an administrative process to pass laws and resolve miss understandings and conflicts that take place among people before it goes to bad blood shades. Cases like crimes, social mistakes, injuries, rebellion and misdemeanor are solved under this process. In this reconciliation process there will be the presence of three up to five elderlies, the victim and the accused, witnesses and near relatives. The neighbors of the victim and the accused provide meals and drinks for the audience. The process takes place on field under a big Warka (Sycamore) tree.

Reconciliation Process:

The reconciliation process starts with the victim presenting the case to the elderlies. After deeply looking at the case the elderlies will appoint another date and call for both parties. The date will always be on Sunday.

On the Day of Reconciliation, the elderlies sit under the “Warka” tree and the debating parties sit on the right and left side. The oldest elderly starts the process by calling both parties in front of them. First the victim expresses the misdemeanor he faced to the elderlies. Then after the accused will be given a chance to defend themselves. After listening both sides the elderly discus it among themselves. The decision will be passed by the oldest elderly. The guilty is punished to compensate the mistake he made. Then the elderlies give blessing to the audience, mothers participate in the blessing process too. Finally, there will be dinning ritual to erase the resentment between them.

Click here to read the full research paper (Amharic/አማርኛ)

Paper by Wendimagegn Kero (Kefa)

Ethnic Group: Dawuro

Name of Reconciliation: Sigoteta

Themes: Borde (traditional fermented beverage); Godere; Blessings: Curse; Truth

Location of Reconciliation Process: Dawuro Zone

Stages of Sigoteta:

The literal meaning of these words is, “becoming friends again.” This mechanism involves four people: The Elders, the appealer, the accused, and the crowd and family. The Elders are highly trusted by the whole community. The conflict is solved by bringing out the Truth (tumateta), along with cursing (chasha), ,blessings (anjuwa), and an oath to abide by the decision, resulting the restoration of working relationships.

The process begins with the separation of parties, and opening statements. The Elders reconcile the process, to discover the truth. Once the situation has been solved, the disputants celebrate, hug and share a meal, along with drinking borde, the indigenous cereal-based fermented drink.

Click here to read the full research paper (English)

Paper by Muluken Zeleke (Dawuro)