Today in class, our group was divided into subgroups of roughly six people each. Each subgroup had to choose one topic from a list of topics provided by the lecturer. Among the topics were the Malaysian elections, the Mali situation and the Syrian conflict, all of which are current affairs. My group chose to discuss about the Mali conflict. An article provided us by the lecturer tried to explain why it will be difficult to resolve the Malian issues. This is where our opinions differ.
According to my understanding of the article, which was written by ——-, there are two main routes to follow in order to solve the Mali conflicts, either through military intervention or through the negotiation table. Each course presents its own problems. While military intervention can further aggravate the situation, the powers of the negotiation table are limited by the fact that some local groups are not willing to sit down and talk, they prefer fighting. This leads to a dilemma as to which course to take. Personally I think both courses are necessary.
I believe that those who do not want to come to the negotiation table have chosen guns as their preferred means of communication and therefore we should communicate with them in their own language; guns. These are the people who hinder peaceful communication and if they are left unchecked, progress on any other forum is nearly impossible. On the other hand those who believe in negotiating should be welcomed and they should be allowed to voice their concerns. Whatever agreement is reached upon should be really addressing these issues. Although this is contrary to most people’s beliefs, I believe that this is the way to achieve peace in Mali; using both guns and the negotiation table.
This is the class I’ve enjoyed most so far. I really liked the way the lecturer gave everyone a chance to express themselves. I felt happy as I addressed the class, telling them what I think.