Traditional ways of resolving conflicts

Traditional ways of resolving conflicts


This article is going to look at the means to be utilized in resolving conflict. So there are so many means of resolving conflict which involves retortion, reprisal and reconciliation by regional agencies, conciliation and arbitration among others. So these are some of the means of resolving conflict that we are going to look at in this article.

First and foremost, we are going to start with defining conflict it causes and the means of resolving it, some of which are peaceful in nature and thereafter, we are going to look at such means that involves the use of force or coercive means.

What is conflict?

According to Collins dictionary “Conflict is a serious disagreement and argument about something important. If two people or groups are in conflict, they have had a serious disagreement or argument and have not yet reached agreement”.

This means that conflict occurs when one party infringe the right of the other party. Conflict can be defined as a situation whereby misunderstanding exists between two parties.

What are causing conflict?

According to an online site called causes of conflict are as follows:

1-    Conflict can occur when two people have different perception about something.

2-    Differences in religion can lead to conflict.

3-    When two people have different style of doing something conflict is likely to occur.

4-    Conflict occur when one party violate the right of the other party.

5-    Conflict can occur when one person feels cheated.

   So let’s start with those that involve the use of peaceful means:


This is the first means of resolving conflict that we are going to discuss about. Arbitration: isa process that involves bringing in a third party to help in resolving a conflict between two parties. So this person that will help in bringing peace between two parties is usually referred to as an arbitrator. So it’s the job of an arbitrator, to serve as a go-between, between parties that are at logger head with each other. Therefore, this is the first peaceful means of resolving conflict.

And apart from this one, there is judicial settlement of a conflict. This usually happen when there is a conflict between two parties.So some times, the court plays a vital role in ensuring that such conflict is brought to an end. For example, international court of justice (ICJ), which is in Hague, is the example of a court that helps in bringing about peace, between parties that are not in agreement with each other. Because we have seen how it helped in resolving so many conflicts around the world. For example, we do know that, this International court of justice, played a vital role in resolving the conflicts of so many countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire.  And apart from resolving the conflict of Cote d’Ivoire, it has helped in resolving conflicts in so many countries, especially African countries where there are frequent conflicts that are internal.


Moreover, another way of resolving conflicts between parties that do not see eye to eye is conciliation. This mean of resolving conflict, involves setting up a commission by the parties to the conflicts, so that the commission will aid in resolving the conflict. Usually this commission will find the ways or the causes of the conflicts and advise the parties, on how to resolve those conflicts. So this is a very popular means of resolving conflict between two parties. Aside from that, we have now looked at the peaceful means through which conflicts can be resolved.


Let’s move to the coercive means of resolving conflict. The first one to be discussed about is war.

War: We do know that, sometimes when there is unending conflict between two parties, it is only at the end of the war, that such conflict can be resolved. For example, we do know that in Nigeria when Biafrans were trying secede from Nigeria, therefore Nigerian government employed the use of force, in order to ensure that, the armed conflict was brought to an end.Because, the Biafrans were trying to wage war against Nigerian government, in order to force it to allow them to break away to form their own country, at the end the war, that ensued between Nigerian government. The Biafrans gave up because the leader of the revolt fled the country. So there are so many instances, whereby war can bring about peace. So this means that, sometimes, for peace to exist war must be fought. Even though, it’s not acceptable or legal means of bringing about peace, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Reprisal: In addition to war, there is also the act of reprisal: this is another means of resolving the conflict. That is when one country is offended by another country or one party is offended by another party, so the party offended may decide to retaliate by using tit for tat. For example, by imposing sanction or seizing the goods of the party that offended other party. Sometimes, the act of reprisal involves doing so many things which are not peaceful. So when one party feels offended, such party may use corrosive means, in order to retaliate.

Retortion:Reprisal aside, there is also retortion, retortion is less hasher than other two means of resolving conflicts, because it usually involves cutting diplomatic tie between countries. For example, when country A feels offended by the action of country B, country A may decide to withdraw its ambassador from country B. For example we do know that recently, South Africans offended Nigeria by killing some Nigerians who are living over there. So Nigeria decided to retaliate or do something about the situation, by calling back its ambassador who is representing it in South Africa. So these are some of the means through which a complicit between parties can be resolved.


We can conclude that the means of resolving conflict can be both peaceful and coercive.

How will this affect me as a Civil Engineering professional?

It will not affect my professional at all.

How can the subject be related to Civil Engineering?

It has not related.

Why is it important for me?

It is important to me because, the work of civil engineering will not be possible in an environment where there is so much conflict. The importance of resolving conflict to engineer cannot be over emphasize, this means that civil engineer can only do what he knows how to do when a particular conflict is resolved.