Siinqee/Siiqee As Conflict Resolution Mechanism
Obviously, the 21 century has become an arena of misunderstandings and conflicts in intra and inter international community which necessitates the importance of making use of cultural conflict resolution mechanisms and methods to avert its impending menace to peace and development. Hence, if not many ,most many traditional societies including those in developed world have started to retrieve their indigenous knowledge for the purpose. Unless the increasing animosity, hatred, conflict and war being seen among the peoples of the world is resolved, inclusive & sustainable development is unthinkable.
Since time immemorial, the Oromo have been implementing various cultural conflict management settlement mechanisms and practices which still is intact and operational under Oromo Gada System. To mention few of them: Institution of homicide (Guma), thanks giving Institution (Irrecha), Siinqee/Siiqqee Institution and others. Infact the intention of this mini article is either not to give detail study of these invaluable institutions or to discuss in detail about the overall importance of the Siinqee Institution. Rather, few ideas about the Siinqee will be touched. A bird eye view of Siinqee related conflict resolution mechanisms issues will be set for discussion.
To fully comprehend the meaning of Siinqee, we have to resort to its generic name ‘ulee’ for it falls under this category of Oromo material culture. The right embodied in this very stick has been declared by the Gada system during time beyond our knowledge. It is purposely cut and fashioned by the mother of the to be married daughter the purpose of which is to safeguard her rights during her martial life, to bless and curse those who infringe their rights. Moreover, during the Gada power transfer ceremonies the newly elected Gada officers should pass under avertedly held Siinqee (^ )to receive blessings from siinqee women. The Siinqee stick is held by women on all Gada institutions, ceremonies as a sign of peace and reconciliation. It is an emblem of respect for women. If Siinqee is present on on- going war, the fighting should be automatically stopped.
But one may ask when the rights embodied in the Siinqee come to its end. Siinqee stick is not inheritable. Therefore, when the siinqee owner dies and buried, the siinqee stick would be broken into pieces and placed on her graveyard which closes out the end of the right embeded in the Siinqee.