Alternative to the Courts: Reconciliation Committees

With the beginning of the revolution of Rojava the solution of many social problems was reached. In particular, the many years of blood feuds in the region have been stopped one by one by reconciliation committees.

In the past, blood feuds and family disputes negatively affected relationships within society. The Syrian state repeatedly deepened the conflicts between families and tribes for its own benefit.

With the beginning of the revolution in Rojava peace committees were founded, in which influential persons from the society were represented. Courts have often been unable or unwilling to really resolve the conflicts that have arisen, including in terms of reducing the offense to the perpetrator and ignoring the environment. Instead, the reconciliation committees focus on mediation between the conflicting parties rather than on an exemplary punishment. This method seems to be effective, as the following examples show:

The blood feud in the village of Xizêne in Kobanê is well known in the canton. It is one of the oldest feuds in the area. In 1989, it came to a dispute between the Bilo family and the Kêtikane tribe. The blood feud, which has lasted for 27 years, resulted in eight murders and several casualties. Kurdish tribal leaders had tried in vain to reconcile both sides. However, this process was hampered by the Syrian state, which deepened the conflict even further. The reconciliation committee of the canton of Kobanê, members of TEV-DEM and the Democratic Autonomous Self-government were able to end the conflict peacefully about a year ago.

Twelve years ago, in the village of Qeremox, a quarrel broke out between the family of Xelef Salih and the Mehyedin Çemo family from Elişar village. The Reconciliation Committee of the Canton of Kobanê and influential people from Girê Spî worked for two years to find a solution and finally succeeded in achieving peace between the two families.

In Kobanê, there had been a dispute between Alaidin Neiman and Mehmud Cuma at the Azad school, where Cuma was killed by Meiman. The Reconciliation Committee intervened, and representatives of the families of the fallen, TEV-DEM, and the Autonomous Self-Government met with both families, preventing further escalation and creating a peaceful settlement by looking at the issues behind the conflict.

In Kobanê, a large number of such reconciliation committees were founded and many blood feuds were resolved without trial.