Dear friends, it is my wish and prayer that no one should mess up your christmas celebrations. The people in Hanoi Vietnam received ‘Christmas Bombing instead of Christmas presents’ in December 1972 from the United States of America. Peace talks failed and the consequence was death of innocent souls and destruction of infrastructure.

The Christmas bombings of Hanoi

Conflict management skills are meant to make parties to the conflict feel heard and respected in the process of negotiating a mutually beneficial solution. It’s not meant to please everyone or removing any disagreement. The goal is to make sure that any conflict remains productive and professional.

Due to a failure to manage and resolve the conflict between the US and North Vietnam, President Richard Nixon ordered Operation Linebacker II in December 1972. It is usually referred to as the Christmas Bombing of Hanoi on 18 December 1972.

The US dropped at least 20, 000 tonnes of explosives on North Vietnam mainly Hanoi. Come to think of it, more than 2, 000 homes were destroyed, approximately 280 people were killed and many injured. However, there are variations in the estimates of the number of casualties, some scholars have indicated that more than 1,000 people died.

All this was because of lack of skills in conflict management and resolution on the part the US and North Vietnamese negotiators. The bombing was US response to the collapse of peace talks between the US and North Vietnam on 13 December 1972.

I have faith that one-day peace will reign in this world. I know conflicts will always be with us. Conflict is inevitable. Conflict is as a result of incompatible goals among us. We also have conflicting desires within us.

Conflict is as a result of the scarcity of resources. Competition for scarce resources bleeds conflicts. And this will always be the case.

I have faith that you and l shall continue to refine the means of managing and resolving the inevitable conflicts among us. We shall not allow disputes to ruin our relationships and our countries. We shall not permit conflict to turn into violence or war.

We all need to develop conflict management and resolution skills to prevent conflict from turning into violence.

We must teach these skills to our children. They need to be passed on from generation to generation.

We can acquire them either through formal training or otherwise. Churches must teach conflict management and resolution skills. The Holy books also teach these skills. Motivation speakers and writers must advocate for the teaching of conflict management skills.

We need these skills and strategies in our homes, political circles and day to day interactions.

Operation Linebacker II could have been prevented with excellent negotiation skills. The Operation end on 29 December 1972 after the damage had already been done. Parties to the conflict signed the Paris Peace Treaty.

Henry Kissinger, the Chief US negotiator, was reported to have said, “we bombed the North Vietnamese into accepting our concessions.” This was not necessary.

I pray that no one should ruin your christmas celebration.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Merry Christmas to you all.