Joint Traditional leaders’ Peace Conference; Hopes to restore
By Karbino Dut, Entebbe, Uganda
On Tuesday morning, the Joint Traditional Leaders’ Peace Conference of the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya (Al Ajaira) kicked off at the Imperial Golf Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda. The conference is organized by the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei under the theme: “Peace through Dialogue”
The meeting is an attempt by UNISFA to stop violence and bring about stability to the oil-rich Abyei region, which is disputed between South Sudan and Sudan. The deliberations of the conference will continue for three days (May 17th -19th, 2022), where representatives of the two neighboring tribes arrived in Entebbe on Monday 16th May from Abyei, and Khartoum respectively.
The UN mission (UNISFA) is led by the Force Commander, Acting Head of Mission, Maj. General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer, Chief of Mission Staff Alexander Rose, and Official Spokesperson, Professor Daniel Adekera, as well as guests from the Ugandan Government represented by Ambassador Julius Joshua Kivuna, and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa.
The Ngok Dinka is participating in the conference with a 15-member delegation led by paramount chief Bulabek Deng Kuowl, chiefs of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms, and representatives of the youth and women. Also, the delegation of Misseriya (Al Ajaira) consists of the same number, led by Al Sadiq Al herika Ezdin and chiefs of sections, as well as youth and women representatives.
In their inauguration remarks, the representatives of the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya (Al Ajaira) expressed an honest desire to achieve peaceful coexistence between the two neighboring tribes.
The Ugandan ambassador, Julius Joshua Kivuna, also called for upholding the Trinity of Peace through the partnership of the local community, national governments, on one hand, region, and the international community on the other hand, in achieving prosperity. UNISFA’s Force Commander and acting head of mission and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa stressed that the Entebbe peace conference focuses on issues of security and peaceful coexistence only, which in turn will lead to the discussion of political issues that are the core responsibility of the governments in Juba and Khartoum.
In a strong remark, Hanna Tetteh said that if the wisdom of African societies lies in its community elders, then the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya traditional leaders must do something for the future of the current generation. With this remark, she announced the conference opened for deliberations.
On the first day, the two delegates will discuss “The situation in the Abyei Box and the statement of problems”. On the second day, the participants will be divided into groups to deliberate on the key matters arising from the discussions. On the third and final day, they will discuss the final document of the Joint Traditional Leaders’ Peace Conference.