Pastoral migration conference underway in Rumbek

A three-day inter-state conference on pastoral migration and the complimentary relationship between customary and statutory legal systems kicked off in South Sudan's Western Lakes State capital, Rumbek on Wednesday with calls for peaceful co-existence among communities in neighbouring states.

It was organized by the United Nations civil affairs division and the United Nations Development Programme's rule of law department.

The Western Lakes State governor, John Deng Mamer urged the neighbourng Terekeka, Amadi, Eastern Lakes, Gok and Jonglei states to control border crimes, cattle raids and thefts.

I would want UNMISS [UN Mission in South Sudan] head of office, Mr. Kwame [Dwamena Aboaye] to allow us join hands together in establishing peace and harmony in Western Lakes State, he said.

Mamer urged his counterparts in the neighbouring states to intervene in controlling border insecurity whenever such cases arise.

The peace partners are always providing resources for peace and if we don't implement the revitalized peace agreement, it will be a waste of resources from the UNMISS as an organization, he stressed.

On his part, Gok State governor, Madheng Majok Meen reminded the conference participants that peace is a process, not an event.

We all need to dialogue each and every time. We need to get an opportunity to review and evaluate our previous resolutions as well as find amicable solutions to current burning issues that might be undermining our progress towards peaceful coexistence of our people. We should never get discouraged about the number of conferences, said Majok.

He added, We have, in the past, passed a number of resolutions. But it is our collective responsibility to knock all corners by using the method of trial and error until we find true and lasting peace.

Amadi State governor, Joseph Ngere, on the other hand, urged the neighbouring state communities to embrace peace and stability.

When we discussed conflicts, we found out that it was about an issue of cattle and durra, said Ngere, adding that cows and durra were not problems in the region, but cattle keepers and the farmers.

He called on UNMISS to broaden the inter-state border conference to the other neighboring states of Yei, Maridi, Jubek, among others.

Eastern Lakes State deputy governor, David Mayom Riak urged cattle keepers not to rename host communities' places they migrated to.

The minister for Local Government in Jonglei State, Dut Acuek acknowledged the problems caused by his people who are residing in parts of neighboring Eastern Lakes, Terekeka and Amadi states.

Meanwhile the head of UNMISS field office in Rumbek, Kwame Dwamena Aboaye vowed to continue supporting pastoralists migration in the country as well as the revitalized peace agreement.

Over 50 delegates, including ministers, commissioners, joint border committees, chiefs and government officials, attended the event.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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