Friday March 25 2016

Uganda, S. Sudan meet in deadlock



A reconciliation meeting to resolve the Wano/Abaya border conflict between Uganda and South Sudan ended without a concrete resolution.

The joint border meeting at Moyo Multipurpose Training Centre, had been organised by a South Sudan-based non-governmental organisation, Concordis International.

There were representatives of the two communities of Kuku tribe of Kajo-Keji County in South Sudan and Madi people of Moyo.
The aim was to resolve pending border conflict that led to clashes and arrest of Ugandan officials who were registered citizens for national IDs in 2014. The two communities among others disagreed over a resolution to encourage the construction of minor roads and allow subsistence farming at the border,including the contested areas.

Moyo acting Resident District Commissioner, Ms Collins Obedi, said the two sides met to reflect on the border conflict and find means of co-existing. Between March 19 and 20, the same joint meeting was held in Kajokeji ,South Sudan where 13 resolutions were endorsed.

Mr Patrick Wolyan, the speaker of Kajokeji County Legislative Council, pledged to forward the issue to the Governor through the commissioner. “For many years, we lived together in peace during times of war people welcomed us, so we need to have the border issue resolved peacefully. We are committed to ensure peace so that cross border trade continues,” Mr Wolyan said.

The two sides also disagreed on the move to have Moyo and Kajokeji councils and community leaders living along the disputed border zones to discuss and jointly set up bylaws.

They also failed to reach an understanding on the plan to have free cross border movement and exchange visit between Kukus and Madi.

There were proposals made on paper form that along the border activities like construction of minor roads and subsistence farming should be encouraged in the disputed land Wano/Abaya Village of Moyo Sub County and other contested areas provided that they are undertaken in full consultation with the local authorities on both sides. But this did not go will with the Kuku Communities representatives instead they said unless the landlords of Kanyapo I are consulted.

The land in Moyo Sub-county has been in contention as both Uganda and South Sudanese claimed it. In 2010, presidents Yoweri Museveni and Salva Kiir visited the disputed area and agreed that survey needs to be done and all activities apart from farming, should be halted.