Greater Equatoria traditional authorities’ regional conference commences in Torit

UNMISS Civil Affairs officer. Tahir Cevik & UNDP officer speaks during the opening session of traditional Regional conference in Torit yesterday (Photo: Ijoo Bosco)

By Ijoo Bosco

A two days traditional authorities’ regional conference for the greater Equatoria region has commenced in the Eastern Equatoria State capital Torit yesterday.

The conference has drawn over fifty participants from three States of greater Equatoria which are; Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria respectively.

The regional conference brought together the participants from the region in order to share a roadmap to be developed and enacted into a law that will govern the works of traditional leaders in the Country.

The regional conference is being organized under a theme “Empowering local peace structures to address local disputes and resolve communal conflicts.”

Mr. Tahir Cevick, the team leader for Civil Affairs and acting head of UNMISS field office in Torit said the conference aims at bringing state, regional and national level to attend to the challenges facing traditional leaders in an effort to provide effective service delivery in Equatoria region and South Sudan at large.

He asserted that, the conference was also meant to prepare the State to a bigger South Sudan regional conference plan to be held in Juba in the nearest future.

Meanwhile, the representative for local government board in Juba Mr. Malony Akau appealed to the traditional leaders to put the interest of South Sudan first in their deliberation by sharing biting issues and seek for a better solution that will promote peace and unity for all in the Country.

The two days conference targets paramount chiefs, Local Government Ministers, payam administrators, civil societies and council of traditional authorities that were drawn from all the three States of the greater Equatoria region.

Addressing the traditional leaders, Western Equatoria State minister for Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies, James Severino said empowering traditional leaders is one way of bringing hope and peace to the entire parts of the Country.

He called on the chiefs to share their experiences openly with their colleagues in the conference that is being held in Equatoria land citing that most of the regions have co-related cultural norms that need more vanish to promote equality and unity for the region.

Meanwhile Central Equatoria State minister for Local Government, Moro Isaac Jenesio encouraged the traditional leaders to work as ambassadors for peace in their different localities.

He urged the leaders to deliberate lengthily on issues regarding bride prices, Murder cases, and interference in court cases, customary issues among others and come up with clear roadmap resolutions.

He also believed that traditional leaders in Equatoria region will learn from their fellow colleagues and integrate issues as custodians of laws at grassroots levels.

The two-day conference has been funded by United Nations Mission in South Sudan and its sisterly partner United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to help develop and build the capacity of traditional leaders in promoting rule of law in the country grassroots.

Eastern Equatoria state minister of local government and law enforcement Peter Lokeng officially opened the workshop on behalf of the Deputy Governor as the State Governor was out of the State for an official mission to the capital Juba.

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