Kapoeta community trained on conflict management skills

By William Madouk Garang

Kapoeta community leaders of Eastern Equatoria state attained skills on conflict management principles to promote rule of law within the community. The training was provided by UNMISS Civil Affairs team.

One of the participants, Paramount Chief of Kapoeta North County, Joseph Losike appreciated the UN agency for the training.

“We appreciate the training workshop we went through. This is valuable to us because it enables us to settle disputes better at our level and can instantly recommend that a complainant approaches higher courts, if necessary,” he said.

 “This makes both customary and formal justice chains easily accessible for people,” the chief added.

In the training, technical support on South Sudanese laws was provided to classify and differentiate between the roles of statutory and traditional laws; this, in turn, facilitates citizens to have clear direction when seeking legal help.

On his part, legal counsel in Kapoeta, Mangisto Wani said the workshop was important to sensitize people on rule of law and urged participants to understand their particular roles and responsibilities.

“Traditional leaders have the authority to decide on minor infractions but when it comes to major instances of criminality such as robberies, rapes or homicides, these must be reported to competent rule of law authorities,” Mr. Wani clarified.

Meanwhile, UNMISS Civil Affairs Team leader, Tahir Cevik said “As UNMISS, we want to ensure that this training has empowered and encouraged you to fulfil your roles and responsibilities in line with the Local Government Act to resolve conflicts in your communities.”

The two days’ workshop targets building leadership skills among community leaders and relevant government officers to promote access to justice and rule of law and protect rights of the civilians.

The populace of Kapoeta in Eastern Equatoria state have been long plagued by revenge killings, road ambushes as well as entrenched violent land clashes.

The disputes present difficult cases which are beyond the capacity of traditional and community leaders.

That prompted UN Mission in South Sudan to train about 50 traditional chiefs and county executive officers on conflict management principles to build their capacity in resolving local conflicts.

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