News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Peace dialogue begins in Aweil

By Hou Akot Hou


Nomads from neighbouring Sudan who live along the border with South Sudan and the Dinka Malual have gathered in Aweil Town, Northern Bahr El Ghazal state for a three-day symposium.

The purpose of the gathering is to review past agreements. Participants include chiefs, commissioners, youth, and women representatives from various counties.

The symposium is being funded by United Nations agencies such as UNMISS, UNDP, and Veterinarians Sans Frontiers, who have brought together high-profile Dinka and Misseriya chiefs to discuss the agreements.

Speaking during the opening of the conference, William Kolong the peace coordinator for the state urged the participants to be frank in their discussions and raised and with open heart so that the peace and tranquility along the border’s residents does not get abrogated by enemies of peace.

During the opening of the conference, William Kolong, the peace coordinator for the state urged the participants to be honest in their discussions, and to speak openly and from the heart.

“I would like to underscore a point here. Each of us knows how we have been living along the border we get mutual benefits. As our people go to Sudan they used to pass through your areas and now you Misseriya come here and water and graze your cows so we have to abide by the rules of the agreements,” he emphasized.

Chief Ibrahim Abdu, representing the Misseriya said the discussions are taking place in good faith.

He expressed the desire to address incidents that have occurred in the recent past, particularly cases of cow theft.

Chief Abdu called upon the state government to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for such acts, ensuring that they face the consequences of their actions.

On behalf of Northern Bahr El Ghazal state, Chief Yel Aguer Geng acknowledged the perpetuation of incidents involving looting and killing.

He urged the government to assist in apprehending those responsible for such acts.

Chief Geng implored his counterparts, the Misseriya, to take necessary actions to contain the issue of blood compensation.

Several chiefs from the Dinka Malual community explicitly expressed their dissatisfaction with the absence of South Kordofan state’s government elites in such meetings.

They stressed the need for their presence to lay the groundwork for better relations at the border.

The Dinka Malual, Misseriya, and Rezigat communities, predominantly pastoralists or cattle herders, have had historical feuds. Some attribute these conflicts to political decisions made by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan, which fuel tensions along the border.

Governor Tong Aken Ngor officially inaugurated the conference, which is expected to continue until Saturday.

The aim is to foster a better relationship for peaceful coexistence in the border areas.

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