Over 200 participants at cross-border peace conference in Aweil
A cross-border peace conference that kicked off on Thursday in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State's capital Aweil brought together 250 participants from Misseriya, Dinka Malual and other tribes from four states of Sudan and South Sudan, according to a state official.
Kuol Athuai, Northern Bahr El Ghazal State Adviser for Cross-border Relations confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that the conference kicked off in Aweil and it will last for three days. He said that the conference organizers had targeted sultans as participants, including those from the state as well as those from the nearby Abyei region.
The purpose was to discuss ways to allow people in the bordering states of Sudan and South Sudan to have peace and also to point out ways where there are differences that need to be solved.
He noted that two caretaker governors of Warrap and Northern Bahr al Ghazal would attend and also the Chief Administrator of Abyei, Chol Deng Alak. But he pointed out the governor's arrival at the conference was delayed by some other commitments and he had delegated a representative.
The state official mentioned that there were no politicians participating from the side of the Misseriya. He said politicians should witness any agreement from the conference but should not participate.
He mentioned the conference was also attended by Dinka Rek chiefs of Greater Gogrial and Twic besides others from Western Bahr al Ghazal and some from Dinka Ngok of Abyie.
He said the Dinka Ngok chiefs were invited to attended to learned how Dinka Malual reached peace with Sudanese tribes of Rezeigat and Messeriya so that they do likewise in their own conference with the Misseriya. Since the killings of the Abyei paramount chief Kuol Deng Kuol, Misseriya and Dinka Ngok have not had a tribal peace conference.
Meanwhile, Alor Dou al Beit, Abyei Special Administrative Area spokesperson told Radio Tamazuj over ten chiefs of Dinka Ngok were invited to attend the conference but he denied their participation.
The conference was supported financially by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through its VISTAS program, which is run by a contracted company.