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Concerns as Bundibugyo Peace Committees Remain Inactive

Christopher Mbusa, a resident of Bundibugyo town, says that for one and half years, the committees have never met to resolve the causes of the 2014 attacks. Mbusa explains that the committees remained inactive during the election process and even failed to handle the post-election tension, which sparked off clashes between supporters of the incumbent LC5 chairperson, Jolly Tibamanya and his rival, Geoffrey Mutegeki.

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The failure of the peace committees that were set up in the wake of the 2014 Rwenzori clashes to perform their roles has raised concern.  More than 80 people were killed in the clashes that occurred in Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts.

As a result of the clashes, local authorities decided to create peace committees right from the village to the sub county levels to foster harmony and peaceful co-existence among the Bamba and Bakonzo communities.  The committees comprised of elders from both the Bakonzo and Bamba community, religious and political leaders. They were mandated to unite the Bamba and Bakonzo to avoid future clashes.

They were also supposed to act as an early warning system and report any impending conflict.  However, the role of the peace committees have come under the spotlight following last month's clashes which left more than 30 people dead and 351 houses destroyed in Kasese district.

The peace committee members are being accused of neglecting their roles, which has

escalated conflicts between the two communities. Christopher Mbusa, a resident of Bundibugyo town, says that for one and half years, the committees have never met to resolve the causes of the 2014 attacks.

Mbusa explains that the committees remained inactive during the election process and even failed to handle the post-election tension, which sparked off clashes between supporters of the incumbent LC5 chairperson, Jolly Tibamanya and his rival, Geoffrey Mutegeki.

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Christine Kobusinge, a resident of Kirumiya village in Ntontoro Sub County, accuses the peace committee members of letting down the people of Bundibugyo. She explains that in some areas, where the committees exist, several meetings were held to plan for the attacks, but nothing was done to avert the clashes. 

Kobusinge also adds that she is surprised that since last month's clashes, the committees have remained silent.  Edward Mugisa, the chairperson of Bundibugyo peace committee admits that the committees have been ineffective, which he attributes to mistrust and funding challenges. 

He explains that members need to be facilitated to move either by motorcycles or cars for meetings and also pass on messages about impending raids or attacks. He adds that the work of the committees is being frustrated by accusations and counter accusations among members about, which ethnic group is behind the attacks. 

Mugisa however says religious leaders in the district have taken up the initiative of mediating and uniting the Bamba and Bakonzo communities. 





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