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Kotido Leaders Lose Hope in Peace Meetings

Paul Lote Komol, the LCV Chairperson Kotido says the peace caravans have been running throughout but it seems, there are not working with the raiders.
Karamoja MPs, Elder's, women and youth during peace meeting at Kautakou village in Napak district

Audio 4

A section of leaders in Kotido District has lost trust in the ongoing peace security meetings aimed at averting insecurity in the region.

Currently, the MPs across the nine districts are traversing the region seeking better solutions to end the insecurity in Karamoja.

The peace caravan organized by the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs started on Monday and ends on Friday in Nakapiripirit district. However, the initiative however has met resistance from some leaders who have described it as a waste of time and resources.

Paul Lote Komol, the LCV Chairperson Kotido says the peace caravans have been running throughout but it seems, there are not working with the raiders.

Komol said, the peace conference does not bring peace, instead it can be a waste of time and money, particularly if the warriors themselves don’t participate in the meeting.

Komol noted that the government has already adopted a militarized approach to respond to insecurity and they should give them space to carry on with serious disarmament rather than struggling with peace meetings which cause confusion.

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Ismail Lomwar, the MP Kotido municipality says that numerous meetings have been organized at the community level to scrutinize the action to yield sustainable disarmament and rid the region of guns but unfortunately nothing has been achieved.

Lomwar observed the Karamojong are known for their resistance culture to governance through cattle rustling and the only way to address the crisis is through forceful action.

He says that several resolutions agreed upon in dialogue meetings are not followed up and this makes the dialogues meaningless.

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However, some leaders still believe that a peace caravan would be the only way to bail Karamoja out of insecurity.

Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Minerals and MP for Chekwii County in Nakapiripirit district said livestock theft has become commercial and harmful because unlike previously when tracking and recovering stolen goods was easier from known perpetrating communities.

He noted that the peace meetings are very important because it gives them an opportunity to remind the community that they are the main causes of insecurity and it has to be addressed by themselves.

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Faith Nakut, the Woman MP for Napak District said the peace talks are more important because it helps to foster a culture of peace and promote reconciliation amongst the conflicting communities.

Nakut said it’s better for the community to come up with their own local solutions and have the trust of key stakeholders which they can influence to successfully mediate the conflicts.

She added that the previous caravan meetings they held have yielded some results because there was a decline in cattle raids.

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In May, a section of leaders in Karamoja organized a ten-day peace walk caravan from Moroto to Kotido via Napak district, but the move didn’t meet its intended target as warriors continue terrorizing the region.