Moroto and Kotido districts have signed a peace pact to unconditionally cease inter-clan raids between the two districts.
The peace deal was signed on Thursday at Loletekia in Nadunget Sub County Moroto district. it was witnessed by leaders from Moroto and Kotido, elders, the 3rd Division Commander and other peace actors.
The accord was an initiative by ordinary women from Moroto district in January in which they petitioned the LCV Chairperson Andrew Napaja to call for a peace dialogue between the Matheniko and Jie ethnic groups following inter-clan cattle raids that threatened peace in Karamoja.
The two-day peace meeting opened on Wednesday afternoon at the Moroto offices and culminated into today’s peace agreement which was received by locals with excitement.
Lomin Lopelengura, an elder and peace committee member of Kotido district said the agreement is a cornerstone towards total peace in Karamoja.
“We shall roll out this peace gesture to all districts in Karamoja and then to Turkana. We are tired of raiding brothers and vice versa. We are for peace, let peace prevail,” he told URN at Moroto’s biggest shrine, Lolekia – popular for peacemaking.
The Kobebe Peace Committee member, Ariko Lomuria welcomed the voluntary accord saying it’s timely.
This is our own initiative. We want to stop bloodshed and embark on development. We want to herd cattle peacefully,” he said.
The bilateral talks have been concluded at a time peace in the region is threatening to backslide to insecurity. However, with heavy deployment of the LDUs to the region recently, there are still isolated cases of cattle thefts, sometimes raids still occurring notably in Moroto, Kaabong and Abim.
The Jie community have been often been blamed for most of these attacks.
The female councilor for Panyangara in Kotido Judith Loma said the bilateral peace meeting will reduce hatred among the two communities and promote peace.
Under the agreement, communities will play a key role in recovering stolen livestock by reporting suspicious animals or persons to the army, the lead security organ in livestock recovery in Karamoja.
The two parties have also agreed to have joint grazing as a sign of brotherhood.
Other resolutions include, joint consultations for Turkana to entre Uganda for water and pasture and periodical meetings, to review the peace between the two communities.
Napaja told the two communities to inter-marry while officiating at the peace agreement.
“Women feel free to marry from Kotido and vice versa.”
Napaja also told the families who lost livestock or their loved ones in the raids to forget and move on.
Simon Peter Longoli, the Founding Director Karamoja Development Forum said the accord was significant to the region’s peace. He expressed hope that the leaders must increase collaboration, and support local initiatives towards peace.