The Members of Ateker Economic Summit held at Amagoro in Teso North Sub County on Saturday, have moved to allay fears that unity of the concerned communities is geared towards cessation.
They said the unity dialogue is solely aimed at empowering and propagating peace among the six Ateker communities, including the Teso (both in Kenya and Uganda), the Turkana (Kenya), the Karamojong’ (Uganda), the Jie (Uganda), the Toposa (South Sudan), and the Nyangatom (Ethiopia).
The speakers, included Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ababu Namwamba, Turkana county Senator, Ekal Imana, Uganda Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, Teso North MP, Oku Kaunya, the Iteso Cultural Union Prime Minister, Paul Sande Emolot and Katakwa Anglican Church Diocese Bishop, John Okude.
Namwamba said the new found unity conversation is a new beginning forthe six Ateker communities that have lagged behind socio-economically due to unwarranted conflicts amongst themselves.
He said, “It is only through such unity forums that the animosity that has existed among some of the six communities due to colonial boundaries will be dealt with.”
Ecweru hailed the Ateker youths for opting to come together and dialogue on challenges facing their respective communities and how they can empower themselves socio-economically.
“My appeal to leaders from the Ateker nation is that they should preach peace and unity rather than let the colonial boundaries separate them. Any Ateker leader who is still propagating conflict between any of the Ateker communities is living in the past,” he noted.
The Iteso Cultural Union Prime Minister, Paul Sande Emolot said the youths should change their attitude and adopt the culture of savings if they wish to economically empower themselves.
“The youths are lucky that today they go to school with shoes. My success as a businessman started with meagre savings before rising from selling groundnuts to an accomplished businessman,” he said.
The Ateker youth dialogue and economic summit drew participants from Turkana, Karamojong and the Teso from Kenya and Uganda.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait