Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has assured representatives of governments in the Ateker region of renewed engagements on peace and security to ensure peaceful coexistence of communities in the region.
Speaking in Turkreef Hotel, Lodwar, during a series of meetings with different delegates who graced his inauguration, the Governor stated his commitment to address causes of conflict between Ateker communities.
“Strengthening cross border peace will be a key priority in my administration and will allocate resources with the purpose of strengthening community engagements.
“We will empower the Peace Directorate to spearhead community engagements, involve community elders and other peace actors to ensure our communities are living in harmony and share available resources peacefully,” he said.
Governor Lomorukai said governments in the region had to commit to invest in cross-border social infrastructure including water, roads, health and education, to be shared by communities. These he said will boost cross border trade, end conflict over limited resources such as water and pasture, develop region and improve quality of life.
Deputy Governor Dr. Erus John echoed calls by the Governor for sub-national governments to champion better coexistence among the Ateker, insisting that the shared ancestry called for an end to conflicts for the region to realize its development potential.
The Governor first met delegation from Ethiopia led by Head of the Southern Region Pastoralists Affairs Bureau Lore Kakuta who urged for empowering of peace actors across the corridor and a revamp of cross-border trade. He was accompanied by Chief Administrators Nakora Nasike (Nyangatom Woreda) and Fikrimariam Haimela (Dassanch Woreda).
He then met South Sudanese delegation led by Governor of Eastern Equitoria State Louis Lobong Lojore. Governor Lobong’ agreed on the need to address emerging security incidents to avoid conflicts. He decried the role conflicts had impacted on the region’s growth and called for unity amongst leaders.
Ministers of State Peter Lokuju (Finance) and Margaret Okuye (Culture and Youth) and Commissioner for Kapoeta East Abdullah Lokeno were part of the South Sudanese delegation.
Governor Lomorukai later held talks with delegation from Uganda led by MP of Jie County Lokii Peter Abrahams who termed the election of the Governor as a game changer in peace efforts due to his track record in pursuit for peace and security.
The Ugandan delegation included MP for Ik County Lokwang Hillary and Mayors Mohamed Ismail (Moroto) and Irar Peter Abrahams (Kotido).
The heads of delegation thanked the Governor for the warm reception and extended official invites to their regions. The Governor expressed his gratitude for their presence and promised better collaboration with their respective governments.
County Commissioner Wambua Muthama led a team of national security officers who attended the meeting. County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Executives, Chief Officers and a host of senior county staff were also part of the meetings.
By Peter Gitonga