Ngok Dinka and Misseriya Peace conference commences in Northern Bahr el ghazal on Monday

Paramount Chief of Ngok Dinka, Bulabek Deng Kuol, photo: AIRS

A peace conference between Ngok Dinka and Misseriya will take place in Aweil Town of Northern Bahr el Ghazal on Monday next week.

25 delegates from Dinka Ngok and 25 delegates from Misseriya are expected to take part in this conference. The participants will include women, youths and chiefs.

The 4-day event will be organized by United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and Concordis International, a peacebuilding humanitarian organization.

“We on Ngok side have prepared a delegation for a conference on peace and peaceful co-existence. We in this conference hope that we reach a solution because Aweil is the agreed venue. And Northern Bahr el ghazal government will be the one to lead and supervisor the conference,” the Paramount Chief of Ngok Dinka, Bulabek Deng Kuol told Abyei FM on Friday.

Chief Deng said the meeting will discuss community peace and peaceful co-existence between Ngok Dinka and their neighbor Misseriya in the Sudan. Deng hoped the upcoming conference will not be like last year’s conferences that ended without any agreement.

In April and December, 2020, the two communities  held peace conferences in Difira locally known as Kiec and later in Todac but no agreement was reached. 

In 2016, the two tribes formed a joint peace committee to promote peace in the area. The committee used to meet weekly to discuss issues affecting peace and stability in the area. But their activities were disrupted by the introduction of restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abyei, a contested region between Sudan and South Sudan has passed through series of violent attacks. Last year, a deadly armed attack on Abyei’s Kolom village left more than 30 civilians including children and women dead, scores injured and houses torched.

According to the Comprehensive  Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended Sudan’s more than two decades civil war, Abyei residents were to take part in a referendum on whether to join South Sudan or remain as a special administrative area within Sudan. The vote was to be held  simultaneously with the referendum that led to South Sudan’s secession in January 2011. But the referendum was prevented by disputes over eligibility to vote.

In 2013, Ngok Dinka people conducted a unilateral referendum in which they voted nearly 100 percent in favor of becoming part of South Sudan, but Juba and Khartoum did not acknowledge the outcome of the polls, leaving Abyei residents in a limbo.