October 27, 2013 (JUBA) – A regional conference comprising representatives from Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday resolved to prioritise security as a mechanism for peaceful co-existence in the three countries.
- Commanders of the African Union Regional Task Force in Juba, March 16, 2012 (ST)
The gathering, held in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state, aimed at exploring ways of consolidating peace and security, safe movement of people and property as well as delivery of social services at common border of these regions.
A joint communiqué obtained by Sudan Tribune said delegates at the conference agreed on formation of committees tasked to handle security, the economy and free movement of people along the common borders of the three nations.
The conference also agreed on the establishment of mechanisms to address insecurity, commitment on the implementation of the resolutions derived from the conference for the benefit of all citizens.
REGIONAL LEADERS SPEAK
In his closing remarks, the governor of Central Equatoria state urged other heads of states to come into common dialogue to discuss issues that affect them so that people in the region live in peace.
“Brothers and sisters lets all work for peace stability for development to progress in this area, our coming together is a clear signal for peace and unity so let’s continue to be in peace with one another”, said Clement Wani Konga.
He further stressed the importance of a regional approach towards education in order to reduce the high illiteracy rates in the region, in addition to Konga more efforts to bring an end to Joseph Kony’s Lord Resistance Army (LRA), which has claimed several lives.
Joseph Bakasoro, the governor of Western Equatoria state urged the three regions to put the conference resolutions into practice so that the next gathering can only focus on progress report, challenges and achievements made.
He pledged commitment to the full implementation of these resolutions so as to champion peace, justice and unity as fundamental values for good governance and development.
“It’s high time we united as Africans and stood together to address the socio-economic needs of our common people”, he said.
John Mutabingwa, a representative from Uganda appealed to the three regions to observe commitment and implement the resolutions especially security as a factor for socio- economic development.
Meanwhile, the governor of Orientale province in the DRC affirmed that weeding out insecurity elements operating in the region require collective efforts from authorities in the three neighboring nations.
“Stable security is the only means to realize [a] peaceful society and development at all levels,” said Jean Bamanisa.
Each of the three countries have contributed troops to the African Union and United Nations-initiated joint regional taskforce, which was formed to intensify the hunt against the notorious LRA rebels.
The LRA, which has survived since 1987 by kidnapping and forcing children to become child soldiers, is accused of fight conducting serious human rights violations against civilians in the areas in Uganda, South Sudan, the DRC and Central African Republic (CAR).