07 June 2016

Rwenzori conflicts: Elders form peace committee

Following the recent violence that claimed more than 50 lives and displaced thousands in the Rwenzori sub-region, Kasese District elders have formed a steering committee aimed at holding peace talks in the region.

Under their umbrella association Kasese Elders Forum, over 30 elders who attended a three-day workshop on mediation organised by Shalome Mediation Institute, have vowed to reconcile warring factions in order to restore peace and security.

Rev. Yesse Thembo,a retired clergy, said elders had not done enough to guide the youth who have been involved in violent activities.

“This training has challenged us. I have learnt that we (elders) have not played our part in redirecting our youth,” Rev. Thembo said.
He noted that the training comes at a time when the district is faced with a lot of political and tribal challenges.

“We have learnt to identify and solve our problems regardless of our tribal differences,” he noted.

He said the steering committee will fast-track the mediation process and help restore sanity in the region.

A former Rwenzururu kingdom prime minister Mr Ivan Syauswa, said peace trainings help revive the memories of what elders used to do when confronted with situations like what has been happening in the region.
He said the 30 elders will be change agents who will educate other 150 members on matters of peace.

“No body will ever solve our problems, it is us to do it,” Ms Keti Timbigamba, one of the elders, said.

Mr Happy Macanisio, another elder, said since the problems were emanating from land, cultural institutions and politicians, elders will organise an interface with the relevant stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the mediation institute, Mr Narcisio Bangirana, appealed to residents to learn how to co-exist in cultural diversity.



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