Ngok Dinka, Misseriya peace conference ends without a deal
Delegates from the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya communities concluded a five-day peace conference in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State’s Aweil town last Friday without an agreement.
According to the participants, a disagreement over the name of the peace agreement led to the impasse. The Ngok Dinka proposed the name 'Ngok Dinka and Misseriya-Ajaira Peace Agreement' while the Misseriya objected and proposed the name, 'Misseriya and Ngok Dinka Peace Agreement'.
The Paramount Chief of the Ngok Dinka Bulabek Deng Kuol told Radio Tamazuj that they will only sign an agreement with the Ajiera section of the Misseriya who they share common borders.
“The presentation became a problem because we have reached disagreement over the name; because they insisted on the name of Misseriya. And the Massiriya has so many clans and is unlimited. There are Misseriya in Darfur, in South Kordufan and in Western Kordufan,’’ said Deng Kuol. “The Missseriya-Ajaira are the ones who come to our areas and we meant to start peace with them because we have relations with them and that why we need to separate them from the whole Misseriya."
For his part, the Paramount Chief of Misseriya-Ajaira, Al-Jak Suileman said although they failed to sign a written deal, they verbally agreed to cease hostilities, recover all abducted children and adults and readjust cattle migration routes.
“Of course, the five-day conference allowed us to agree on many points. Unfortunately, the agreement was based on the name. The conference itself was called 'Peaceful coexistence conference between Misseriya and Ngok Dinka' but our brothers Dinka Ngok refused Misseriya,’’ Suleiman said.
He adds, "From there it was changed as Abyei Peace Conference and we have also accepted that. They want to change the name from Misseriya to Ajaira and this is a fourth conference to bring deadlock. So, I want to confirm that we have agreed on all points we discussed except the name. The mediators proposed to adjourn this conference so that people come again to address issues in the name. The Ngok Dinka have welcomed the proposal but we reject it.’’
Northern Bahr el Ghazal’s peace and reconciliation commissioner, William Kolong Pioth said the conference passed most resolutions except for the agreement's name.
“The five-day discussion went well. It was a bit tough, the two communities agreed not to mention the issues to do with politics, the issue to do with lands and they wanted to focus on peaceful coexistence. Most of those resolutions were passed. One of the tough resolutions we have left and the two of them have to go back is the issue of the name. The Ngok Dinka wanted to call Miseriya as Misseriya-Ajaira,’’ said William.
The mediators and guarantors have rescheduled the talks to take place in two months to iron the outstanding issue.
Over 50 members from both communities attended the conference which ran through February 26 initiated by Northern Bahr el Ghazal’s peace and reconciliation commission in collaboration with amongst others UNISFA and IOM.