Reconciliation conference kicks off in Southern Kordofan

13 December 2010 (UNMIS MMR)

Seeking to settle decade-long grievances between mainly farmer and pastoralist tribes, a three-day reconciliation conference was launched today in the village of Kululu, Southern Kordofan State.

Four Nuba (mainly farmer) tribes and the Alhamra (Hawazma pastoralists) came together under the state-initiated Reconciliation and Peaceful Coexistence Mechanism (RPCM) in Kululu, 25 kilometres east of the state capital of Kadugli, to address damages to crops, animals and human life.

Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, and with the help of peace building efforts, potential conflicts in the Shatt area, east of Kadugli, have been resolved, RPCM representative Juma Abdelgadir said in his opening remarks.

As the Nuba and Alhamra were sharing crucial resources, including water and grazing land, long-standing complaints needed to be resolved. Thirty-five members of each tribe would publicly claim reimbursement for losses, which would then be measured against each other and settled by a committee.

"The conference is important because it will help us become people who can stay in peace," high school student Julius Julul commented after the opening ceremony.

The reconciliation conference was supported by UNMIS Civil Affairs in Kadugli, and funded by the UN Development Programme.

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