|RWECO Members meeting DEC|
Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development through RWECO has this morning of Monday December 19th 2016 represented other CSOs to meet the Kasese District Executive members to discuss Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.
The Meeting was convened in LCV Chairperson’s office with a purpose of planning for a combined effort towards contributing to Peace in Kasese and Rwenzori region at large. And was attended by; Eight Participants that included the District Local Council Five Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary for Social Services, Secretary for Works, and Secretary for Production, and ED GHFRD, Coordinator RWECO and P.O GHFRD.
RWECO Coordinator Mr.Jimmy Odyek B briefed participants about the Community action to prevent and manage conflicts project that is being funded by EU through HIVOS to ensure peaceful co-existence in Rwenzori region. He narrated how RWECO has been engaging stakeholders through Good Hope Foundation in Kasese, KALI in Kamwenge, RICNET in Bundibugyo and RIDE AFRICA in Ntoroko for Peace.
|Deliberating on Kasese Conflicts. Secretary for Production and Secretary for Works before LCV Chairperson|
Mr. Sibendire Bigogo Geofrey, the Kasese District Chairperson made the following key remarks about Kasese conflicts;
· Some CSOs in the region are being used to promote conflicts instead of promoting Peace. He said , he lost trust in some CSOs he is well aware of and asked RWECO to try by all means and make sure they do not join the camp of those CSOs the District has already identified.
· Those with Power (Central Government) do not recognize the need for Peace in Kasese District, the reason best known by them.
· The way Government is handling Rwenzori issues is complicating everything. Use of force to tackle what would be simple conflicts that necessitated dialogue is not a solution at all but escalating the conflict.
· Central Government seems not to be respecting the District leadership and not recognizing the major role they must play in ensuring a peaceful Kasese.
Supplementing the Chairperson’s remarks, the Vice Chairperson Hon.Elly Magwara Masesreka stated that Central Government has failed to handle the exact issues that could be leading to conflicts in the region, and that he is personally not happy with the way Central government is reacting to Rwenzori issues.
According to the Vice Chairperson, Some People who felt insecure due to alleged hunt down of those loyal to Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu(OBR) by Central Government sought refuge at the OBR Palace as the only institution they could trust for their security. “ As District, we do not know what the Central Government is up to in Kasese District” said by Vice Chairperson.
Generally, Participants raised the following key issues concerning conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori at large;
· Most CSOs are not boldly coming up to talk the truth about Kasese Conflicts, attributed to Government intimidation and some conflict merchants also planted in CSOs.
· Interests by Government in Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) likely contributing to escalating conflicts in Kasese and Rwenzori as a way of creating fear among the communities which are near DRC
· Poor analysis of Rwenzori conflicts is derailing stakeholders back and therefore creating a sense of complexity in solving the conflicts. “A domestic related conflict for example is very fast linked to a tribal conflict, any killing in a community is very fast linked to royal guards of OBR and every one seems to believe in such rumors than getting the truth before acting” highlighted by one of the participants.
· Miss conception of blood relationship between Bayiira/Bakonzo in Rwenzori region (Uganda) with those in Eastern Democratic republic of Congo is being used by Conflicts merchants to spread rumors that have acted as fertile grounds for conflicts in Rwenzori.
|Vice Chairperson at the extreme front during the Meeting|
After all the above discussions, we agreed on the following action points towards Peace in Kasese District;
- As community actions continue, CSOs should engage Central Government and boldly talk the truth about Rwenzori and Kasese Conflicts.
- CSos like RWECO also ought to conduct consultation with some key open minded historical leaders of Kasese about the Conflicts for guidance and more clear facts.
- CSOs need to feel sympathetic with Conflicts survivors in Kasese and Rwenzori at large, and once in a while have a sharing with them for psycho-social healing.
- CSOs through RWECO ought to organize another big meeting with District and sub county leaders for all owned action points towards sustainable peace in Kasese and Rwenzori at large.