In Uganda, the international day of peace was commemorated in Mbarara Municipality, Western Uganda at the Independence Park on 21st September 2015 with National and International Organizations vigorously participating in the organized activities that started a week back. The theme of the day was ; Partnership for peace, Dignity for all’.
|RWECO Staff members at the Function.|
Some of the Organizations that participated included; Nile dialogue platform for Unity and diversity, Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence(RWECO) represented by Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development, KALI, RIDE- AFRICA and RIC-NETE, CEWIGO, UN, International Alert, USAID , SAFE, UNICEF, Word Food Program, Uganda Joint Christian Council, World Health Organization among others. School Children, Elders, youth from different Districts of the country converged at the Independence Park to honor the day and all these participated in the day’s activities like Peace walk, stall inspection, burning of illegal guns as a sign of Government’s commitment towards Peace promotion, among others. The Chief Guest was Hon Prof.Tarsis Bazana Kabwegyere, Minister of General duties accompanied by the British Commissioner to Uganda UN Resident Coordinator and other distinguished guests.
|The British Commisioner to Uganda signing in the RWECO Visitors' Book|
|The British Commissioner to Uganda reading action stories from RWECO/Good Hope Foundation's News letter|
The C/person Mbarara District security Committee who is the Resident District Commissioner in her welcoming remarks reminded all participants that as they join the rest of the world to commemorate the International day of peace that Uganda started commemorating in 2000 following the United Nations resolution, every one has a responsibility to create and maintain the Joy and peace in schools and families, as peace regards to a very quiet and settled condition. He said that as Government, there is already democracy in Uganda, and there are forces in the Central African Republic, Somalia, and other regions of the world to keep peace. The remaining challenges that are progressively being tackled by different stakeholders are; Violence in families, child sacrifice, and lack of self confidence, and that as a democratic country, we can’t enjoy peace when we are still under different forms of pain.
According to the British commissioner to Uganda, Peace is significant because without peace, there is no Development, no Education, no Business. ..She applauded the national peace platform for having identified Mbarara as a venue for 2015 commemoration for other communities to interact with Mbarara community on how they have stayed long without experiencing conflicts. She encouraged all participants to carry on the peace message to all regions of the Country given the political season we are in; Election process which if not handled well could breed a conflict.
|Good Hope Staff, Isaac Sinamakosa explaining the concept of Citizens Manifesto and Peace promotion to the British Commissioner to Uganda.|
The UN Resident coordinator representative educated participants on the great role media play especially conducting research on several developments, as well as raising awareness on different Human rights issues that could un earth silent conflicts causes. She informed participant that 2015 is the world’s 50th year to achieve the world agenda of peace and that it is fundamental in securing the life of peace to all Ugandans. She echoed the close relationship between peace and Development, emphasizing on a very strong crusade for peace if all Human developments are to be achieved at all levels.
|Isaac Sinamakosa with the Chief Guest, Hon Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere Minister of General Duties. Isaac explaining to the Guests the concept of Neighborhood assembly(NA) and How Peace promotion is being Mainstreamed in civic meetings|
In the Guest of honor’s speech, he asked Ugandans to recognize the efforts of those who have fought in bringing peace in the world and Uganda in particular. According to Hon. Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, “Most of our people lost their lives, property were destroyed, economic growth retarded during the struggle for Peace. Conflicts can reverse development and therefore any effort that seems to run us backward must be denied and ruthlessly fought”.
|Isaac, explaining to the Guests the Governance work being implemented by RWECO/Good Hope in Rwenzori Region in Western Uganda where Citizens' capacities are being enhanced to hold their leaders accountable|
The Guest of Honor also made it clear to all people present that there has been deliberate growth of country both socially, economically and politically, and what remains are now for Uganda to consolidate the prevailing peace that has been fought for in the past 30 years. Since Government has managed to bring back the other lost property on the international boarders, there should be Terrorism stopping. “We should compare the constitutions and see what difference there is in our current basic law” He said. He encouraged Ugandans to visit Karamoja and see the changes that have been brought to the region. The Guest of Honor also shared with people present the strides taken by Government in ensuring sustainable Peace as follows;
- Promoting peace building in Uganda through passing the amnesty law, promoting regional balance given the leadership NRM inherited that had been left behind.
- Diversifying Uganda’s economy from agriculture to a developing economy.
- Subscribing and implementing regional mechanism under the millennium goals.
|The Guest of Honor leading the exercise of setting a blaze guns recovered from illegal owners.This symbolizes Government's commitment to promote peace|
The guest of honor thanked all partners for Supporting the Prime Minister's Office-Government of Uganda in organizing the ceremony, at rather a difficult time (election period) but managed to put up a ceremony bringing together busy Politicians, Local people and other Development partners at International, National and Local levels. He assured every one of Government’s commitment to supporting sustainable Peace in the Country.