Ministry Federal Affairs says early conflict warning system needed

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Addis Ababa, December 25, 2012 (WIC) - Early conflict warning system is needed to address sporadic disputes on border areas of Oromia and Somali regional states, the Ministry of Federal Affairs has said.

Residents of the two regions’ border areas have conferred in Moyale town for two days and have made peace with one another in connection with the conflict that erupted in July this year in their border areas.

The peace conference held in Moyale, Ethio-Kenya border town, has discussed the causes of the dispute.

Abba Gedas, local elders and residents in Moyale area who participated in the peace conference mentioned ownership claim on some ‘kebeles’ of the town, ethnicity, rent seeking attitude and intervention of anti-peace elements as reasons for the conflict that happened.

State Minster of the Federal Affairs, Mulugeta Wuletaw said local leaderships suspected of involving in the dispute that had happened in Moyale area are under arrest.

Mulugeta said the claim of ownership on some ‘kebeles’ of the town would be addressed by the government and should not have been the source of dispute.

“The major guarantee for peace is sustainable development. The people that are in development are the force of peace. The responsibility of the government is to continue the development works it has already started in pastoralist areas. It is also necessary to have a system of early warning in place for conflicts before they reach destroying lives,” he said.

Participants of the conference have stressed the need to address disputes through traditional peace making ways which had already been agreed up on previous conferences.

They have also vowed to address differences in a peaceful manner and thereby contribute their share to the ongoing development of the nation.

Deputy Head of the Oromia Regional State, Abdulaziz Mohammed and Speaker of the Somali Regional State, Mohammed Reshid for their part said efforts would continue to maximize benefits of pastoralists from development. The two regions would facilitate forums to share best practices from one another, they said.

According to ERTA, the peace conference has ended by making peace between the participants who vowed to reinforce the ongoing peace, development and good governance works.