A conference to review inter-communal relations during the last migration season of the Misseriya nomads in Northern Bahr al Ghazal has started at Wanyjok town in Aweil East County.
The conference reviews implementation of an agreement made by the Arabs and Dinka residents of the area prior to the migration this last dry season.
A similar conference was held in the neighboring Aweil North County on 26-27 May between the Rizeigat and Dinka Malual tribal elders.
Two main Sudanese Arab tribes migrate seasonally with their cattle herds into the state – the Rizeigat from East Darfur and the Misseriya from West Kordofan.
The conference in Wanyjok, which is expected to run through Saturday, will look at whether there were killings, cattle thefts or other violations of the agreement between the two tribes.
Both conferences have been facilitated by the organization Concordis International, supported financially by the British development agency DFID.
Caretaker Governor Kuel Aguer Kuel attended the opening of the conference as well as the state acting speaker and other high officials.
In opening remarks, the governor urged the Misseriya to avoid dealing with those who would seek power by force, referring to the alleged involvement of some Misseriya mercenaries in the fighting in Bentiu.
He also urged the tribe to forget border disputes – a likely reference to the disputed ‘Mile 14’ area – saying that cattle do not know borders.
He also warned Dinka Malual to stop killing Misseriya cattle in the forest and claiming that it was bush meat.