Toposa-Turkana peace dialogue begins in Nadapal

A cross-border meeting on peace between the Toposa of South Sudan and Turkana of Kenya commenced at Nadapal border town on Friday.

The conference is organized by the Nyakiriket Consortium with support from USAID.

According to the Commissioner of Kapoeta East County, the one-day event brought together the Toposa and Turkana to resolve their longstanding conflicts.

They are also exploring ways of sharing resources along the border. This include accessing to grazing areas and waterpoints.

“Until when will the Toposa and Turkana stop fighting, raiding and shedding blood?” Abdallah Lokeno asked. “Who are we waiting for to bring true peace between the Toposa and Turkana?”

The Toposa and Turkana communities have engaged in years of cattle raids and revenge killings -entrenching enmity and frustrating efforts for cross-border trade and development.

Two weeks ago, at least two children were abducted and about 30 cattle stolen by suspected youths from Turkana.

“We need peace so that we share grass and water. We need to give time to both national governments to settle other issues,” Lokeno added.

Last week, leaders from the greater Kapoeta and Turkana called for cross-border cooperation and development as means to end decades of conflicts between the two communities of South Sudan and Kenya.

Eastern Equatoria state Governor Louis Lobong blamed persistent conflicts for the absence of health facilities, schools and joint business ventures between the two bordering communities.