UNDP supported peace talks in Gambella RegionJan 3, 2019
A peace conference initiated by UNDP Ethiopia brought together South Sudanese refugees and its host communities in Gambella region together to restore peace for development and humanitarian actions.
The conference that was held between 30th of November and 4th of December in four woredas of Gambella was organized in partnership with Gambella Regional State and UNHCR. It facilitated a dialogue on peace building, conflict resolution and peaceful co-existence between host communities and refugees.
Ethiopia has gone through changes in leadership in the last few months. In Gambella, changes in the top regional administration triggered tribal conflicts disregarding the majority demand for good governance and disrupting the regular humanitarian and development works.
The Gog - pughudo peace conference resulted in the lifting of the restriction of refugees not to come to Pugnudo town. The youth conference at Gambella town addressed issues of youth unemployment, lack of good governance and identified solutions that can help bridge gaps to restore peace in the region.
Participants of the peace conference from the four woredas agreed to play an active role to live peacefully together ensuring peace and bringing criminals to justice. They have identified different sources of conflicts and discussed key issues to help maintain peace in the woredas among the local communities as well as between host and refugee communities. According to the participants’ theft, revenge killings, attacks on civilians and political differences between higher officials increased tensions in the woredas.
UNDP’s programme for Gambella refugee hosting communities is implemented with financial support of the Government of Japan to respond to the restoration and peaceful co-existence of refugee and host communities. The intervention seeks to help the region hosting more than 47% of refugees residing in the country to cope with the environmental, economic and social impact of hosting a large influx of refugees.