5 October 2011 – To assist Warrap in dealing with unrest that has been plaguing the state in recent years, UNMISS Civil Affairs office held the first of a two-phase conflict management workshop today in the capital Kuajok.
Attended by members of Warrap State Legislative Assembly (WSLA), the initial phase aimed to help them understand the nature of a conflict, including its causes. Phase two would focus on mapping responses and proposing strategies to prevent conflicts.
Noting that Warrap had been unstable since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, WSLA Speaker Madot Dut Deng stressed the importance of the workshop. "We have experienced a lot of conflicts and often the responses have been too slow because a series of problems, such as police weakness, difficult transport, gaps in the judiciary system and lack of judges."
UNMISS Civil Affairs Team Leader for Warrap State, Richard MacKinnon, said his office had recognized the importance of the WSLA in addressing state conflicts. "They and the governor are the only representatives elected by the population, and they have this key responsibility ... including assistance to solve local problems."
In closing remarks, Mr. MacKinnon noted that the level of interaction, debate and discussion among Assembly members had been inspiring. "Having completed this analytic phase of the workshop, they have expressed a clear interest in completing phase two next week. That session will hopefully produce a coherent strategy for them for engage in conflict prevention."
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Achol Chier expressed satisfaction with the session. "We know what the root causes are and now we have to work on the responses and the prevention."