10 May 2011 - More than 500 leaders from villages around Niertiti and Zalingei in West Darfur met today in Nila Beida market about 35 kilometers east of Zalingei town in a conference organized by recent university graduates. The meeting, the first of its kind, brought together representatives of civil society, native administration leaders, women’s groups, local community leaders and officials from the local government.
Leaders from disparate communities discussed peaceful coexistence and tribal reconciliation in the region. The meeting also centered on such issues as the provision of basic services, education, health care, and other development opportunities. Participants also discussed unemployment rates and criminal activities in the region.
Speaking on behalf of Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari, UNAMID’s Chief of Civil Affairs, Ms. Mbugua Wariara, commended the community for organizing such a vital conference. “Peaceful coexistence is a decision and you are making it today. Your presence here today is a message that Darfur must not be known for conflict but also for peace.” Ms. Wariara also assured the participants that UNAMID and the international community would strive to support the recommendations made today.
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