October 7, 2013 (KAMPALA) – Ministers from several East African nations will next week meet in the Ugandan capital Kampala to discuss peace and security in the “Karamoja Cluster”.
The cluster comprises of south western Ethiopia, north western Kenya, parts of south eastern South Sudan and north eastern Uganda.
Despite the areas being located in four different countries, the regions share commonalities such as marginalisation, remoteness and under-development. The areas are also severely affected by natural disasters, drought and insecurity.
The Kampala meeting which will take place on 14 October has been organised by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the office of Uganda’s first lady and the minister of Karamoja affairs, Janet Museveni.
A statement released on Saturday by IGAD and the first lady said the ministers will discuss the promotion of peace and security in the Karamoja cluster areas.
“Accordingly, the meeting’s main aim is to launch a policy-level regional approach to drive the peace, security and development agenda of the cluster through bridging existing expert and community-level cooperation with high-level policy framework and coordination”, the statement said in part.
“In so doing, the meeting will contribute to ensure robust cross-border cooperation among the four countries”, it adds.
Experts from South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia will meet before the ministers to identify areas of future cooperation on peace and security in the four countries.
There will also be a meeting between parliamentary representatives from the four countries, with the hope of forming a forum of MPs from the Karamoja cluster to lead discussions on how to carry out advocacy and policy support for the peace and security in the area.