WEST NILE. Leaders of the West Nile region have tasked their umbrella association of West Nile Development Association (WENDA) to champion a move to end inter-district border conflicts.

All the thirteen West Nile districts, including Arua city have border conflicts with each other, with Yumbe and Madi-Okollo districts being at the lead.

During the election of new WENDA council executives on Friday last week, district chairpersons identified resolution of the border conflicts as one of the biggest tasks the newly elected Council executive members of WENDA can undertake in the five years’ term.

“All the districts have border conflicts and we need to start addressing these issues now. It is something that we need to sit together for and strategize on how we can end it” Terego district chairman, Mr Wilfred Saka noted.

District chairman of Yumbe, Mr Abdulmutwalibu Asiku added “Yumbe has problems with Koboko, Terego, Moyo and Madi-Okollo and these are challenges that we have. With the initiative of WENDA and commitment by the ministry of lands, I am optimistic that we can resolve these border problems”.

Madi-Okollo district chairman, Mr Ismail Drabe stressed that most of these issues on border disputes are at the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, but no actions have been taken to bring sanity in these misunderstandings.

According to Mr Wilfred Saka and Mr Ismail Drabe, the inter-district border dispute is affecting economic development in West Nile as it is one of the factors demoralizing partners in their respective districts.

The mayor of Arua city, Wadri Sam Nyakua who is also a former Arua district chairman alleged that some leaders incite locals to battle inter-district border issues and called upon his colleagues not handle border issues with emotions as has been the case in the past.

He also encouraged leaders to take advantage of the state minister in charge of lands, Mr Mario O’biga Kania who comes from the region to solve the matter.

Arua district woman Member of Parliament, Ms Lillian Paparu called for a joint effort between district leaders and MPs from the region to sensitize the public about land disputes among districts so that everyone understands its bad impact on the economy.

The new chairperson of WENDA, Mr Williams Anyama, also Moyo district said it needs stakeholder engagement from religious, cultural and local governments to bring inter district border disputes to an end.