Encouraging a common understanding of the historical roots and identity of Ateker people to reduce violence and attain peace, security and development
Ateker Cross Border Leadership Initiative for Peace, Security & Development in Uganda, Kenya, Sudan & Ethiopia:
The project was linked to the ‘Ateker’ people who are the Itung’a speaking group of Nilotes (formerly referred to as Nilo-Hamites) whose cradle is historically traced in the Egyptian Nile valley and to a land between the two rivers of the Blue Nile and White Nile of present-day Sudan. They currently inhabit the borderland areas (the most conflict-prone zone-3) straddling across four countries of Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia) in the Eastern and Horn of Africa region. On the whole, the region experiences recurrent widespread cattle rustling, lawlessness, criminality, banditry and generalized insecurity.
The objective of the AFLI project implemented under the auspices of the United Nations-International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR), in collaboration with the ministries of foreign affairs of Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia, was to contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive and practical framework for collaboration and promotion of lasting peace, human security and socio-economic development among the Ateker communities and their immediate neighbours.
The Project was funded under the EU Instrument for stability (IFS). Through the intervention, AFLI succeeded in promoting a common understanding of the historical roots and identity of Ateker people in the four countries in order to reduce violence and attain peace, security and development. The Ateker people (armed pastoralists) with their local governments and grazing community networks were able to establish a collaboration framework called “tobongu’ lore”- “Come back home”. Long after the end of AFLI’s project, the Ateker people and their leaders from all the four countries, have continued to meet annually in Lodwar in Turkana – Kenya to discuss the promotion of their culture, peace and joint efforts to facilitate, cross border development.
This collaboration has further resulted into President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, signing a Joint cross-border Development Framework for Karamoja and Turkana in 2019 facilitated by UNDP and witnessed by several Development Partners.