Examining ways to end a decades-long feud between two eastern Afghan tribes was the aim of a four-day Jirga in Mehterlam, involving high-level government officials.
More than 60 people attended the UN-backed gathering in Mehterlam, the provincial capital of the eastern province of Laghman. The president’s advisor, the provincial governor and members of parliament were among the participants at the meeting. Also attending were representatives from the tribes, community leaders, civil society officials and UN staff.
The decades-long land dispute between the Malangani and Uluk tribes in the Dawlatshah district of Laghman resulted in a recent armed clash in which one person was killed and another injured. The conflict affected the tribes economically and compromised their ability to access government services, including health clinics and schools.
According to traditional practices, tribal representatives authorized the Jirga, indicating that they would accept any decisions made at the gathering.
Abdul Hadi Wahidi, President Ghani’s advisor on tribal affairs, said the resolution of the conflict is important for the province’s security. “Peace is in the interest of all Afghans,” said Mr. Wahidi. “As experience has shown, feuds only result in everyone losing out.”
Molvi Obeidullah Alokozai, director of the provincial Justice Department, said the feud had reached an unfortunate peak when the parties inflicted casualties on each other.
Mr. Wakil, an elder representing the Uluk tribe, said that peacefully settling the conflict could increase humanitarian and governmental activities in the area. Qari Dawood, from the Malangani tribe, said peace would help bridge the gap between government and local residents.
“UNAMA hopes the conflict is resolved permanently,” said Lucy Perkins, a political affairs officer working in UNAMA’s Jalalabad office. Ms. Perkins said that resolving this type of conflict is a priority. A peaceful outcome, she said, would restore people’s lives to normal.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides good offices; promotes coherent development support by the international community; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.