Communities reconcile after peace talks

By Chol Makol Riak

The Lou Nuer and Gawaar communities have signed a peace agreement to end deadly cattle raids in the area.

Jonglei state authorities said dozens of people were killed in the conflict between the Gawar and Lou Nuer communities last month.

The officials said the conflict started when a group of armed young men from Ayod and Nyirol Counties attacked a cattle camp in Uror County, leaving 16 people dead.

This week, a nonprofit organization called Peace Canal and the Jonglei state government organized a four-day inter-communal peace dialogue between the two communities in Langkien of Nyirol County. At the end of the conference, the two communities signed a peace deal, agreeing to end the deadly violence, pay compensation to the families of those killed in the conflict, and return all the stolen cattle to the rightful owners on both sides.

James Chuol Jiek, the Ayod County commissioner who signed the agreement on behalf of the Gawaar community, commended both communities for putting their differences behind.

“This fight that occurred among the two communities of Lou and Gawaar is not good we have mitigated their differences and we have told them (Gawaar and Lou) that their no need for fight among the two communities. The cattle which were raided from these two communities has been return and the lives of the deceased killed would be compensated” James said.

James called on the two communities to co-exist among them for peace to prevail in the area. 

The Jonglei state minister for local government and law enforcement Simon Hoth praised the Lou and Gawaar communities for peacefully resolving their differences and urged the two communities to implement the resolutions.

“They must make sure that what they have signed is implemented, they must be very vigilant and see closely to get down the criminals on their toes because this is where the services are rendered here in Jonglei state to reach their areas unless they have peace,” Hoth said. 

The commissioner of Nyirol County, James Bol Makuei who signed on behalf of Lou Nuer Community also welcomed the agreement saying it will help the two communities to live in peace. Makuei said he is committed to implement the resolutions on his side so that peace is realized among the communities.

“Criminals from other side of Gawaar said they try to steal cattle from their and our criminals also steal cattle from them and they exchange them on the way, we agreed as two communities that the cattle stolen have to be tracked and returned to their rightful owners,” Bol Said.

He said that join operation will be organized to crackdown on this criminals in order for peace to conquer. 

The representative of Peace Canal Martin Kueth Tuong says his organization saw the need to bring the two communities together so that they resolve their differences peacefully. Kueth said it’s important for the Lou and Gawaar communities to live in harmony and build social cohesion such that they can benefit from humanitarian services. 

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