MPs call on Pibor Authority to remove armed youths from Terekeka

Group of Lawmakers representing Terekeka County in CES Revitalized Transitional Assembly addressing the media (Photo by William Madouk Garang)

By William Madouk Garang

A group of lawmakers in Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly denounced incessant assaults by suspected Murle armed youths and urged Pibor Area authority to detach those disturbing peace out of Terekeka.

According to the legislators, the accumulative figure of victims who were murdered since 2020 till now, stands at 16 with 492 head of cows and 608 goats raided.

In a press conference convened on Thursday at state Assembly premises, the grief-stricken MPs in their press release signed by thirteen (13) members called on Greater Pibor Administrative Area to remove armed youth that pose threat to people.

“As representative of the people, we do hereby call the Pibor Administrative area to disengage and discouraged their armed youth from roaming around with their arms in Mundari land.”

Hon. Santino Augustino Loku who also read out the statement condemned the killings, saying that such conduct will undermine historic ties among two communities.

“We strongly condemned in the strongest terms possible these barbaric acts continued to be inflicted on our people of Gemeiza and Mangalla Payams respectively by the Members of the Murle armed youth,” Loku stated.

“Such heinous behaviors of killings, abduction and raiding of cattle and goats of Mundari community by the Murle armed youth is the total violation of historical and peaceful co-existence of the two communities,” he added.

The group further called on Murle elders and intellectuals to immediately intervene and urged those armed youth to stop violence especially the issue of attacking nearby communities.

“We want GPAA and her community in general, intellectuals and politicians; let them talk to their people that fighting is not good. It’s enough the number of people who were lost during the liberation war,” Loku stressed.

Mr. Loku lamented that it’s unbecoming to walk distance miles and even spend days in bush just to attack your next brothers.

He said community leaders with Pibor authority should engage close by communities in dialogue to shun violence.

In response to a question raised on by journalist whether the widespread of guns in the hand of civilians escalate conflict, the MP said that the existence of arms in the hands of civilians is a national policy issue, it’s now the government who will decide to disarm the civil population because existence of arms in their hand pose danger and live threat to South Sudanese.

However, when contacted for rebuttal and view of Pibor authority’s conflict mitigation plans, Jay Adigora Alual, the then minister of Information in GPA said he was suspended last week and therefore can’t comment.

On May this year, it was reported that an attack occurred in Pokor village of Gemeiza and three people were killed. On same month, a separate attack also took place in Kworijik village of Mangalla Payam which claimed lives of two young men and left one nursing wounds at same time the assailants left with over 300 heads of cattle.

Small Arms Survey – a research project based in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 reported that as of 2011, there were between 1.9 and 3.2 million small arms in circulation with about two-third of these in the hands of civilians in South Sudan.

According to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the nature of the inter-communal conflict in South Sudan has taken an increasingly militarized stage, with military tactics and sophisticated weapon being used in during raids attack.

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