Continued attack razes Kali peace pact

Members of the Toposa Community in Juba featured during a press conference as they brief the media about the unfortunate fatal cattle raids against their community (Photo: Ephraim Modi)

By Ephraim Modi D.S

The Toposa community of Eastern Equatoria State (EES) on Tuesday warned that, continued communal attacks on their territories will lead to the downfall of last year’s Kali Peace Agreement signed on 9-10 August, 2021.

The Kali Conference was signed between Eastern Equatoria Government (EEG) and Pibor Administrative Area Government. It was organized to bring the two communities of Buya and Toposa together in which they promised to live in peace.

The Chairperson of Toposa community in Juba, Paul Napwon Yoane has accused some communities in the State for attacking their people in what he termed as a senseless violence.

“It has never happened in our history that the Surmic speaking tribes; Murle, Tenet and Buya joined forces to violently attack Toposa. This is a new trend in a senseless violence,” Yoane said.  

The community leader said, since Kali Agreement was signed, the Toposa community have not carried any form of violent attack against the Buya community. He said that the revenge killings formerly stopped, and people started visiting each other in Buya and Toposa areas.

Mr. Yoane called on National Government and that of Eastern Equatoria Government (EEG) to intervene. He said authorities in Pibor Administrative Area should bring together the communities in mutual understanding.

“The alliance of the 3 tribes against the Toposa undermines and contradicts the calls for the peaceful co-existence among all ethnic communities in South Sudan as a call from the National Government, EEG and Pibor Administrative Area Government,” he said.

However, Yoane said the attacks are clear testimonies that alliance of the three tribes is not meant for peaceful co-existence, but for violence and instability in the region.

He stated that the Toposa Community is committed to the last year’s Kali Communities Peace Conference, and the recent Peace Agreement signed by EEG and Greater Pibor Administrative Area Government on behalf of the communities living in the two jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, statement from Toposa community revealed that on 6 July, 2022, a combined force of raiders comprising of Murle from Greater Pibor Administrative Area, Buya of Budi County and Tenet of Lafon County attacked Toposa cattle Camp at Lokoromae in Kapoeta North County.

The community leader said the raiders killed fourteen (14) people and wounded 11 as they took fifteen thousand (15,000) heads of cattle.

In addition, he said two hundred and eighty (280) of the attackers were killed, and more bodies are still being discovered in the bushes.

Mr. Yoane said the attack that was launched on them was a similar pattern that the same group had attacked on cattle camp of Toposa at Lokitela on 20th June, 2022 that lead to the dead of seven people and nine wounded, besides seven thousand (7000) heads of cattle stolen.

He said, in regards to the relationship that will transpire on the side of Toposa people, the community is committed to keeping the bond they have signed last year.

“We are not going to predict, we are South Sudanese, these are our brothers, we are still committed to peace and we do not want to fight,” he said.

Yoane further expressed that, the attack was something organized and will create danger among them.

Moreover, he said, he would want to understand the motive of combining themselves together as ethnic groups from different States to fight the Toposa.

The Toposa community leader has State government to arrest the wounded raiders who are currently receiving medical treatment at Napak and Kimotong Primary Health Centers, to face justice for the lives of 21 people killed in two separate attacks.

They reiterated their appealed to the National and State government to work together and recover all the 22,000 herds of cattle that Murle, Tenet and Buya had allegedly raided.

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