By Yien Gattuor Mead
A three day’s peace dialogue aimed at building peace and trust among communities in Unity State has concluded with calls for action to eradicate cattle raids and promote peaceful co-existence in Unity state.
The initiative that was supported by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in partnership with the state government, kick-started on Saturday ended on Monday this week.
The UNMISS Civil Affairs officer in Bentiu Mr. Emmanuel Kwalar told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the community peace dialogue in Bentiu is the third following similar dialogues held in Mayendit and Leer counties respectively.
He stated that the dialogue was redemption of the Commissioners Forum when they met in Bentiu.
“The County commissioners came together and decided that the community should come to together and discuss on the vision of Southern Unity and I think they need this initiative of leadership,” he said.
Kwalar said as civil affairs and UNMISS “your partner for peace” when the communities come together and agree that there will be peace, they support such efforts.
He said during this peace dialogue they heard good dissuasions from women, cattle camp youth, chiefs, traditional leaders and the commissioners.
“We know that the communities of Koch, Leer and Mayendit are all big that we can never succeed to bring everybody together but select the representatives that had been attending this dialogue in Mayendit, Leer and in Koch. Today it’s our hope that they will give this message back to your villagers and “your community” and tell your brothers and sisters the decision that they had taken together with the communities and commissioners for peace to prevail in southern Unity state,” he noted.
The commissioner of Koch County, Koang Biel said they have agreed with his counterparts from Mayendit and Leer to abolish and fight the chronic cattle raiding in southern Unity state.
“We agreed that they will not get space to raid cattle, if there’s any one who raids cattle from Mayendit and Leer, if we get that person we will put him in prison and he will face the law of South Sudan,” he said.
“This is what we agreed on during the peace dialogue in Koch County on Tuesday.
Commissioner Biel said there are criminals raping young girls and women; we declare tough measures against them.
“My friends if we get you, you will be in prison for life,” he noted.
He further stated that they also agreed that there should be free movement of people across the communities for example someone can come from Adok up to Koch town and nobody will be asked.
The Koch county commissioner however underlined that flooding in the three counties of Mayendit, Leer and Koch still remains a major challenge to the communities there.
“The highlands are not enough to our people, we are requesting humanitarian aid workers to come and help the people of Mayendit, Leer and Koch because they are suffering now from the flood,” he appealed.