Kiir urges communities to pick dialogue over carnage

By William Madouk Garang

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has called on communities to handpick dialogue to resolve any inter-communal conflict rather than carnage.

On Christmas Eve, ethnic violence, blamed on the White Army militia group from Jonglei State killed 56 people in Gumuruk County of Pibor Administrative Area.

Also, factional and communal conflicts in Upper Nile have killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands into UNMISS camps and the neighboring counties since August.

Moreover, inter-communal conflicts have been reported in the Tonj Region of Warrap State, and Mangala Payam of Central Equatoria State between cattle herders and farmers.

Addressing the nation on his New Year message, President Kiir urged the community to seek for amicable solution rather than bloodshed.

“If indeed there are issues between and among neighboring communities that have potential to cause conflict, they can be addressed through dialogue without restoring to communal killings,” the head of state said in his New Year message on December 31.

President Kiir stated that, the country is large enough if communities could work together then each community can pursue its means of economic livelihood without interfering with others.

“Pastoralists can pursue their livelihood while respecting the livelihood of farmers who depend on their crops. The same applies to farmers,” Kiir noted.

“Where the conflict arises, let us find peaceful means to resolve the source of this conflict, this will allow us to focus on developing our country rather than remaining in this situation of continuous insecurity and violence,” he continued.

Kiir further cited that; he was deeply concerned by incidents of lethal sub-national conflict adding that the government will take action against those who continue to engage in ‘senseless’ violence across the country.

He elaborated that the inter-communal violence is bringing down the progress made in the revitalized agreement.

“I have publicly spoken about the dangers posed by this violence to gains we have achieved in the implementation of the revitalized agreement,” Kiir said. 

The President then warned actors allegedly behind the violence to cease from it or face the full swing of law.

“I have also advised those who are behind this violence to desist from it and this advice has not been listened to” he said.  

“To those fueling this violence, be warned that the government will not sit on the sidelines any longer. We will take action against those who will continue to engage in this senseless violence,” he warned. 

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