Conflicting communities sign peace


By William Madouk

Luacjang and Pakam communities from Warrap and Lakes states have reached a ceasefire deal to stop continued revenge attacks and inter-communal violence.

“Any disagreement we have should be resolved legally, in court, rather than violently,” Manyiel Lieny Wol, Pakam Paramount Chief, who is a signatory to the community peace deal, said.

According to Manyiel, the parties are willing to share disputed grazing area, but do not compromise on land ownership.

The cessation of hostilities between neighboring communities, marked hope and a first step towards dialogue and a more comprehensive commitment to solve differences amicably, thus saving lives.

Presence of guns in the hands of civilians and hate speech, including ruckus over grazing land, cattle-raiding, and revenge attacks, have contributed to a series of violent clashes in Rumbek North County.

According to February 2023 reports, local authorities placed the death figures at over 150 people killed between the feuding communities.

Executive Chief of the Luacjang community, Mr. Agok Aguer Adel considered the security situation in the contested area “volatile” due to persistent cattle raiding and revenge attacks.

“We don’t think we are occupying anybody’s land, but in the spirit of peace, we are willing to peacefully resolve any land dispute,” he stressed.

A document outlining key root causes of the conflict, with both sides committing to ending all violence, was eventually signed at the conference.

Two other potential issues that will need to be resolved are the abundance of weapons and the frequent practice of hate speeches.

“Guns are everywhere, and offensive statements provoke young people to get involved in armed conflict. This has to stop,” declared Mary Adol Biet, a mother who is often worried about her children.

The peace conference concluded with need to resolve all pending contentious issues before the cattle migration season.

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and partners organized the peace conference.


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