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Jonglei Peace Initiative provides optimism

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April 26, 2012 (BOR) – Consultative community meetings began in Jonglei on Wednesday as part of the Presidential Peace Committee (PCC) efforts to find a lasting solution to the troubled state’s cattle-raiding and inter-ethnic violence.

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Commissioner of Duk county, Mochnom Wuor by the remains of a home destroyed in inter-ethnic conflict in Padiet, Duk, Jonglei, January 18, 2012 (ST)

The PCC divided the state in four sections; Greater Akobo, Greater Bor, Greater Fangak and Greater Pibor.
The meetings seek to gather the grievances which each community believes to be the main causes of the inter-ethnic conflicts which have led to death and displacement of thousands of people in recent years.

In January the UN estimated that 120,000 people had been displaced by the conflict, which is predominantly between members of the Murle and Nuer ethnic groups.

National and state Members of Parliament and traditional leaders converged in Bor, Ayod, Pibor and Waat for the four-day meetings.

Jonglei State is home to pastoralist communities that have long engaged in cattle-rustling and allegedly child abduction. Of the six main ethnic groups in Jonglei, the Dinka Bor, Nuer and Murle have being fighting more intensively since the 2005 peace deal ended the Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) but left South Sudan awash with small arms.

The conflict reached a peak last year when over 6,000 armed Lou-Nuer youth carried out a revenge attack on the Murle of Pibor county. That fighting left an unconfirmed number of people dead and led to the displacement of over 10,000, according to the UN.

There has been scant information from the Murle Diaspora and the Murle in South Sudan on their perspective of the conflict, unlike the vocal Luo-Nuer who claim that the Murle have been driven to abducting their children as they are suffering from an infertility endemic; a view shared by the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.

According to the UN Environmental Program the Murle were in Ethiopia until the 19th century. Some remained their until the 1990s while others were driven west by local Nilotes. They established an homeland in Pibor county, Jonglei State in the 1930s, since which, environmental pressures have impinged upon their pastoralist lifestyle.

Little evidence can be found to support the infertility claim. However, the motivation to rationalise the denigration of one of South Sudan’s pariah ethnic groups, in order to legitimise the attribution of blame, is self-evident.

Many peace initiatives have come and gone but ethnic feuds continue in Jonglei. Formed by Kiir in January, the peace committee is headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng, who remains optimistic that long-lasting peace can still be realised through dialogue.

“It is only when people come together and speak peacefully [that] peace can be restored in Jonglei State,” Deng told a gathering of Greater Bor leaders on Wednesday in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

However, incidents of cattle rustling have continued in areas of Bor, according to officials who say gunmen have taken up to 300 cattle in north Bor since March. Last week, ten cattle were looted in Twic East county.

John Penn de Ngong, the secretary for the Jonglei Peace Initiative admitted on Thursday that some “actors of peace indicates that the process may not have significant effects on improving security in villages.”

Bishop Ruben Akurdit Ngong, who heads Jonglei state churches, said the current approach could achieve peace in Jonglei “because everybody is being represented and people are speaking freely.”

Akurdit told reporters in Bor on Wednesday that peace initiatives in the state had “never been done this way before.”

The consultative meetings will investigate the causes of the inter-tribal conflicts and how to address them.

All communities will meet next month in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, with each county sending seven representatives as well as members of parliament and various specialists.

(ST)

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  • 27 April 2012 06:25, by George Bol

    Stop killing yourself for no reason.You have seen the intention from Jallaba for years. Let point sharp objects to Jallaba a leave those hungry cattle-rustlers alone because they know nothing in the South history. Thanks

    repondre message

    • 27 April 2012 06:36, by zulu

      WITH ALL RESPECT, KHARTOUM’S GENOCIDAL AND RACIST REGIME HAS TO BEAR THE BLAME SOLELY BECAUSE IT SUPPORTS THE REBELS FROM THAT REGION AND CONTINUES TO SHIP ARMS THERE IN AN EFFORT TO DESTIBILIZE SOUTH SUDAN AFTER SECESSION. OF COURSE EGYPT IS PART OF THE PLOY.
      HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT OUR PEOPLE MUST LEARN TO LIVE IN HARMONY AND UPHOLD DECENCY.

      repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 06:41, by dinkdong

    Freaking liars! People like Bishop Akurdit and the rests of government fools should know that; gathering around everytime for the name of "peace" and hope for the best will not solve this problem of tribal tension. You got to get out there and teache these idiots the importance of life, by educating them and show them the word of God.

    repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 14:02, by Waucity

    This issue is finsih now..Please don’t bring it up again, calling meeting will only bring back old wounds, call people about agricultural issue, because I believe this is the right time of cultivation...Not empty meetings.

    repondre message

    • 27 April 2012 14:26, by Loko El Pollo

      WAU CITY MY BROTHER OR SISTER,NOTHING IS FINISH,THE COWS JUST CAME BACK FROM TOOC.AND STEALING HAD BEGAN ALREADY IN SOME PART OF BOR LAST WEEK.IT WILL INTENSIFY AS THE SPRING DEEPEN.

      repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 14:05, by Thiang Geka

    PCC should try its level best this time because people have become so tied. Again what is needed in Jonglei state is not a collection of guns only but disarming the tribal minds would have better one thousand times.

    repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 16:56, by JohnGarangFreedom

    Presidential Peace Community (PCC), is better to changes thoese region name including "Bor". It is another problems you are creating folks among these tribes: Twi Dinka, Nyarweng Dinka, Hol Dinka, Bor Dinka, etc. It warning that peace initiative will not go to some areas of those tribes. http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/bor-and-twic-east-discourse-the-root-cause-of-underdevelopment-

    repondre message

    • 28 April 2012 03:16, by LL Reuben

      JohnGarangFreedom,

      There is no such as thing as Hol Dinka and Nyarwang Dinka (both are Duk Dinka) if you will...Please keep your nose intact to your Twic Dinka issues. You’ve all the right to consider yourself anything you want but not dividing other groups unless otherwise. Thanks!

      repondre message

  • 27 April 2012 21:42, by panom lualbil

    Anything yo do like PCC for peace in jongle is okay but dont forget though, peace isnt solved yet. And I encourage police/spla if they could try little bit to hunt those criminals running through jungles like predators. they’re pasting time like if there’s peace for security to relax. But later within a minute after observing bunch of cattles, the can raid like abird leving you in suprise believe

    repondre message

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