September 5, 2012 (BOR) - South Sudan’s Jonglei state says the security situation has calmed in the Pibor and Akobo counties after the SPLA clashed with David Yau Yau rebels.
On Wednesday Jonglei State Governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, British Ambassodor, Alastair McPhail, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Gabriel Gai Riam, Minister of Law Enforcement, Duop Lam, and advisor to State Governor on Special Mission, Mathiang Malual Mabur toured Pibor and Akobo counties to check the security situation.
Addressing the counties authorities in the two counties, Juuk described Ambassador McPhail as a true friend of South Sudan due to his continuous commitment and willingness to help South Sudan during the civil war even before the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which led to South Sudan’s independence in 2011.
Governor Juuk said he was visiting the area to see first hand that the security situation has improved after 24 soldiers were recently killed when rebels ambushed an army position. Several others went missing while a dozen of soldiers were wounded.
According to the latest reports from Pibor county, Yau Yau’s rebels are stationed in a place called Waka close to the Nanaam River, east of Lekuangole Payam [district].
Addressing the people in Pibor, Juuk cited floods and rebel activities as obstacles encountered by the people, while trying to make their living after the signing of the communal peace accord in May.
The Jonglei peace process was launched to try and stop violence, cattle raiding and abductions between rival ethnic groups. The peace process followed President Kiir’s disarmament campaign in which 15,000 police and soldiers were deployed to the state.
Despite being declared a success with over 10,000 small arms collected, the Army says that some groups, including those loyal to David Yau Yau, did not disarm.
“Yau Yau will be crushed soon by the SPLA army and organized forces”, he asserted.
Governor Juuk praised the shared effort from chiefs, organized forces, SPLA and county authorities for peaceful disarmament.
If security and peace can be established, he said, "development can come in”.
“We cannot depend on humanitarian relief or any more. We can work with our hands to clear the roads or to achieve other workable projects”, Juuk added.
Many of Jonglei’s ethnic groups including the Nuer, Murle and Dinka depend of cattle as the main source of livelihoods. Agriculture is largely on a small subsistence level. But the Governor wants to change this.
“We cannot solely rely on cattle for living, but sell them by ourselves to buy tractors for cultivation”, he said.
“Also with security and peace in place, investors will not be scared away and will be motivated to come to our end to invest here and this can also create us a job”, he said.
Commenting on the statement made by Governor Juuk on peace and security, Ambassador Mr. McPhail acknowledged the progress made on security, adding that he "will invite British companies to South Sudan to invest here in this newly born country and to assist you in developing your nation”.
The British government plans to provide ten million textbooks to primary schools in South Sudan, in ratio of six text books per a child over the next couple of months, the Ambassador said.