February 4, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s army has launched a second round of disarmament in Jonglei state’s Bor county, officials said, following deadly armed clashes between two clans of the Dinka tribe last month.
Two people died on January 8 when members of Deer and Koch clans from Makuach payam (district) clashed in an area outside Bor town, with a further two people gunned down on 30 January in a suspected revenge attack.
It is unclear what triggered the recent fighting, with a variety of reasons given by local people, including a land dispute going back to 1934 in which 34 people were killed.
The land claimed by both sides is a raised piece of ground surrounded by a swamp, which is used as a cattle camp. The area is known as Toch in Dinka.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune by phone, John Mac Acuek, the secretary of Bor county community, says local authorities are moving to avert future incidents involving the use of arms.
Makuach payam civil administrator Philip Mabil Duot also confirmed the exercise, saying it will pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict which has been running for nearly a decade.
“The army is disarming the population and after this, the court will look into the issue [being contested],” said Mabil.
South Sudan’s army (SPLA) launched a disarmament campaign in Jonglei state in March 2012 but little seems to have been achieved, with reports of killings by unknown assailants remaining a common occurence.
In order for disarmament to be successful, say analysts, sources of acquiring further weapons must be blocked. However, some groups in the state continue to evade the disarmament campaign, which was triggered by a spike in attacks in December 2011 that continued into 2012.