By John Actually
April 10, 2013 (BOR) - Women play an important role in creating and sustaining peace, the governor of South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state told a women’s conference in Bor on Wednesday.
On the third day of the conference Kuol Manyang Juuk said “peace and stability are human rights and compulsory needs that every individual in the society must have”, adding that “they are basis for stability and economic prosperity as stipulated in our national anthem.”
South Sudan Women members of parliament and those holding key positions in the Jonglei state and central governments converged in Bor to deliberate on how to bringing peace to Jonglei’s communities.
“I am confident that this peace conference will not end in vain. My optimism is based on the fact that women are important peacemakers,” said the governor.
He said “we fought for peace, justice and equality so that we can be a prosperous state and nation”.
The Jonglei women’s group was created a year ago as part of an initiative headed by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul last year to discuss how to resolve the state’s deep rooted inter-tribal conflicts.
Last year, a presidential committee under Archbishop Bull, started a peace process that ended with the signing of an agreement witnessed by President Kiir in Bor in May of 2012.
However, a few months later, cattle raids and other insecurity returned to Jonglei.
Governor Kuol said on Wednesday, that last year’s meeting achieved very little as that they had failed to diagnose the root causes of the conflicts.
"The current and present insecurity in Jonglei state it is economically influenced by [the] hunt for [a] single commodity [cows], which are mainly use as dowries by the communities”, he said.
Cattle are a source of wealth in Jonglei and are used to pay bride prices. The abduction of women and children is also common among cattle raids.
“If we need peace in Jonglei state and South Sudan at large we must address the issues of development and bringing about peace in our mother land”, he added.
The Member of Parliament representing Jonglei on the women’s list in South Sudan’s national assembly, Anne Lino, said that high dowries were a cause of cattle raiding as many young men contact afford to get married without a substantial number of cows.
She said that this issue had to be addressed so that “the youth will not keep engaging in criminal activities”.
“We are going to inform women to be peacemakers, not only to talk about though it will take time,” she pointed out.