August 5, 2014 (BOR) – The warring Dacuek and Ayuel clans of Jonglei state’s Twic East county have signed an inter-clan peace accord in Wanglei village.
The agreement, which was reached on Sunday, was brokered by the Twic East county administration with the help of church leaders.
Hundreds of youths and elderly people from both clans shared a meal together, exchanging ideas on future development.
The peace accord follows decades of tensions among the two tribes in Nyuak payam (district).
“This is one of the happiest weeks for us in Twic East county. For the first time youth have now shown signs of peace among themselves,” county commissioner Dau Akoi told Sudan Tribune by phone on Tuesday.
The long-running conflict, which dates back to the 1970s, stems from the contested village town of Wanglei, which both clans claim as their ancestral land.
Fighting erupted in 2010, with three people killed, and again in 2011, with the combined death toll of both clans rising to 22.
Although special court formed by the South Sudanese judiciary settled the matter two years ago, tensions have continued to remain high.
According to Akoi, under the new peace accord, both clans have agreed to make Wanglei a shared administrative area.
Signed copies of peace accord, which was signed by clan chiefs in the presence of the commissioner and church leaders, will soon be presented to the state governor in the state capital.
Politicians from the two communities have previously been accused of fanning the conflict by taking sides with their respective clans, a claim denied by Akoi.
However, a university environmental researcher, who is a member of one of the
two rival communities, expressed doubts over the agreement, saying it was unlikely to hold due to the lack of youth participation.
He said there are now fears that fighting may erupt in Kenya’s Nakuru and in Nimule near the Ugandan border where a large number of youths from both clans are congregated.
“It would have been better if representatives of the youth living in these areas were included in the talks,” he said.