December 20, 2016 (JUBA) - Authorities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state say 21 people have been killed and five children abducted since a peace deal was signed with neighboring Boma state, this month.
- The map of Jonglei state in red
Jonglei and Boma states signed a peace agreement on 5 December on prevention of cattle raiding and child abduction.
The Murle and Dinka Bor communities trade accusation of cattle theft, with Murle being accused by all neighbors of stealing children.
"Despite the peace agreement signed between the two states early this month, Jonglei State experienced a surprised attack by Anti peace elements/ criminals who mounted a deadly attacked last week resulting into cattle raiding and child abduction," Akec Dengdit, Jonglei’s state minister information said in a statement.
There have been series of attacks on communities in Bor recently and the Murle are blamed for planning most of these attacks.
Both traditional authorities in Jonglei state and Boma state committed themselves for a comprehensive approach to the resolution of insecurity in a bid to curb prevalence of child abduction and cattle raiding. The two states on conference agreed on the opening up of supply routes in a bid to promote trade along their borders.
The conference also agreed on states peace zones in between Boma, Jonglei and Bieh states.
"For the implementation of these phases of agreement, two states signed the formation of a joint integrated police of 1,500 policemen to be recruited from Jonglei, Boma and Bieh states," said Dengdit.
He however said there are efforts to implement the police and army deployment between the communities, but did not specify when.
According to Jonglei state authorities, criminal from Boma state attacked Jalle on 2nd of December, 2016 resulting into killing of two women and abduction of a child. Similar incidence happened on the 5 December, 2016 where two women were killed and one child abducted in Kongor area of Twic North county.
"Continuous wave of violation of the peace agreement signed, similar attack occurred on 13th December, 2016 where heavy attack on civilian dominated area was repulsed in Wangulei [Twic Central county] and thank God no cow was taken,” said Dengdit.
"A huge number of armed criminals carried out an attack on a civilians’ neighborhood in Jalle payam, the headquarter of Bor [North county] resulting into raiding of 12,000 head of cattle and killing of 17 people majorly comprising of both children and women additional to three children which were abducted," he added.
On 15 December 2016, another raid reportedly took place in Poktap [Duk Payuel county] where 1,200 head of cattle were taken but were later returned back. On Saturday, the 17 December, the attackers reportedly attacked Bangachrot in Bor South county and the following day, yesterday, the 18 December 2016, another raid occurred in Panaru [Duk Padiet county] where cattle rustling occurred which were later recovered by youths of the area.
Despite the violations, Jonglei authorities said the peace deal holds.
"The two governments are still committed to the implementation of peace agreement and the punishment of violators. On a similar note, we the government of this state welcomed the assurance of the Boma state governor, Baba Medan to our governor, Philip Aguer Panyang of peaceful return of the raided cattle and the Abducted innocent children and urge him to keeps his words and also make sure that the perpetrators are brought to book," reads the statement.