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S. Sudan’s Jonglei and Boma states to hold peace conference

August 24, 2016 (JUBA) – A peace conference between rival communities of Dinka Bor and the Murle aimed at ending child abduction, cattle raiding and creating harmony in two regions of South Sudan’s Jonglei state is in the offing, an official has disclosed.

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The map of Jonglei state in red

The commissioner of Bor county, Isaac Mamer Ruuk said the governor of Jonglei state Philip Aguer and his counterpart for the newly-created state of Boma, Baba Medan Konyi both agreed to bring traditional chiefs and political leaders together in a week’s time.

“On August 30, 2016, we are going to have a peace conference either in Gumuruk or Pibor,” he said in reference to main towns inhabited by members of the Murle tribe.

Also expected to attend the conference is the country’s deputy minister of defense and veterans affairs David Yau Yau who is popular among the armed cattle wrestlers.

The conference, according to the commissioner, would also involve issues of child abduction and how to stump out crimes between the two neighbouring communities.

“We want the communities to interact amongst themselves through trade and other activities,” he told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

“We have a plan that after peace conference, the traders doing the business between the two states will be escorted by organized from Boma State until the reach safely into Jonglei State and back” he added.

Planned efforts to reconcile the two communities has been welcome by several citizens.

“We can’t live as enemies if we want peace and delivery of basic services in our greater Jonglei state,” John Chol posted on the social networking site Facebook.

Currently, there are no business activities between Pibor and Bor. Cattle traders from Pibor travel directly to Juba by-passing Jonglei state. The two communities of Dinka Bor and Murle often trades accusations of cattle raiding, child abduction and deadly attacks on their villages but local officials have not initiated any grassroots peace conference.

However, if the proposed peace initiative commences later this month as planned, it will be the first time the rival communities directly discuss their differences in 15 years.

The first ever peace conference held in 2001 resulted into four years of tranquility in the area.

(ST)