Governors of Gogrial, Tonj and Wau are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to bring peace among their people, following a long-standing inter-communal conflict spurred by cattle raiding and other forms of violence that have mostly involved youth groups in the region.
Authorities of the three areas are currently holding discussions in Pakadit, located in Warrap county in Tonj to that end.
They are also disseminating information to the local population about the resolution reached by Governors Matthew Mathiang Magordit of Tonj, Victor Atem Atem of Gogrial and Angelo Taban Biajo of Wau during a July 2019 tri-state peace and reconciliation conference, facilitated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Hosted in Wau, the conference sought to address the root causes of conflict between cattle keepers in both Tonj and Gogrial and the farming community in Wau, and find a lasting solution to the problem.
Primary among other things, the resolution calls for an immediate end to hostilities and revenge attacks, cattle raiding, and any form of violence between the communities of mainly cattle keepers and farmers.
But implementation this portion of the peace conference is being hampered by sporadic inter-communal misunderstandings that have sometimes led to deaths and injuries among the parties, mostly in Tonj and Wau, hence the need for sensitization events.
County Commissioner Paul Mangang Awaak of Man-Lor in Tonj told an integrated field team of UNMISS Kuajok Field Office that on August 12, just on the heels of the tri-state peace conference in Wau, two people from the Tonj side were reported killed by people he termed as criminals allegedly from the Wau area.
This was a violation of the Wau agreement, Commissioner Awaak said.
UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Joseph Riwongole Ngoriakou reminded the people of the three regions about the Mission’s role as a partner for peace and urged all parties to the conflict to exert all efforts to restore peace.
UNMISS’s mandate is protection of civilians; that’s why we are wholeheartedly involved in ensuring that peace prevails, because most of the time the civilians suffer in conflict, he stressed.
The Civil Affairs Officer urged the three governors to take advantage of the peace initiative and make sure that their respective citizens adhere to the resolutions derived in Wau in July.
The Wau agreement requires authorities of the three regions to carry out a massive sensitization exercise that will disseminate relevant portions of the agreement to the entire local communities in the regions.
Source: UN Mission in South Sudan