Peace conference thaws icy relations between Liech’s Guit community and neighbours

Communities of Mala village in Guit County have set up peace committees to spearhead reconciliation efforts internally and with their neighbours.

The committees were established at a peace and reconciliation conference, attended by cattle-camp youth, traditional leaders, women, and local authorities.

We want to live in peace and harmony. Let us forgive one another and move on as one community, said Paramount chief Riak Buor, during the conference. Let us promote peace and unity of our community if we really want to develop our area, he added, as he called on the youth to forget the past and reconcile for the sake of peace.

The peace and reconciliation conference, held in Mala village, in Northern Liech’s Guit County, was organized after repeated revenge killing between Chiengkuoth and Chienglem clans in Guit.

Facilitated by the UN Mission in South Sudan, the conference sought to explore opportunities of restoring relations among neighbouring communities, and to sensitize youth on the negative impact of cattle raids. More than 100 participants attended the forum

Apart from calls for reconciliation, the participants were also keen on ridding the area of arms as they appealed to state and national governments to carry out mass disarmament to prevent more conflicts.

We really want to enjoy the revitalized peace agreement. There is a need for mass disarmament of civilian populations across South Sudan, said community elder Joseph Kong Yoach.

The guns should be kept in the stores and the civilians should walk without guns so that peace can prevail in our nation, Kong stressed.

UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer in Bentiu Pascal Akimana explained more about the outcome of the meeting.

They managed to set up peace committees, said Akimana, adding, These committees are to work hand in hand with the government on reporting and defusing any suspicious acts.

Akimana pledged the mission’s commitment to supporting the people of South Sudan in achieving peace and reconciliation.

We, as UNMISS, are working with the government and the community to encourage them to find mechanisms that can be workable within the community to prevent more communal conflicts, he said.

Source: UN Mission in South Sudan