Speaking at the conclusion of the Jonglei-Pibor Peace Conference on Wednesday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit called on the rival communities to stop engaging in inter-tribal conflicts or else he would not send troops to de-escalate tensions.
“Next time you go for fighting, I will not come to help you again, and even, I will not appoint any committee to go and investigate the fighting in that area,” Kiir told the participants while closing the two-day Peace Conference in Juba.
Kiir told them that he would rather remain silent and keep his security forces around him for other purposes than intercommunal violence.
“I will maintain the small army and police around me. I have decided that if any fighting [erupts] again, I will not send any soldier or police. I will allow you to fight till the end,” Kiir told them.
He also warned them that if they engage in other acts of violence and rush to him for protection, they should not complain anymore and accept their defeat.
“But I will help you and defend you [when you run to me]; after that, do not talk like a man.”
Over 250 representatives from the the Nuer, Dinka, Kachipo, Murle, and Anyuak participated in the peace conference amid at ending insecurity and inter-communal conflicts in Jonglei and Pibor Administrative.
Intercommunal violence between the Nuer, Murle, and Dinka aggravated by cattle rustling and child abduction has been never-ending. It can be traced back to the 1950s.
In a meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, communities of Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area have wrapped up a two-day Peace Conference aimed at ending insecurity and inter-communal violence in the two states.
“Delegates comprising of over 250 representatives from the youths, women, chiefs and intellectuals of Bor Dinka, Gawaar and Lou Nuer, Murle and Anyuak met in Juba from 25th – 27th January 2021 to resolve the ongoing inter-communal conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area,” the Presidency noted in a statement.
“The conference deliberated on the issues pertaining to the insecurity and inter-communal conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area under the auspices of H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit.”
“After a thorough deliberations on the report from the high-level investigation committee constituted by H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, headed by Vice President H.E. Dr. James Wani Iggi , the conference resolved for the communities to commit to end the persistent insecurity and conflicts in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area and with the neighbouring communities.”
In his remark, President Kiir urged the tripartite communities to forge peaceful coexistence and unity and put an end to cattle rustling in the country.
“H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit said, the inter-communal conflicts that happened are very shameful stating that he is not happy with the behaviours and actions shown by the communities in killing each other for nothing.”
Kiir stressed the need for the full implementation of the peace agreement as a way to end inter-tribal conflicts across the country.
“Vice President and the Chairman of high- level committee H. E. Dr. James Wani Iggi said, H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit will establish a high- level committee with representatives from the affected communities to monitor, evaluate and follow up on the implementation of the resolutions that will end the inter- communal conflicts.”
“In addition, H.E. Dr. James Wani Iggi urged the Communities of Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative area to consider the resolutions of the conference as a ceasefire agreement stating that without the ceasefire, the resolutions cannot be implemented. H. E. Dr. James Wani urged the two communities to end the hatred and begin the process of forgiveness among each other.”
July 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–There has been political infighting within the SSOA Coalition over who to lead and who should not. And this has brought about misunderstanding between Changsong Lew Chang, the leader of (FDP/SSAF) and the leader of NDM Lam Akol Ajawin.
Last month, Dr Lam Akol nominated his secretary as the would-be Governor of Jonglei State but Changson and his staunch supporters were against his unilateral decision. On 15-7-2020, the SSOA picked Denay Jock Chagor, the former Minister of Higher Education as the Governor of Jonglei State. But many South Sudanese have been questioning whether Denay is capable to do the job perfectly or he is going to sleep like the old men? Let’s look into what happened to Jonglei under former Governors who knows better than Denay Jock Chagor
This is the list of the Governors in Jonglei State who rule but there never been any ounce of peace in the land of Jonglei, in lieu of most of them have good understanding of what’s boiling that land for years.
 Philip Thon Leek, the first Governor  Kuol Manyang Juuk, the second Governor  John Kong Nyuon, the third Governor  Maker Thiong Mal, fourth Governor (under 32 states)  Denay Jock Chagor
Jonglei State is home to the Dinka, Nuer, Murle and Anyuak. And in South Sudan, it is the only state to have witnessed circles of ethnic violence since independence.
Much of which is over land, water, cattle and even individual grudges. Though many peace conferences have been held in order to bring about peace and reconciliation between the Murle ethnic group, Lou Nuer and the Dinka Bor, unfortunately senseless killing, abduction of women and children and cattle rustling have never been stopped. Then all the Governors who rule this very state, who also have vast knowledge about the Jonglei. Failed to bring peace among the communities living there. All their efforts exhausted and they couldn’t do anything to serve this state from falling apart hitherto. But will Denay succeed in bringing peace in Jonglei?
Now who’s Denay Jock Chagor, the Lost Boy to lead this delicate State and who have no knowledge about what has been boiling the land? Per my understanding, it’s unfortunate that the SSOA leadership had nominated someone who has never been a leader of a small community association let alone the Jonglei State. Therefore, this is a sign that South Sudan will never have peace at all. Moreover, a few weeks in the office of the Ministry of Higher Education, Cde Denay exposed his weaknesses by releasing the $3M in the name of students schooling in foreign countries, but only a few students received 20$ each in Egypt. Then the rest of the money disappeared into thin air and their private accounts as it has been the culture of South Sudanese when one ascending to big political seat . So if Denay is incompetent to run a small sector like the Higher Education, what miracle are we going to expect in Jonglei?
The SSOA Coalition has shown us that they’re not caring about the well-being of the people of Jonglei. Though Pibor Administrative Area was detached from Jonglei still the conflict won’t end. It should be better if Denay bungle the entire South Sudanese in the Ministry of Higher Education than burying the whole Jonglei State because of the party nomination. Candidly, Denay didn’t deserve that gubernatorial seat for he is not familiar even with the path leading to Jonglei. But Jonglei deserves someone who has once interacted with the local communities and who knows what they like and what they don’t like. What’s reason why Johnson Olony was rejected?
Then the same thing ought to happen to Denay by those who need peace in the State of Jonglei than someone who will just come and sleep without fixing the problem. Even though the agreement said that, any party has right to bring its nominee, Denay isn’t the capable person for the job because he won’t change the situation in Jonglei. In conclusion, I’m urging the leadership of SSOA to desist from political wrangling and purge for the sake of peace in South Sudan.
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July 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Troika countries, (the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway) have voiced their concern over the ongoing slow pace of the implementation of the peace agreement and called on the Parties to expedite the process as a matter of urgency.
The Troika called in a joint statement issued at the “IGAD” summit on Tuesday for the rapid establishment of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the completion of security sector reform.
“The Troika remains deeply concerned with the lack of progress in other areas and calls upon the parties to further accelerate the implementation of the peace agreement. The Troika looks forward to the formation of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the completion of security sector reform,” the statement partly reads.
The group remarked that the persistence of inter-tribal violence pitting ethnic groups in Jonglei State is a source of concern and urged leaders to find an amicable solution to address the problem.
“The recent rising violence across the country, particularly in Jonglei but also in Warrap and Lakes states, has left at least 60,000 people displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance. This presents a fundamental challenge to the continued credibility of the ceasefire and the peace agreement.”
“The Summit must encourage the Transitional Government to act quickly with all parties working together to stem the violence, in line with its responsibility to protect the population and its role in enabling humanitarian access. If we do not see action now then we may face the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in the most affected areas. We commend the role of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in protecting vulnerable groups.”
Since December last year, South Sudan has witnessed widespread inter-communal violence, which has been exacerbated by cattle rustling and rampant child abduction.
In recent months, the same cycle of violence has claimed the lives of 600 people and left nearly 1,000 others critically wounded particularly in Jonglei State .
July 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–President Salva Kiir Mayardit is strategically planning to return the country to the defunct 32 states through the back door, a senior SPLM-IO official said this morning.
Mabior Garang de Mabior, a former Deputy Interior Minister and member of the opposition, said it’s become blatantly obvious that the government is working on a secret plan to reintroduce the defunct 32 states in the guise of administrative areas.
“It looks like the regime is planning to return the country to the Thiry-two (32) States by way of Administrative areas. This is currently underway. In a classic “problem reaction solution”, the regime has created a crisis by arbitrarily granting Administrative areas to communities,” Mabior observed.
“This has exacerbated ethnic tensions within the Ten (10) States, so the demand for an Administrative area will now appear to come from the people. In the end we shall return to Thirty-two (32) States as if by popular demand. It will instead be Thirty-two (32) Adminstrative areas,” he claimed.
Mabior believes that the current agreement partially being implemented will not bear fruit in the end.
“There is no Agreement, it was dead on arrival. It was already in ICU in Addis Ababa as The High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) and it finally died in Khartoum as the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA). We are now burying its remains in Juba as the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU). It is now over 100 days since the so-called unity government was formed in contravention of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). There is nothing to show in terms of peace dividends for our vulnerable civil population, who continue to suffer in ‘dignified silence’, even after our hard won freedom.”
“The crisis in Jong’lei State between Jieng-Bor, Lou-Nuer and Murle made these divisive sentiments gain traction. Our peoples are starting to demand for their own Administrative areas. It is an open secret that the insecurity in Jong’lei has nothing to do with cattle rustling. It is about the natural resources.”
“The oil in Jong’lei State threatens to further widen this cleavage. After the announcement of the Governors according to responsible power sharing in the Agreement, Jong’lei State still has no governor, neither does Upper Nile State.”
June 26, 2020 (Thessherald)-The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), a Juba-based human rights organization, welcomes the presidential order issued by the president of the republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit on Tuesday 23rd, June 2020. The order aimed at resolving the endless and on-ongoing inter-communal violence in Jonglei State is a welcome move in the direction.
However, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) takes this order at face value. It has to be noted that, several attempts were made since 2005 to deal with the communal fights in Jonglei, but all efforts were rendered futile and ineffective.
Despite the presidential order being a good gesture and a welcomed move, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) strongly object the composition of the high-level committee and seriously doubts whether it will be able to deliver. The decade’s long tension in the Greater Jonglei area that involves the Nuer, the Dinka and the Murle tribes cannot be without unknown root causes that deserve a committee to find out. It is an open secret that the inter-communal feuds if not all but most of the times are issues related to revenge attacks usually accompanied by cattle raids, child and women abductions, rapes and other revenge-inducing crimes.
The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) therefore urges the president to reconsider reconstituting the membership of the high-level committee to include representatives from the civil society and religious leaders, but most importantly there should and must be tribal chiefs from the ground representing respective conflicting tribes; they are well informed with issues affecting them, unlike politicians. Appointing politicians to head the process is nothing but another opportunity for politicians to empty the state’s coffers. If appointing politicians solves anything, the Greater Jonglei’s inter-communal fights would have been solved long time ago.
Conclusively, the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) cannot help points out to the fact that, these communal feuds in Jonglei and other parts of South Sudan are as a results of state policy failures, anarchy and dysfunctionality. It is therefore a joke to expect a state that has presided over the chaos for over decades to overnight wake up and solve the problems they help created. The political elites in South Sudan have politicized and commercialized these inter-communal fights and should not be appointed to further their gains!
The president should as a matter of credibility appoints members from the ground not Juba-based politicians if he wants to solve the issue; something we are tempted to believe.
The problems in Jonglei do not end with finding the root causes but it is fundamentally tied generally to the prevailing situation of lawlessness and rampant insecurity countrywide. It has to do with provision of all forms of securities; justice and proper administration the rule of law, appointing politicians will not help it but aggravate it.
The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) would like to urge the president to look at involving the civil society, religious leaders and paramount chiefs of the conflicting tribes from the ground, otherwise this is going to be another political appointment that has nothing to do with the common people but politicians.
June 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–Thousands of people from the Murle ethnic group are reported to have fled into the bush for fear of being massacred by their neighboring communities in retaliatory attacks.
Last week, a group of youth from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, sounded the alarm calling on IGAD and the international community to do everything in their power to prevent mass killings in the region.
“The Youth Union of GPAA would like to inform the nation and the world that there was ongoing mobilization that has been done at the level of higher leadership of SPLM /SPLA-IO from Dinka Bor and Nuer leaders and part of SSDPF commanders that they have mobilized Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor communities to carry massive attack on Murle land,” the group said on Tuesday.
The group alleged that the attackers were heavily armed by the government to wipe the Murle off the face of the earth.
“The aforementioned communities got military supplies from mechanized division’s commander and division eight’s deputy commander for them to attack Murle community. For decades now, Dinka Bor leaders, intellectuals youths, Law makers and other social groups in their community always use to say that they want to wipe away Murle community out of GPAA land.”
“According to their mentality of superiority, Murle community does not deserve the land which it,s inhabiting currently, but Dinka Bor deserves it. For this purpose, Dinka Bor uses other communities as Nuer, Jie, Kachippo, Anyuak and other communities including governments soldiers to fight for them to liberate GPAA land for them.”
“In February-17-2020 the same communities namely Dinka Bor, Lou Nuer and Jie carried attack on Murle land from three directions, Lou Nuer from the northern direction, Dinka Bor from western direction of the area and Jie also carried several attacks from the eastern side of the area, In this allied attacks, Lou Nuer and Dinka Bor have taken nine hundred and seventy five children and women (975) and 60,000 heads of cattle.”
South Sudan has been beset by a wave of inter-communal violence, exacerbated by numerous factors. The United States last week called on the coalition government to form the state governments as soon as possible.
June 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–Calm has returned to the UNMISS POC camps, as the Nuer communities agreed, on the evening of June 7, 2020 to stop three days of inter-communal violence that left more than 170 people critically injured.
“The problem has been resolved amicably and the rival communities were celebrating upon their return to the POC sites,” said Daniel Gatjang, one of the internally displaced persons.
This afternoon, the Transitional Government of National Unity sent a security team headed by 1st Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, Michael Changiek Gey in an effort to quell the communal tensions between the Nuer communities.
Since the outbreak of violence in 2013, thousands of Nuer communities have taken refuge in the camps run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
May 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The main armed opposition group, SPLM/A-IO dismisses accusations that it forces had involved in cattle raids in Pariang and Warrap, according to a press statement issued Thursday by Deputy Military Spokesperson, Lam Paul Gabriel.
“It has come to the knowledge of the SPLA-IO command that its forces in Unity State has been accused of carrying out cattle raids in Pariang and Warrap yesterday 27/05/2020 by some anti peace elements from the defunct Norther Liech and Ruweng State. This defamatory lies towards the SPLA-IO will not solve the real problem on the ground.The SPLA-IO does not raid cattle.”
Lam stated that the SPLA-IO forces do not raid cattle and will never get involved in cattle rustling that has long existed between the Dinka and the Nuer communities.
“It should be noted that violence between cattle keeping communities in South Sudan existed long before the SPLA-IO; and therefore, pointing fingers at the SPLA-IO at this peace time, shows how blind we have become in this country. Community violence is the responsibility of every South Sudanese. Solving this unneccessary violence requires a national approach with sincere hearts but not politics.”
The SPLM/A-IO accused an unnamed group of politicians of encouraging and inciting issues that could reignite another conflict in the country.
“It is both shameful and disappointing that at this time when peace is being implemented, some politicians are still beating the drum of war in the country. The SPLA-IO remains committed to the peaceful implementation of the R-ARCSS, and no amount of negative propaganda can change that.”
Last week, the Secretary-General of the defunct Ruweng State, Victoriano Ngor Chuang, alleged that the raiders were led by a group of military commanders.
May 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–Hundreds of armed men from the Murle tribe have been repulsed and thrown into disarray after carrying out attacks on the Lou Nuer community in different areas, according to several residents interviewed this morning by The South Sudan Herald.
According to one source, the fierce fighting took place earlier today and lasted for eight hours before the attackers were overpowered, repelled, chased into the bush.
“The fighting ensured in the morning at 6: am up to 1: pm before the enemies were defeated.”
The first areas targeted by the Murle are, Pieri, Paduay, and Paritet.
“The Murle youth attacked Wuror County, The heavy fighting occurred at 7:00am in three villages namely Pieri, Paduay, Paritet and other nearest areas,” another eyewitness said.
Dozens of people are believed to have been killed and hundreds wounded on the battlefield.
Since last year, violent clashes in Jonglei state and Greater Pibor Administrative Area between the Lou Nuer, Dinka, and Murle communities have displaced at least 8,000 people from their villages to shelter next to the United Nations peacekeeping base in Pibor, and displaced thousands more in Akobo and Nyirol.