Press Statement: The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

Posted: February 26, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) Calls for an International Investigation of Kidnappings of South Sudanese Refugees in Neighbouring Countries

February 26, 2017 (SSB) —- Following the July 2016 conflict in Juba and the ascent to power of the Juba faction of the SPLM-IO led by General Taban Deng Gai, a new wave of violence has spread to the most peaceful regions of Central Equatoria which until then existed as the only beacon of stability and peaceful coexistence since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war in December 2013. State sponsored kidnappings, abductions and deportation of refugees is also becoming a regular occurrence targeting activists and members of opposition groups exiled in neighbouring Kenya and Uganda, as is abductions and unlawful detentions of journalists and concerned citizens in the country who express alternative views.

SPLM-IO members Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Ezbon Idri both went missing in Nairobi Kenya, on the 23rd and 24th of January 2017 respectively. Their whereabouts are not known and a Kenyan court investigating the case has reached an inconclusive verdict. Prior to their disappearance, James Gadet Dak, a refugee in Kenya and spokesperson of the SPLM-IO, was arrested and deported back to South Sudan by the Kenyan government, despite pleas from the UNHCR authorities forewarning otherwise. It is worth noting that the fate of James Gadet Dak remains unknown to date as he has been denied access to legal counsel or any visits.

Kidnappings, abductions and/or deportation of refugees and asylum seekers is a violation of International Refugee Law and the ‘UN Declaration on the protection of all persons from enforced Disappearance’ and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. PDM, therefore, acknowledges the upright stance adopted by some leading politicians in Kenya who have expressed their disappointments with the prejudiced view taken by the government of Kenya on the conflict in South Sudan; and welcomes the recent statement by the UN Expert Group on Enforced Disappearances, calling on the Kenyan and South Sudan governments to reveal the fate of the two South Sudanese activists abducted in Nairobi, Kenya last month.

At this point in time, the people of South Sudan are deeply frustrated with the continued lack of accountability for the perpetrators of the crimes and their handlers, and doubt the ability of Kenya to act responsibly as part of the UN protection force or as a member of the IGAD peace process given the compromised position it has openly adopted. To deter such violations and protect the dignity of vulnerable South Sudanese citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM):

  • Petitions the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to commission an inquiry into the recent kidnappings of South Sudanese in Kenya and document the violations and abuses of human rights and atrocities committed by the government of South Sudan and its external networks.
  • Calls for the perpetrators of the kidnappings to be brought before competent courts to ensure that those responsible for abuses of human rights and violations of international human rights law, including attacks targeting civilians, are held accountable.
  • Urges the African Union to establish without delay the hybrid court for South Sudan provided for in the 2015 peace agreement.
  • Appeals to the UN Human Rights Council to use its powers to reverse the deteriorating situation and help end the unlawful detentions and appalling treatment of civilians held unlawfully in-country, including journalists, human rights activists and humanitarian workers.
  • Reiterates its support for the UN Human Rights Experts Call for the international community to establish an independent mechanism to assist in investigating violations in South Sudan, to include kidnappings in neighbouring countries in advance of the establishment of the hybrid court, especially given the disappointing ruling yesterday by the Kenyan courts on the disappearance of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Ezbon Idri.
  • Urge all neighbouring countries to desist, disengage from, discourage and prevent the kidnappings, abductions and deportation of South Sudanese refugees living in their countries understanding that it is against the refugee law and international human rights instruments they are bound by.

PDM underscores the importance of documenting critical evidence and the establishment of an independent mechanism to investigate the kidnappings, abductions, unlawful detentions, illegal deportations and other crimes against humanity, that are on the rise in South Sudan and across its borders.

Dr. Hakim Dario

PDM Chair

Signed: ____________________

               

For all comments, queries and opinions, please communicate to press@pdm-rss.org

CC:   – JMEC, AU, UNSC, TROIKA, IGAD,

  • SS Community Leaders,
  • Media Houses
  • Amnesty International
  • Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia
  • Defend Defenders
  • Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Humanity United
  • International Commission of Jurists
  • International Refugee Rights Initiative
  • International Service for Human Rights
  • National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda
  • Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network
  • South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network

ABOUT PDM: The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) is a popular grassroots Movement formed by concerned South Sudanese in the country and the Diaspora; in response to the political crisis and fast deteriorating economic, humanitarian and security situation in the Republic of South Sudan. It seeks to offer the way forward amid heightened ethnic polarisation and devastating conflict in the country, encouraged and abated primarily by President Salva Kiir’s divisive Government policy, incompetent, oppressive and corrupt leadership. 

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.


By Bëc George Anyak, Glasgow, UK

juba-city-south-sudan

Juba, South Sudan

February 25, 2017 (SSB) — I always scratch my head when I hear some high profile figures from the Government of South Sudan quoting the promised city of Ramciel as a “No Man’s Land”. Whatever the meaning of this coined term, I must confidently say that there is no such thing as No Man’s land in the Republic of South Sudan and Ramciel land is not exceptional for that matter. It has its rightful owners and you will get to know the owners of Ramciel at the concluding part of my piece, but first, I prefer to take you through a brief background about Ramciel City Project and the chronology of events about this Project.

 Before the formation of the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan in 2005, the SPLM under chairmanship of late Dr.John Garang de Mabior formed an assessment committee in 2003 led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny, SPLM Vice Chair for Administration. The committee visited Yirol County which was then under the County Secretary (Commissioner) and the present Governor of Eastern Lakes State Gov.Rin Tueny Mabor and later met Hon. Kon Anok County Secretary of Awerial County. The delegation left Yirol through Madbar, Bunagok to Ramciel and from Ramciel through Thian, Malek then back to Yirol.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

pray for peace in south sudan

February 25, 2017 (SSB) — The prerequisite of a dialogue is silence; there is no silence and there are no signs whether there would be silence when the time of dialogue comes.  There is noise everywhere.  The noise makes it hard for any potential dialogue participant to think, to reflect and even to sit still properly.  If people are serious and want to be ready to dialogue, then they must work hard in order to create an atmosphere of silence, silence before and throughout dialogue period.  Up to this point of time, there is no silence.

The situation as it stands now, is full of noise.  Those who are creating this noisy environment are the national army, the opposition forces, the social media and non-social media activists and propagandists, the government defectors and the rebellion defectors, the G10s, the people who are stealing public money, and the secretive non-South Sudanese, who are fanning the war while making profit out of it.

All these people, with smoking guns in their hands, have created this noisy environment.  As it has been, many people are shooting and the conditions thereby created is certainly devoid of being an environment conducive to a productive and positive dialogue.

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The national dialogue: A self-discovery of teaching community to community or people to people for peace and stability in South Sudan

By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

youth for peace in south sudan

February 25, 2017 (SSB) — Last year I wrote an article published by Paanluelwel.com:  SOUTH SUDANESE BLOCK on 12/12/2016, National dialogue for six Months: A key step toward positive assurance of real peace in South Sudan, and the president of South Sudan Gen. Kiir Mayardit announced National Dialogue Initiative on 14/12/2016.

the past article, I explained that Peace deals worldwide; to be owned by citizens in conflict dozens and are followed by sequences of referendums, popular consultations, preaching about contents of peace itself, messages and tracks of forgiveness, peace and reconciliations, unity, or people to people initiatives, community to community dialogues, and national dialogue as a routine for proper stability to return life rest of an affected people to normal places of their origins.

In our current crisis, the root causes of conflict and war in the country were so far difficult to narrate, and the conflict is now accumulated with huge gaps of affected social contacts among communities. The war in South Sudan started long time ago, and it had involved communities of their own victims, terrible victims through the conflict planted by their own sons in the name of tribes, and spirit of grabbing wealth.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

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February 24, 2017 (SSB) —- In the recent report that appeared on Radio Tamazuj website published on 19 February, 2017, it was reported that members of Gok community in South Sudan’s capital, Juba had withdrawn their confidence from the Governor of Gok state, Madhang Majok Meen, over charges of undermining the rule of law and mismanagement in the state.

Radio Tamazuj further reported that the decision to withdraw the confidence from the State Governor was reached at a meeting held at the residence of Daniel Awet Akot, the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs.

To back up its report, Radio Tamazuj cited a letter bearing the signature of the Acting Chairperson of the Gok Community Association in Juba, Deng Mador Koch and his Secretary General, Deng Mayom Manyang.  In that letter Radio Tamazuj reported that representatives of the community in Juba decided to withdraw their confidence from the government of Madhang Majok, and recommended his removal from the position by President Salva Kiir.

In addition, Radio Tamazuj stated that the community members, according to the letter addressed to President Kiir on Tuesday, cited lack of accountability and transparency in the state, while accusing the governor of undermining the rule of law by encouraging extrajudicial killings in the state.

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By Deng Kiir Akok, Juba, South Sudan

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February 24, 2017 (SSB) — The Nile Petroleum Corporation is a national Oil and Gas Corporation, which engages in oil exploration, production and marketing. Famous for its abbreviation Nilepet, has been a dream place of work for every South Sudanese that lives in Juba. Though the country’s economy is nearly collapsing, the locals still see pastures greener in there.

As a result, some of the institutions are losing their employees to Nilepet each day. Those job seekers think that getting employment at Nilepet will make them flourish like its current employees. Each one of them has a different dream from another and has to fulfil it once they are appointed in there.

For ladies that have got to Nilepet are by now driving the latest KIA models. Yeah, they have done with Arab as the saying goes for South Sudanese. Also on their wish list, include wedding in Freedom Hall, invite the President of the republic to wedding-Day, hire Juba-On-Time Studio photographer for coverage and spend the honeymoon in Dubai.

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Office of the Press Secretary of the Governor of Jonglei State

Dut Achuek, Philip Aguer and Gen. Atem Zakaria

From Right Hon, Dut Achuek Lual governor Philip Aguer and director of willife Jonglei Gen Zackeria Atem.JPG

February 24, 2017 (SSB) —- Today 23rd February 2017, we scheduled council of ministers extra ordinary meeting also attended by the advisors and our focus is the security situation in Jonglei State. Our security situation is relatively calm and our major challenge is cattle rustling and child abduction.

We had tried in the past to conduct peace building with Boma state but of recent the child abduction and cattle raiding escalate to the extent we lost 15,000 herds of cattle and more than 2000 goats and over 40 children abducted in less than a year.

This situation we have forwarded to the national government. We have appeal for support from ministry of interior and ministry of defense so that the children abducted and cattle raided returned. We have also forwarded the formation of the joint integrated police compose of all the four states of Jonglei state to be trained in one place and deployed to the areas of sensitivity where the cattle rustlers surpass.

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Press Release: Juba Condemns Khartoum for “unfriendly statement” from President Bashir on an alleged Egyptian support for South Sudan

RSS coat of ARMS

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

February 24, 2017 (SSB) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan has read with dismay the unfriendly statement alleged to have been made by the Sudanese President Omer Hassan El-Bashir, during the press briefing on his return from Abu Dhabi to Khartoum, on Tuesday 21st Feb. 2017, that the Egyptian Government continues to support South Sudan with arms and ammunitions.

The Republic of South Sudan is disturbed by this unfortunate, unfounded and baseless statement, especially because it came at a time that the two Countries and the whole region have agreed to exert more collective efforts towards the realization of peace and stability in the IGAD region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, through this press release, would like to send a clear message to the region and world-over, that South Sudan upholds its commitment to the regional peace initiative, maintains the highest level of bilateral relations with the Republic of Sudan based on the spirit of the Cooperation agreement signed between the two Countries in September 2012 in Addis Ababa.

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THE NGOK DINKA CHIEF KUOL AROP AND THE MISSERIYA SHEIKH NIMR ALI PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE 1910 AD

By Hon. Arop Madut-Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

...the late Luol Chol...valiant revolutionary singer of Koriom Division...with Garang'e Mabior in the background under under the tree...with Kuol Majak standing guard

The late Luol Chol, a revolutionary singer of Koryom Division, with John Garang in the background sitting under the tree…with Cde. Kuol Majak standing guard

February 23, 2017 (SSB) — I have read in some social media websites, a statement by the Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and at times by his foreign minister. In his statements President al Bashir categorically, authoritatively and repeatedly stated that the disputed Abyei Region by the two Sudans is a Sudanese area and will remain so until a referendum is conducted in accordance to the 2005 Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement which will enable the Ngok Dinka People, as the permanent inhabitants of the area, to decide where their area, which has been administered in Kordofan, as a result of an administrative Order in 1905, by the then colonial governor of Sudan, Sir Wingate, to protect the Ngok Dinka citizens against the banned evil slave trafficking by the Misseriya Arab.

As a citizen of this no mean region, I decide to publish a chapter from my unpublished book, “The Ngok Dinka In Historical Perspective.” The attached chapter, the Ngok Dinka Chief Kuol Arop and the Misseriya Sheikh Nimr Ali peaceful coexistent agreement is being released for publication in effort to shed light on the controversy over the right ownership of the Abyei Region. Needless to stress that it was because of this agreement that allows the Misseriya Arabs to traverse the Ngok Dinka area annually. Before the reconquest and during the Turco-Egyptian and Mahdist rules the Misseriya Cattle, were (mostly in Darfur region) were only allowed and traversed the part of the Kiir Ader in Dinka Malual country.  I would be grateful if your esteemed Website can publish this piece from my unpublished well researched manuscript which I hope will soon go to print.

Hon Arop Madut Arop (MP), who represents Abyei Region in the Transitional Legislative Assembly in Juba and the author of two books: Sudan’s Painful Road to Peace and The Genesis of Political Consciousness in South Sudan

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By Kon Joseph Leek, Juba, South Sudan

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February 23, 2017 (SSB) —- Just like somebody else, I personally became a member of my current tribe simply because someone in the past, one of my fraternal genealogical great grandfathers decided to. My current village whether it’s Kangapo, Nyaken, Abiriu, Lui or Baidit became my last-village because somebody many years ago came and settled here, that alone has granted me an unlimited automatic citizenship of the area.

For the grand reason that we became members of these tribes through migration and resettlement or that our forefathers migrated here then what is utterly wrong for not keeping that flexibility of our grandfathers which helped them to buoyantly blend with others? Can’t we also blend with other diversities just like our ancient dead guys? The word tribe is not complete to itself, it is not eternal, it is not born as a child neither is it born with or in us. Tribe is not what you come out with in the womb, neither is it that too specific and definite that once you are a Kachipo or Lokoyo you would always be that!

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February 23, 2017 (SSB) — We must tackle rise in “devastating” gender-based violence in South Sudan, says JMEC Deputy Chair Amb. Njoroge

Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) including rape, abductions and conscription of child soldiers in South Sudan have increased in the past years and stakeholders must find ways to tackle it, the Deputy Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) Amb. Gen. Augostino Njoroge has said.

He was speaking as he opened a two-day workshop on SGBV in Juba. He said although men and boys have also fallen victims of such abuses, the majority of reported victims are women and girls.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

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February 23, 2017 (SSB) — I have a question for you.  But before I ask that question, I would like to remind you that I am one of those people who have been saying that a solution to our problems, coming from South Sudanese people themselves in their own country, would be much, much better than a solution that some of us are trying to seek from the International Community.

When we create a mess in our own country, when we are the ones who are creating problems to ourselves, when we are the ones collaborating with other people to create problems in our own country, we should fix these problems ourselves.  True, South Sudan is a young country.  But it has to grow up just as those countries that so many of us are now expecting them to intervene in our country had grown up and have become what they are now.

It is normal and natural for any young country to start by having problems from the beginning.  If she is able to solve them, she is growing up very well.  On the other hand, if she appeals to other people to come and to clean up her own mess, she will never grow.  She remains a child.  What she is doing is that she is saying to other countries, ‘look, I’m your child; I have made a mess, come please and clean me up.’

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By Madhieu Thiep Madhieu, Juba, South Sudan

thomas-cirilo-swaka

Thomas Cirilo Swaka, former SPLA deputy chief of staff for logistics

February 23, 2017 (SSB) — The government of South Sudan as well as army general headquarters has been experiencing sequence and unofficial resignations and defections of senior government officials for no genuine reasons. I called it unofficial resignations because most of these officials who abandon allegiance did not formally submit their letters of resignation personally to authority concern but sent they sent them to media.

Last week, General Thomas Cirillo, Deputy chief of staff, and head of military justice quitted their positions and joined Riek’s faction accusing the government of ethnic bias and dominant of SPLA by particular tribe, citing favoritism, land grabbing and corruption as their major reasons of leaving jobs. Another Brig. Gen who had been in charge of Logistic support in SPLA General HQRS and a former Sudan Army force loyalist defected this week, and blames country administration falsely of mismanagement and bias policies.

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By David Deng Chapath, Kampala (Uganda)

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February 22, 2017 (SSB) — South Sudan never ceases to make headline. In January 2011 South Sudanese were given an opportunity to vote on unity or separation, nearly 99 per cent of southern Sudanese voted to go their own way as they voted for separation.

 Decision by South Sudanese to vote for separation made great news all over the World and in Sudan in particular as legalized divorce between Sudan and South Sudan became a reality and took place at day light.

On 9 July 2011 after the vote for Separation as pointed out in the above, the Republic of South Sudan was declared as independence nation becoming Africa’s newest country, the 193rd Member State to join the United Nations and UNESCO’s 194th Member State. This made very great news headline all over the world. 9 July becomes a day for independence of South Sudan and all South Sudanese celebrated and continue to celebrate it.

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By Philip Majak Malow, Rumbek, South Sudan

freedom-of-speech-in-south-sudan

February 22, 2017 (SSB) — Your Excellency, the Governor of western Lakes state (Rumbek), it is utmost pleasure and Honor to devote my preference to your leadership in state regarding upgrading Long awaited #paloc Administrative area into #paloc county (in Rumbek).

I took this opportunity in favor of peace, unity and National Dialogue that was announced in our country. We need to build a strong Nation and peaceful co-existence South Sudan, a Nation of forgiveness, peace, love and national unity towards great diversity of our country.

As president put it in his last remarks, we need to put aside all our dragging differences and joint hands in hands to work for peace and unity in our country/states. The call for peace and Dialogue is not just only for those who have taken armed against leadership of the country, but also to those who identify themselves being oppressed not to lead/rule in their administrative states and counties.

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Press statement: JMEC Chairman H.E Festus Mogae meets President Salva Kiir Mayardit in State House, roots for inclusive national political dialogue

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February 22, 2017 (SSB) — THE Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) Chairman H.E Festus Mogae has on Tuesday afternoon held discussions with President Salva Kiir Mayardit in State House, Juba.

After the closed-door meeting, H.E Mogae said, he emphasized the importance of the national dialogue initiative by the President, as a gateway to peaceful co-existence among warring communities.

“I thanked the President for his emphasis and intentions to implement the much-needed national dialogue which we expect all South Sudanese will take participate,” he said.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

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February 22, 2017 (SSB) — Sometime when I see injustice being done against any South Sudanese, I forget my life because injustice is not a friend to anyone. This is because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (Martin Luther King, Jr).

Justice done selectively is injustice done selectively. This is because when the law is applied equally and equitably then there is no injustice no matter how harsh the law may be. Law is the content of justice, while the facts of the case provide the context for justice. When justice is being done, it is critical that the law is applied generally in accordance with the facts of the case.

It, therefore, implies that those who enforce the law must respect the law and work according to its spirit. The law must take its course but should not take the course to cause injustice to innocent or to cause more pain to one group of criminals than others who have committed the same offence.

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What the people from Equatoria need to understand the current war is that the war is not about tribes but between the government and those who are planning to remove the government by force.

By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda

the-politics-of-south-sudan-ig-vs-io

The tragicomedy of the South Sudanese politics: SPLM-IG vs SPLM-IO

February 22, 2017 (SSB) —- The present civil war broke in 2013 in Juba. The war began within the SPLM party and later spread like a wild fire to the Upper Nile Region. After several attempts to end the war the peace was signed in 2015 which led to the coming back of Riek Machar in April 2015.

When Riek came there was a lot of hope that at last peace was at all the corners of South Sudan. However, due to the reckless and chaotic character of Riek Machar the conflict was resumed from where it was left and continued up to date.

As pointed out in the above paragraph, after the war broke out in Juba in July 2016, it spread over all South Sudan and ended killing more people. The war at this point has become complicated as it has taken tribal dimension.

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Bor County Report: Murle killed 793 people, abducted 276 children, raided 57,127 livestock and wounded 398 people from 2005 to 2012

By Mach Samuel Peter, Bor, Jonglei State

Governor Philip Aguer of Jonglei state

Governor Philip Aguer of Jonglei state

February 22, 2017 (SSB) — The office of the governor has released the atrocities committed by Murle between 2005 and 2012. Another report covering Duk and Twic East Counties will be released soon or later. In a long document entitled Bor County Peace conferences (Murle incidents from 2005 to 2012) Murle killed 793 people, abducted 276 children, raided 57,127 livestock and wounded 398 people from 2005 to 2012 in Bor County. This is the summary of the atrocities committed by Murle in Bor County from 2005 to 2012 in five Payams of Kolnyang, Anyidi, Jalle, Baidit and Makuach.

S/No Payam People Killed Children Abducted People wounded Raided livestock
1. Kolnyang 247 93 104 6,636
2. Anyidi 53 11 26 3,232
3. Jalle 138 45 76 23,724
4. Baidit 77 44 27 11,731
  Makuach 224 83 165 11,704
    739 276 398 57,127

Summary of Kolnyang Payam data for Murle incidents from 2005 to 2012

Payam Boma Source of Data/chief People killed People wounded Abducted children cattle sheep goats  
Kolnyang Boma Name M      F M    F M   F        
  Gak Aguek Nuer 11 04 05 02 05 05 415 80 118
  Pariak Kuol Gop 29 07 02   09 03 107 30 362
  Cuie-KeerGol  

Garang Deng

36 03 31 05 13 19 445   337
  Awan Pandek Mach 23 06 09 05 05 04 542   382
  Nyara Malith Nhial 45 04 23 02 11 03 890   707
  Nyicak Garang Athiak 26 06 11 01 09 02 288   237
  Guala Nyok Alier 40 07 08   04 01 1308 30 378
Total     210 37 89 15 56 37 3995 140 2521

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The Speech of President Kiir, during the opening of the national assembly, 21 February 2017 (PDF)