By Hon. Atem Garang D. Dekuek, Juba, SOUTH SUDAN
Abel ALier and Philip Aguer picture by Mach Samuel
February 3, 2017 (SSB) — The Triangle formed by greater Pibor, Akobo and Bor is an area afflicted with hostility, violence and cattle rustling among its inhabitants (Anyuak, Murle, Nuer and Dinka). The violence had been and is continuing to persist on, as a consequence of endemic poverty, possibly aggravated by climate change, inadequacy of population of livestock, obsolete agricultural methods and implements, weak local governments, possession of huge numbers of small automatic firearms, politicization and polarization of the inhabitants and inhospitable environmental conditions of the area! All these factors contribute to the instability of this region.
Following the end of the liberation war with the signing of the CPA in 2005, the area was left devastated, exhausted, impoverished and isolated that accelerated the intensity of violence and hostility.
The British colonial authorities in South Sudan in the twentieth century (1898-1956) were able to establish a strong local administration in the area and applied modern strategies to: stop violence, maintain peaceful co-existence and provide methods for sharing natural resources. The British authorities policy of “pacification”; was achieved by 1930 in this area. Native administration was introduced which was used strictly as an instrument for law provisions enforcement, utilized traditional local authority, where the chiefs plaid pivotal role, rendered some minimum social services, collected taxes from the inhabitants, and conducted programmed peace conferences of which all their resolutions were implemented without fail.
At the dawn of the independence of Sudan in 1956, the legacy that the British rule left behind was the stability and peace among the people of this area. Unfortunately, that stability and peace started gradually to unwind back to a state resemblance to the situation that was prevailing pre-British rule, where the violence and anarchy spun. In 1963 the Anya-Nya war intensified and engulfed the area and the local authorities begun to lose their grip on the communities. That situation was, somehow, reversed in 1972 when a peace agreement between the Sudan government and the Anya-Nya was reached in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, though the stability and peaceful co-existence did not attain the standards that preceded the independence of Sudan. The rest of the period from 1983 to this day is a contemporary history of deteriorating security and relations in the area and reverting to pre-British rule era. It is actually more chaotic and worse as the inhabitants had acquired a lot of modern automatic small firearms, which make the death toll to be very high and tragic. Also the communities during the last three decades had been antagonized and divided along opposing, hostile and warring political affiliations.