Posts Tagged ‘murle’

Jonglei state is making international headlines again due to all the bad things happening there – severe flooding and deranged murderous rampage. Rivers of blood continue to flow in the country almost 10 years after the bloodiest conflict in our living history ended. Pulses of violence continue to erupt again, and again and the response of the security agencies has been extremely preferential, tardy and utterly unprofessional indeed nationwide.

The 20th of October unprovoked massacre of unarmed women, children and the elderly in Ajuong and Pakeer Payams of Twï County is profoundly sad beyond words. The casualties are staggering with 78 dead, 88 wounded with most in critical conditions, 24 children and women abducted, 25,000 heads of cattle looted and 144 houses burnt to ashes. Yet, there has not been a single word from the Presidency, which is quiet telling. President Salva is busy preparing to welcome Bashir (the chief financier of the murders and Butcher of Khartoum) and could not spare to lift even an eyelid for the people in Twï County. Wani Igga, his wallowing Deputy, is busy celebrating “World Hands Washing Day”. Apparently, he is too busy teaching people in Juba how to wash their hands to avoid getting diarrhea. How about those who are dying and will not be able to welcome Bashir, or the dead and the dying who will not mind a bout of diarrhea in exchange for life?

Leadership is severely lacking in general but it is not the lack of leadership that innocent, unarmed people are massacred repeatedly; rather it is the wanton murderous behaviour of a group of people which must be stemmed at all cost. The army has had many things to say and done absolutely nothing except to let loose their lips. The SPLA has failed to carryout its function of protecting the citizens and their livelihoods. It categorically refused on 20th of October to airlift the wounded for medical treatment or even fly in medical aid. Its reasons being, that only two helicopters of the 10 in the fleet were airworthy, the area being under severe flooding, lack of fuel and a litany of other excuses. The citizens of Ajuong and Pakeer in Juba and diaspora contributed money and hire planes to fly the wounded to Bor and Juba and provide medical aid and supplies.

SPLA’s often cited reason of lacking resources and means of responding timely is a brazen lie and an insult because it receives more than forty (40) percent of the national budget. What do the Generals do with the money? In a self-respecting nation, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Defence would have resigned in disgrace because they failed in their most fundamental duty, that of protecting the citizens. In this case, they must resign starting with the Minister of Defence who is continuing his legacy of “tragedy of errors” first as the Minister of Transport, then as a Governor and now as the Minister of Defence.

The peoples of Twï, Duk and Bor counties are victims of their own government. The MPs from these constituencies know this very well and continue to serve in a government that does not care, provide and or facilitate for the security of their constituents. It begs the question – whom are they serving? Are they serving themselves or the constituents who are being butchered? They too should resign their government posts in Juba and return to rebuild Jonglei State. The peoples of Twï, Duk and Bor have suffered and endured relentless unprovoked assaults on numerous times from Murle community and its affiliate militia over the last five years. This unfortunate statehood is reinforced and the disturbing amount of casualties keeps rising thanks to a preferential disarmament policy by the government in Juba.

The four counties of Jieng and Anyuak were the first to be disarmed. The communities in the other seven counties have been left with their arms and have gone on to butcher each other and the disarmed citizens of Twï, Duk, Bor, and Pochalla Counties. Ethnic strife in the country has been justified, dismissed and many excuses have been provided to explain it. Hostile tribal and clan rivalries that predate the present nation state, competition for resources, banditry, mercenary rebellions championed by Khartoum are some hypotheses put forward. The government, NGOs and many other observers can put forth all sorts of explanations but we all know it boils down to a basic point – Lack of an accountable government. All problems of insecurity would fade away gradually if there is a strong, effective and efficient government and protective security apparatus among the people. It is as simple as that. The government must fly the flag equally in all parts of the country and provide all necessary security and administrative authority and requisite equal economic and social support in all states and not just the seat of government in Juba.

The government must also level the playing field in Jonglei, it has to either disarm those who have arms or protect those who do not have arms. If the government selectively protects its citizens, the unprotected must look at protecting themselves, it is only fair and their natural right they do that. Therefore, Twï, Duk and Bor civilians must rearm if the government is not capable of protecting them due to lack of resources.

The History of Murle Migrations

Posted: June 18, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, History
Tags: ,

The History of Murle Migrations and Interaction with the Nuer, the Anyuak and the Dinka

I am always perplex by South Sudanese oral stories/legends/myths recorded by foreigners. It is funny how foreigners write about the Dinka, the Nuer, the Murle etc. without verifying the same stories from the other side of the aisle.

It is like asking Dr. Lam Akol about the 1991 coup and take that one-sided narration as the gospel truth when others, say the SPLM/A mainstream or even Dr. Riek after his separation with Dr. Lam, have a different take on the very event. It is like asking Khartoum about the Panthou/Heglig’s crisis forgetting that Juba has a totally different view of the event.

So why do the historians…especially the Anthro-historians…do it knowing very well that they are literally recording filtered stories in which the narrator exaggerate their successes while airbrushing their failings?

Though they all participated in the 2nd WW as allies, ask the Russians about WWII and they will tell you a different story from that told by either the British or the Americans. It is a different matter altogether if you go to the Neo-Nazists and ask them about the wars.

By PaanLuel Wel.

While the Jonglei Peace Initiative Program (JPI) is hailing its latest peace workshop in Canada to “equips Diaspora participants with tools for peace building back home”, there is a new report today of Murle attacking Nuer in Jonglei State; people killed and children abducted. This is despite the last round of the statewide disarmament program among the Nuer, Dinka, Anyuak and the Murle. If disarmament and peace initiatives are not enough to stem the cycle of violence in Jonglei, what would?

PaanLuel Wel.





held in Bor, 1st 5th May 2012


  PREAMBLE   We, the eighty four (84) chiefs, elders, women and youth representing all eleven counties and all six communities of Jonglei State met in the Jonglei State Communities Conference in Bor from 1st – 5th May 2012. Prior to this members of the Presidential Committee held consultations and mini-conferences in the four former districts of Akobo, Bor, Fangak and Pibor.   The Conference was also attended by His Excellency Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk; national and state ministers; members of the national and state legislative assemblies; chairpersons of national commissions; County Commissioners; religious leaders; intellectuals; UNMISS; international observers and experts; and was organised by the Presidential Committee for Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance in Jonglei State.

Taking note of the insecurity along our border with the Republic of Sudan, the Conference expresses its concern at the aggressive behaviour of the government of Sudan, continuing bombardment of innocent civilians, and its support for rebel militias in the Republic of South Sudan.  

The Conference expressed its concern and alarm at the worsening conflict and insecurity amongst the communities in Jonglei State, and affirmed its desire and commitment for peace, reconciliation, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

The Conference appreciates the initiative of His Excellency the President of the Republic in setting up the Committee for Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance in Jonglei State.

The Conference welcomes the decision of the national government to disarm civilians throughout the country and particularly in Jonglei State, and pledges its support for comprehensive disarmament.

The Conference appreciates the positive role of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army for the increased security and protection and for its responsible conduct during the disarmament campaign.

The Conference appreciates the willingness of all the communities and their leaders to tell and hear the consequences of the conflict.    

PROBLEM STATEMENT   The Conference identified the following problems which need to be addressed to bring a sustainable peace:  

  1. 1.     Aggression by Republic of Sudan against Republic of South Sudan

  This was identified as a major problem for peace, stability and development in South Sudan.  

  1. 2.     Insecurity caused by conflict between communities

Serious conflict has taken place between various communities, and has escalated recently. Of particular concern are attacks by criminals on other communities.

  1. 3.     Killing of vulnerable persons (including children, women, elderly, disabled)

The scale of fighting has escalated, with the killing and mutilation of women, children, elderly and disabled. This is different to traditional conflicts.

  1. 4.     Abduction of women and children, whether by violence, kidnapping or trafficking

Abduction of women and children is a major problem. In some cases they are kidnapped rather than abducted violently, and sometimes they are trafficked.

  1. 5.     Theft of livestock

Theft and looting of livestock is a major source of conflict between communities.

  1. 6.     Under-development

Lack of basic services, such as schools, medical facilities, roads, water points for humans and livestock, telecommunications, has been identified by all communities as a factor in causing conflict.

  1. 7.     Unemployment

Alternative livelihoods for youth are needed so that they can be encouraged to refrain from cattle raiding and fighting.

  1. 8.     Trauma

Individuals and communities have been traumatised by decades of civil war as well as the inter-communal conflicts.

  1. 9.     Food insecurity

Food insecurity is both a cause and a result of the conflicts.

  1. 10.  Internal displacement

Internal displacement is also both a cause and result of the conflicts.

  1. 11.  Border disputes

There are a number of disputes between communities over borders and also water and grazing rights which contribute to conflict.

  1. 12.  Government and administration issues

While not within the mandate of this Conference to address these issues directly, various issues relating to government and administration have been identified by the communities and are noted here for the responsible authorities to consider.

  1. 13.  Other issues

Some issues have been identified which do not fit into any of the above categories.

RESOLUTIONS   In order to address these problems, the Conference makes the following Resolutions:  

A. Aggression by the Republic of Sudan against the Republic of South Sudan   The Conference condemns the barbaric aggression against the Republic of South Sudan by the Republic of Sudan, supports the President, government and SPLA in resisting this aggression, and affirms that the people of Jonglei State stand ready to fulfil their patriotic duty in the defence of the nation.

B. Insecurity caused by conflict between communities   a)     Sensitisation to create awareness amongst the rural communities of Jonglei state. b)    Combat woman and child abduction and trafficking. c)     Promotion of intra/inter-community interactions, sports, workshops, conferences, marriage, follow-up teams, etc. d)    Meetings between cattle camp youth. e)     Murle to distance themselves from David Yau Yau rebel forces.

C. Killing of vulnerable persons (including women, children, elderly, disabled)   a)     Stop wanton killing. b)    Waive compensation for those killed in the past. c)     Compensation to be paid for those killed since the beginning of the current disarmament campaign, as a deterrent.

D. Abduction of women and children, whether by violence, kidnapping or trafficking   a)     Tracing and identification of abductees. b)    Immediate return of abductees where possible. c)     Regularisation of status by negotiation for those who cannot be returned. d)    Registration of births, marriages and deaths.

E. Theft of livestock   a)     Community policing. b)    Amnesty for livestock stolen in the past. c)     Chiefs to control thieves, raiders and abductors. d)    Bride price to be discussed in each community.

F. Trauma   a)     Sports activities. b)    Social transformation of youth through moral and religious orientation. c)     Encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation at every level, including political parties, civil society, faith communities, etc.

G. Border disputes   a)     Grazing and water rights need to be negotiated by joint committees of chiefs.

H. Other issues   a)     Lou Nuer to continue distancing themselves from the prophet. Other communities should deal appropriately with their kujurs. b)    Enlightenment of the people so that they do not follow those (such as David Yau Yau) who rebel against the government.

RECOMMENDATIONS   The Conference also makes the following Recommendations:  

I. Insecurity caused by conflict between communities   a)     Enforcement of law and order. b)    Effective buffer zones. c)     Aerial surveillance. d)    Roads and communications. e)     Enact laws regulating the ownership of firearms and close illegal sources of firearms. f)     Implementation of Bentiu Accord (armed chiefs’ guards). g)     Recruit youth leaders into organised forces. h)    Address the issue of criminals already in other communities’ territory. i)      Alcohol production, sale and consumption must be regulated. j)      SPLA should continue with comprehensive disarmament.

J. Killing of vulnerable persons (including women, children, elderly, disabled)   a)     Arrest and trial of culprits. b)    Government to protect civilians. c)     Government to address threats by armed insurgents.

K. Abduction of women and children, whether by violence, kidnapping or trafficking   a)     Enforcement of rule of law to prevent abduction and trafficking. b)    Trial of culprits, including traffickers, and severe punishment.

L. Theft of livestock   a)     Creation of an anti-stock theft unit. b)    Deployment of police. c)     Regulation of movement of livestock at borders between payams, counties and states. d)    Enhancing equipment of security forces. e)     Aerial surveillance. f)     Recovery and return of stolen livestock. g)     Arrest and trial of culprits.

M. Under-development   a)     Equitable sharing of resources. b)    Schools and health centres. c)     Roads. d)    Telecommunications. e)     Strengthening local administration. f)     Health centres. g)     Water points for humans and animals.

N. Unemployment   a)     Create employment opportunities. b)    Reformatory/rehabilitation schools. c)     Absorb youth into organised forces (prisons, wildlife, etc). d)    Equitable employment. e)     Exploitation of natural resources. f)     Farming. g)     Income-generating activities. h)    Vocational training

O. Trauma   a)     Individual and community counselling. b)    Creation of conducive living conditions. c)     Address special needs, including disability. d)    Use of mass media.

P. Food insecurity   a)     Provide security so people can produce food. b)    Veterinary drugs. c)     Dissemination of weather early warning reports. d)    Resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons. e)     Road infrastructure. f)     Food support to vulnerable groups. g)     Provision of tools, improved seeds and agricultural training. h)    Microfinance schemes. i)       Cooperatives. j)       Managing floods and other natural disasters.

R. Internal displacement   a)     Relief, resettlement and rehabilitation of IDPs. b)    Provision of security. c)     Provision of orphanages.

S. Border disputes   a)     State to regulate and expedite border demarcation between payams, counties and states. b)    Security to be provided to facilitate movement and trade across the international border with Ethiopia.

T. Government and administration issues   a)     Empowerment of traditional leadership. b)    Government to treat all communities equally. c)     Governor should visit all communities regularly. d)    Creation of new counties and states to be discussed. e)     Location of state capital to central area should be discussed. f)     Location of some county HQs to be discussed. g)     Provision of prisons in the counties. h)    Provision of judges and public prosecutors; construction of courts in the counties. i)      Upgrading of unqualified civil servants through capacity-building. j)      Payment of salaries to chiefs.

U. Other issues   a)     Demining. b)    Akobo River to be dredged. c)     Land issues of the Anyuak community in Akobo. d)    Monitoring Committee to follow up implementation of commitments and related issues. e)     Government at national and state level to commit financial and material resources to implement the recommendations made in the Conference.

IMPLEMENTATION   The Conference recognises that there have been many peace conferences in Jonglei State in the past and that many of their resolutions and recommendations are similar to the Resolutions and Recommendations of this Conference, but have not been implemented.   We, the participants in this Conference, commit ourselves to implement the Resolutions of the Conference, and urge the appropriate authorities, the political leadership and the citizens to take seriously the Recommendations.   The Conference has prepared a Plan of Action (attached as an appendix) which identifies who is responsible for implementing each of the Resolutions and Recommendations, and the time frame for implementation.  

FOLLOW UP   The Conference believes that peace is a process and that for the fruits of this conference to be fully enjoyed by the people of Jonglei State, there must be monitoring and follow-up implementation. Hence the Conference humbly requests His Excellency the President to consider how this follow-up can best be achieved.  

CONCLUSION  We, the participants in the Conference, representing the six communities of Jonglei State:

  • Commit ourselves to peace, reconciliation and tolerance amongst our communities.
  • Commit ourselves to these Resolutions.
  • Appeal to our national and state governments to assist and to ensure that they are implemented.


All-Jonglei Communities Conference

Bor, Jonglei State

1st5th May 2012


1 Underdevelopment a)      Equitable sharing of resourcesb)     Schoolsc)      Roads [trunk and feeder roads]

d)     Telecommunications

e)      Strengthening local administration

f)       Health centres

g)     Water points for humans and animals

General/ All 11 counties Budget year 2012/2013 [c] Government at both national and state level [Ministry of Physical Infrastructure][e] National and state government[f] National and state government, NGOS and UN agencies

[g]NGOS, investors, state governmen

[d] National Government and investors

[c] Examples: Bor-Ayod-Fangak and PigiVocational centres in each county[e] strengthening of traditional authority;

Mobility in payams and bomas

[g] Haffirs at buffer zones

2 Unemployment a)      Create employment opportunitiesb)     Reformatory schoolc)     Organised forces

d)     Equitable employment

e)     Exploitation of natural resources

f)      Farming

g)     Income-generating projects

General/ All counties[b] state headquarters Budget year 2012/2013[c] By August 2012[f]immediate A] National and state government, NGOs[b] state government[c] national and state governments

[d] national and state governments and NGOS

[e] national and state governments, investors, private sector, communities

[f] individual farmers, investors and communities

[f]Agricultural research[f] government to set aside Friday and Saturday as farming days[c] youth leaders of all communities be incorporated into the armed and police forces
3 Trauma a)      Individual and community counsellingb)     Creation of conducive living conditionsc)      Sports

d)     Social transformation of youth through moral and religious orientation

e)      Address special needs, including disability

f)       Encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation at every level, including political parties, civil society, faith communities, etc

g)     Use of mass media

General Immediate and henceforth Government at both state and national:youth and sports;information and communication;

social development;

4 Abduction of women and children, whether by violence or by theft a)      Enforcement of rule of law to prevent abductionb)     Tracing and identification of abducteesc)      Trial of culprits, including sellers and buyers, and severe punishment

d)     Immediate return of abductees where possible

e)      Regularisation of status by negotiation for those who cannot be returned

f)       Registration of births and marriages

All areas except Greater Pangak [b] On-going[d] Immediate e.g. 3 monthsimmediate and henceforth [a, b, d) Local authorities, traditional chiefs, youth leaders,  policearmy, youth leaders and chiefs[c] Both state and national:

Law enforcement;

Defence; Justice;

[e] Tradtional chiefs;

[f] Social Welfare [registration]; County chiefs [marriages]

[d] otherwise 5 cows must be paid to the army for food/life sentense with hard labour
5 Theft of livestock a) Anti-stock theft unitb) Deployment of policec) Regulation of movement of livestock at borders between payams, counties and states

d) Enhancing equipment of security forces

e) Aerial surveillance

f) Recovery and return of stolen livestock

g) Arrest and trial of culprits

h) Community policing

i) Amnesty for cattle stolen in the past

j) Chiefs to control thieves

h) Bride price to be discussed in each community

a-j) Generalh) Each community Immediate and henceforth [a, b) Police[c] local administration [CA][d] state and national government

[e] national government

[f] local authorities [CA]

[g] police and criminal courts

[I] conferences

j) Chiefs and communities

h) Communities

6 Killing of vulnerable persons (children, women, elderly and persons with disability) and others a) Stop wanton killingb) Arrest and trial of culpritsc) Government to protect civilians

d) Disarmament must continue

e) Government should address threats by armed insurgents

f) Amnesty for those killed in the past

g) Compensation for those killed after disarmament, as a deterrent

General Immediate [a] police[b] police and courts[c] government: national and state

[d] army and organised forces

[e] national and state governments

[f] communities

[g] culprits

7 Insecurity caused by the [Murle] Criminals a) Sensitisation to create awareness amongst Murleb) Enforcement of law and orderc) Combat woman and child trafficking

d) Effective buffer zones

e) Aerial surveillance

f) Roads and communications

g) Closure of illegal sources of firearms

h) Community policing

i) Implementation of Bentiu Accord (armed guards to chiefs)

j) Recruit youth leaders into organised forces and other civil service institutions

k) Promotion of intra/inter-community interactions, sports, workshops, conferences, marriage, follow-up teams, etc

l) Meetings between cattle camp youth

m) Address the issue of Murle criminals already in other communities’ territory

n) Alcohol production, sale and consumption must be regulated

[a]All except Greater Fangak[b, c, d, e,f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n] all counties [a] Immediate[b] May 2012[c, d, e] immediate

[f] Immediate esp Puchalla, Akobo, Pibor

[g] Process/long term

[h, j] Immediate

[I,k, l, m, n] immediate

[a] Church leaders, chiefs, influential elders, youth leaders[b, c, d,e] national, state and county governments[f] Ministry of Roads in both national and state

[g] county authorities

[h, j] County commissioner and chiefs

[i] State

[k, l] County governments

[m] state governments

[n] State, County governments and traditional leaders

I] continuous
8 Food insecurity a) Provide security so people can produce foodb) Veterinary drugsc) Dissemination of weather early warning reports

d) Resttlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons

e) Road infrastructure

f) Food support to vulnerable groups

g) Provision of tools, improved seeds and agricultural training

h) Microfinance schemes

i) Cooperatives

j) Managing floods

All apply to all counties [a, b,c,d] immediate [A] natinal, state and RRC[b] Ministry of livestock and fisheries[c] County authorities

[d] RRC and county authorities

[e] National and state governments

[f] RRC

[g] Ministry of agriculture

[h, I] Ministry of Finance

[j] Ministry of Disaster Management, State and County authorities

A, b]Urgent intervention
9 Internal displacement a) Relief, resettlement and rehabilitation of IDPsb) Provision of securityc) Provision of orphanages General/Across all counties [a] Immediate[b] ongoing[c] immediate [a] National and state governments and INGOS[b]  National, state and local governments [organised forces and community policing][c]  State governments local and INGOS [a] on-going[c] on-going
10 Border disputes a) Expedite border demarcation between payams, counties and statesb) State to regulate payam and county boundariesc) Grazing and water rights need to be negotiated by joint committees of chiefs

d) International border with Ethiopia to be agreed and demarcated

Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Upper Nile, Pajut,Twic East, Duk, Dini, Yakwac, Khorfuluss, Ulang, Nasir, Ethiopia, Okielo, Chua, Jon [a,b] Immediate[c] Immediate[d] Immediate [a, b]  National and state governments[c]  State and local governments [traditional authorities][d] National government [a,b] State to regulate boundaries of State, Township and Payams
11 Government and administration issues a) Empowerment of traditional leadershipb) Appointment of chiefsc) Government must treat all communities equally

d) Governor should visit all communities regularly

e) Creation of new counties and states to be discussed

f) Location of state capital to central area should be discussed

g) Location of county HQ

h) Provision of prisons

i) Provision of judges

[e] Greater Pibor want new county in Boma and elevation of Greater Pibor to new state; Greater Akobo wants three new counties, Walgak (from Akobo), Pulchuol (from Uror), Pading (from Nyirol); Greater Fangak wants new state and new counties of Khorfuluss and Atar.[g] Atar-Khorfuluss[h] Pochalla, Pibor,  Greater Akobo [a] Continuously[b] Every term of 4-5 years.[c] Thrice a year-every annual budget allocation.

[d] to visit each county three times a year.

[e] To be discuss this year from May 2012.

[f] time indefinite

[g] Time indefinite

[h] Beginning this year 2012.

[i] Beginning this year 2012

[a] Government, local community-Ministry of legal affairs to establish courts in all counties.[a1.The ministry of local government and security agents.[a2. State Local Government to provide salary to chiefs

[b] By community elections.

[c] State and National government.

[e] National and state governments (council of states) to discus the issue of new states and counties.

[f] state government to discuss and implement the issue of relocation of state capital.

[g] Commissioners and local authority to sought community opinions on County HQs.

[h] State government to establish prisons.

[i] State government (legal affairs) to assign and deploy judges.

12 Other issues a) Lou to continue distancing themselves from the prophet. Other communities should deal appropriately with their kujurs.b) Some leaders of these communities are alleged to have incited violence. They should take advantage of the opportunity presented by this meeting to clear themselves.c) Demining

d]Akobo River needs to be dredged

e) Security of the Anuak community

c) Pigi County [a] beginning from May 2012 and continuously.[b] Beginning immediately after this conference.[c] Jan-April 2013

[d] immediately after this conference  and continuously

[a] Communities initiatives with the help of local authorities and state government.[b] National and state government (national security and legal affairs) jointly receive the names of leaders alleged to have incited violence and investigate matter.[c] national, state government and community (ministry of water resource and irrigation)

[d] state government and organise security forces

2 attachments — Download all attachments

all-jonglei conference resolutions_final.doc all-jonglei conference resolutions_final.doc
68K   View   Download
All-Jonglei Conference_issue analysis table.doc All-Jonglei Conference_issue analysis table.doc
73K   View   Download

‘White Army’ Clashed With The SPLA, At Least 7 People Dead. The Nuer White Army is seeking a military alliance with Murle to fight and bring down the government of President Kiir in Juba and that of Governor Kuol Manyang in Bortown. It is an interesting turn of event since the SPLA is there to stop the fighting among the three warring communities of Jonglei–Bor Dinka, Nuer and Murle. Read the whole story on South Sudan News Agency from this link below.

South Sudan army clashes with Lou-Nuer armed youth in Jonglei state

March 23, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan army has reported clashes with some armed youth of Lou-Nuer in Jonglei state resisting a disarmament process the government launched after a series of retaliatory attacks in December.

JPEG - 78.1 kb
Vice President, Riek Machar, tells Lou-Nuer youth to withdraw from Linkwangale, Dec. 28, 2011 (ST)

This follows a similar clash with a group of Murle youth who also resisted to disarm in Pibor county last week and shot at the army, killing one instantly, and disappeared into the bushes.

The head of the forces that carried out the disarmament, Lt. Gen. Kuol Deim Kuol, told the press on Thursday that the army clashed with a group of Lou-Nuer armed youth, sometimes called the White Army, in Uror county in the state.

Kuol further said a self-proclaimed spiritual leader in the area resisted the disarmament exercise resulting to the clashes. He said four people were killed from the youth side while four others were wounded from the army, adding that the army will pursue the youth to disarm.

This week the Vice President, Riek Machar, toured Akobo and Uror counties and urged the communities to disarm peacefully. However, chiefs accepted the disarmament but asked the government to make sure the Murle are equally disarmed. They claimed that the Murle are hiding in bushes with their weapons to avoid the disarmament and that the soldiers do not know how to find them.

Murle leaders denied rejecting the disarmament but also wanted to make sure the Lou-Nuer and the Dinka Bor are disarmed. They also claimed that the Lou-Nuer armed youth have moved to either Jikany-Nuer areas or Ethiopian borders to avoid the disarmament. They also said the Dinka Bor have moved to Nimule in Eastern Equatoria with their guns avoiding the exercise in Bor areas.

In response to the clashes with the South Sudan army in Uror county, a press release purportedly circulated by the Lou-Nuer armed youth in the internet accused Bor and Juba of conspiring to fight with the Lou-Nuer and Murle using the pretext of disarmament as a way to harm the two communities.

They claimed that heavy clashes in Uror county occurred three days ago when 1,200 SPLA soldiers were deployed to attack the youth center where the self-proclaimed spiritual leader was staying. The youth got information ahead and laid ambush to the army leaving 420 SPLA soldiers killed, 543 weapons captured including two military trucks, according to the release widely circulated in the internet fora.

The press release said only seven members of the youth were killed and 24 wounded. They warned that their group of 13,000 heavily armed in the state will forge an alliance with the Mule armed youth and rebels in Unity state to capture Bor town and remove governor Kuol Manyang, who they accused of plotting against the two communities.

However, Kuol downplayed the threat, saying only the spiritual leader with some youth are the only ones resisting to disarm.

UN and members of the international community have expressed concern that the disarmament may turn violent in the process unless carried out voluntarily and peacefully.

Kuol said 9,000 guns have already been collected so far while the exercise targets 20,000 weapons.


Jonglei state Conflict Analysis: Why Second Disarmament Is Not a Solution

By Agereb Leek Chol, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Protecting civilians should be the primary job for the government. However, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has failed tremendously to stop massacres in Jonglei state. In Jonglei’s Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan estimated that 2,500 people were killed in 2009. My research dating back from 2005 until 2012 finds that 7334 were killed in Jonglei state because of cattle raids, counter attacks, and rebels casualties. These killing were exacerbated by the 2006 ‘forcible disarmament’, which left the Nuer and the Dinka Bor vulnerable to Murle’s raiders? The GoSS failed to simultaneously disarm everyone in Jonglei state.

As a result, the Murle raiders took this opportunity and attack the Lou Nuer clan sometimes in January 2009 in Akobo, in which children were abducted. As a response, a well-armed youth from Lou Nuer from Akobo, Uror, and Nyiro counties lunched launched retaliatory attacks in Likuangole between 5 and March 13, killing 450 people. In April 18, 2009, the Murle gunmen retaliated by killing at least 250, and abducting women and children. Homes were burned down and 16,000 people were displaced (Crisis Group, 2009). The Dinka Bor on the other hand, experience similar attacks, but never retaliated until their official attacked in February 8, 2012, which left dozens dead or wounded.

The cycle of violence is has been described as ‘tit-for-tat’ strategy in which one tribe attack and the other retaliate.  However, the GoSS and news media have called these conflicts “intertribal violence” and have invoked the primordial assumptions that guns are the main cause of the conflict. Calling these conflicts “intertribal violence” masks the main causes of violence. The Governor of Jonglei state has tried over and over to bring peace among the warring tribes, but often is violated by Murle’s raiders. The influx of modern weapons during the civil war between the north and south Sudan has change how wars were fought. Today, one man can massacre a whole village with one guns compared to the traditional weapons.

Looking at the conflict in Jonglei state, the problem is a multifaceted issue, and this is clearly different than simple conflict due to ethnicity or clans. The data I collected from 2005 to 2012 shows that 8059 people were killed and 2432 were wounded as a result of rebel attacks, cattle raids, and retaliation in South Sudan. Majority of these attacks are carried out using assault rifles, AK47, grenade launchers, and machine guns. Disarmament is one step to bring stability in South Sudan, but is second disarmament in Jonglei state the only solution? How can the GoSS main peace after the disarmament? Perhaps the GoSS should understand that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.

In the article, Challenges to Protection of Civilians in South Sudan: A Warning from Jonglei State, Ingrid Breidlid and Jon Lie write,

“While several of these conflicts have erupted as a result of traditional cattle-raiding practices and competition over resources (land, water and livestock), socio-economic grievances and legacies of the civil war, including ethno-political tensions, contested administrative and tribal borders, youth unemployment, erosion of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms, lack of integration of former militias, and the proliferation of arms have further contributed to the complex security scenario. In many cases, these factors have in turn been manipulated by political actors at the local, state, and/or national levels for political and economic purposes” (2011, 10).

The following tables will give the narrative of the conflict. The tables will also discuss the main causes of the problem, and how the government of South Sudan responded to the conflict. These tables will also indicate the month, year, and the location to identify which part of the country has experienced more conflicts. A report by International Crisis Group (ICG) , Jonglei’s Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan writes, “given long histories of attacks and counter-attacks among Jonglei tribes, pinpointing how and where a particular conflict cycle began is difficult, but a look at recent events relating to each situation offers context to 2009’s violence” (2). This is why one needs to be aware not to generalize if one tribe is mentioned more than the other.

A. Lou Nuer and Dinka Conflict

To understand the conflict between the Dinka and Lou Nuer in Jonglei state, one has to look at what event exacerbated the violence. The conflict between the Lou Nuer and Dinka communities in 2009 has been in many ways the most “volatile” and “politicized”. The Dinka is the largest tribe in the South with the Nuer being the second. The current President of South Sudan is from the Dinka tribe and the Vice President is Nuer. The conflict between the Dinka and Nuer is not a recent phenomenon. Dinka and Nuer have raided one another for cattle for centuries, but often made peace with one another, and in fact supported each other communally and inter-married for centuries. However, the political split in 1991 between Dr. Garang de Mabior, from Dinka and Dr. Riek Machar from Nuer over the leadership of the SPLM/A is still vivid in many minds. This split led to the death of 2,000 thousands of Dinka Bor under Dr. Riek Machar leadership (Amnesty International, 1992).

From January-May 2006, the SPLA carried out a “forcible disarmament” of Lou Nuer communities in Wuror and Nyirol counties. Brewer writes, “Nuer-Dinka tension flared in the late 2005 when the Lou Nuer, one of the main Nuer groups, requested permission to graze their cattle in the lands of the Dinka Duk County before their seasonal migration (Brewer, 2010, 3).  This obviously was not tension resulting from a difference of mere ethnicity or bloodlines, but scarce distribution of physical resources.  International Crisis Group writes,

“During the dry season, they must travel with their cattle to the toiche areas in search of water and grazing areas. If they go west, they enter either Dinka or Gawaar Nuer territory. If they go northeast to the Sobat River, just across the border in Upper Nile state, they enter the territory of another Nuer sub-clan, the Jikany. Lastly, if they travel south to Pibor, they enter the territory of the Murle. In short, Lou must migrate either to Dinka, Gawaar, Jikany or Murle territories to sustain their cattle, a reality which is itself a primary trigger of conflict” (2).

During the meetings, Lou Nuer refused the demand because they have never been asked to do so in the past. “The campaign was initiated at the request of communities who needed to negotiate access to cattle camps. It sought to remove weapons from local pastoralist groups, primarily the Lou Nuer, many of whom perceived it as a political crackdown” (HSBA, 2006, 4). According to Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA), the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) made it clear that forcible disarmament  would proceed if weapons were not surrendered voluntarily (2006, 3). HSBA writes, “The reason many civilians were reluctant to disarm were that the terms of the campaign were never entirely made clear. Compensation was offered by the Jonglei governor, Philip Thon Leek, a Nyarweng Dinka from Duk County, for voluntarily returned arms, but the details concerning the source of these funds were lacking” (2006, 3).

Given these ambiguities, the Lou Nuer and Gawaar refused to hand over their arms, justifying their position that they needed to protect themselves from neighboring Murle, who retained their weapons. When the SPLA started to disarm Lou’s civilians, the White Army attacked the SPLA, and this altercation led to the death of 1,200 Lou, and 400 SPLA soldiers. International Crisis Group (ICG) writes,

“The devastation generated considerable resentment. The Lou felt singled out, which increased their perception of a state government biased in favor of the Dinka because they were the only community disarmed at the time, they were left vulnerable to the neighboring Dinka and Murle. Cattle raiders took advantage of the newly vulnerable Lou, who as a result began rearming over the next eighteen months”(Crisis Group interviews, Bor, 27 October 2009; Juba, 2 November 2009).

The government failed to organize a successful civilian disarmament because there were no clear guidelines followed by the SPLA. HSBA defines civilian disarmament as “a generic concept that encompasses a wide variety of interventions. These range from tightened regulatory mechanisms for private arms possession and forcible firearms seizures, to public awareness and sensitization campaign and weapons buy-backs, , collection, destruction programs” (2006, 2).  Clearly, these measures were not articulated well enough in the CPA, otherwise the government might not have run into these problems. According to HBSA, the SPLA collected some 3,000 weapons in Lou Counties and 708 guns from Rumbek central and Rumbek east. However, collecting these weapons resulted in the death of 1,200 White Army youth from Nuer and 400 SPLA soldiers as well as thousands of deaths during periodic cattle raids.

Table1. Dinka and Lou Nuer conflict from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
May, 2007 Jonglei state (Duk) Dinka Lou Nuer N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Investigate-d by theGovernor 20,000 head ofcattle stolen
May, 2009 TorkeijUpper Nile Lou Nuer Jinkay Nuer 71 50 N/A N/A N/A N/A Land disputesAnd retaliation
Aug,2009 JongleiWernyolPanyangor Lou Nuer Dinka 42 64 N/A N/A 24,000 Security services deployed RetaliationFor thetheft of 20,000


Sept, 2009 JongleiDuk padiet Lou Nuer Dinka 167 N/A N/A N/A N/A Police deployed Slow responseby GOSS
Jan 7, 2010 Wunchai,Warrap Nuer Dinka 140 90 N/A N/A N/A N/A 5000 cattlestolen
Jan 6, 2010 TonjWarrap state N/A Dinka & Nuer 40 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Cattle raid
Sep, 2011 MayenditUnity  state “Raiders fromWarrap” Dinka 28 18 N/A N/A N/A N/A Theft of100,000 cattle
Total 488 222 24,000 125,000

In May 2007, the theft of 20,000 cattle by Dinka of Duk County from Lou Nuer led to many skirmishes. Governor Kuol Manyang led a team to investigate and reclaim stolen cattle, but the cattle were disbursed in many areas, especially in Wernyol.  Only hundreds were able to be reclaimed. The Lou Nuer felt that the government wasn’t doing enough to protect them. Again in January 2009, seven wildlife and police personnel were killed in Poktap, in Duk County, on a convoy delivering salaries to state employees in Lou-dominated Nyirol country. This incident prompted a suspicion that Dinka citizens and Duk County commissioner were behind the attack.

By 2009, tensions were rising between these communities and it needed a response from Governor Kuol Manyang, who then convened a peace conference with chiefs and representatives of Dinka and Lou Counties. The chiefs made recommendations to address Lou’s demands regarding Poktap’s attack, recovery of stolen salaries, compensation for families killed, and the return of 20,000 cattle stolen in 2007. According to International Crisis Group, the paramount chief of Uror County, Gatluak Thoa, from Lou Nuer tribe made it clear that if these recommendations were not pursued, the government would be responsible for any fallout. Gatluak Thoa gave the government three months before taking matters into their own hands.

By August 28, 2009, Lou youth attacked Wernyol, in Twic East County, killing 42, wounding 60, and displacing hundreds. Immediately, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) were dispatched to confront the youth. This step by the government prompted criticism because the government intervenes when the Dinka tribe is under attack, but not the other way around. On September 20, 2009, the group of 1,000 Lou youth struck Duk Padiet, targeting not cattle, but administrative centers.  One hundred sixty seven people were killed including civilians, police, and SPLA soldiers. This incident indicates that the conflict is now politicized. The main concern by Lou Nuer disarmament is because it ‘exposes them to their tribal enemies’ because the government can’t protect them, and that the neighboring tribes should have been disarmed at the same time (Young, 2007, 12).

B. Lou-Murle conflict

To address Murle’s conflict, one needs to understand the history of war in this region.  Murle region was controlled by Ismail Konyi, a leader of Murle Pibor Defense Forces. During the North-South civil, the Ismail Konyi rebels were fighting against the mainstream SPLA with the support of the Khartoum government. Despite Konyi being integrated in GoSS government in 2006, his relationship with the Khartoum government still exists. During the government disarmament period in 2007, Konyi was dispatched to Pibor to collect arms from his tribe. However, Ismail Konyi never carried out what he was asked to do. International officials in Pibor County stated that “Ismail Konyi was using funds intended for disarmament to buy local support and undermine the commissioner” (Crisis Group interview, UN disarmament expert, Juba, 2 November 2009). Immediately, Governor Koul Manyang and the Commissioner wrote to the President for his removal. The President demanded Ismail Konyi return to Juba, in which he refused and instead returned to Khartoum. Three months later, Ismail Kony returns to Juba.

In 2008, GoSS Vice President Riek Machar returned to Pibor with Ismail Konyi to dissuade Murle from attacking Lou Nuer. In early 2009, Riek Machar and Ismail Konyi traveled to Lou to inform them of the new Murle pledge for peace. Soon after these officials left, Murle raiders attacked areas in Akobo County, which severely discredited any ‘peace negotiation’. The Lou Nuer rearmed themselves again to retaliate against the attack by Murle.

Table2.  Nuer and Murle conflict from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
March, 2009 Akobo &Pibor,Jonglei Lou NuerMurle 750 1000 N/A N/A N/A Ismail Konyi dispatched 600 cattlestolen
March,2009 PiborJonglei Lou Nuer Murle 450 45 N/A N/A 5,000 N/A Retaliation
April, 2009 Jonglei,Akobo Murle Lou Nuer 250 70 N/A N/A 16,000 Lou-MurlePeace talk Retaliation onMarch attack
August, 2009 Jonglei,Mareng Murle Lou Nuer 185 18 N/A N/A N/A Governor condemne-d the killing N/A
August, 2011 Uror, Jonglei Murle Lou Nuer 640 861 208 7924huts N/A SPLA forces deployed Theft of 38,000cattle
Dec, 2011 Pibor, Jonglei Lou Nuer Murle 3,000 N/A 1293 60,000 SPLA & UN dispatch Retaliation attack, wWhich of375,186 cattle


March, 2012 Nyirol, Jonglei state Murle Nuer 30 15 NA N/A N/A N/A 15, 000 headsOf cattle stolen
Total 5305 2009 1504 0 80,000 428786 cattle

January 2009 attack in Akobo resulted in Lou youth from Akobo, Uror, and Nyirol Counties attacking the Murle from March 5-13, killing 450 people. On April 18, 2009, Murle gunmen retaliated by killing 250 people in Nyandit. They also abducted children and women. During this attack, 16,000 people were displaced (Human Right Watch, 2009). The “tit -for-tat” clashes between Lou and Murle reoccurs because the government is not doing enough to stop the Murle from attacking Lou. The Murle leaders aren’t doing enough to discourage youth from raiding other villages.

One interesting data about Nuer and Murle conflict is December, 2011. The attack by lou youth from Nuer, which claimed 3000 lives is disputed by the U.N. The U. N officials who were in area think the numbers were in hundreds. The themes in this section include child abduction, cattle raids, and retaliatory attacks from both tribes. The data shows that 208 children were abducted by the Murle. However, I predict these numbers to be higher.  Jonglei state government rarely keeps records of attacks, which makes it hard to track those abducted.  According to Jonglei state government report in 2009, 380 children were abducted. (Breidlid & Lie, 2011, 10). This piece of data is missing in the table. This clearly shows that the data is possibly missing more cases.

C. Lou Nuer-Jikany Nuer land dispute

The Lou and Jikany are sub-clans of the Nuer tribe; however, both clans have been in conflict with each other because of prior land disputes. The Lou and Jikany for example, are from Nuer tribe, but they are also involved in similar feuds paralleling the Dinka and Murle. So, why then do we still call the conflict as “inter-tribal violence” if two sub-clans from one tribe are fighting against one another? The conflict between Lou and Jikany stems from the North-South civil war.  International Crisis Group writes, “In the 1980s, the SPLA carved the South into operational zones. However, some interpreted these as administrative boundaries and began moving accordingly. Lou occupied areas along the western bank of the Sobat, traditionally home to the Jikany, resulting in significant Jikany displacement to other parts of Upper Nile state” (7).

In January 2009, Wanding payam, a disputed territory, was handed back to the Jinkany communities; however, the Lou tribe who once inhabited the area in the 1980s never fully left the territory. In the spring of 2009, a “series of cattle theft, the murder of Jikany trader in Akobo and abductions of Lou children brought more tensions between Lou and Jikany. In May 2009, Lou youth retaliated killing 71 and wounded 50 people”(Crisis Group interviews, Lou, Juba). After this event occurred, the government didn’t take any initiatives to stop the conflict in order to prevent further retaliation.

D.  Dinka and Murle conflict

Table3. Dinka and Murle conflict from 2006-2012

 Month & Year  Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties Women &ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
October, 2007 Bor, Jonglei Murle Dinka N/A N/A 2 N/A N/A N/A Child adduction
Dec, 2011 JaleJonglei Murle Dinka 42 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jan, 2012 DukJonglei Murle Dinka 47 7 N/A N/A N/A UNDispatch-ed 200 heads ofCattle stolen
February, 2012 Bor, Jonglei Dinka Bor Murle 9 11 N/A N/A N/A N/A Retaliation
Total       98 35 2        

The Dinka Bor and the Murle inter-tribal conflict is reported that cattle raiding and child abduction are the main causes. However, the data collected from 2006 to 2012 shows that one boy and a girl were abducted in Bor. The killing in December 7, 2011 in Jale payam in  Jonglei state is believe to be an intentional killing by the locals. According to Borglobe news reports, the “Murle raiders always target to abduct children, but surprisingly, they killed children and elderly this time in a move seen as a hate violence” (Borglobe, 2011, 7). The data presented above doesn’t explain the entire conflict between these tribes. There is no doubt that many children have been abducted in Bor and other places then the data shows. The Jonglei state police lack the capacity to investigate these abduction.

E. Armed rebels groups in South Sudan

Jonglei State, Warrap State, Unity State, and Central Equatoria are some of the areas that are experiencing rebel conflicts in addition to ‘intertribal cattle raiding’.  Table 4 below maps rebels’ activities in the South Sudan. The rebels groups which are creating havoc in the South belong to a former SPLM/A commander, George Athor who rebelled  during the April 2010 elections after losing to the governor of Jonglei State, Kuol Manyang Juk. George Athor’s rebellion was politically motivated. Despite his death in December 2011, his rebels are still active in Jonglei State.

Table4. Rebel attacks: South Sudan rebels and the LRA from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location Instigators Total death Casualties Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
May, 2006 Motot, karam , Yuai,Jonglei South SudanRebels 113 N/A N/A N/A N/A Disarmament campaign
May, 2006 Uror, Nyirol,Jonglei South Sudan Rebels &SPLA 1600 N/A N/A N/A N/A Disarmament campaign1200 Lou youth and 1400 SPLA killed
Oct, 2009 Terekeka,CentralEquatoria LRA rebels 30 N/A N/A 22,000 N/A N/A
Oct, 2009 WesternEquatoria LRA rebels 205 135 67,700 N/A N/A
Oct, 2010 Mayom,Unity State South Sudan Rebels 75 18 N/A N/A SPLAforcesdispatch 600 cattleConfiscatedRebel’s homes
May , 2011 Nyandeit,Unity State South SudanRebel 86 N/A N/A N/A SPLAForcesdispatched RebelsAttacking SPLAstations
June, 2011 Tony, Warrap state South Sudan Rebels 50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dec, 2011 Pigi ,Jonglei South Sudan Rebels 9 13 N/A N/A SPLAForces dispatched VotingFraud
Total 2168 166

The second armed group is the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), a rebel group made up of forces formerly loyal to Peter Gadet who had accepted an amnesty from the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit. However, majors of SSLA forces haven’t been integrated into the SPLA and they pose a threat to peace. The data collected from 2005 to 2011 shows that together George Athor’s and Peter Gadet’s rebels’ clashes with the SPLA have killed 2168 people in South Sudan. The SSLA accused the government of South Sudan of corruption and underdevelopment. According to the BBC, “they are angered by what they believe is the domination by the Dinka ethnic group” (BBC, October 29, 2011). Senior officers – majors — of these rebels are from the Nuer tribe. Their confrontation with government soldiers has resulted in the deaths of many civilians.

The third rebel group is the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), which is under the leadership of Joseph Kony. This rebel group is at war with Ugandan government, however, they are operating in the border of Centeral Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and the Congo.  The LRA is a proxy rebel group being used by the North to disrupt peace in South Sudan. Despite South Sudan becoming an independent nation, LRA are still killing civilians in their villagers. In The Lord’s Resistance Army in Sudan: A History and Overview, Mareike Schomerus writes “Khartoum ran a proxy war through the LRA against the SPLA and UPDF, while the LRA obtained supplies and assistance in its attempt to overthrow Museveni” (2007, 18). According to the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report from June-August 2011, 70,000 people were LRA-induced IDPS in Western Equatoria since 2008. In Cakaj’s article, The Lord’s Resistance Army and the Threat Against Civilians in South Sudan, a UN report indicated that 205 people in Western Equatoria were killed in October 2009, and 135 people were abducted. Over 67,700 people were displaced from their homes as a result of LRA attacks in this region (Cakaj, 2009, 2).

Cultural Abuse

Clearly, cattle raids, and child abduction are the main triggers of the conflict. The question is why does Murle raid other tribes for cattle and abduct children?  According to Gurtong website, “The Murle social and cultural life is centered round their cattle. They breed them, marry with them, eat their meat, drink their blood and milk, and sleep on their hides. The Murle compose songs full of references to the herds captured in battle or raids from their neighbours. Raiding and stealing of cattle is a question of honour and valour. Every important social event is celebrated by the sacrifice of a bull in order to ensure the participation of the ancestral spirits as well as to provide food for the assembled guests and relatives. Kinship obligations are expressed in terms of cattle”. To put it succinctly, the Murle culture is somewhat abusive because “the Murle compose songs full of references to the herds captured in battle or raids from their neighbors.  If this is true, how do we expect the disarmament to materialized knowing that the Murle raiders will rearm to carry on their tradition?

Child abduction

In case of child abduction, how does this translate into “intertribal violence”? This discourse suggests that these tribes are fighting because they hate each other base on their tribal identity. I would assume that the Murle tribe abduct women and children to make them part of their community. Perhaps Abner Cohen’s explanation which “placed a greater emphasis on ethnic group as a collective organized strategy for the protection of economic and political interest” (Jones, 1997, 74) might shed some light on this issue. Whether these abductees are assimilated into Murle’s culture or sold into slavery, this business has created a deep hatred against the Murle tribe. Typically, the Murle tribe abducts women and children ranging from one year old to sixteen years old. No one knows exactly when this tradition of child abduction started in Murle’s culture. Recently, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit was quoted saying that the Murle tribe are suffering from “syphilis” during the aftermath of Yar and Ajak abduction. The abduction of Yar and Ajak in 2007 made headlines in American news media. Their uncle, a Lost Boy from Minnesota State University mobilized his classmates to write petitions to the U.S government. The students’ work became known as Save Yar Campaign.

The question is what laws are put in place by the GoSS and the Jonglei parliament to retrieve those abducted to their parents? What form of identification should be followed once they are identified? What is the level of punishment? Perhaps deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing should be used to identify the victims. Relying on physical identification marks to identify these victims can complicate the process. Recently, when 6000 youth from Nuer tribe launched attack in December against the Murle tribe, they brought back women and children who identify themselves as Dinka Bor. For example, one family whom I know identifies their daughter which was abducted in 1997, and now she’s claiming to be Murle. She speaks Dinka language fluently and she fit her mother’s identifications. What do you do in this case? DNA testing is expensive, but parents should be given the option.

Cattle raids

Cattle keeping have been the tradition in these communities for centuries. The question is what mechanism has been put in place to protect cattle camps? What laws are put in place to punish cattle thieves? What laws are put in place to manage grazing land? We have to predict that not everyone is going to hand over their guns. What is GoSS’ position on those who defected from the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA)? These defectors have been implicated in the raids. The attack on January, 2012 in Duk Padiet County is interesting because the commissioner believes that Murle’s soldiers in the SPLA carried out the attack. According to the (, the commissioner reported that “Some of the attackers who were killed during the clashes with the local youth were wearing SPLA uniforms” (thenewnation, 2012, 18).

Why civilians demand weapons?

The Small Arms Survey field research, which focused on social factors fueling the civilians’ demand for weapons, suggest the following to be exacerbating the violence:

  • Protection of livestock from cattle rustling. The majority of people in Jonglei live in rural areas and they rely on livestock as a source of livelihood, arms are important to protect cattle
  • Protection from crime against individuals, their household, and their communities: the failure by the government to provide security forces locals to acquire guns to protect themselves from violent crimes
  • Communal self-defense and deterrence: “Pastoral wars- over pasture, farmland, and wells, but also arising from political and commercial rivalries played out between elites—are endemic in the region. Communities unable to protect and defend their communal resources risk them to better-armed rivals. As a result of these and other security dilemmas, tribes seek to maximize their firepower as a form of deterrence” (HSBA, 2007, 3).
  • Anticipation of renewed political violence/civil war; there is a fear among South Sudanese that war might resume again because of rebellion and Khartoum’s threats makes the locals adamant to increase their arsenals to protect and fight in the next round of war.
  • Cross-border insecurity from armed groups: Lord Resistance Army (LRA) activities in the border of South Sudan, Uganda, and Congo have led to insecurity and displacement in South Sudan. This group has been accused of killing, kidnapping, and banditry in. Rebel’s confrontations with the SPLA have led to the death of many civilians. These alone force civilians to acquire guns.
  • Bride’s wealth and dowry: the demand to pay dowries among pastoralist tribes in South Sudan exacerbates the conflict because young men want to follow traditional customs. This indirectly increases the demand for small arms in order to carry out cattle raiding and when locals knowingly continually demand high dowry in cattle-scarce areas this is a form of “culture abuse”.
  • Offensive attacks: Communities who often carry out attacks on other tribes benefit from the spoils of conflict. These benefits include stolen cattle, children, and house goods.

The government of South Sudan is aware of these issues mentioned above. How are these problems framed as ‘tribal issues’ since the conflict is a multifaceted problem? How is disarmament a solution if these problems are not address? In order to solve these issues, the government first needs to abandon this term, and deal with the insecurity. This language reifies the discourse. The question is how can the government of South Sudan (GoSS) disarm civilians peacefully and maintain peace? What the government forgets to understand is the underlying motives for why these civilians refused to hand over their arms. As an SPLA official during the campaign stated, “You’ll kill 500, but the rest will hand the guns over. It is necessary to use a well-equipped force to disarm. We don’t want to hurt anyone, but we must start somewhere, and we must do our best to provide security to those disarmed” (Brewer, 2010, 7). The government only seems to be interested in collecting arms, but neglects civilians’ protection. This attitude that killing 500 people will deter people to hand over their guns voluntary is problematic.

Who is responsible for the many deaths in Jonglei State and other part of the country? The government which failed to provide protection or the civilians who take matters into their hands and retaliate?

Recommendations to the Government of South Sudan (GoSS)

In order for the government to stop the violence, the following issues must be addressed.

  • Conduct disarmament simultaneously in ten states. First, the government needs to deploy police and SPLA soldiers in all counties so civilians feel protected, and then disarm all civilians. Soldiers should remain until a South Sudan police force is well equipped enough to take over. The government should also make it clear that that civilians found with guns after the disarmament will be fined and sent to prison.
  • Armed police officers in order for them to respond to well-armed criminals. Most importantly, build police stationss in 11 counties, Payams, and bomas. These stations can easily communicate when these criminals raid and abduct children.
  • Create gun control laws. For those who wish to own a gun for hunting, they must apply and receive approval from the government.
  • Build better schools and hire South Sudanese to teach skills to earn a living.
  • Control South Sudanese borders to stop weapons supply. Without well trained border security officers, guns will always return to the hands of civilians.
  • Regulate cattle business: The GoSS needs to put in place a formal system to monitor cattle’s sale. In order for someone to sale their cows they have to show proof of ownership. South Sudan is not ready to engage in a free market where by the market decide the prices.
  • Raiders should never be pursued by cattle owners. Camp leaders should report the attack to the police to pursue the attackers.
  • Fixed bride price for tribes who still practice dowry payment.
  • Abducted children should be documented immediately. To combat this, the government must create a department that investigates cases of kidnapped children until they are returned to their parents.
  • Pastoralists in search of grazing land have to request in advance before they can travel. It has to be approved by local leaders, and signed by county commissioners. Should there be any damage to local farms, the cattle owners should compensate for the loss.
  • The GoSS should establish a ‘state army’, which can respond to any emergency in each of ten states instead of rely on the national army.
  • More representation of each tribe in the parliament. This will prevent small tribes from being marginalize in the government.

It is my hope that with these recommendations put forth by South Sudan’s leadership and the Jonglei state administration, the ‘intertribal cattle rustling’, which the government calls “intertribal violence”, will decrease.  Disarmament will never eliminate cattle rustling and child abduction. The GoSS must work hard to create strict laws that punish those who are involved in the child abduction business. South Sudan’s borders need to be well secured; otherwise, illegal guns will be a threat to peace in South Sudan.

The Author is a student at Clark University, Worcester, MA. He can be reached at


Breidlid, I., & Lie, J. (2011). Challenges to Protection of Civilians in South Sudan: A Warning from Jonglei State. The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs1, 1-45. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from the The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs database.

Brewer, C. (2010). Disarmament in South Sudan. Center For Complex Operation 1. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from

Cakay, L. (2010, January 12). The Lord Resistance Army and the Threat Against Civilians in South Sudan. Enough. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Jones, S. (1997). The archaeology of ethnicity constructing identities in the past and present ([Online-Aug.].ed.). London  Routledge.

Schomerus, M. (n.d.). The Lord Resistance Army in Sudan: A History and Retrieved November 27, 2011, from


IRIN humanitarian news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – updated daily. (n.d.).IRIN  humanitarian news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – updated daily. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

News24, South Africa’s premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more. (n.d.). News24, South Africa’s premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more.. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . (n.d.).  Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

BBC – Search results for Africa. (n.d.). BBC – Homepage. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. (n.d.). Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. (n.d.). Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Gurtong. (n.d.). Gurtong Peace Trust . Retrieved March 4, 2012, from

Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. (n.d.). Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Kuich, B. T. (n.d.). Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

ROSENBERG, M., & BOWLEY, G. (n.d.). The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved March 3, 2012, from

SIG | Sudan Information Gateway. (n.d.). SIG | Sudan Information Gateway. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment – Empirical research & support of violence reduction initiatives. (n.d.). Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment – Empirical research & support of violence reduction initiatives. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

United Nations Missions in Sudan. (n.d.). UNMIS. Retrieved March 2, 2012, from

Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis. (n.d.). Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

News | English. News | English. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Jonglei is the largest and most populous of South Sudan’s ten states. It has a population of 1,358,602 people, an area of approximately 122,479 km2, and is among the most underdeveloped regions in the world (ICG 2009; Young 2010). Dominated by swampland and treeless plains, Jonglei is home to six Nilotic ethnic groups practicing various levels of subsistence agro-pastoralism.

As symbolizedby the cattle centered flag flying in front of the government building in the capital of the state, Bor Town, cattle form the currency of many ethnic groups in this region where wealth continues to be accounted in terms of heads of cattle
(see Fahey 2006). Due to the prominence of cattle in the local economy, cattle are an integral part of conflict dynamics in Jonglei state.

Thus, wars between ethnic groups are often prompted by the acquisition and protection of cattle and
the ongoing struggle to gain access to water and grazing points for the herds. The ever-present rustling of cattle particularly among the Nuer, Dinka, and the Murle, represents one of the greatest security challenges in the area (Sundnes and Sahnmugaratnam 2008). To illustrate, between March and December 2009, intense inter-communal fighting in South Sudan claimed some 2,500 lives (OCHA 2009)—a higher figure than the number of lives lost in Darfur in the same period
(Rolandsen 2009). Moreover, 340 children were abducted and 847,000 cattle raided.

Similarly, between January and April of 2010, more than 21,000 people
were displaced in Jonglei state alone due to cattle related fighting (Mines Advisory Group – MAG 2010). While conflicts between pastoral communities are not new, there is a sense among community members that clashes over cattle raids and disputes over grazing pasture and water are occurring more frequently than in the past as competition
for grazing and water resources increases—a situation that promises to escalate further with the growing incidence of food insecurity due to poor rains(OCHA 2009). In addition to the increasing frequency and intensity of clashes, the nature of inter-communal violence has shifted from the targeting of armed youth typically involved in raiding, to attacks on communities, including the elderly, women, and children (ICG 2009).

Many cite the continuing proliferation of small arms, despite government attempts at disarmament, as well as the disintegration of local leaders’ authority particularly over the now easily armed youth groups as the main reasons for the
increased violence. For the residents of Jonglei state, such on-going insecurity

Victims of Discourse

even in the aftermath of the CPA holds serious implications for regional development and livelihood security in the area. Pervasive poverty, combined with continuing insecurity, lack of infrastructure, and limited market opportunities have combined to create a general landscape of deprivation, discrimination, and
marginalization; a landscape in which local conflicts often result in ethnicallydefined casualties.

This is particularly notable in the Murle dominated Pibor County, where entrenched perceptions hold the Murle to be a `backward,’ `hostile’ and `aggressive’ people (PACT 2006; see also Mackenzie and Buchanan-Smith 2004). These denigrating perceptions combined with Pibor’s County’s history as a site of Northern Government support during the civil war, as well as a suspected alliance with the Khartoum Government in the post-conflict period has largely impeded the implementation of government and NGO services such as health care centers, schools, and roads. For instance, only one primary school, run by the Diocese of Torit, existed for South Sudan’s largest county in 2001 (Deng 2001).

In 2006, only three International NGOs3 were present in Pibor County and one of them was in the process of moving out of the area.4 Because of Pibor County’s status as one of the most geographically marginalized and poorest counties in the country, one NGO staff member from the Norwegian People’s Aid coined the term `abandoned peoples’ to describe the Murle’s political, social, and economic
isolation from the rest of South Sudan.5 This situation, which has been noted elsewhere as well (see Young 2010), is a factor in the conflicts involving the county and Southern Sudan in general.

One prominent Murle figure’s retort in an interview with the International Crisis Group (ICG 2009) on the continuing marginalization of Murle from peacetime benefits in the post-war period situates the Murle’s discontent with the effects of their socio-political devalued status: “No education, no health, no water, no roads. How would you react?”.

Despite the reality of a politically and economically marginalized Murle,they are often cast as the aggressors and perpetrators of the continuing insecurity of Jonglei—a narrative that has been upheld by media agencies, prominent figures in government, NGO staff, and local citizens. While violent attacks are perpetrated by each of Jonglei’s pastoralist groups, Bor County commissioner Abraham Jok and previous Jonglei state governor Philip Thon Leek have both been
cited saying, “there are no other tribes causing insecurity in the region apart from the Murle” (see Mangok 2007). Warnings which were expressed by several NGO staff members based in Bor Town to the author to not “bother” traveling to the region on account of the “trouble making Murle” which would result in “a negative
experience,” perpetuates their perceived negative status and their actual socio-political and geographical isolation. Several similar statements made to me by residents in Jonglei’s capital, Bor Town, sustain the ethno-centric coloring of Murle as “highwaymen”6 whose continued aggression threatens to destabilize the possibility of a united South Sudan.

As the former governor of Jonglei State remarked, “With the Murle there is no relationship, only the black relationship.”7 Narratives of the Murle as a `fierce’ people are further solidified and passed
down through fear as well as local and foreign stereotypes of the region that are often exploited by grassroots diaspora networks. For instance, one Minnesota university-sponsored group with a Dinka student lobbied the American government to redress Murle aggression (Human Rights Program – HRP 2010).

In contrast,the Dinka have produced a peace-loving’ narrative of their own as the victims of such abuses—a position that has recently been taken up by various international human rights groups, thanks in part to the ability of the Dinka diaspora in the United States—in particular, to capture the attention of the international audience through the lens of child protection.

Unique to Jonglei state however, have been the additional instances of child abductions during cattle raids that occasionally result in the deaths of women and children. Blame for these abductions largely falls on the Murle ethnic group, fueled by unsubstantiated claims of widespread infertility among the Murle as the reason for their need to acquire children from other ethnic groups.8 This claim stands in contrast to clear evidence of abduction of children and women among
other ethnic groups, including the various Dinka groups.9 Evidence for a not so recent trade in children notably by Dinka for the acquisition of cattle10 (see also Garfield 2007; Young 2007a) also exists, including more contemporary court cases involving Dinka traders selling young girls in Bor and Pibor markets.

Yet these aspects of the story are rarely told, in part due to the fact that few Murle have access to the very same networks of international moral communities that the Dinka have called upon to assert their victimization against Murle aggression.11 The recently created Save Yar Foundation started by a group of University of Minnesota students illustrates this point well (HRP 2010).12 On October 3rd 2007, three year old Yar Achiek and her sister were abducted from their home in Bor County.

The Murle, as the usual suspects, were blamed. Yar’s extended family, had additional resources to draw on for assistance in responding to this abduction, including Yar’s uncle who was a student at the University of Minnesota. After hearing the story of their colleague’s nieces’ plight, members of his class mobilized to lobby the U.S. government to effect the disarmament of the Murle and organized press releases and public events centered on the issue of child abductions
in Jonglei State. That this political activism took place among a group of university students with no prior visitation to the region and limited contact with the Murle people demonstrates how easily actors can mobilize and manipulate narratives towards political action, particularly in the case where western moral values and social networks of powerful actors (e.g., American students) are drawn upon.13 In this instance, a member of the Dinka diaspora was able to draw on the embedded narrative of the Murle as hostile and fierce people in or der to elicit the moral sympathies of a western audience.

This discursive tactic therein disallowed other explanations or truths to emerge toward understanding this highly-localized phenomena.
The purpose of drawing attention to the child abductions in Jonglei state is not to rehearse accounts of child theft in the region. Rather, this is to show how under multiple and conflicting stories and ambiguities surrounding child abductions in Jonglei, certain histories, experiences, and truths are legitimized, creating
facts upon which social and political practices and policies are created and then acted upon at national and international levels; often at the expense of more marginalized and less powerful actors such as the Murle.

More importantly, such accounts deny the Murle the opportunity to claim their own truths, and glosses over atrocities committed against the Murle in the name of vengeance against their aggression. For instance, one of the heaviest tolls on human lives, accounted
for in terms of the number of bomas (local administration units) attacked, head of cattle stolen, and persons displaced since the end of the North-South war, took place against the Murle over a period of eigtht days in March2009 (HRW 2010).

Previous historical scholarship provides ample evidence of Murle victimization, including the infamous Bier (meaning enemy in Dinka) patrols mandated by the colonial state in which countless Murle lost their lives (Lewis 1972). Creating and sustaining the narrative of `the Murle problem’ further overshadows the complexity of cattle raiding as a historically important part of the region’s society and economy (see Turton 1991; Deng 2001) and denies a 150-year history of mutual cattle raiding among all the agro-pastoral peoples (including the Murle, Dinka, and Nuer) in Jonglei State (Young 2007a; Garfield

Furthermore, the attention focused on child abductions misdirects attention away from the wider socio-economic realities of the region’s cattle economy with which the phenomenon of child abductions is intimately linked. While child abductions have traditionally served to replace children who have died, or to equalize the numbers of boys and girls within families, a recent report shows how abductions have become a strategy for destitute youth to pay dowries14 and gain wealth in this impoverished environment by exchanging children for cattle (Young 2010)

.15 As one Murle informant noted, “Cattle is wealth. You need cattle to marry and you must marry.”16 The health policies advocated by international groups to address the issue of `Murle infertility’ then are unlikely to be a “silver bullet”17 in either reducing the abductions of children or addressing the roots of violence in the region. Thus, directing already limited state and international
resources towards solving the issue of `infertility’ does not address the underlying causes of child abductions nor the deep poverty of the region nor the absence of health clinics and other infrastructure, all of which have “made abductions a lucrative business” (Young 2010, 8). By privileging the stories, memories, and truths of the Dinka over those of the Murle, the moral legitimacy of the Murle and their claims to history and reality is overwritten.

Such legitimacy subsequently provides the Dinka-led SPLA greater authority and agency to forcefully disarm and perpetrate violence against the Murle in order that the Murle, with the help of international NGOs and national settlement schemes, may then be shaped into `educated and trustworthy’ citizens. Referring to the
recent [failed] attempts to disarm the Murle through voluntary means, for example, Salva Kirr, the President of the GoSS stated: “If [the Murle] fail to bring all the guns, we’ll have to use force to disarm the community by force.

Of course that will result in a lot of casualties . . . [but] either I leave them with the guns and they terrorize the rest of the people, or I crush them to liberate the other people from being always attacked by the Murle.”18 Similar statements made by the Deputy Governor Hussein Mar that “forceful disarmament is the only way out” (Aleu 2009; see also Young 2010) also help sideline the role that disarmament may play in eliminating wider threats to SPLA power and in reducing competition over vital natural resources by providing political entrepreneurs with considerable room to use violence or the threat of violence to `solve’ past resource disputes (Young 2010).

Some suggest that the 2006 decision to initiate disarmament in the Murle and Lou Nuer areas of Jonglei state was motivated by such considerations (Rolandsen 2009). As Keen (2000, 33) argues, “civil conflicts have typically seen the emergence of groups (often ethnic groups) who can safely and in a sense legitimately be subjected to extreme . . . violence.

Some groups fall below the law, and some are elevated above it.” A petition published in the Sudan Tribune in 2007, entitled “Jonglei Students in Diaspora against Insecurity,” written by a committee composed largely of college and university students in the diaspora on behalf of “the citizens of Jonglei state,” cites the Murle militia as the sole source of insecurity in the region and advocates for extreme measures against their aggression, including the tracking of perpetrators by helicopter and the enactment of laws which would make the abduction of children and the raiding of cattle criminal acts punishable by death.

No similar petition was published on behalf of Murle residents of Jonglei state. More telling, perhaps, is that in addition to the return of abducted children, the return of looted cattle and the prevention of future cattle raiding remained a central component of the petition to secure justice in the region. Within the incendiary environment prevailing in Southern Sudan in which the escalation of violence has deepened inter-community conflicts, the `tribal
posturing’ (ICG 2009) that takes place against different ethnic groups in the region, whether justified or not, provides a source of continuing and future insecurity (McEvoy and LeBrun 2010).

This is particularly relevant in Jonglei state where tensions between communities continue to be aggravated by perceptions of state (as well as Dinka) bias, and concerns over the virtual absence of roads
and infrastructure, widespread food insecurity, land disputes, and limited access to justice (ICG 2009). Many of the Murle interviewed, for example, spoke of their economic and political marginalization in relation to their dominant Dinka and Nuer neighbors (see also Arensen 1992).

Such sentiments align with a more generalized perception by non-Dinka groups in South Sudan of the Dinka’s omination within the government, the SPLM, and the SPLA, and their subsequent capture of “a too big slice of the resource cake” (Santschi 2008, 8). This
perception equally holds in the Equatoria region where the SPLA/M has used a `liberator narrative’ to justify incidents of land grabbing and human rights violations against resident communities (Mackenzie and Buchanan-Smith 2004; Branch and Mampilly 2005).

As Bøås and Dunn (2007) argue, war is not only an economic drama over
the distribution of resources but a social drama over ideas, identities, and social positions as well. This article has demonstrated how through a politics of identity, networks of actors lay claim to and/or limit and deny others’ access to natural resources. In the competition for land and access to resources in South Sudan multiple forms of identity have been called upon to gain access (Derman, Odgaard, and Sjaastad 2007), as demonstrated by the Dinka’s ability to negotiate two seemingly contrary identities; that of victim and that of liberator to exercise control of valuable resources.

Such narratives parallel recent work by Hagmann and Peclard (2010) whose work in Mozambique and Namibia highlights the linkages of memory, identity, and the politics of belonging in which what is at stake, in addition to obvious economic entitlements, is the power to write and tell the `grand narrative’ of the war, in this case, in South Sudan. Yet because rights are in flux and negotiable, the access of Dinka to traditionally non-Dinka lands and
resources depends upon their ability to maintain and reinforce such claims while continuing to exclude those groups simultaneously claiming rights to those resources (see Falk Moore 1994).

The mobilization of political action along a certain identifying character subsequently relies on the actions of local political actors and the contextual issues at stake (Clark 2001). Such entrepreneurs of instability and insecurity are enabled
by various external and internal processes to exploit the possibilities offered under the chaos and confusion of war, statelessness, and/or social and economic reorganization (Retnyens 2009)—a condition similarly expressed in work by Chabal and Daloz (1999) on the `instrumentalization of disorder’.

Within Jonglei State, the Dinka have been able to draw on a victim narrative together with entrenched stereotypes of a fierce and hostile Murle to gain access to international moral sensibilities and values in order to potentially safeguard access to important natural resources. The Dinka’s ability to successfully negotiate multiple discourses, as victims as well as liberators, for similar material gains aligns with Jackson’s view (2005, 153) that a protracted period of conflict and war “destroys many assets on which economic life is based, and it redistributes and mutates others.

It destroys property, but also alters its ownership; it despoils but also provides profit. . . .” More so than just legitimizing natural resource access for the Dinka of Bor County, such discourses have also served the wider SPLA community that is dominated by them.
Discourses serve not only to gain control over resources, they legitimate the violent means through which such appropriation of tenure and resources may be sought (see Hagberg 2007).

Some argue that outside organizations such as UNHCR, are complicit in allowing the SPLA/M to ignore its internal exclusivity for over a decade by accepting responsibility and taking care of South Sudan’s
exiled and vulnerable populations, thereby relinquishing the need for government to build a representative and inclusive civil authority. Humanitarian organizations are explicit in compromising the security of certain groups over others by having “taken sides in the potpourri of good and bad in southern Sudan” (Larsen 2007).

As early as 1997, for example, international organizations were accepting claims of the SPLA as the only legitimate organization representing South Sudanese (Riehl 2001) at the expense of other opposition groups and in lieu of previous peace agreements, including the Khartoum peace agreement between Nuer Rieck—a Lou Nuer—others and the NCP.

As noted earlier, SPLA rhetoric has been used to justify forced disarmament of not only the Murle, but of another rival group, the Lou Nuer, in the 2006 disarmament campaign (Riehl 2001). This
holds serious implications for self-identified hybrid Arab-Indigenous communities such as the Malakiya community in Malakal whose claims for separate political representation has been resented by indigenous groups such as the Dinka calling them northern Arab sympathizers (McCallum and Okech 2008).

The political ambitions of the SPLA may impede greater inclusive policies particularly as the continuing instability in the region may be providing “a license to take advantage of particular groups of civilians” (Keen 2000). For example, Riehl (2001) documents how the SPLA largely viewed civilians as a resource for plunder during the war through the expropriation of taxes, food, and labor.

The continuation of many of these socio-spatial practices of local regulation by both current and retired SPLA operatives through illegal and repeated taxation of IDPs and traders (see also ICG 2009) as well as general harassment of the civilian population (HRW 2009), for example, causes one to wonder whether the SPLA/M-led governing body values civilians as a resource to exploit or as authentic and rightful actors in a developing society.

The failure of the less than Comprehensive Peace Agreement to consider the marginalization of different groups has caused some to speculate that its failure is imminent (Prendergast 2005). In addition to restricting the participation of the wider Sudanese population, the CPA negotiations were limited to the two group

which controlled much of the power at the center and dominated their own domains: the NCP (representing the North) and the SPLM/A (representing the interests of the South) (Young 2007b). This exclusionary arrangement means that the material deprivations and structural inequalities faced by many ethnic groups in South Sudan will continue even as the SPLA transitions from a military organization into a governance institution.

That the outcome of the 2010 elections across South Sudan was plagued by reports of vote tampering and intimidation of non-SPLA candidates as well as the arrest of various opposition leaders has drawn skepticism from some international observers and critics of the SPLA,
while also fuelling anti-SPLA violence in some regions, including Jonglei State.

The persistence of south-south grievances and the seeming absence of a durable post-conflict resolution and recovery process calls into question the sincerity of the rhetorical invocations of a new South Sudan based on democracy and equal rights, as encompassed in the highly-visible slogan (Figure 1) discussed in this paper’s opening sentence.

Ann Laudati is an assistant professor of human geography in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University, Logan, Utah. Her research interests are in human-environmental interactions, community conservation and development, political ecology, natural resources and violent conflict, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

By Machel AmosPosted  Friday, January 20  2012 at  00:00

In Summary

Better than nothing. Previous forced disarmament exercises were bloody and human rights groups criticised the process but officials now say it is better for a few to die during disarmament than for women and children to continue living in danger.

South Sudan said on Thursday it will use force to get disarm civilians despite fears that the move could trigger more bloodshed.

Previous voluntary disarmament exercises have been resisted and communities that responded to the call later rearmed to protect themselves from their armed neighbours.

“They are killing themselves with these guns. So we will force those who don’t want to surrender the guns to do so,” SPLA spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said on Thursday.

“We expect little resistance because they know that these guns are taking their lives. We will collect the guns from all the communities and guarantee their protection,” he added.

This comes in the wake of bloody clashes between rival groups in Jonglei state, where thousands have been killed in series of ethnic raiding and counter-raiding this year.

According to Jonglei state governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, the exercise takes as priority the warring Murle, Lou-Nuer communities and Dinka Bor.

“Without taking these guns by involving force where possible, we cannot realise peace in this state,” Manyang said.

He said the disarmaments done in 2009 provided the conducive atmosphere for 2010 general elections and the referendum last year.

“The rebels have armed them and we should decide between owning arms to fight each other and peace,” Manyang said, adding that the exercise begins at the end of the month in Pibor, home of the marauding Murle youths accused of killing and abducting children and women from their neighbours.

However, previous forced disarmament exercises were bloody and human rights groups criticised the process, saying the ensuing fighting was abusing human rights than it could solve.

Deng Dau Deng, the chairman for the War Disabled Commission, said the exercise, even if conducted by force, would save lives of innocent children and women.

“We better save the children than the criminals who would want to fight the government,” he said.

Since independence in July, South Sudan has witnessed waves of violence worsened by the presence of arms in the hands of civilians.

Ethnic clashes: South Sudan to forcibly disarm civilians
Daily Monitor
South Sudan said on Thursday it will use force to get disarm civilians despite fears that the move could trigger more bloodshed. Previous voluntary disarmament exercises have been resisted and communities that responded to the call later rearmed to

South Sudan Struggles in Its Infancy
Voice of America
January 19, 2012 South Sudan Struggles in Its Infancy Nico Colombant Six months after the exuberance of independence, South Sudan is struggling with major challenges, including recurring internal violence, large scale corruption, daunting security

South Sudan: The Need for the Youth to Travel Home for Cultivation
There are quite a big number of young men and women in our towns who do manual work for survival. Many of them could be seen, washing cars, driving boda-boda and sucking shisha in the shades all around the city of Juba and in other state capitals.

South Sudan: What Is the Image Our Army Wants to Project?
Every citizen in South Sudan knows that we have a problem with our armed forces, especially military and the police. The fact that our peace and independence need to be defended has necessitated that the department of defense takes the biggest share of

South Sudan seeks Ethiopia premier’s help over oil row
Sudan Tribune
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle January 19, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan has asked the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, to play a role in resolving its oil pipeline dispute with Khartoum.

South Sudan: Juba Insists Khartoum Involved in Oil Theft
Addis ababa — South Sudan adopted a hardened stance as it entered crucial oil talks in Addis Ababa meant to defuse increasingly frosty relations with neighbour Sudan, accusing Khartoum of stealing its oil and President Omar al-Bashir of being “a

South Sudan – Press Statement By the Negotiation team of the GoS with regards
The negotiating team of the Government of the Sudan (GoS) on post- secession issues with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has been following the statements and allegations made by representatives of the Government of South Sudan (GoRSS)

South Sudan: President Kiir Receives Report On Human Rights Abuse At Rajaf
Juba — The President of the Republic HE General Salva Kiir Mayardit today received a full report on the alleged human rights abuse which took place at the Dr. John Garang Unified Police Training Center in Rajaf West, Central Equastoria state.

South Sudan Struggles in Its Infancy
Voice of America
January 19, 2012 South Sudan Struggles in Its Infancy Nico Colombant Six months after the exuberance of independence, South Sudan is struggling with major challenges, including recurring internal violence, large scale corruption, daunting security

Ethnic clashes: South Sudan to forcibly disarm civilians
Daily Monitor
South Sudan said on Thursday it will use force to get disarm civilians despite fears that the move could trigger more bloodshed. Previous voluntary disarmament exercises have been resisted and communities that responded to the call later rearmed to

South Sudan: Koko Alan,
Raiders from North Sudan are rustling cattle and killing people in South Sudan. Approximately 140 people are dead. by IRIN Koko and his wife Akuer Alan lost everything in the recent dramatic escalation of ethnic violence in newly independent South

Unchartered Territory: South Sudan
Varsity Online
by Kiki Winter The Republic of South Sudan was founded on 9th July 2011 after decades of civil war and millions of deaths. It is officially the world’s newest country. Cruel and constant warfare has resulted in countless casualties.

Dozens killed in South Sudan tribal violence
Link TV
However, the Sudanese envoy to the UN denied that a humanitarian crisis is looming in the region and accused South Sudan and western countries of aiding the rebels in violation of the peace agreements. The Sudanese envoy estimated the number of rebels

Mosaic News – 01/18/12: Deadly Tribal Violence in South Sudan
Dozens killed in South Sudan tribal violence, Israel launches deadly air strike on Gaza, Bahraini troops attack anti-regime protest in Manama, and more. Today’s headlines in full: Dozens killed in South Sudan tribal violence Al-Alam,

South Sudan: UN urges redoubling of efforts to end cycle of deadly ethnic violence
UN News Centre
The top United Nations envoy in South Sudan today urged an immediate end to the cycle of ethnic violence in the newly independent nation, and called on the Government to hold the perpetrators to account and to deploy more forces to key areas to avert

South Sudan: Is Russia to blame for the most recent massacre?
GlobalPost (blog)
People stand around an helicotper provided by the UN Mission in South Sudan for the World Food Program in Pibor, South Sudan’s Jonglei state, on January 12, 2012. (Hannah Mcneish/AFP/Getty Images) NAIROBI, Kenya — Over the New Year there was a

South Sudan: Why Is the Government Failing to Curb Tribal Violence in Jonglei
With tribal wars across South Sudan, citizens need new thinking if we are to get out from the current conflicts across the country in general and Jonglei State in particular. I want the leadership of our country to know that we need to understand
SES: First Disaster Communications Terminals Deployed in South Sudan
MarketWatch (press release)
The communication terminals deployed in South Sudan provide vital connectivity for ongoing humanitarian operations of the United Nations. In addition to the infrastructure already operational in Bentiu and Maban, another communication
SOUTH SUDAN: Koko Alan, “I saw many people, women and children, being killed”
Reuters AlertNet
Koko and his wife Akuer Alan lost everything in the recent dramatic escalation of ethnic violence in newly independent South Sudan. Up to 8000 armed Lou Nuer youths came to his village of Tangyang, near Gumuruk, killing civilians and taking cows,

JUBA, South Sudan — Tribal clashes and cattle raiding attacks that have displaced tens of thousands of people in South Sudan will not affect the development of the oil industry, a top official said.Pagan Amum said Sunday that the situation in Jonglei state — the site of large tribe-on-tribe attacks over the last several weeks — would not affect the planned exploitation of the state’s oil fields.

South Sudan — the world’s newest country — gets nearly all of its government revenue from oil fields. The people of South Sudan are among the poorest in the world. South Sudan split off from Sudan last July.Last week South Sudan signed its first post-independence oil deals with the state petroleum companies of China, India and Malaysia for oil-producing concessions in Unity and Upper Nile states. The agreements replaced exploration and production agreements made previously with the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

Amum, the secretary-general of South Sudan’s ruling political party, urged French oil giant Total and other investors in the region to sign similar agreements and resume their operations in Jonglei.

The United Nations estimates that more than 60,000 people in Jonglei have been affected by recent waves of violence, which began on Dec. 23 between the Murle and Lou Nuer ethnic groups. Last week, state officials said 57 Lou Nuer — mostly women and children — were killed in retaliatory attacks by the Murle in Akobo county.

Jonglei is home to Concession Block B, one of the largest oil blocks in South Sudan. Total holds a 32.5 percent stake in Block B and is responsible for the exploration and development of the area’s oil. Total acquired the stake in 1980 when the south was still part of Sudan, but suspended operations in 1985 due to the country’s civil war.

On Tuesday in Ethiopia, South Sudan will resume talks with Sudan over the separation of the two countries’ once-unified oil industry.

All southern oil must be pumped through pipelines in Sudan, but the two countries greatly disagree over the amount the south should pay for the use of the pipelines.

The general atmosphere between the sides is tense. In a statement Saturday, South Sudan’s petroleum minister accused Khartoum of stealing 650,000 barrels of the south’s oil at Port Sudan. Amum, who serves as South Sudan’s chief negotiator in the talks, said South Sudan would not accept such “state piracy.”

Amum said the south would develop alternative means of extracting its oil if Khartoum did not conduct its business fairly.

“We have a company like Toyota Tsusho of Japan which is almost completing a feasibility study and have lined up financing to build an alternative pipeline through Kenya,” he said. Toyota Tsusho is part of the Japanese manufacturing giant Toyota Group.

Amum said South Sudan is already in discussions with Kenya and Toyota on the possible pipeline and is planning “trilateral talks.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

South Sudan: Can We Make 2012 a Year of Plenty in Term of Food?
Early rains in most parts of Republic of South Sudan usually come in March which is less than two months away. It is with rains that cultivation in this new nation is closely related because our new ministry of electricity and dams have not yet 

South Sudan encourages oil development despite waves of internal violence
The Republic
AP JUBA, South Sudan — A top official in South Sudan says that tribal clashes and cattle raiding attacks that have displaced tens of thousands of people in the nation will not affect the development of the oil industry. South Sudan — the world’s 

South-bound but stranded in Sudan
UNHCR (press release)
After waiting for over a year to go to South Sudan, some southerners have set up home in abandoned train carriages at Khartoum’s Shajara railway station. KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 16 (UNHCR) – At first glance it looks like a junkyard, strewn with piles 

UNHCR Declares Massive Humanitarian Disaster In South Sudan
Oye! Times
“I want to make a very strong appeal to the international community for massive humanitarian solidarity for the people of South Sudan at the moment. South Sudan is a new born State still facing enormous challenge from humanitarian perspective. 

Washington Post
JUBA, South Sudan — Tribal clashes and cattle raiding attacks that have displaced tens of thousands of people in South Sudan will not affect the development of the oil industry, a top official said. Pagan Amum said Sunday that the situation in Jonglei Violence mocks the hope of South Sudan’s independence
South Sudan (MNN) ― They dared to hope. On July 09, 2011, the Republic of South Sudandeclared itself independent from Sudan (north) under the terms of a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war. The new nation was feted and gifted with 

Global Deal: Petronas Signs South Sudan Deal to Continue Existing Operations
Wall Street Journal (blog)
By Jason Ng of Dow Jones Newswires KUALA LUMPUR – Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, said it has signed an agreement with the government of South Sudan that allows it to continue operations it began prior to the country’s 2011 independence from 

Malaysia’s Petronas signs transition agreement for South Sudan blocks
Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas and its partners have signed a transition agreement with the government of the Republic of South Sudan that enables them to continue operating in upstream blocks in South Sudan previously awarded by the government of the 

Egypt Pledges to Cooperate With Nation
Juba — A delegation from the Republic of Egypt headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Al-Khalil Amri reaffirmed the commitment of the Egyptian Government to support South Sudan in developmental sectors as part of bridging their relations 

South Sudan

More than 3,000 people were killed in South Sudan in brutal massacres last week in bloody ethnic violence that forced thousands to flee, the top local official in the affected area said.

“There have been mass killings, a massacre,” said Joshua Konyi, commissioner for Pibor county in Jonglei state.

“We have been out counting the bodies and we calculate so far that 2,182 women and children were killed and 959 men died.”

United Nations and South Sudanese army officials have yet to confirm the death tolls and the claims from the remote region could not be independently verified.

If confirmed, the killings would be the worst outbreak of ethnic violence ever seen in the fledgling nation, which split from Sudan in July.

A column of 6,000 rampaging armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe last week marched on the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle people, whom they blame for cattle raiding and have vowed to exterminate.

The Lou Nuer gunmen attacked Pibor and only withdrew after government troops opened fire.

More than 1,000 children are missing, feared abducted, while tens of thousands of cows were stolen, Mr Konyi added, who comes from the Murle ethnic group.

UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Lise Grande said earlier this week that she feared “tens, perhaps hundreds” could have died.

South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer he was still awaiting reports from forces on the ground.

“For the assessment to be credible, they must have gone into the villages to count all the bodies.”

The UN estimates ethnic violence, cattle raids and reprisal attacks in the vast eastern state left more than 1,100 people dead and forced 63,000 from their homes last year.


Accounts Emerge in South Sudan of 3,000 Deaths in Ethnic Violence

By N

NAIROBI, Kenya — More than 3,000 villagers were massacred in the recent burst of communal violence in South Sudan, local officials said Thursday, with the fledging South Sudanese government, which just won its independence six months ago, seemingly unable to stem the bloodshed.

Thousands of armed fighters attacked the town of Pibor.

If the death toll is confirmed — United Nations officials and South Sudanese Army officers have yet to do that, saying they were still collecting information from the conflict zone — this would be one of the deadliest clashes in South Sudan in recent memory.

In the past two weeks, United Nations aircraft had been tracking an unusually large column of 6,000 to 8,000 heavily armed fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group as it advanced toward the town of Pibor, cutting a swath of destruction across the savanna. Pibor is the hometown of the Lou Nuer’s traditional rival, the Murle, and the two groups have been locked in a tit-for-tat cattle rustling feud for years, with the death toll steadily rising each round.

According to Joshua Konyi, the commissioner of Pibor County and a Murle, 2,182 women and children and 959 men were killed, 1,293 children were abducted and 375,186 cows were stolen.

“We’ve been counting the bodies,” Mr. Konyi said by telephone from Pibor on Thursday night. “It’s really a genocide. If you come, you will see.”

He said Lou Nuer fighters had mercilessly hunted down civilians who were cowering in the bush. Other Murle leaders said hundreds of women had been chased into a river, where they drowned.

Earlier this week, United Nations officials had a much lower estimate, describing a death toll “in the tens, if not the hundreds” and saying that several corpses had already been unearthed. United Nations peacekeepers had tried to stop the fighters from storming the town of Pibor, but when it was clear that the peacekeepers and government soldiers were vastly outnumbered, Pibor’s residents were advised to flee. As many as 50,000 people scattered across the area. At first, United Nations officials believed that the early warnings had saved many lives.

“At this stage, it’s very difficult to get an accurate picture,” Kouider Zerrouk, a United Nations spokesman in South Sudan, said Thursday. “We’re not in a position to confirm any figures, and we’re in the process of assessing their validity.”

The Pibor area is one of the most rugged and isolated parts of South Sudan, surrounded by thick forests and swamps. With thousands of fighters still roaming around and many roads inaccessible, United Nations officials said they would not know the full extent of the violence for several more days.

South Sudan’s military spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, said, “I’m sure many people died.” But the army, like the United Nations, was waiting for more details, he said.

“I feel bad,” Colonel Aguer said. Referring to the South Sudanese Army, he continued: “It is regrettable that the SPLA couldn’t stop this. This region is in conflict. This is not the first incident of this kind, and it will not be the last.”

The cattle-rustling tradition in this part of South Sudan goes back generations. Both the Murle and the Lou Nuer prize cows and often lionize the young warriors who steal them. Years ago, the warriors clashed with spears. Now, they use AK-47s.

Last year, the Lou Nuer attacked several Murle villages, stole cattle and killed hundreds. The Murle responded by attacking several Lou Nuer villages, stealing cattle and killing hundreds. The two groups often abduct women and children during these raids. Church elders tried to intervene, but talks broke down in December. Then the Lou Nuer began amassing a huge force of heavily armed youths. Lou Nuer elders said it was time to wipe out the smaller Murle group, once and for all.

In late December, the column of Lou Nuer fighters began marching toward Pibor, burning huts along the way. The United Nations rushed 400 peacekeepers to Pibor, trying to defend the town alongside about 400 South Sudanese government troops.

But as Colonel Aguer said, “800 can’t stop 6,000.”

When asked why so few soldiers were defending Pibor when it was clear an enormous force of Lou Nuer fighters was headed that way, he replied, “It’s a long story.”

He elaborated that government troops were stretched thin across South Sudan, especially because of all the tensions along the oil-rich boundary between South Sudan and its northern neighbor, Sudan. The border has yet to be demarcated and could prime a major conflict between the two nations. Before South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July, the South Sudanese had been fighting a guerrilla war for independence for decades.

“The mission of the army is an external threat,” Colonel Aguer said. “Nobody articulated such an internal threat would happen.”

But, he added, “there’s a need for some adjustment.”

Murle leaders say the government essentially abandoned them in their time of need. Thousands of people remain camped out in the bush, “people with no food, no water, and this is my problem to get them help,” said Mr. Konyi, the Pibor commissioner.

Their rage vented, the Lou Nuer fighters now appear to be heading home. Mr. Konyi even described Pibor on Thursday night as calm. But others say the next outburst is only a matter of time.

“To me, this can’t stop,” said David Ibon, a Murle pastor. “This isn’t just cattle rustling. This is war.”

Accounts Emerge in South Sudan of 3000 Deaths in Ethnic Violence
New York Times
NAIROBI, Kenya — More than 3000 villagers were massacred in the recent burst of communal violence in South Sudan, local officials said Thursday, with the fledging South Sudanesegovernment, which just won its independence six months ago, 
3000 killed in South Sudan massacres
ABC Online
More than 3000 people were killed in South Sudan in brutal massacres last week in bloody ethnic violence that forced thousands to flee, the top local official in the affected area said. “There have been mass killings, a massacre,” said Joshua Konyi, 
South Sudan threatens to “sue” Khartoum over unilateral oil charges
Sudan Tribune
January 5, 2012 (JUBA) – The government of South Sudan (GoSS) on Thursday threatened to sue Khartoum over its decision announced this week to unilaterally impose monthly charges on its crude oil transported through its pipelines. 
Sudan claims SPLM-N recruited 900 children in South Kordofan, calls for UNICEF 
Sudan Tribune
Habani said that some of the kids were transferred to South Sudan describing this as a breach of their rights and a violation of international conventions in this regard. During her meeting with UNICEF representative in Sudan Nils Kastberg she called 

Nuer White Army, Akobo, South Sudan

January, 5, 2012

The leadership of the White Army has met today in Lilkuangole to determine the situation in Jonglei state after successfully launching Operation Ending Murle’s Abductions on December 22nd, 2011. After reviewing the operation, the leader of the White Army, Bor Doang informed the Executive Council of the White Army that the operation has been successful. The leader reported that twenty five Nuer and Dinka kids who were abducted by the Murle in the past have been recovered and will be returned to their parents by their chiefs. Over 80,000 stolen Nuer and Dinka cattle have been returned.

The casualties of the White Army are less than expected in that large operation. The leader of the army confirmed that 95 fighters have been wounded and 15 killed in the entire operation. The Murle ran to Pochalla and Boma near the Ethiopian border. The Executive Council congratulated Bor Doang for successful and capable leadership that disarmed Murle in a very short period of time. Although majority of Murle tribe escaped to Ethiopian mountains, the Executive Council has no intention to pursue them in a foreign country. The sovereignty of Ethiopia has to be respected and the White Army has no intention to create conflict with Ethiopia which was an ally that supported the people of South Sudan against successive Khartoum regimes before independence.

The White Army congratulated Twic-Dinka for joining the operation to disarm Murle. We thank 900 Dinka who joined us on December 22nd, 2011. We are very happy that no member of Dinka White Army was wounded or killed in operation. They played a very pivotal role in the capture of Lilkuangole. Most of military intelligence which located the whereabouts of Murle fighters was supplied by Twic-Dinka who joined their Nuer brothers to end the problem of Murle. The unity between the Nuer and Dinka youth will be consolidated for peace to reign supreme in Jonglei State. Nuer and Dinka share the same great grandmother during creation. Although Murle are also related to Nuer and Dinka as part of greater Nilotic tribe, their persistent determination to abduct Nuer and Dinka kids since 17th C is a big menace to all their neighbors.

The Nuer and Dinka youth will meet in the near future to discuss forming a coalition between the Nuer and Dinka white armies as the only solution to maintain security in Jonglei and Upper Nile States. Our Dinka brothers have proven to be very good fighters against Murle when we launched the operation. The Executive Council will also send a delegation to Anuak Youth for talks to form a unified army to fend off Murle threat in the region.

We would like to inform the world that three Nuer clans of Lou, Jikany and Gawaar have agreed to unite their white armies under the name Nuer White Army. From January, 5, 2012 onwards, the name that applies to Lou, Jikany and Gawaar fighters is the Nuer White Army. Bor Doang thanked 1,500 Jikany and 500 Gawaar Nuer who participated in the operation. It is the first time since Dr. Riek Machar formed the White Army in 1992 that all Nuer clans could unite their fighters under one command. The leadership has decided that all the Nuer clans, from east to west, will form a unified leadership under one leader. A delegation will be sent to Nuer Youth in Unity State to join the Nuer White Army to defend Nuerland from external enemies.

We want to state, in no uncertain terms, that the Nuer White Army has no political objective. The primary objective of the White Army is to defend the Nuer livelihood from Murle who carried out attacks against the Nuer civilians. We advise President Salva Kiir to find a solution to Murle problem which will push the South to first tribal world war. The problem of Jonglei state is a persistent attack of Murle against Nuer, Anuak and Dinka civilians. The Murle are the ones who do not want to live in peace. Murle cannot increase their population by abducting Nuer, Anuak and Dinka’s children. If Murle’s women have fertility problem, the Nuer and Dinka are willing to accept intermarriage with Murle. The Dinka, Nuer and Murle’s chiefs can sit down and talk about intermarriage to assist our Murle brothers to increase their population if their women are not procreating. The chiefs can decide the number of cattle a Murle man should pay as dowries to marry a Dinka or Nuer girl.

We want to inform UNMISS that we have no intention to fight the UN forces in South Sudan if they stay neutral. Since we launched operations against Murle, we never targeted UN forces. When our fighters entered to Pibor town, they didn’t shoot at UN and SPLA because we have no quarrel with them. The problem could arise if UN forces shoot at us because we could exercise the right of self-defense recognized internationally. Since the UN has no intention to fight us, we also have no intention to fight the UN and the SPLA. Our problem is Murle, not the UN.

The leadership of the White Army would like to thank the UNMISS for airlifting 84 members of our fighters wounded in the operation to Juba for treatment. We are very happy for what the UN forces did and it proved that they don’t have any intention to confront us as we mistakenly thought earlier. We want the UN forces to maintain neutrality they demonstrated when we entered Pibor town. The Commander of UN forces in Pibor is a professional soldier who talked to our leadership in a very polite way and made it clear that the UN would not support any side in the conflict. The White Army does acknowledge the difficult situation the UN forces are operating in given the fact that they are inexperienced when it comes to the issues of cattle rustling. However, the UN forces have shown professionalism in handling themselves in this operation. Our advice to them is to maintain being independent from South Sudan government which is led by confused people.

We would advise the UNMISS that the White Army is open to dialogue with international community. The White Army is represented in North America by Nuer Youth under the leadership of Gai Bol Thong in United States. We mandated the Nuer Youth in America to represent the Nuer White Army in any negotiation with the UN in New York. We the Nuer Youth in South Sudan do not recognize Riek Machar as a Nuer leader. He is responsible for all the killings we experience today because it was him who armed Murle tribe in 1997 when he signed Khartoum Peace Agreement with Omer Bashir. He cannot talk to us because we know that he is responsible for all the deaths in Jonglei for arming Murle in 1990s to fight John Garang. Now Murle are killing the Nuer and Dinka with weapons Riek Machar supplied to them in 1997.

The leadership of the Nuer White Army will talk only to Murle Youth through UN mediation outside South Sudan. Mediation between Murle, Dinka and Nuer chiefs is not in the interest of the youth of any side. We advise the international community to know that the chiefs of Nuer, Dinka and Murle will not solve the ongoing conflict. Therefore, there has to be a direct peace talk between Murle Youth on one side and Dinka and Nuer Youth on the other side. The chiefs and politicians in Jonglei and Juba are complicating the matter and the youth do not recognize their authority.

For peace to reign supreme, Murle Youth must talk face to face with Nuer and Dinka Youth outside South Sudan. If the Nuer, Dinka and Murle youth talk in New York, they will have a different experience. Their contact with outside world and the youth in America will be enlightening experience and it would assist in attitude change among the youth.

The entire youth in South Sudan have a problem with politicians in Juba. We advise the UN that the government in Juba is not in good terms with the Nuer and Dinka youth. Therefore, the UN must have an independent contact with the youth via Nuer youth in America who will assist to bring Murle and others together.

We want to advise the UNMISS that the war is not over and the international community should work hard to avoid more wars. We anticipate that the Murle will attack the Nuer and Dinka as a revenge for the operation we launched on December, 22nd, 2011. If they did that, we will launch surprise attacks which will lead to more bloodshed and displacements. Therefore, the UN and the US government must deal with the Murle and Nuer-Dinka white army independent from chiefs, churches and Juba’s government. The UN must talk to Nuer Youth in North America to facilitate direct Youth-to-Youth Dialogue. The people who die in numbers are youth and the majority of the populations are youth. There is no need for UN to waste time talking to tiny minority like chiefs, elders, pastors and politicians.

We would like to warn President Salva Kiir that any attempt to disarm the Nuer White Army will lead to catastrophe and bloodbath. The president must avoid sliding the South to a failed state and should rationally study the situation on the ground without emotion. The Nuer and Dinka youth are very angry and have acquired military arsenal which can bring down the government in Juba if provoked. The White Army has no intention to fight the government. But if President of the South will launch another forced disarmament similar to 2006, there will be a military uprising similar to what happened in Libya last year. If Salva Kiir wants to avoid what happened to Muamar Gaddafi, he should not mess up with Nuer White Army. Our intention is to defend our cattle and kids from Murle because the government failed to provide security after disarming us in 2006. But if Salva Kiir lost touch with reality and insists on disarmament, we will fight him. This time the war will be different because youth in the entire South are not happy with politicians in Juba. If Salva Kiir starts war against Nuer White Army, he will regret it for the rest of his life if he will survive.

For contact:

Bor Doang
Thuraya Phone: +882166997450
Jonglei, South Sudan

Gai Bol Thong
Leader of Nuer Youth in North America
Tel. (206)307-7357
Seattle, Washington