Posts Tagged ‘nuer’


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?

http://www.newsudanvision.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2597:diaspora-workshop-equip-participants-with-tools-for-peace-building-back-home&Itemid=8

PaanLuel Wel.


THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN

THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE FOR COMMUNITY PEACE, RECONCILIATION AND TOLERANCE IN JONGLEI STATE

JONGLEI STATE COMMUNITIES CONFERENCE

FOR PEACE, RECONCILIATION AND TOLERANCE 

held in Bor, 1st 5th May 2012  

http://www.southsudanhub.com/media/662/Jonglei_peace_deal/

CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  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.

PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE FOR COMMUNITY PEACE, RECONCILIATION AND TOLERANCE IN JONGLEI STATE

All-Jonglei Communities Conference

Bor, Jonglei State

1st5th May 2012

PLAN OF ACTION

  ISSUE RECOMMENDATIONS LOCATION TIME FRAME WHO IS RESPONSIBLE REMARKS
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

Continuous
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

Continuous
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


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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

cattle

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

stolen

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 (thenewnation.net), 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 schol@clarku.edu

References

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 http://ccoportal.org/sites/ccoportal.org/files/7_disarmament_in_sudan.pdf

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

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 Overview.smallarmssurvey.org. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/pdfs/HSBA-SWP-8-LRA.pdf

Dataset

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 http://www.irinnews.org/

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 http://www.news24.com

Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | guardiannews.com | The Guardian . (n.d.).  Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | guardiannews.com | The Guardian . Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.guardiannews.com/

BBC – Search results for Africa. (n.d.). BBC – Homepage. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/africa

Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. (n.d.). Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.borglobe.com/

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. (n.d.). Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Gurtong. (n.d.). Gurtong Peace Trust . Retrieved March 4, 2012, from http://www.gurtong.net

Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. (n.d.). Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.heraldsun.com.au

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 http://www.sudantribune.com

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 http://www.nytimes.com

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News | English. News | English. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.voanews.com


South Sudan and Greater Equatoria in particular has been marred by insecurities since the independence of our new nation.  Many innocent lives have been lost; properties have been illegally seized and occupied, and Greater Equatoria continues to face injustices and insecurities. ­­­­­­

We can cite several of these incidents.  Western Equatoria State continues to struggle with the atrocities committed by the Lord Resistant Army (LRA). Eastern Equatoria State recently witnessed violent confrontations between the Ma’adi and Acholi communities, which had been living in harmony for generations. Similarly, Central Equatoria State has witnessed multiple issues of insecurities such as previous Bari and Mundari conflict; and the recent land dispute of March 5, 2012 in Kemiru area of Juba County, where innocent citizens including women and children were killed.

The continuous inter-ethnic conflicts in several areas in the newly independent African nation, which has resulted in the loss of innocent lives, are unacceptable. Furthermore, the continuation of such conflicts tarnishes the image of the new nation and its people, who have struggled for more than fifty years to gain their independence. Therefore, regardless of whether the culprits are our brothers from Greater Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria, or Greater Upper Nile, the Equatoria Sudanese Community Association-USA (ESCA-USA) leadership condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities and insecurities resulting from such conflicts and misunderstandings; and more so, the recent events in Kemiru village of Juba County.

Although, the authorities at the national and state levels are working hard to minimize and eliminate insecurity in our beloved nascent nation, we still believe more can be done to ensure the safty the citizens of South Sudan and their properties.   We urge our leaders at the national and state levels to move swiftly to bring these culprits to justice.

Although our leaders at the national and state levels have our utmost support, we still hold them accountable for any shortcomings, especially loss of innocent lives particularly of women and children, as well as forceful seizure of properties.  Hence, ESCA-USA leadership stands ready to help in any way possible; however, will not accept anything less than safe, secure, and free South Sudan.

Our heartfelt condolence to victim’s families, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tragic time.  May the lord rest their souls in eternal peace.

God bless you

God bless Republic of South Sudan

Kwaje Lasu, RCP, MPH

President

ESCA-USA

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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.

AFP

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-06/3000-killed-in-south-sudan-massacres/3761864

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.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/world/africa/in-south-sudan-massacre-of-3000-is-reported.html?ref=world

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