Apuk community try to restore peace in aftermath of intercommunal violence
More than 150 political, community, women and youth leaders have come together with traditional chiefs and cattle farmers in the Bahr El-Ghazal region to learn to how to better manage conflict during a special forum organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
It is the first conflict sensitization forum to be held in Apuk South County in the aftermath of intra-communal violence in the area between the Apuk and Aguok communities.
The forum was led by the Civil Affairs Division (CAD) of UNMISS. CAD Officer, Drici Toruko, said the forum was designed to help communities understand the impact of the continuing conflict on each other and to encourage them to find non-violent ways to resolve disputes.
Apuk South County Paramount Chief, Ater Ngor, said the forum was an “eye opener” in terms of exploring ways to restore peace and hope for the community. He appreciated the discussion between the different representatives from across the community and said it was particularly important that youth working in the cattle camps learn the skills needed to resolve conflict and embrace peace.
Participants at the forum said they were ready for a peace dialogue with their neighbouring communities to bring an end to the conflict and hoped that this could be facilitated by UNMISS.
Similar forums have been held in Kuac South and Aguok Centre and more are planned in the area to help diffuse violent confrontations in hot spots such as the border communities of Apuk, Aguok, Kuac, Marial Baai and Abiem.