Gak and Manuer sections put pen to paper to end five years of inter-communal conflict in Lakes
Local leaders, youth and women of the Gak and Manuer sections in the counties of Aloor and Malueeth in the Greater Lakes region have unanimously agreed to end five years of inter-communal conflict that has claimed at least fifty lives.
“We must be willing to forgive and forget the past if we are to live as brothers and sisters of this great community,” said William Mathiang Ater, Paramount Chief of the Manuer section as he was interrupted by people from both the formerly clashing communities clapped their hands in a show of vigorous support of the signed peace deal.
His counterpart from the Gak section, Executive Chief Manyiel Lieny Wol, urged both parts of the Pakam community to courageously confront their past and find a ground for true reconciliation.
“It would be great for Gak and Manuer to bring the issues that disturb us forward. I think we as Pakam people, we should be true to ourselves. Once we are truthful and genuine, then reconciliation can take place,” the Chief said.
Women’s representative Ms. Debora Ayor Matueny decried the impact the conflict has had on girls and women. She called on the rivaling sections to embrace each other for sustainable peace to reign.
“We have suffered a lot as mothers, sisters and wives. Enough is enough. This conflict has robbed our community of basic services. Even local and international humanitarian partners are scared to extend their services to us,” she said.
On his part, youth representative Mr. Makuei Gai Aliap struck an optimistic tone when, smilingly, assessing what the future may hold.
“If William Mathiang and Manyiel Lieny Wol can hold hands and forget the past, I believe others, like us (youth), can do the same for for the Pakam community to move forward in peace.”
The three-day peace conference at which the peace agreement was signed was supported by the United Nations mission in South Sudan, the British non-governmental organization Oxfam and the Disabled Association for Rehabilitation and Development.