Ground-breaking peace agreement signed in Jonglei

7 May 2012

Ground-breaking peace agreement signed in Jonglei

5 April 2012 - Boosting prospects for peace in Jonglei, traditional leaders from six communities signed an historic agreement today in the capital Bor to end inter-tribal conflict in the state.

The peace agreement includes seven resolutions and 12 recommendations generated during the five-day "Jonglei State All Community Peace Conference", which was held in Bor from 1 to 5 May.

Among dignitaries who signed the document as witnesses were Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) Hilde F. Johnson, Jonglei Governor Kuol Manyang, Archbishop Daniel Deng and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs John Luk.

Also attending the signing were South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, government officials, county commissioners and representatives of international as well as local organizations.

Addressing the gathering, President Kiir said, "We will make sure that all ... you have agreed on will be implemented because the aim is to end inter-tribal conflicts and bring peace and development in Jonglei State."

SRSG Johnson said UNMISS was ready to help Jonglei people achieve that peace. Urging all communities to adhere to the agreement, she stressed that lasting peace could only occur when comprehensive solutions were found to the state's challenges.

"You have to say no to violence, but no is not enough and resolutions also are not enough," Ms. Johnson said. "We need to see peace followed by dividends of peace for the people and we need to see peace reach the communities, grassroots and the cattle camps."

The SRSG acknowledged that bringing peace to Jonglei would be difficult in the midst of conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.

"If the conflict continues, we are likely to see a spillover effect of militia and more arms and that is why peace is very important between the two countries," Ms. Johnson said.

Jonglei State Governor Kuol Mayang Juuk noted that more than 3,600 people had been killed, 300 wounded and 1,800 children abducted since the beginning of the year.

Archbishop Daniel Deng, chairperson of the Presidential Committee for Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance in Jonglei State, said all state communities were involved in the peace process.

"All the communities and groups were well represented," the archbishop said. "We made sure that the youth, women, elders, chiefs and local government administrators were given an equal chance to talk about their concerns."

The resolutions, to be implemented by traditional leaders and the six Jonglei communities (Murle, Dinka, Nuer, Kachipo, Jie and Anyuak), include combating abductions; holding meetings between cattle camp youth; waiving compensation for those previously killed; tracing, identifying and returning abductees; discussing bride prices; and amnesty for stolen cattle.

To be implemented by state and national governments, the conference recommendations were to enforce law and order; set up effective buffer zones; recruit youths into organized forces;arrest and try culprits; protect civilians; enhance security force equipment; conduct aerial surveillance, share resources equitably; and create employment.