Local communities in Duk Padiet vow to ensure peaceful cattle migration
Cattle camp leaders and farmers from three neighbouring communities in Duk Padiet, in the Jonglei region of South Sudan, have reached an agreement to ensure peaceful cattle migration following a two-day conference supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
A resolution was reached to establish a pass permit system along the borders, to strengthen the capacity of the Peace Committee and develop the area by building schools and recreational peace centres.
“We must applaud UNMISS because no one has ever reached out to the cattle camps to discuss ways to ensure peaceful cattle migration,” said Gabriel Hotbichok, a cattle camp leader.
“We can resolve issues through dialogue,” he added.
Duk Padiet, strategically located, hosts grasslands and water points serving as a lifeline for these communities. However, competition for scarce water and grazing resources has resulted in violent clashes between farmers and pastoralists. Violent clashes between these communities have become more frequent as intercommunal cattle raiding persist.
The youth leader of Gaweer cattle camp, Koh Pal, said that stories about communities in Duk Padiet were full of “bloodshed and misery”. He said the conference was an opportunity to “understand the situation from their neighbor’s perspective to build peace between communities”.
“Petty differences between us should have not resulted into conflict and death,” said Koh Pal.
A 15 member Joint Community Policing Committee was established to deter cattle theft and to settle disputes between cattle owners and farmers.