Malakal displaced call for peace, cite challenges in camp

16 May 2014

Malakal displaced call for peace, cite challenges in camp

15 May 2014 - Key hindrances to harmony within the UNMISS protection area in Malakal, Upper Nile State, included lack of forgiveness and desire for revenge, according to women and youth living in the camp.

Speaking during a one-day UNMISS-organized event focusing on peaceful co-existence, the 15 participants noted that politically motivated messages inciting violence and alcohol also led to conflict in the camp.

In two sessions, participants discussed security and the importance of promoting dialogue to resolve conflicts between ethnically diverse communities.

Deborah Awang, previously a teacher at Malakal Primary School, urged communities to embrace peace as a lasting solution to the country’s current crisis “Can we give another chance to our children to join their school once more. I believe in peace,” she said.

Another participant, Marlin Gew, said their “painful” experiences should inspire people to live together peacefully in the future as one nation.

Participants also resolved to cooperate with uniformed peacekeepers and avoid any attacks on them, condemning such behaviour as unacceptable.

“They are here for our safety,” said Juma Luke. “We should respect them for their noble service to us daily.”

Attendees requested more outreach events on reconciliation and peacebuilding as well as community policing. They also asked for a detention cell where offenders could be kept, as prison facilities in Malakal were lacking due to the crisis.