Unity State’s Panyijar County holds peace rally

12 Sep 2013

Unity State’s Panyijar County holds peace rally

11 September 2013 – About 2,000 local residents of Panyijar County in Unity State attended a peace rally today to strengthen peaceful co-existence between them and nearby communities.

The mass meeting was organized in response to reports that youths in the county were mobilizing for a revenge attack against residents of neighbouring counties in Lakes State. Tit-for-tat cattle raids across state lines have long plagued communities in the states of Warrap, Unity and Lakes.

"I will deploy all machinery (necessary) to prevent any revenge attacks," said John Gatluak Doar, the Panyijar County Commissioner who organized the event. "Neighbouring counties should not fear any attack from us as we are peace-loving people."

Mr. Doar said he would deploy security personnel to make sure that no one left the county to carry out cattle rustling or revenge attacks.

"For peace (to prevail) in Panyijar, we need more ... youth interaction," said Both Par, a participant at the meeting. "Joint rallies or sports activities can bring people together."

In a show of solidarity with Mr. Doar, three former county commissioners attended the rally along with state government officials and members of the Unity State Legislative Assembly.

UNMISS supported the county officials in organizing the meeting by providing transport for the officials from the state capital of Bentiu. The southernmost county in Unity State, Panyijar is cut off from the rest of the state during most of the year owing to flooded roads.