UNMISS to look into potential dialogue to end worsening Eastern Equatorian intercommunal violence
Since intercommunal relations in and around Loguruny village in Eastern Equatoria State appear to be deteriorating, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan will call on local partners to jointly organize a dialogue between the parties involved in recent conflicts.
According to locals, including previously displaced people who have recently returned home, the situation is becoming unmanageable.
“We have come back from Kakuma [refugee camp in Kenya] and now we are shot like animals. My only child has been killed, and I have just been stoned as I was on my way to fetch water. Most people looking for firewood or other things are being attacked,” said Rose Ihisa when she met the peacekeeping mission’s patrol team.
Cattle raiding, revenge killings, road ambushes and other incidents of violence have plagued the area for years, but widespread hunger seems to exacerbate tensions. A lack of and educational opportunities for the youths of Lobira, Burung, Iloli and Loguruny makes matters even worse, with idle young men becoming more prone to fighting.
“I am a head teacher, but both teaching and learning are difficult here. Children sit under trees, we have no facilities and I use cardboard boxes as improvised blackboards. Some of these youth simply find cattle raiding more interesting,” Augustine Odwa lamented.
Villagers are desperate for external assistance both to develop the area in terms of infrastructure and, primarily, to convince clashing youth to start living in harmony.
The UN peacekeeping mission is willing and ready to do its part.
“We will look into your request and share and discuss it with the local authorities. Hopefully we can bring all conflicting parties together for a dialogue to allow them to resolve their differences,” said Civil Affairs Officer Francis Jeremiah Shuei.