UNMISS organises peace rally in violence-plagued Mayom County

unmiss south sudan unity state mayom access to justice peace rally mobile court

Women and children were among the many Mayom residents who participated in a peace event recently organised by UNMISS. Photos: Luk Riek Nyak Bol/UNMISS

7 Jun 2024

UNMISS organises peace rally in violence-plagued Mayom County

Luk Riek Nyak Bol/Peter Bateman

UNITY – The first-ever peace rally in Mayom has set the stage for a new era of reconciliation and unity in the region.

Organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the event brought together an array of community representatives and leaders, all driven to bring lasting change to their county and its neighbours.

County Commissioner Luka Chieriey Riek delivered a stirring call to action. "We must embrace love and unity as the foundation for peace," he urged.

Addressing the youth directly, he implored them to abandon cattle raiding—a practice that has led to numerous lethal clashes.

"Our future depends on you. Be self-reliant, reject violence, and let's build a peaceful Mayom together," he declared.

The rally wasn't just about speeches, as it also featured cultural performances, vibrant dances, and heartfelt songs that underscored the rich traditions and resilience of the people. These activities highlighted the shared heritage of residents in Mayom and the surrounding area.

Community members also had an opportunity to voice their concerns about ongoing issues such as cattle raiding, revenge killings, political divisions, clan fights, border security, disarmament, and unemployment.

A key topic during the discussions was the pressing need for mobile courts to uphold the rule of law in an area that doesn’t normally have access to the formal justice system. The paramount chief of Mayom, Nhial Gatluak Kulang, recommended a permanent court in Bentiu, capable of handling cases that are too serious and beyond the scope of the traditional justice mechanisms.

James Madut Ruei, Unity State’s Minister of Peace Building, expressed gratitude to UNMISS for orchestrating the rally.

"This event gives us hope. It shows us that peace is possible when we come together," he said, advocating for similar events across the region, with Mankien the next proposed venue.