Warring Jonglei communities sign peace agreement
The governors of Jonglei and Boma states, youths and paramount chiefs on Sunday (4 December) signed a peace agreement Pibor peace conference to stop hostilities between the Murle and Dinka communities in the area. Key components of the deal include putting an end to child abductions, cattle raiding, revenge killings and hate speech.
The communal peace accord calls for the promotion of peace and reconciliation between the communities involved, establishing a secure and safe environment to facilitate free movement of people, goods, and services, and respect for rule of law, human rights and traditional cultures.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan, represented by Deborah Schein, Head of the Mission’s Field Office in the Greater Jonglei region, witnessed the signing of the agreement.
“I congratulate everyone on the work carried out at this conference, and in particular the vision and leadership of the governors, Philip Aguer and Baba Medan. UNMISS and the UN family will stand with the people of South Sudan in your quest for a just, lasting peace and a better future for you and your children”, Ms. Schein said and added:
“Establishing a secure environment requires the rule of law, which is the first step to achieve peace. By respecting the rule of law, criminal activities such as child abduction and cattle raiding can then be addressed.”
The peace agreement stipulates a strong and operational joint police force consisting of 1,000 officers. The joint force is to patrol the borders, arrest criminals and ensure the safety of movement and trading activities between Boma and Jonglei.
Traditional leaders are urged to take a lead in the process of returning all abducted children to their respective states and also to stop any exchange of children for cattle.
The state governments and traditional leaders in the area have agreed to improve the livelihoods of their communities by constructing roads and bridges. Such new infrastructure is expected to facilitate business and lead to the establishment of trading centres in Anyidi and Manyabol.