The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) invited to participate in reconciliation efforts between communities in conflict in the Nimule region
After a long period of unrest and violence between cattle herders and farmers in and around Nimule, Magwi County, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently paid another visit to the area.
The internally displaced people took the opportunity to ask the global body for help in achieving reconciliation so that conflict-affected communities can begin to live together in peace.
“We are open to a peace conference and we would be happy to organize it. What happened has happened, now is the time to chart a sustainable course. We need to find common ground to coexist in harmony again,” said John Bol, Dinka community leader in Nimule, referring to the Madi community, the traditional residents of the area.
In recent months, bouts of violence between cattle herders and farmers, unhappy to see their crops destroyed by the beasts, have resulted in many casualties, cattle raids and revenge attacks, forcing many people from their homes. houses. As tends to be the case in times of conflict, vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled have suffered the most.
“We people with disabilities are useful to the nation. If there is conflict we cannot run, so violence affects people with disabilities, who have marked the history of this country, more than others,” said Isaac Chol, one of many seriously injured during South Sudan’s war of independence.
The last major incidents in Magwi County were on July 9, when a theft of 150 goats also killed two young men, and July 11, when the village chief of Anzara was killed. in the town of Nimule.
“Seeing all this violence is painful for us women. Let there be no more revenge attacks,” pleaded Mary Yarr, a Dinka church leader who has lived in Nimule for over 30 years. “I don’t want to see anyone killed, neither Madi nor Dinka,” she added.
The UNMISS team undertook the patrol in Nimule and surrounding areas to assess the security situation and seek feedback from affected communities on how best for the peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and contribute to the restoration of the peace.
“We are here to discuss how we can contribute to reconciliation and ensure the safety of civilians, especially the vulnerable. But, if peace is to prevail, you must remain calm and end the vicious and self-perpetuating cycle of revenge attacks,” Civil Affairs Officer Hercules Balu Henry said.
During a meeting between the blue helmets and representatives of the Madi community, the latter shared the desire for peace previously expressed by their Dinka counterparts.
“We don’t have time for conflict, we need peace. But before we can sit down for a dialogue to resolve our issues, all livestock must leave Magwi County,” said Koma James Adriko, a representative of the Madi chiefs.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).