April 17, 2017 (BOR) – A countless number of armed youth from Jongeli State during this Easter weekend have been deployed along the administrative border with Boma state demanding their tribal foes of Murle to return them their abducted children and stolen cattle.
- SPLA soldiers standing near cattle belonging to the Murle tribe, in Pibor County, Jonglei State, South Sudan, 25 September 2012 (ST)
The youth, who had not ruled out the possibility of peace said they would only return back to their home if their demands were met in less than a week.
Ayuen Guet, the spokesperson of Bor Defence Force (BDF), said fighting was a bitter pill (to swallow) which their opponents had left to them”.
He added they had withdrew from Kotchar in Boma on March 10, giving the Murle an ultimatum of seven days to return the kids that were abducted and the thousands of cattle that were taken. But, the seven-day ultimatum time frame lasted three weeks.
“When we returned for the national day of prayers in March, we told them to return our children and cattle within seven days, but they did not. Instead, they came and attacked Baidit and Kongor villages. So, we returned to our borders and seized about 3,500 heads of cattle and killed 8 people. In return, they attacked a Jonglei village, killing four people and abducting other four,” Guet said.
The youth from the areas attacked by Murle, organized themselves at the border awaiting an agreement to be made.
“If Murle have collected all our cattle and children, let them hand them over to UNMISS and then we will make a peace agreement at the border. The elders, chiefs and governments of the two states will be witnesses and the international community will also witness the agreement,” said Guet.
SACRIFICES WILL BRING PEACE: GOVERNOR
The economic driven crimes, cattle rustling and child abduction that have been carried out by the two ethnic tribes from Boma and Jonglei have wedged the states apart, leaving no hope for peace between the fighting states.
According to Philip Aguer, the Governor of Jonglei State, who addressed the church congregation on Sunday in Bor, the only thing that would resolve the current problems, are sacrifices.
“Very few people can bring an end to Jonglei insecurity problem. You must sacrifice yourself, whether this would take your life or not. This is what we have been doing since we fought the Arabs (Sudan) in 1983. Many of you are now alive because of the sacrifice other people made, by giving their lives for you. This time, the youth must sacrifices their lives to defend the state and its people,” said Aguer.
The governor who was the spokesperson of the national army went on to say that Jonglei had lost thousands and thousands of children to Murle over a century, and more villages had been vacated due to their fears of being attacked by Murle.
Aguer urged the youth to bring an end to the attacks because many lives have been lost in the futile fighting.
From his side, Ruben Akurdit Ngong, the Bishop of Jonglei province and Bishop of Diocese of Bor, said that peace would return to the two communities which have lost trust in one another.
“Our message as the Church is always the message of peace among the people, brothers and sisters of Jonglei State and among the neighbouring states of Jonglei. We have been going through difficult times for a number of years because of the security problems. Now people have to come together and sort out their differences peacefully,” Akurdit told the press after prayers on Sunday in Bor.
Last week, Pibor County Commissioner of Boma State Simon Gain, accused the Dinka Bor youth of rejecting peace negotiations that were arranged to take place in Terekeka State.
Gain said their people had been killed by Dinka youth along the Juba-Pibor road, a claim which the Dinka youth had dismissed.
But, the Dinka youth say that the road did not exist and that they knew nothing about the national road networks.
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