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Tonj youth flee from disarmament exercise

Armed cattle keeper.

The deadline for youth in Tonj to surrender guns elapsed last week with little progress after most of them fled to neighboring states with their weapons, said the Deputy Governor of Tonj.

Almost 2 weeks ago, the Governor of Tonj gave the armed youth seven days to give up their guns.

The order was issued after clashes between Thiik and Kong’oor communities reportedly left 24 dead and over 20 others injured.

It stated that chiefs were empowered to collect the firearms and hand them over to the state government.

However, the Deputy Governor of Tonj, Manhiem Bol, said he was informed by the chiefs that most of the youth escaped after hearing the news.

“I want to inform the youth who are away, who are in disarray, that please come and bring your guns and hand them over to the government as required,” he said.

He said few guns were only collected from Jalwau and Ng’ap-agok counties.

Mr. Bol called on any civilian in possession of arms to surrender his weapons to avoid recurrence of communal violence which usually affects the farming season:

“They will not be able to go for farming. And if they don’t go for farming, there will be hunger. And when there is hunger, then people will become vulnerable.”

Last week, Mr. Bol told Eye Radio that a peace conference was expected to be held after the disarmament exercise.