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Gov’t urged to deploy Unified Forces as MPs debate Jonglei-Pibor conflict

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Some of the women and children abducted by Jonglei armed youth from Pibor Administrative Area were returned to Pibor on Wednesday 11th January 2023 - Credit: Jonglei State Government

Members of Parliament have called for immediate deployment of the Unified Forces to Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Area as parliament debated the Jonglei-Pibor conflict on Tuesday, October 10.

They say this is to end the rising killing, child abduction, and cattle raiding between the two neighbouring areas.

This comes following the summon of the Minister of Interior, Jonglei State governor, and Pibor Chief Administrator Area to answer questions and concerns of insecurity in the Greater Jonglei region.

They were summoned after Hon. Michael Tot Ruout raised a motion concerning the rising of child abductions, brutal killing of traders and ruthless cattle raiding in Nyirol County in Jonglei State.

“I am here appealing to this August House, to debate it and considering the following recommendations. One, calling the Greater Pibor Administrative Area Authority and Jonglei State Authority to stop armed youth from carrying out child abduction and cattle raiding,”

“Tracing all abducted children and women through Greater Pibor Administrative Area Government,” he said.

“Assembling all abductees at identified centres and facilitating their unification with their parents,” he added.

The lawmaker also called for another conference which should bring together both worrying communities of Greater Jonglei, Greater Dinka Bor and Murle for another dialogue as it was done in Pieri Payam in Uror County on 22nd March 2021”.

In response, the Governor of Jonglei state, Denay Chagor called for the urgent deployment of unified forces to address the issues of insecurity between his state and the Pibor Administrative Area.

“I suggest there should be a short-term and long-term. The short time is to make sure that the Necessary Unified Forces are deployed,” said Governor Denay.

“The long term is to make sure that we have a peaceful disarmament all across this country because if we don’t carry out a peaceful disarmament, we will always come here and read the same report just like am reading here,” he said.

“If we do carry out a peaceful disarmament where we give it all our hearts, this will end,” he added.

Speaking during the same sitting, the Chief Administrative of Pibor Area Lokole Ame Bullen says the civilians are armed more than the security organs.

He called for the massive disarmament of the armed civilians in the greater Jonglei region.

“We need the national government to deploy, graduate Unified Forces and end insecurity along the buffer zone areas like Lokoromac, Uno, Koziar, Manyabol and Dikidic and Rac,” Lokole said.

“Jebel Boma and Pochala and improving the situation of child abduction in the area need government and international agencies to provide development in the area and road construction and provide adequate service in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior Angelina Teny said her ministry is facing a lot of challenges in addressing the issues of insecurity in the states.

Angelina Teny recommended for logistical support and empowerment of the police force and other security agents to combat the inter-state insecurity.

“We have some recommendations since we are in this August House and this August House can actually support the security sector agencies to address issues of crime that are really unsettling our communities and our people,” Angelina said.

“Some of these recommendations include the support for the process of strategies that have been put in place for disarmament and the keyword that was used by the honourable governor, peaceful disarmament,” she said.

“The empowerment of the police and other security agencies that usually kind of support as in responding to some of these criminal activities, logistical support to these organized forces.”

“This should be coupled with other processes to be undertaken by other institutions such as continuous dialogue and reconciliation processes. With these, I submit Rt. Hon Speaker.”

After thorough deliberation, the lawmakers recommended the immediate deployment of the unified forces, Civilians’ disarmament and dialogue between the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and Jonglei state.

Speaker Right Honorable Jemma Nunu Kumba read out the parliament’s recommendations as follows.

“There is a need for dialogue between the two authorities so that these children and women can be returned to their respective areas,” Nunu said.

“Number two as an immediate solution, that forces should be deployed and our forces should be deployed including the police to those affected areas so that they can enhance security and support,” she said.

“National government should take that action to support the State authority in enhancing security in those areas as a preventive measure.”

“Number three as a listen to you, that we need to provide services to those areas. We provide services to the area, including the provision of roads to facilitate security activities.”

“Number four, we also talked about disarmament. Disarmament I think is part of the provision in the peace agreement that for us to have stability and comprehensive security, we have to disarm civilians”.

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