Government Approves SSP 2.5 Million To Foster Peace Efforts

Government Spokesperson Dr. Barnaba Marial said the peace commission will organize inter-state dialogues and reconciliation processes in states affected by cattle rustling. [Gurtong | File]

South Sudan government Spokesperson Dr. Barnaba Marial told journalists shortly after the National Council of Ministers deliberated on a presentation he said was tabled by the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar.

He said the funds will be used to carry out peace conferences and reconciliation processes among communities mainly in the country’s states bordering Sudan to the North; Lakes, Unity and Warrap States.

“2.5million SSP were approved for the peace commission to organize inter-state dialogues and reconciliation processes in those states where there is cattle rustling,” Marial said.

He added the move is also aimed at minimizing insecurity in the region, Greater Upper Nile which had been prone to insecurity issues since the inception of the government in 2005.

Prior to the country’s independence won last year, insecurity among several other issues has proved one of the biggest challenges the country had been battling with especially this year.

The United Nations and the World Food program had warned last month that, it has anticipated for increased insecurity which will be mainly related to cattle rustling as rains stop. It had called for the government to beep up advanced efforts to minimize the situation.

Agencies had also warned government to intensify protective measures against insecurity anticipated will be increased by rebel activities of Renegade David Yau Yau during the rainy season.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation after winning independence in July 2011 after decades of war, is struggling to maintain a fragile peace in the face of militia forces and an often unruly army.

More than 2,600 people have been killed in Jonglei in the past 18 months, according to the United Nations.

Over 600 people were massacred in Jonglei’s Pibor area after an 8,000-strong militia force went on the rampage last December, according to UN, although local officials reported the figure to have been even higher.

Jonglei was one of the areas hardest hit in Sudan’s 1983-2005 north-south civil war, which ended in a peace deal that paved the way for the South’s full independence.

But the new nation is awash with guns, while heavily armed communities that were once pitted against each other during Khartoum’s rule remain rivals.

Last year, tribal conflict between Murle and Lou-Nuer resulted to displacement of about 15,000 people in Likuongole area.

This year the people of Jonglei state were about to achieve peace but got interrupted by renegade David Yau Yau who rebelled against the government and attacked the South Sudan army in Pibor County.

After losing out on a seat in April 2010 elections, Yau Yau rebelled against Juba’s government, but accepted an amnesty in June 2011. He later returned to rebellion in April.

Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned a string of reported abuses — including shootings, torture and rape — as security forces crack down on those seen to support the rebels.

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