This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
The Anyuak community leaders have held a conference with the theme, ‘when there is no vision people perish’ to bring together the Anyuak community and build peace with the neighbouring communities in the vast state.
During the conference, Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk said he appreciated their gathering and urges them to promote peace in Akobo and have mechanisms to make them stay peaceful with their neighbours.
Manyang advised them to make use of the land by cultivating using the ox plough to increase farm production and reap the benefits.
“We want to come together as Anyuak people of Akobo County and are not saying Pochalla people are bad. No we want to conduct this for ourselves because there are lots of things which affect us and do not affect others and therefore we need to sit down and set our vision why should we perish and we want to bring it out in this conference,” said chairperson of Akobo Anyuak community, James Ochang Ojoch.
He said they want to build peace with their neighbouring Lou Nuer and Murle communities.
He blamed ethnic communities who attack each other and kill for nothing by which makes the South Sudan enemies to laugh and say that the country cannot manage its affairs.
“They are people who let enemies laugh at us saying look these are the people who cannot governance themselves and we, the Anyuak people, doesn’t want to join those group we want to remain peaceful, people who love one another and people who love South Sudan because this South Sudan did not come simple. It came because someone died and we need to honour those who died by making peace after them and develop South Sudan,” he said.
He said the Anyuak kingdom is surrounded by hostile people and that they have to define ways and means to compromise, to lives together and finding some other ways of peaceful coexisting with the other communities.
“In the mean time we have to bring back people who are abroad, people who are in the camp and people who fear to come to Akobo to tell them that government is here established and there is full security,” he said.
He said they are very few in Bor but they more from the Anyuak community are Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Malakal, Renk, Juba and some are still in Khartoum.
The people call themselves Anywaa; others particularly their neighbours simply know them as Anyuak.
The Anywaa-land originally was the stretch of territory extending along the Sobat River with its tributaries of Baro (draining western Ethiopia) and Akobo-Pibor.
This land extends into Gambella region and further to Ilemi Triangle in the south. Much of this land was lost to the Nuer migration in the 19th – 20th centuries; and what used to be Anywaa settlements are now clearly Nuer or Dinka after the dispersal or assimilation of the Anywaa inhabitants.
The Anywaa, who now number a little below the 100,000 live in Pochalla and Akobo Counties with the land characterised with marsh, rich savannah forest and grassland with annual rainfall of about 800mm.
This has tremendous influence on the economy and lifestyle of the Anywaa.
They are predominantly subsistence agriculturalists growing sorghum, maize, simsim, beans and tobacco.
The cattle-raiding practice of their neighbours, the Murle, has discouraged them from keeping large herds of cattle.