Wau Community Leaders Call For Amnesty To Boost Reconciliation Efforts

The peace program brought together leaders from different sectors of the society including those from the neighbouring, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states. [Gurtong | File]

In December last year, violent demonstration organized by angry youth from Wau County mainly Balanda tribe took to the street to denounce the government plan to relocate the county headquarters outside Wau town. 

Nine protestors were shot dead by the state security forces during the protests in what the state government described as security guards on defensive position. 

The protestors burnt nine commercial trucks belonging to traders while 26 migrant workers from Dinka tribe of Warrap, Lakes and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states who were working in Balanda farms in Farajalla, the proposed Bagari Payam site were executed in the area which is inhabited by the Balanda ethnic tribe.

The second retaliation occurred on 19 December 2012 when angry youth from Warrap state mainly Dinka tribe whose relatives were killed in Farajalla staged retaliatory attacks burning houses belonging to Fertit tribe forcing women and children to seek refuge in the United Nations camp in Wau. 

Since the beginning of the year, many people including ten members of the state Legislative Assembly and local chiefs have been arrested in connection with being involved with the violence. 

On Friday, thousands of people gathered in Wau during the launch of the peace and reconciliation program chaired by Efisio Kon Uguak.

The peace program has brought together leaders from different sectors of the society including those from the neighbouring, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states.

According to Efisio Kon Uguak, the peace and reconciliation building program will commence across the three counties in the state to reconcile the people on what happened and open a new page for peace.

“We are taking this initiative to put this to an end not to repeat itself again, we have to intensify peace building program among ourselves, we do not want any interpretation that tell our people that there is tribalism, we are one people, we need to stay in peace co-existence as ever before,” he said.

He said the committee will move from Boma to Boma in all to encourage peaceful coexistence.

The Wau County headquarters transfer was backed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in December during a visit to Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

The president said that there is nothing wrong with relocation of Wau County headquarters to Bagari as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party policy is for taking towns to people in the rural villages.

The president also instructed security personnel to identify individuals who burnt the national flag during the demonstrations in Wau in December 2012.

The governor said the move by the state government to transfer Wau County head quarters to Bagari is not ill intentioned but rather extension of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) vision of taking towns to the people.

The state government also formed an independent committee to investigate the incidents. 

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