Special Courts Formed To Deal With Inter-Communal Conflict In Jonglei State

Officials at the opening of the special courts in Bor County. Residents have blamed government for failing to resolve the issues between the two clans to enable the people to stay in harmony.[ Jacob Achiek Jok]

The Acting Governor and Minister of Local Government Diing Akol said the court is comprised of people from different states of South Sudan and chiefs from different payams in Jonglei state.

“I think there must be change because our people know that it is only through justice that one can get his right and this is the way that the constitution whether the national or state constitution is allowing every individual to express his grievances through the court,” he said.

Diing has said that with the types of judges and the chiefs selected to form the special court there will be change and everybody will be satisfied at the end of the proceedings.

“It was the request from state governor to the president of the high court and the president of the high court sends back orders to the state governor to nominate chiefs in consultation with the parties,” Diing said.

He said with the request and commitment from the governor, he contacted all parties and they have agreed on the names to be nominated as members of the special court.

Akol said the appointment of the president to the special court was done by the chief justice who appointed the judge to head the two courts and was done through a consultative exercise.

He said they need Ayual and Dachuek parties to come forward and accept the idea of the special court so that their case is solved compressively.

The Bor county commissioner, Agot Alier Leek said special court will solve the cases from all angles of the judiciary and they will come out with one decision that can be appealed to the appeal court in Malakal.

Last week, one person was killed and another wounded during a retaliation clash between the Koch and Deer clans.

Residents have blamed government for failing to resolve the issues between the two clans peacefully to enable the people to stay in harmony.

There is still tension in the area where all the local people have moved away from their villages and the police force has been deployed in the area to calm the situation.

In January, two people were killed after violence erupted between Koch and Deer communities in Bor County with two police officers being injured as they were on a mission to intervene between the two rival clans in Panyangor area.

The two clans are said to be having a protracted rivalry over land ownership and the two communities are fighting over the ownership of Nomrier cattle camp.

It is unclear what caused the fighting, with a variety of reasons given by local people, including a land dispute going back to 1920s during the Anglo Egyptian rule.

Two people were arrested from Deer community in 2012 after they removed the border iron (point) demarcated during the British and Anglo Egyptian rule in Sudan during the construction of road connecting Bor with Malakal in 1940s.

However, other local people said the recent fighting was a retaliation made by Deer youth following the death of one of their members when the two sides clashed during a public dance last year 2012.

The fighting in January was between Kongdia of Koch and Wunchuei cattle camps of Deer. 

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