Community chiefs reject resettlement of IDPs in Kworijik
By Wek Atak Kacjang
A group of community Chiefs and elders of Kworijik Payam, Central Equatoria State has rejected resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Kworijik after they were displaced, when conflict erupted between two Mundari sections last year.
Earlier this year, the Central Equatoria State through the support of the National government formed a committee to resolve the Mundari conflict, as a result the Impact Response Committee (IRC) announced last week the return of three thousands households to Kworijik area after two months of conflict between two sections of Mundari.
In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor yesterday, the Kworijik Executive Chief Marcellino Wani Lako said Mundari people came to Kworijik in 1992 during the war of Sudan before South Sudan gained its independence.
“The presence of Mundari cattle keepers often destroys our crops as well as threatening our harvest when herders move their animals in search of water and pasture because farmers in the area don’t have guns. It is only cattle keepers who are having arms and are making the farmers afraid of them. We the community Chiefs of Kworijik-Luri hereby totally reject what has been circulating on media outlets that the displaced people of Mundari are returning to their places in Kworijik-Luri. We would like to inform the general Public, Central Equartoria State and the National Government that Kworijik-Luri is not a land of Mundari nor does it share boundaries with the Mundari land.
We completely reject the resettlement of Mundari people in our Land Kworijik-Luri, because they continue to be the source of destruction, crime and displacement that has caused terrible suffering to our Community in Kworijik Luri,” Lako added.
Lako appealed to the State Government of Central Equatoria and the National Government to relocate the displaced Mundari people to their lands of origin.
In 2015, farmers in Kworijik Payam have complained about the arrival of shepherds and livestock on their land. They have come to regard the newly arrived herders as threat to their livelihoods and the feeling is mutual.
In 2017, President Salva Kiir Mayardit ordered herders from others states who graze their animals in parts of Equatoria to return home. But talks to resolve such impasses have shown little sign of progress, creating fertile ground for more disputes to grow
In 12th September 2018 peace agreement, many of those refugees returned home, only to find that their land had been taken over during their absence.