Fifty eight abductees reunited with families

By Deng Ghai Deng

The UN Mission in South Sudan said 58 women and children who were abducted last year during inter-communal fighting in Jonglei State had been reunited with their families. In a press statement extended to Juba Monitor, UNMISS said the reunification of the 58 persons was a result of a community-led agreement between the Lou Nuer, Murle, and Dinka Bor communities.

At a recent peace conference in Pieri, the communities agreed to compensate lost lives and return the abducted women and children.

 “Abductions are a horrific aspect of conflict in this area. However, the agreement reached to release abducted women and children is an essential step to build trust and avoid the cycle of revenge. I applaud all those involved for their efforts to reunite these innocent victims with their families,” UNMISS Head of Mission, David Shearer said.

UNMISS added that the abductees received support from Save the Children and local NGOs.

 According to UNMISS, more than 600 women and children were abducted during the extreme violence between these communities in Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) between January and August 2020.

Shearer said efforts are ongoing to return the remaining women and children under the UN’s Reconciliation, Stabilization and Resilience Trust Fund.

Peter Ajak, the Greater Pibor Administrative Area coordinator confirmed that the reunification was done on 2nd April, 2021 in PieriPayam of Uror County in JongleiState.

“The reunification of the children showed that the government of Pibor is committed in the implementation of the peace resolution. We would also like the authorities in Jonglei to do the same,” Ajak said.

Simon Manyok Deng, the Advisor on Human Rights and National Agenda to the JongleiState Governor welcomed the move by the Pibor authorities.

“What has been done of the authorities in Greater Pibor is a great move and good news. This is one of the resolutions that were passed during the peace meeting that the complicating communities should exchange any abducted children,” Manyok said

Manyok said JongleiState government had done a consultative meetings with the communities’ leaders and resolved that they wouldsearch for abducted children or women across the state. Manyok said child abduction was against human rights law and must be stopped.

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