By Deng Ghai Deng
Authorities in Jonglei State confirmed that one person has been killed during the clashes between two groups of youths following a dispute over fishing waters on the River Nile.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen Akoon, the Jonglei State Police Commissioner, said the fighting erupted on Tuesday in Nyaang – a fishing island located about 20 kilometers north of the State capital, Bor.
“I was just called at midnight that there was an incident which happened in a place called Nyaang. It’s in the islands in Toch, in which one young man from the sections called Angakuei was killed by people called Koc Anyeer. The body has been buried where the death occurred,” Akon said.
Akoon said upon hearing the news about the incident late last Tuesday night, he immediately gave orders and dispatched the police to go and quell the clashes between thetwo groups of youth and round up the suspects.
He said the police have so apprehended five people over the incident including three chiefs who surrendered to the police.
“The police have rounded up the suspects and they have [just] been brought and they are now in the police custody. The chiefs from Anyeer section have come; they have surrendered themselves to the police.”
Yuot Alier Hok, the Bor County commissioner, condemned the violence describing it as an unfortunate incident. Commissioner Hok said he had directed the local government leadership in Bor County including the payam administrators, chiefs and the elders to urge calm among the young people.
“All things that happen are not new to the life of a human being. Various mistakes happen at various times and they differ in the level of their measurement, there are high levels of crimes such as the one we are facing today and there are also rules set in place that deal with situations like this. I am telling the young people that don’t let emotion mislead you. I am discouraging any individual move or any move designed or pursued by a group of people in seeking revenge or attacking anybody who is innocent just because he is part of the criminals who killed the person, no. let’s wait for the government to do its work, let’s wait for the law to take its course and let’s remain in peace.” Hok said
For last two years in Jonglei, several disputes over fishing grounds had occurred in the state.
In July 2018, thousands of people were displaced from Thoony fishing village in Bor County’s Baidit payam after local chiefs and some residents from Makol-cuei forced them to vacate their homes claiming they were fishing illegally in and around the area.
In March 2019 several people were reportedly killed when a community from Twic East County of Jonglei State clashed with another community from Yirol County of Lakes state were involved in deadly clashes over fishing rights on the River Nile at a place called Chuet-Akwet also known as Liet-Buoi.