Governors agreed on Community disarmament
The five governors of Eastern Lakes state, Terekeka, Amadi state, Lol state and Western Lakes state have come to the end of their four days conference which was held in Mvolo County to carry out community disbarment in order to end the escalating conflicts among the neighboring communities.
The conference was conducted and shared by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and VISTAS to enhance the relationship between the farming community of Amadi state and the pastoral communities from the neighboring Lakes and Terekeka states.
Joseph N’gere Paciko, the governor of Amadi state said the meeting was meant to discuss ways and modalities of ending crimes as well as cattle raiding to pave ways for peaceful coexistence among the bordering communities.
“We are here as brothers to discuss the issues affecting our communities such as cross-border crimes like cattle raiding, fighting, hatred, alcoholism, witch crafts and other related issues which were not solved or attended to,” Paciko added.
He said they want to address these issues once and for all, in order to allow peace to prevail among the neighboring communities of the five states.
Paciko appealed to the neighboring cattle keeping communities to respect their fellow citizens whose livelihoods depend on farm activities.
Meanwhile, Eastern Lakes state Governor Bor Wutchok Bor said all youth should refrain from cattle raiding and end crimes along the borders.
He stressed that the cycle of conflict is always caused by cattle raiding within the borders and said this act is hampering the normal activities among the citizens residing in bordering states.
“It is a concern to all the governors of five states to put in place and observe the measures in order to bring a long-lasting peace to the people and provide a suitable way of ending this rate of cattle rustling along the Border States and punish those criminals causing havoc in the neighboring states,” he said.
Governor Bor urged all the cattle keepers to embrace the spirit of unity and love by respecting the rule of law and other formalities set for them for their peaceful coexistence.
On his side the Eastern Lakes Information Minister, Abraham Majak Makur said the five states’ governors have passed a number of resolutions.
He said they have agreed that cattle keeping communities must first inform the farmers before they drive their cattle into the area. “Secondly we resolved to form a border committee tasked to oversee and deal with border issues and that all state governors should cooperate to combat crimes in the region,” he said.
Makur said the governors have also resolved to put restrictive measures to stop presence of arms in the hands of civilians by making the disarmament process and monitoring in the region that will reduce cattle raiding in the long run.
The cycle of conflict related issues and cattle rustling has existed for the last four years among the five neighboring states with each trading accusations against one another.
By Moses Gum Degur