Opinion

Let peace prevail between Terekeka and Bor

Communities of Bor and Terekeka had a long history of conflict among them. These communities had a conflict of cattle keeping, cattle rustling and land-ownership most of the time, especially the border issue among others. This is not political even if there are signs that may indicate the process of the political move. These two communities did not fight one day because of marriage, if it happened, that was when I was not born and I did not hear.

But what is killing these communities nowadays is the issue of land-ownership, cattle grazing and cattle rusting. The conflict between Mundari and Dinka Bor came to existence when the Peace Agreement of 2005 came to light, but previously it was not as much as these days where attacks are happening months after months and years after years.  In those days, you would witness that; Mundari could go to Dinka Bor cattle camp to stay and vice versa. They grazed their cattle in one place as brothers and sisters and there was no conflict among them.

Both youths were cooperating with one another. There was peace among them as they co-exist. The Bor elders and leaders were too keen of keeping the needed relationship between them and the Mundari community. The unity was attractive and all the youths were united to promote justices and oneness among the two communities. No one thought these groups could be tempted to fight as we are witnessing nowadays because they have the spirit of unity within them and more importantly, they also intermarry with each another, and so it was impossible for these communities to carry out conflict between them which would destroy their peaceful relationship.

In 2007, it was reported that, there was a conflict between the two communities over the island settlement. According to media reports, the Bor cattle keepers came into the island and grazed their cattle without the notice of Gemeiza County authorities. In the process, the two communities entered into conflict with one another which led to the death of seven people according to the report.  Since that time, the two communities were not living in good terms with each other because of the conflict which have destroyed their respective relationship though they have conducted several peace deals to end the conflict.

On 2nd and 13th May 2017, it was reported that, the two communities started another conflict again over stolen goats. The report says, some men from Bor came to Gemeiza County and took some goats. While on their way, they were caught red-handed by some Mundari men but one of them escaped in the process. The one who escaped told his community that they were attacked by the Mundari of Gemeiza County.

Thereafter, they came to Gemezia County and burned down the villages, hence the Mundari youths of Gemeiza retaliated by fighting the group. According to reports, between 2nd and 13th May 2017, innocent people from both sides also lost their lives. These are the few stories which have contributed for the disagreement of these two communities.

Therefore, these two communities should work for peace and unity instead of engaging in hopeless fight which will not benefit our nation but will only contribute to the suffering of our people.

Politicians and other lawmakers in the two states should not use these youths to fight for their selfish gain. They must stay away. There is no one who is always a winner of the conflict even though you have totally defeated the other opponent, somewhere, you consider yourself the looser in that violence. Elders, church leaders, and youths of the two states have to work collectively to bring lasting peace to the two communities.

This time is for development, not war of cattle rusting and land grabbing. These two communities should give peace a chance, sincerely, we are one people and one nation by birth and so our grievances will not help if we often use violence as the only method of achieving and addressing those grievances. Unless, we resort to dialogue and understand our problems, we will not achieve any tangible results to our problems and issues. So let us be mindful and realistic enough to promote peace and not war and conflicts across the nation.

By James Ladu Modi Asuk Gwate

The writer is a political analyst reachable via: modijamesladu@yahoo.com

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