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UN welcomes commitment to end abduction in two states

By Atimaku Joant

The United Nations Refugee Agency welcomed the commitment of communities in Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative area to end the practice of abducting women and children.

On Friday, UNHCR Representative for South Sudan Arafat Jamal said that abduction caused fear and the people of the two states were filled with the desire to avoid the incident from occurring.

“There is no parent or child in the world who would not be filled with dread at the prospect of abduction.We can come together as the people, government and International community to solve this problem,” Jamal stated.

He revealed that over a hundred children had been returned to their families safely.

The dialogue brought together community leaders from Twlc East,Bor South and Duk as well as state and national government Members of Parliament and representatives of the international community providing a platform for a frank and earnest exchange of views among over 300 participants on the aspect of inter-communal violence and forced abductions.

It covered topics ranging from an agreement to establish committees on tracing abductees and mechanisms for returning abducted people and agreement to engage youth in alternative livelihood activities.

Affected parents also appealed for an end to the cycle of violence and advocated for trust to be built across communities.

“My children were taken from me many years ago. Now, we will give back their children and I hope my children will be returned to me,’’said anonymous parent.

The State Minister of Peacebuilding Malual Gabriel Kon emphasisedthe role of community leaders in cementing peace and the need to continue to engage them in the process.

 “For peace to prevail, we need to support traditional leaders as they can be mobilised for war but they can also be mobilised for peace,” said Kon.

ln bringing the event to a close, the words of the Acting Governor Diing Akol Diing  stated “ln Jonglei, we are ready for peace.”

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