Opinion

Updates on the Security Threats of Child Abduction in Lokoya and Lulubo Areas

On 30th June, 2017, the author presented a paper in the meeting of Solidarity Association for Rehabilitation and Recovery Affairs (SARRA) with participants from Lirya, Lowoi and Lokiliri Payams held at Women Centre Hall, Hai Neem, Juba from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. The paper is about updates of the security threats posed by child abduction in Lokoya and Lulubo areas.

The introduction part of the paper gives an overview of the painful impact of child abduction on Lokoya/Lulubo people in relation to the atrocities they suffered in the hands of the terrorists, LRA. Secondly, the paper pinpoints the objectives of the research conducted by the author in 2013 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award of a diploma in peace and development studies at the Centre for Peace and Development Studies, University of Juba.

Thirdly, the paper highlights some practical solutions to the problem of child abduction. Fourth, the paper presents updated child abduction statistics as well as updated statistics of the persons killed and wounded. Finally, the paper recommended the way forward.

  1. Introduction:

Child abduction has been going on in areas of Lokoya and Lulubo for nearly three decades. A large number of children were abducted and a significant number of persons killed and wounded by perpetrators commonly referred to as Murle, who hail from Boma State. Previously, the LRA brutal attacks led to many deaths among Lokoya and Lulubo people. According to Chief Vitaliano Wani, the LRA brutal attacks left 241 persons dead. In Gumbella (part of Lirya) more than 30 persons who gathered in a farm for harvest were massacred in cold blood by the LRA. Therefore, the Lokoya and Lulubo people have been so much traumatized by a combination of war upheavals, LRA brutal attacks and child abduction. The impact of child abduction on behavioral attitude, resilience, security and economy of the Lokoya/Lulubo people was captured in a research conducted by the author. The updates of the research are discussed below.

  1. Research Objectives

[a] To find out the feelings and reactions of Lokoya/Lulubo people about child abduction.

[b] To establish a record of abducted children and persons killed or wounded that will be used as the basis for tracing out abducted children.

[c] To sensitize Lokoya/Lulubo people, community based organizations, political parties, churches, humanitarian organizations, chiefs, concerned government institutions, security organs on the return of abducted children in order to avoid occurrence of revenge violence.

[d] To recommend practical solutions to the problem of child abduction.

[e] To get sufficient, accurate and reliable information on child abduction for identifying perpetrators of child abduction.

  1. Recommended practical solutions to the problem of child abduction:

[a] Setting up community police units in Lirya, Lowoi and Lokiliri.

 

[b] Maintenance of the four roads: Juba-Torit; Ngulere-Lokiliri-Arou Junction; Lirya-Langabu; Khor English-Okaru

[c] Reconstruction of the four roads: Obuhi-Langabu; Lokiliri-Langabu; Lirya-Langabu; Lirya Lafon; Lowoi-Arou Junction; Lirya-Lokiliri; Lokiliri-Nesitu; and Ngangala-Megiri.

[d] Installation of communication networks at Jalite (Kura angereb), Ngangala, Ngulere, Ilyangari, Langabu, Sodoni and Lokiliri.

[e] Establishing “joint self-defense mechanism” by Monyomiji of Lirya, Lowoi and Lokiliri.

[f] Creation of a civil society organization known as “Coalition of the Victims of Child Abduction” (COVOCA) to carry out intensive campaign for eradication of child abduction, recovery of abducted children and compensating victims.

[g] Formation of Lokoya, Lulubo and Murle Peace and Reconciliation Forum for Dialogue (LLMPRFD).

[h] Political parties, civil society organizations, humanitarian NGOs, churches, chiefs and local government administrators should participate actively in the fight against child abduction through awareness campaign.

[i] The national parliament should enact a drastic “Anti-Child Abduction Law” that gives extreme penalties to perpetrators of child abduction.

 

  1. Updated Child Abducted Statistics:

[a] Lirya Payam (1989-2017) 28 years: Total abductions 44; recovered children 13; Unrecovered children 31.

[b] Lowoi Payam (2009-2017) 8 years: Total abductions 25; recovered children 5; Unrecovered 20.

[c] Lokiliri (2002-2017) 15 years: Total abductions 46; recovered children 9; Unrecovered children 37.

Note: The total number of unrecovered children for the three payams: Lowoi, Lirya and Lokiliri are 88.

 

  1. Updated statistics of Lokoya/Lulubo people killed:

Total number of people killed 36; Lirya Payam 17; Lowoi Payam 6; and Lokiliri Payam 13.

  1. Updated statistics of Lokoya/Lulubo people wounded:

Total number of people wounded 12; Lirya Payam 6; Lowoi Payam 3; and Lokiliri Payam 3.

  1. The Way Forward:

[a] Continuous sensitization of the Lokoya/Lulubo people on the need for solidarity in the fight against the threats posed by child abductors.

[b] Continuous lobby with concerned authorities in Jubek, Terekeka, Imatong, Kapoeta, Boma and Jonglei states for immediate establishment of Lokoya, Lulubo and Murle Peace and Reconciliation Forum for Dialogue (LLMPRFD).

[c] Intensive media lobby for inclusion of child abduction issue in the national dialogue agenda.

[d] Urgent need to create a civil society organization to be called “Coalition of the Victims of Child Abduction” (COVOCA).

 

Recommendations

  1. Condemnation of child abduction and random killing in Lokoya and Lulubo and other areas.
  2. Holding Intra- community dialogue.
  3. Strengthen security to end child abduction in the area.
  4. Identify and apprehend perpetrators of child abduction to face justice.
  5. The government authorities and stakeholders to support the victims of child abduction.
  6. Immediate recovery of the abducted children and return to their biological parents.
  7. Call upon the UN Commission of Human Rights to monitor and intervene on issues of child abduction to

end widespread situation.

  1. Inclusion of child abduction in the National Dialogue agenda.
  2. Intensive media campaign against child abduction.
  3. Strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanism of child abduction;
  4. Lokoya – Lulubo and neighbouring communities’ solidarity in the fight against child abduction.
  5. Strengthening and expanding communication networks in the child abduction areas.
  6. The need for peace dialogue between the affected communities and Murle to end child abduction.
  7. Establish a civil society organization to address child abduction issues.
  8. Formation of Ad hoc Committee.

 

Ad hoc committee

  1. John Andria A/Head
  2. Virgina Bartholomew Treasurer
  3. Ceasar Lohom Head
  4. Cicilia Paulino Member
  5. Benjamin Mogga Member
  6. Julius Remijo A/Secretary
  7. Asunta Santino Secretary

 

Terms of Reference (TOR)

  1. Mobilization of Lokoya and Lulubo communities.
  2. To solicit funds for upcoming meeting.
  3. Make a follow-up of the adopted recommendations.
  4. The ad hoc committee should prepare a report to be presented in the upcoming meeting.
  5. The ad hoc committee will be dissolved in the upcoming meeting.
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