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Western Lakes State refutes Makuer’s ‘forceful displacement’ claims

Elizabeth Poth Dumic Adviser for Peace and Reconciliation-Western Lakes State while speaking to Juba Monitor on yesterday (photo by Woja Emmanuel Wani):

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

A senior official from Western Lakes State has dismissed the statements that the state government had burnt down houses belonging to Pakam community.

Last week a Member of Parliament in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Zachariah Matur Makuer accused Western Lakes State government of forceful displacement of Pakam community to neighboring Eastern Lakes State.

Mr. Makuer claimed that the governor had burnt down all the houses belonging to Pakam community.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Elizabeth Poth Dumic, Adviser for Peace and Reconciliation Committee for Western Lakes State said the State government did not participate in burning of houses and other properties belonging to the Pakam community but the people of Pakam burnt their properties alone.

“When they were told to evacuate the area to Mayen they decided to burn down their houses saying that they do not want their enemies to come and inherit what they had built in the community,” Ms. Dumic added.

She said accounts of the events have been exaggerated by MP Zachariah Matur Makuer to make the public believe that the houses had been burnt by the state government.

According to Ms. Dumic, those who migrated from Pakam to Eastern Lakes State were people who did not want to be disarmed.

However, the Lawmaker had last week insisted that the local government and the commissioners were the ones who burnt down the houses on pretext that the people had resisted the disarmament process.

“When the process of disarmament started in the state some of the communities went into hiding into areas where the army cannot get them and they were not disarmed,” he said.

Ms. Dumic termed the statement as “incitement of violence and instability in the state by some political icons in the national government.”

She stressed that since the state of emergency was declared by President Salva Kiir four months ago the state has experienced total peace without communal fighting.

“Some politicians at the national government are the ones using the youth in the communities as fighting tools. The youth should refrain from violent activities for the interests of others,” Ms. Dumic warned.



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