13 Aug 2020


Wau, Tonj and Gogrial States Sign Peace Ending Inter-Communal Conflict

"The three states of Wau, Tonj and Gogrial, in collaboration with UNMISS and other partners, organized a four days Tri-State Peace Conference on Migration under the theme: 'Yes to Peace and Reconciliation, No to Inter communal Violence'”.

By James Deng Dimo

Wau 07, July 2019 [GURTONG] - Three Days of Inter- states peace conference between communities in Wau, Tonj and Gogrial, which
commenced last week, ended here today, Sunday, with twenty-two recommendations.

The conference, which brought together nearly 300 participants from the three states, was aimed at resolving the disputes between the local farmers and cattle herders from Wau, Tonj and Gogrial.

The conference recommended immediate ending of involvement of both communities in hostilities and revenge attacks.

The conference ended with calls for a joint monitoring committee comprising of members from the three states, ministers of local government and other partners should be formed as a backup of ICCM to monitor any conflict between communities of cattle keepers and the farmers. The committee should meet regularly to address any issues as they come up.

Both the cattle keepers and farmers should stick to the provisions of Marial Bai Agreement as plans are underway for the review.

End the culture of appointing inexperienced military officers into local government administration, people who do not have skills and experience in public administration and governance.

Compensation for lives, livestock and properties lost, in accordance with tradition, should not replace the criminal prosecution.

Any alleged perpetrators must be prosecuted accordingly as well as for all the crimes committed including rape, conflict related sexual violence and abuses against women and girls, murder and arson must be tried by a
formal court.

It has also recommended a joint fact-finding committee to establish and access the accurate the damages, caused to lives and properties during the conflict.

Despite doubts from Gogrial State Governor during the closing ceremony, all the three governors of the three states reaffirmed their commitments to implement the resolutions reached.

“The conference that we were in was very good. The discussion will be extended to other people. We don’t want it to remain here. We have to implement all these resolutions because we don’t want useless war. Why are some people putting others in conflict? The Luo and people of Gogrial were together before we were born. Somebody’s leadership should not kill people? And this is a leadership that one cannot spend three or two years, even months, in a position. Why should it kill people,” said Mathew Mathiang, Tonj State Governor.

Victor Atem Atem, Governor of Gogrial State, however, said he was not convinced with the resolutions because they did not indicate the root course of the conflict; but he reaffirmed his commitment to implement the peace accord reached all the same.

“I am not totally convinced of the cause of the conflict because up to now there is no definition of the cause. There was a team that was set up as per Marial Bai Agreement. In issues related to Marial-Bai Agreement, that team has to be called back to the sitting which has not yet happen,” said Atem and added:

“Number two, I am not convinced the issue is between cattle keepers from Bahr el Ghazal and farmers in other states. We are all cattle keepers and farmers in all the three states.

“Number three, the innocent Luo and the Dinka in the village are not aware of what this war is all about. Anyway, we are representing here criminals. We have made resolutions but we still have a long way to go.”

Angelo Taban of Wau State called for swift implementation of the resolutions.

“Comrades, we should not ignore these four days. For the three states to gathered our people here in order to dig out the root courses, we must implement the resolutions as the way forward. It is good for us to take the responsibility such that we forget the past few months. We here need to stay together and advise our people to stay as sisters and brothers like ever before. We have to reject what is killing our people. Our
responsibility as governors is not easy. Why do we accept our civilians to die while these are the civilians who will vote for us tomorrow?”

The three states of Wau, Tonj and Gogrial, in collaboration with UNMISS and other partners, organized a four days Tri-State Peace Conference on Migration under the theme: “Yes to Peace and Reconciliation, No to Inter communal Violence”.

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