‘Our Urgent Mission is to Stop the Killing’ – Peace of Neighbors Unveils Report on South Sudan’s Jonglei State

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We’re excited to see the Ambassador Group (AG) of the Jonglei Peace of Neighbors project release its final report!

Securing peace in South Sudan’s State of Jonglei requires determined peace-building efforts including disarmament, development, trainings, and education, say the authors, who include LIRS  board member Rev. Thon Moses Chol.

The report, which LIRS helped prepare, details the recommendations of the AG, the South Sudanese community leaders now living in the United States. The AG visited Jonglei from December 2011 to January 2012 on a fact-finding mission.

“Jonglei, like other states, has seen tribal turmoil both before and since South Sudan won independence in 2011,” says Rev. Thon Moses Chol. “Many Jonglei citizens are still dying in this violence, and our urgent mission is to stop the killing and put Jonglei on the path to peace and prosperity.”

The genesis of conflicts among Jonglei’s five main ethnic groups, the Dinka, Nuer, Murle, Anyuak, and Jie, is hard to pinpoint because it stems in part from a strategy of incitement by Khartoum, the AG found. Other contributing factors include traditions of cattle-raiding, efforts to take revenge for the killing of fellow tribespeople, and attempts to liberate children and women abducted by other tribes.

“A final factor is that recently, these conflicts have been turning into poverty wars, in which those who feel unable to support themselves and their families attack and loot from other tribes,” says AG member John Chuol Kuek.

To overcome this crisis through peace-building, the South Sudan Institute (SSI), with financial support from CARE South Sudan, recruited Jonglei citizens living in the United States to be AG members.

“Our goal is for the tribes to live peacefully and respectfully with one another,” says AG member Peter Magai Bul. “To that end, the AG supports peaceful alternatives to the current violence, and demands fundamental changes in South Sudan’s domestic policy, including a move from militarism to one of addressing social needs.”

The AG’s recommendations include intensive training for tribal chiefs, clergy, and civil society; deployment of security forces; road-building; establishment of a Peace and Humanitarian Ministry; state and regional youth conferences; comprehensive disarmament; and education, job-training, and development projects.

“We’re optimistic about the future for Jonglei State and South Sudan,” says Margie Bell, SSI Chairperson. “We need politicians, tribal chiefs, and civil society to unite on the peace-building recommendations.”

“This report marks a huge step forward for peace in Jonglei State,” says Greg Umaya of CARE South Sudan.

The South Sudan Institute, a non-profit service organization, was established January 2008 in response to the need for peace, food security, and education in Jonglei State. CARE South Sudan meets the needs of the residents of Jonglei State and the country as a whole.

“We’re proud of the AG’s consensus-building steps towards stopping the violence,” adds AG member Banak Mading Kueth.

Please click the title to read and download the full text of the report “Peace of Neighbors.”

We congratulate the AG and all of their partners, and wish them success as they forge ahead for peace in South Sudan!

 

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