May 2, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Despite the partial formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity(R-TGONU), the stalemate in implementing crucial elements of the National Government such as the formation of State governments, the Reconstitution of National Parliament and incorporation of the amended transitional constitution have significantly contributed to the intercommunal conflicts happening in Jonglei and the Upper Nile State.
The current crisis could be partially attributed to the region-wide floods of last year that affected the livelihoods of all civilians by destroying their farms and cattle given that the majority of communities in upper Nile depend mainly on subsistence farming and cattle rearing; however, on the other hand, the crisis has taken advantage of lack of state governments which is creating a vacuum in security across states.
The situation above exacerbated the ongoing cattle raiding, child abduction, and intercommunal fighting amongst tribes in the greater Upper Nile Region to the levels of catastrophic proportions.
The delay in formation of State and local governments is seen to be Juba’s way of turning a blind eye to the region’s looming humanitarian catastrophe fanned by current realities of COVID-19 and shut down of market supply routes, lack of food , hunger and unable security forces.
The general economic situation in the country, particularly the Greater Upper Nile States has created cracks in traditional communal coping mechanisms and means of survival. In doing so, the community resorted to revenge attacks and cattle rustling became prevalent more than ever before. The current attacks affect the whole populations of Jonglei and some populations of Upper Nile State on Sobat River.
SSIRA believes that the unfolding region -wide attacks will drastically affect the signed R-ARCISS implementation by polarizing once antagonist tribal bases and especially that old combatants have lost influence and access to resources and see incentive to cattle raiding.
Currently, there is an absence of government structures to align with communal structures to intervene to quell all the vices of intercommunal violence. SSIRA daily incident reports in Jonglei and Upper Nile state, indicate that communal mobilization to fight one tribe or sections of tribes against one another is increasing daily. If the national government in Juba will not take drastic action to avert the current crisis particularly among tribes in the Greater Upper Nile States, then a more disastrous situation of both human and property damage will be witnessed soon. Hence, it would be difficult to control.
SSIRA, as an advocacy organization, is calling upon the national government in Juba to take the following actions:
- Develop a plan that will control the situation particularly in Pibor and Akobo.
- Coordinate all states and counties authorities to prevent the ongoing cattle raiding conflict.
- Formation of state governments urgently to alleviate the crisis.
- Hold accountable any government machinery participating the intercommunal violence and mobilization.
We call upon the guarantors to R-ARCISS and International community to urge the parties to a peace agreement to implement pending issues particularly the unification of forces that will take over control of porous borders between states and counties.
South Sudan Institute for Research and Advocacy is a nonprofit and independent policy research institute based in Washington DC, United States. It was established to enhance research by excellent and open minded South Sudanese intellectuals around the world. SSIRA operates as a think tank during a time of significant political instability in South Sudan, to create an independent and non-partisan space to support the international capacities of South Sudan government, civil society, and private sector in generating public policy.
For more information, you can reach the office of SSIRA Executive Directive, Hanna Andrew K. Dijok, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org