June 4, 2021 — Responding to a recent interview by the former Chief Administrator of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, the Gawaar Youth Association condemns the former governor for providing misleading information on what happened in Pibor area.
According to Gawaar Youth Association, the recent skirmishes in Pibor were carried out by a group of youth from different communities from Jonglei state who are aggrieved by Murle’s youth activities in their areas.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia, the Chairman of Gawaar Youth Association in Juba, Emmanuel Gawaar Paul, acknowledged that their youth participated in the attack in Greater Pibor but said youth from Uror, Akobo, Bor, Duk, Nyirol and Twic East were part of the group.
“Yes, of course, we have learned and acknowledged that those individuals from Ayod, Uror, Akobo, Bor, Duk, Nyirol and Twic county went and carried out an attack in Greater Pibor.” Emmanuel Gawaar Paul said
According to Gawaar Paul, GYA urges the general public to disregard the interview of Mr. Joshua Konyi that was published by Radio Tamazuj on March 26, 2021.
“GYA urges the general public to disregard this magical thinking allegation from Hon, Joshua Konyilrer who does not have evidence on this matter. Yes, of course, we have learned and acknowledged that those individuals from Ayod, Uror, Akobo, Bor, Duk, Nyirol and Twic county went and carried out an attack in Greater Pibor.” Gawaar Youth Association demands.
“These are mixed individuals from the neighboring counties and they should not only be counted on the individual community which is the Gawaar Nuer in Ayod county” Gawaar Paul added.
Responding to the former Chief Administrator’s concern on why the Gawaar Youth would come all the way from Ayod county to attack areas in Greater Pibor, the Gawaar Youth leader said his community has been a victim of Murle’s youth offensives, raids, abductions and killings of innocent civilians, mentioning a few cases extending back to 2018.
“This is the same thing to us too, to know the genesis of this problem from our perspective view murle are the one who start attacking Ayod County. In June 2018 in a village of Mar, four kraals of cattle and one tukul got burned, 11 children were abducted and 2 women were killed and three other women wounded by Murle youth in Ayod County according to an eye witness. In Feb 2019, Murle youth abducted 6 children and killed 2 old men in Wechbuol Boma of Pajiek Payam;
“In Feb 2021 Murle Murdered 2 persons in Leik Village and have taken 89 heads of cattle, also in March 2021 around Paluony village they killed 6 people and 372 heads of cattle were taken, and in March 2020, 7 youth were killed while taking their cattle for grazing in Tuok Village around Ayod Town and 124 heads of cattle have gone missing, and in May 2021 murle Youth attack the area of Pieth of which six (6) persons were killed and 253 heads of cattle were taken. Yesterday On the 3rd of June 2021 at 6:15 local time Murle killed one person in the area of Paluony and wounded one person. Now the wounded person is being hospitalized at Ayod PHCC.” The Gawaar Youth statement further added.
Responding to Mr. Konyi’s allegation that 44, 962 herds of cattle were raided, and 112 children and 82 women were abducted, the Gawaar Youth Association denied knowledge of such numbers arguing that it is against their norms and culture.
“Regarding his allegations, the Gawaar Youth Association and Ayod County Commissioner are unaware of neither 44,962 herds of cattle nor 112 children and 82 women abducted at all, to narrow down about children abduction Gawaar Nuer and the entire Nuer Tribe don’t believe in child abduction because it is an offence according to our custom and norms.” Gawaar Paul said.
The youth leader emphasized how peaceful Gawaar Community has been and called on Murle youth to embrace peace rather than resorting to senseless inter-communal violence.
“Gawaar Community has been known as a peaceful community in the history of South Sudan whereby we have no search conflict with our neighbours.” Gawaar Paul said.
“However, GYA urges the Murle youth to embrace peace with their neighbours so that we stay in peace and harmony.” He added.
On the other hand, the youth leader calls on the national government to take note of Murle youth’s activities in their areas alleging that they are planning to attack them.
“We have therefore learned that Murle is planning to attack Ayod county, the message which we want to send to the National and State government to warn them before anything happens in near future.” Gawaar Paul added.