Juba, South Sudan,
28 May 2021 – Traditional leaders from Unity, Warrap, and Lakes States have pleaded with President Salva Kiir Mayardit to embark on a disarmament campaign to curb rampant inter-communal violence.
The local authorities urged Kiir to forge a way to take guns away from the civil population to avoid bloodshed in communities.
South Sudan continues to see a wave of inter-communal conflicts. In 2020, an attempt by the government to disarm communities fuelled deadly tension killing 82 people, including soldiers and the military.
However, the Presidential Press Unit reports that the traditional leaders, who met Mr. Kiir at his office Thursday, are willing to cooperate with the government to enable a successful disarmament process.
“The traditional leaders assured the President that they will work alongside the national and states governments to ensure that the communities are disarmed,” part of the statement seen by Nymilepedia reads.
At a conference conducted to resolve the dispute between Jonglei and Pibor in January this year, President promised never to mediate any inter-communal encounters, which he said were being perpetrated by politicians from the national government.
However, leaders from the grassroots level have called on Mr. Kiir to organize another round of conferences to settle the current prevailing communal food according to people familiar with the meeting.
“The traditional leaders asked the President to again conduct the “Wunlit Peace Conference Model” to bring the communities together to dialogue for peaceful co-existent,” the office of the president said.
“The Chiefs told the President that they are united at the grassroots as community leaders and they are working together for the welfare of their people regardless of the political differences at the national level,” it continues.
The meeting between President Kiir and traditional leaders came in the aftermath of renewed violence in Jonglei and Pibor where over 50 people have been killed according to local authorities.