“The UN troops, who have spent a month in the area, recently received information about both rivalling communities planning to attack each other, with both presumable seeking “justice” for earlier cattle raids and killings. The Nepalese battalion acted on the early warnings, and so far, they have managed to deter further intercommunal violence.” UNMISS reports claimed.
“Our troops have been deployed here to protect civilians and bring peace, together with government officials and the national army. We shall keep them here if the community still wants them,” said Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, the peacekeeping mission’s Force Commander, while on a brief visit to the area.
The UNMISS reports cited a local resident in the name of Allen Ajak speaking on behalf of women and children who are being targeted in the inter-communal violence.
“We don’t really understand what is happening here anymore. During our liberation and independence struggle, women and children were never targeted, but that has changed. We are now being specifically targeted and abused,” said Allen Ajak, a female resident of Cueibet.
The report further cited a youth leader from the area, John Chiec Dut, saying that attack and sexual violence remain rampant.
“The youth that have been involved in these cattle raids, attacks and sexual violence are still at large. None of them has been held accountable, and this their rivals take the law into their own hands by seeking personal revenge. We need government officials to quickly come to help us sort this out,” he said.
According to Kwame Dwamena-Aboagye, head of the UNMISS field office in Rumbek, the UN peacekeepers have successfully created a buffer zone between the rivaling communities and that has reduced the violence.
“Local leaders tell us that the security situation is controlled now. The warring communities have been separated and kept far apart from each other by our peacekeepers patrolling the area,” said Kwame Dwamena-Aboagye,
UNMISS is promising to champion inter-communal dialogue in attempt to ease tension between the Dinka communities of Lake and Warrap to reduce violence.
“We will carry out a series of dialogues, first with the different communities individually, then a forum where we bring all groups in Dinka Gok together. We are identifying those we would like to attend by finding out who the influential leaders, and the spoilers, are, This time we want a comprehensive agreement that will prove sustainable,” said Khalif Farah, a Civil Affairs Officer serving with the peacekeeping mission.