South Sudan Jonglei State Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk has accused the NCP government in Khartoum of supporting rebels fighting the new SPLA administration. Fighting continues despite independence in July., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Jonglei governor “relaxes” as security improves
July 7, 2012 (BOR) – The governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei State has said that the security situation is “relaxing” across the troubled underdeveloped area of the world’s newest country. Kuol Manyang Juuk said that his focus was moving towards attracting investors.
Speaking at a dinner hosted by United Nations Mission in South Sudan in Bor on Friday, government Kuol Manyang Juuk said reports of child abduction, massive cattle raiding and indiscriminate killings, that have blighted Jonglei in recent years, have ceased.
"I am relaxed, people are relaxed as we talk now," said governor Juuk.
“For the first time; possibly since 1983 when the war [between Sudan and then Southern Sudan based rebels] broke out, our people are cultivating; something they could not imagine, [before disarmament started],” he added.
Tribal fights over cattle, child and woman abduction in Jonglei led to the death of over 1,000 people in 2011, according to the United Nations.
The feuds, mainly between Lou Nuer, Murle and Dinka Bor reached a climax in December 2011 and January 2012 when 6,000 armed Lou Nuer youths carried out what they called revenge attack on Pibor County, home to Murle tribe.
South Sudan’s pastoralist communities often engage in cattle rustling but the acquisition of weapons by civilians during the two decade civil war between the rebels — who have now become the official army of the country since independence last year — and the Sudanese government aggravated the situation.
In March, South Sudan President Salva Kiir launched a disarmament campaign — "Operation Restore Peace in Jonglei" — which involved 15,000 strong members of South Sudan’s army and police forces.
This was followed by a peace process that some groups boycotted.
However, both the Jonglei State government and UN, which has a mission mandated to protect civilians in South Sudan, says the disarmament exercise is helping in restoring peace. Guang Cong, a UNMISS Jonglei State Coordinator called the disarmament exercise a “decisive measure.”
"It is encouraging to note that with these decisive measures, the deterioration of security in Jonglei has been reversed and the momentum for peace, reconciliation among all the communities are emerging," said Cong at a dinner hosted by UNMISS to commemorate a year anniversary of the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Jonglei State’s governor calls on the investors to help in developing resources. Governor Juuk suggested re-branding gum Arabic so that is called ‘gum Africa’ as it is only found in Africa.