January 31, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan's presidential advisor on Gender and Human Rights, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, has expressed urgent need to disarm the civil populations in her home state of Jonglei in order to achieve peace among rival communities.
The presidential advisor, who is the widow of the late founder of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), John Garang de Mabior, and popularly known as 'Mama Nyandeng', said the populations in the volatile Jonglei state would benefit from the peace dividends only if they abandon the violence.
She made the remarks during her meeting with South Sudan’s Vice-President, Riek Machar Teny, in his office on Monday. Nyandeng who already reconciled with Machar in August last year in her residence over the past political differences with her late husband in 1990s, appreciated the efforts made to reconcile the communities and leave behind the past differences.
Machar in August apologized to the Dinka Bor community for the incidence in Bor, which he acknowledged occurred under his leadership but explained that it was not his personal intention or directive to harm them.
He said the objective for his 1991 move has been achieved through the self-determination's referendum which brought the independence of South Sudan, but the wounds it left were yet to be healed through reconciliation.
His apology was received with mixed reactions as some members of the Dinka Bor community wanted him to make the apology at the grass root in Bor areas while others from the Nuer community demanded for a similar apology on the part of Dinka Bor for incidences against the community which they said also occurred under late Garang’s leadership.
Both Machar and Nyandeng agreed that it was important some people who are still bitter about the past incidences speak out with the aim to relieve themselves of bitterness and accept to reconcile.
The meeting also stressed the need to disarm the civil populations in Jonglei state. The state has witnessed a vicious cycle of retaliatory attacks involving the three communities of Lou-Nuer, Dinka and Murle that left many people dead or wounded.
The inter-communal conflicts in the state were mostly caused by cattle raiding and child abduction.
Nyandeng who recently visited Juba Teaching Hospital to see the wounded from Pibor, Akobo and Duk counties had contributed fifteen thousand (15,000) South Sudanese pounds towards the welfare of the patients.
She also expressed the need to quickly transport back to their respective counties those whose wounds have healed.