MAGENG WADE DENG
Local communities are calling for a peace dialogue to end revenge killings and road ambushes taking place in seven counties of Western Lakes.
Aluak-Luak, a County in the Eastern Lakes area, next to Akot and Paloch in Western Lakes, has witnessed revenge attacks and other criminal activities which the locals say must be brought to an end.
When the United Nations Mission in South Sudan conducted an integrated patrol to instill confidence among communities in the area, Yar Lual Riak, a resident of Akot Payam in Barnaam County spoke out about what has been going on lately.
We are relieved today by the coming of UNMISS as we see hope and peace. As women, we are suffering at the hands of armed youth from both sides. When we go to fetch water and firewood, we are ambushed and targeted. What can we do as women? We need peace and people have to talk to each other to solve their problems,” Ms. Riak said.
Yar Lual Riak also added that the villages of Malueel, Atiriu, Makuragaar and part of Akot are currently largely deserted.
One Paramount Chief, Mathiang Dut Malual, said that his people are living in fear of a possible food shortage because their women are afraid of falling victims to ambushes by armed youths when they go to the gardens to farm.
“We need disarmament throughout the entire state so that we can all live free of arms,” the Chief said.
Other locals called for more UNMISS combat patrols as this secures the area and frees it from attacks.