No more musical marauding as UNMISS reconciles clans in Jonglei counties Makuach and Anyidi
DAVID MAJUR AWUOU/FILIP ANDERSSON
Peace shall henceforth prevail between the two clans of Ater and Pale in the Greater Jonglei region. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan played a crucial role in enabling the successful peace dialogue between the former foes.
The two clans, based in the Anyidi and Makuach counties, have been at loggerheads with each other over the grazing lands and cattle camps along the Nile River.
Hate speeches, or rather hate songs, have been used by both sides to irk the other, raising fears of possible inter-communal violence during the coming dry season. From now on, however, there shall be no more musical provocations or other acts that may spark conflicts with unforeseeable consequences.
“We have accepted peace. We will move to the cattle camps before the dry season and convince the youth not to fight over the grazing land and the cattle camp,” said Malaak Ayuen, Paramount Chief in Anyidi.
Mr. Ayuen’s opposite number in Makuach, Mazoor Alier, is equally optimistic about the prospect of lasting peace and harmony between the Ater and Pale clans.
“We, the communities of Anyidi and Makuach, have blood relations due to inter-marriages between our clans. We just cannot allow our youth to fight and destroy the historical relationship between us,” the Makuach Paramount Chief said.
The recently finished peace dialogue, facilitated and coordinated by the Inter-Church Committee and the UN peacekeeping mission to nip the looming youth tensions in the bud, attracted no less than 164 participants, including women, youth and community leaders.
Apart from agreeing on resolution not to engage in conflict over grazing lands and incite hatred by singing inappropriate songs, the paramount chiefs also decided that the main musical instigators be taken to court for their potentially violence-fueling behaviour.
UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Isidore Boutchue is pleased with what he describes as a “great achievement” in terms of conflict resolution, explaining that this effort is part of the UN Mission’s support to consolidate lasting peace among communities across the country. A task, he hastened to add, that is rarely straightforward, and hence proportionately gratifying to be involved in when successful.
“I say thank you and congratulations for choosing the path of dialogue. It is not the shortest or easiest way, but one that requires courage and leads to peaceful coexistence among people and among communities.”