28 April 2015 - Two rival communities in Bur payam in the Torit County of Eastern Equatoria State recently reached a peace deal that is expected to end two years of conflict that has claimed many lives and posed serious security challenges in the area.
Members of the Bari and Omworo communities met in Loudo locality on 25 April 2015 at a peace conference organized by local authorities with support from UNMISS and committed to ending the long-running tensions and violence.
UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Ann-Mary Alobo said it was important that it was the communities that have called for dialogue and peace.
“We have seen many peace conferences fail in the past,” she said. “We hope that this agreement will hold and will bring an end to the killings and suffering of women and children.”
Leaders from the rival communities appreciated the efforts of the state government and UNMISS in reconciling the neighbours, adding that the tense relations and violent clashes had cost both sides a lot.
“We cannot even farm because of the insecurity, and this means we cannot get food or produce to sell and earn some money,” said Charles Edward Oliha, a sub-chief.
Torit County Commissioner Charles German Ojok urged the two communities to bring an end to the conflict and allow peace to reign.
“You [the communities] called for this conference and we expect you to keep this peace because it is in your interest,” Mr. Ojok said.
He said it would be difficult for the government to provide services if insecurity and conflict continue.