Governors Aguer and Konyi Summoned After Jonglei Attack

Governor Philip Aguer of Jonglei and Ismail Konyi of Boma State have been summoned by the Presidency following an attack in Duk Payuel County of Jonglei which left 44 people dead and 19 wounded.

Governors Aguer and Konyi Summoned After Jonglei Attack
First Vice President Taban Deng Gai [Gurtong/file photo]

 By Jale Richard

JUBA, 29 November, 2017[Gurtong]-
The attack happened when a group of the Murle youth from Boma State reportedly attacked a village in Duk Payuel County of Jonglei State on Tuesday morning.

In a statement to the press from the Office of the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai who is spearheading peace and reconciliation efforts in the two neighboring States, the two Governors will have to explain why their communities keep violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement they signed in May this year.

“Both Governors Aguer of Jonglei and Governor Ismail Konyi of Boma have been immediately summoned to Juba to provide a clear understanding on why the Cessation of Hostilities signed in May 2017 by both communities continues to be violated,” Taban Deng Gai said in the statement.

He directed organized forces in the area to be vigilant, and ensure maximum protection of lives and property in the area.

The FVP said the attack happened at a time “when the government of the Republic of South Sudan together with other partners are preparing to hold a peace conference for  Boma, Jonglei, Bieh, Akobo, and Fangak in order to forge a way in finding lasting peace in greater Jonglei area.”

He also paid tribute to “the families and victims affected in this unwarranted violence.”
Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, David Shearer also condemned the attack, describing it as “horrific.”

“I utterly condemn these killings and the abduction of some 60 women and children which accompanied these attacks,” said Mr. Shearer. “I urge the leaders of both communities to reign in the youth, show restraint and to put an end to the cycle of revenge killings. It is crucial that the national and local authorities support the community leaders and work to bring the perpetrators of all attacks to account,” he added.

The Murle and Dinka communities in Jonglei have been engaged in long-standing inter-ethnic violence, which has operated outside the wider political conflict that has affected South Sudan since 2013.

“The perpetrators of this violence have undermined the ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts that the UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, has supported in Jonglei,” Mr Shearer said. “The engagement that UNMISS has had with both communities has shown that the vast majority of people want to end the destructive pattern of revenge attacks.”

The dead included humanitarian workers who according to Mr. Shearer were “working selflessly for the people of Jonglei.” Their deaths, he added, are “pointless and utterly contemptible.”

The death toll rose to 44 by yesterday. 19 others were reported wounded. Women and children were abducted, and cattle raided from the village.

The FVP urged the people of both communities to “exercise restraint and avoid further escalating the situation.”

“I assure the people of Duk Payuel County and South Sudan populace at large, that this matter is being treated with the utmost seriousness by the presidency of the republic of South Sudan, and will be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators brought to book,” Gai said.

 

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