Activist calls for justice against perpetrators of communal violence

Activist calls for justice against perpetrators of communal violence
The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani. Photo: Courtesy

Civil society group has appealed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit to take action against perpetrators of inter-communal violence across the country.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said that action should be taken against politicians who are fueling communal violence.

“They have to be held accountable. Sometimes some of them (politicians) use this violence as a ladder to ascend to power.

“We have seen several times communities saying they don’t have a problem, but politicians fuelling violence. If nothing is done, they take it as a business,” said Yakani.

He lauded the president for directing the council of states to ensure they deter inter-communal violence.

“President Kiir directed the Council of States to form a committee to assess the status of violence in the states,” he continued.

Yakani suggested that if a committee is formed to look into the cause of inter-communal violence, it must be inclusive.

“We want a committee that is going to assess the level of violence in the state level to be inclusive. I wish not to see only politicians, but also members of civil society organizations, traders, religious leaders, women and youth to be also involved in this committee to assess the factors that trigger this communal violence.

“We hope this committee will be transparent and will be financed by the office of the President. Because sometimes such committees are formed but find challenges due to lack of funding,” CEPO’s director suggested.

He also suggested state governments to establish a police force to deal with cattle rustling, further stressing that cattle should be regarded as national wealth.

Officials detained

Two weeks ago, four government officials were detained in Juba in connection with violence between Twic Dinka of Warrap State and Ngok Dinka of Abyei Administrative Area.

The officials are expected to remain in detention until the matter between the two communities is fully resolved.

“The committee notices with dismay that state’s government officials in both ASAA and Twic County, in Warrap State, are involved in the mobilization of youth that led to the resumption of the conflict instead of implementing the CoHA in their capacity as local government authorities.

“Because of these reasons, the committee decided to temporarily confine the following leaders in Juba to contain the fighting and rescue the lives and properties of innocent civilians,” partly read the document signed by Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing, Minister of Investment who doubles as the Secretary of the Committee.

The conflict was renewed a few days before the fact-finding committee submitted their report of the clashes in February.

Twic Dinka and Ngok Dinka each claim the ownership of the border town called Aneet or Agok.