Governor Lobong shifts operations to Nimule to find lengthy peace

Governor Lobong shifts operations to Nimule to find lengthy peace
Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong Lojore (photo credit: courtesy)

Eastern Equatoria State Governor, Louis Lobong Lojore, has temporarily shifted to Nimule to calm the stormy tensions inflicted by the deadly inter-communal conflicts.

The governor will be operating from the border town until the tensions between host communities and their cattle-keeping counterparts are resolved.

“He did not say how long he would stay in Nimule but he is here (Nimule) because of what happened in Mugali on the 9th/7/2022 and the shooting of the chief on the 11th and for the issue to be resolved,” the Minister of Information, Patrick Oting, said on the phone yesterday.

“He also wants to ensure that he gets to the bottom of the cattle issue by the end of July, as they decided in the meeting that all cattle should be taken away by the end of this month,” he added.

He said the governor had been holding a series of meetings with the local authorities and security organs in Nimule. The third meeting was with the Dinka Bor community in Nimule and the delegation encompassed the chairperson of the community of Mad’i in Nimule.

“The meeting with the Dinka Bor Community was good. [They were] mostly the cattle herders and they have resolved that by the end of July all the cows will be taken and they also talked about cooperation with the host community,” he said. “The governor advised the two communities to dialogue and live in peace.’’

He said that after the meeting, the feuding communities accepted his offer to cede ground and get to the negotiating table.

 “The governor wants to ensure that he will leave Nimule knowing that he has resolved the cattle issue between the two communities and that all of the cattle will be taken by the end of July,” he said.

Tension escalates

Protests erupted on Monday after Chief John Ebele of Anzara Boma was shot dead while presiding over a fundraising meeting for the burial of two men whose bodies were discovered thrown in a pit with their throats slit open on Saturday.

This infuriated residents who took to the streets to demand the evacuation of Jonglei community members blamed for the killings.

Governor Lobong called on the national government to intervene immediately to prevent the frequent loss of life in the Nimule Corridor, which he says disrupts peace, trade, and movement throughout the state.

Following the incidents, many Nimule citizens are said to have crossed the border into Uganda for safety.

By yesterday, there was a relative calm in Nimule after the government forces were deployed.

Late Tuesday, Tut Gatluak Manime, the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, met with President Salva Kiir to brief them on the brewing tensions. The Head of State called for the faster prosecution of the killers of the Anzara chief.

“The President expressed concern on the prevailing security situation in Nimule town and directed the security apparatus to address the situation with immediate effect to return the town to normalcy as well as bring the perpetrators responsible for the incident to book,” read the statement from the office of the president.