Maban chief appeals for dialogue to stop inter-community clashes

Maban chief appeals for dialogue to stop inter-community clashes
Map of Upper Nile State.

A chief in Maban County in Upper Nile State has appealed to the state and national governments to foster a dialogue between the communities of Maban and Melut, warning that their conflict could worsen if left unattended.

Mansoor Mustafa alleged that the dispute between the two communities had been long-standing and begged for an immediate solution.

“There has been a dispute between us and the community of Melut over the Kilo 20 area since 2016, and we left the area,” he said, in an interview with The City Review yesterday.

Mustafa said the attacks began at the beginning of November when suspected raiders from a community in Melut near an area called Kilo 20 killed 10 from Maban. He alleged that eight more people who were coming from Sudan to Maban were intercepted and killed in an area called Khor Koro in Galhak. But what irked Mustafa the most was the fact that no authority lifted a finger to condemn the attacks.

“When gunmen from Melut attacked members of the Maban community, no one from the state or national government came to investigate the facts and hold the perpetrators accountable.”

The attack forced the Maban community to retreat to the Adar area, after which the government sent forces to the area to create a buffer zone and prevent further bloodshed. But still, there are deadly attacks.

He accused his Melut counterpart of stirring tension by ordering the Maban community to leave the area instead of working on peaceful coexistence.

“The people of Maban in the Faluj area were kept in police stations, fearing for their lives, because of the order issued by the commissioner of Melut.”

“We fought as one tribe to liberate our country, and our bones are spread in every corner of South Sudan, and we did this in order for any South Sudanese citizen to live anywhere in the country.”

Mustafa said the “order of the commissioner of Melut is a failure and indicates his lack of knowledge of state, and national government’s quest for the unity of all citizens and their freedom to live in all corners of the country.”

  “The second thing is that the citizens of Maban have become besieged, as they cannot pass through the Kilo 10 area when they come,” he said, adding they had become targets of a militia group in Melut. This has forced them to take the long and exhausting Sudanese Damazin Road.

“I appeal to all traditional authorities between the two communities to take the initiative of dialogue between the communities so that the citizens of the two communities live in security and peace and we focus solely on the enemy who comes from outside the country rather than fighting between us,” he said.

An attempt by The City Review to contact the commissioner of Melut County for a response on the allegations proved unfruitful.

In 2017, Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga visited Kilo 10 in Upper Nile State and ordered the two communities to evacuate the area and wait for the decision of the presidency about the area.