Chollo, Padang communities agree to coexist

Chollo, Padang communities agree to coexist
President Salva Kiir (R) chairs a peace meeting with members of the Chollo community, their chiefs and community leaders at the State House in Juba on Tuesday September 14, 2021 (photo credit: Presidential Press Unit)

The members of the Chollo community in Juba have assured President Salva Kiir of their commitment to peaceful coexistence with their neighbors from the Padang community in Upper Nile State.

The delegation of the Chollo community that held a meeting with Kiir was headed by the Minister of Animals Resources and Fisheries Onyoti Adigo.

Speaking to The City Review yesterday, the former Minister of Road and Bridges Rebecca Joshua Okwaci said the communities in the rural areas of Upper Nile State need peace and reconciliation, especially between Chollo and Padang communities.

“We have raised a lot of concerns facing the Chollo community which I am not in a position to tell you all,” Rebecca said. “We went and met the president because people now need peace and chiefs and community leaders from Chollo community have assured him [President] that they are for peace.”

“We have the community here in Juba and they can be able to talk about peace because they said the peace and reconciliation conference between Padang and Chollo communities will commence soon,” she added.

However, Rebecca declined to reveal the date of the conference.

Plans in place

She hinted that as the government is implementing the peace agreement, it was also important to sensitize the community leaders about their responsibilities towards peacebuilding.

According to Rebecca, President Kiir pledged to address the problems facing the community members and ways for restoring peace in their region.

In May this year, President Salva Kiir formed and chaired a committee to organize the Upper Nile State conference which was supposed to take place in mid-December before being called off a day after it was scheduled.

The conference was meant to reconcile the people of Upper Nile State who have been torn apart by the civil war which ended on September 12, 2018, with the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

In the committee, Kiir was the chairperson deputized by his First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny with the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Martin Elia Lomoru, as rapporteur.

Other senior government officials on the committee included the Presidential Security Advisor Tut Gatluak and presidential advisor Kuol Manyang Juuk who served as members, as well as five SPLM-IO representatives and two from the South Sudan Opposition Alliance.

The conference was supposed to be attended by 150 delegates from the 13 Upper Nile State counties that make up the five ethnic communities of the Upper Nile State.

Last Month 8, 2021 Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Onyoti Adigo said that the population that comprised mainly of farming communities need peace in the country for them to produce more food for both consumption and sales.

He said the conflict that broke out in 2013 and 2016 had interrupted the farming activities of the 80 percent of the population whose livelihoods entirely depend on agriculture.