Governor Aleu sets committee to investigate perpetual conflict in Tonj

Governor Aleu sets committee to investigate perpetual conflict in Tonj
Warrap State State Governor Gen. Aleu Ayieny Aleu (photo credit: courtesy)

The Governor of Warrap State Aleu Ayieny Aleu has formed a committee to investigate the recent clashes in Tonj East County in a bid to contain the perpetuating conflict. 

As the memories seemed to have faded away, renewed clashes ensued on Saturday last week resulting deaths more deaths.

The committee is set to embark on its task today by excavating possible issues derailing peace between the communities in question. The intercommunal conflict in Tonj has left 82 citizens dead and 138 wounded since August 2021.

The fresh clashes were between two neighbouring communities before another two joined the fight in support of one of the first two making it a fight between two communities against one community.

The State Minister of Information Hon. Ring Deng Ading disclosed that 16 people were killed and 29 people injured from both communities.

“There were some administrators in the area that were given instructions to get involved and convince the communities not to resume fighting,” he explained.

“And now there is a committee that has been formed by the Honourable Governor of Warrap State to go and do the fact-finding of what has renewed the fighting again.”

It is suspected that there are politicians involved in this conflict who possibly incite communities in the area. 

Delayed response to such inflicting conflict has been attributed to floods which made the area impenetrable. Another possible cause that has remained a great setback is cattle raiding which has made the conflict hard to control.

“The issue of cattle raiding is another reason because if a community keeps on raiding cattle, then the issue will not be easy to settle,” said Ading.

However, a possible long-lasting solution to this conflict is what the leaders now hope to achieve.

“There are challenges for the government and one is the flood: there is nowhere the government can go down on the ground and it is very difficult for the movement of vehicles on the ground,” he said.

“That is a great challenge, but now the committee has been given whatever they want to go on the ground, the roads are dried up, they can move. They (committee) will start possibly tomorrow to go on the ground,” Added Ading.

Earlier losses

Early last month, 35 people died and 80 others were wounded in related inter-communal clashes in Romathieng Village, Tonj East County in Warrap State.

The 80 wounded people were airlifted while in critical to Juba for further treatment according to the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports Agok Ayaar Chieng.

 “The situation has [stabilised] since Monday and yesterday; nothing had happened. The area is quiet and normal, there is no more fighting that had taken place,” Ayaar told The City Review in a telephone interview yesterday.

Ayaar disclosed that a team formed by the state government which included the security organs had travelled to the area to investigate the cause of fighting.

In August 2021, similar clashes in Romathieng were reported involving communities of Tonj East County and those of Tonj North County and those within a section of the Thiik community of Tonj East. The fighting left 31 people dead and 29 others wounded according to the report by the State Minister of Information Ring Deng Ading in August.

Authorities in Warrap State described the situation in Tonj as unpredictable as fighting escalated. The government decided to prioritize disarmament but later realized that the primary solution was dialogue as disarmament remained a long-term plan.