Kiir urges Murle community to shun child abduction

Kiir urges Murle community to shun child abduction
President Salva Kiir (photo credit: courtesy)

President Salva Kiir has called on communities from Pibor Administrative Area to cease all forms of hostilities, including the abduction of children and forge unity among themselves.

“I always stand with you to unite the people of Murle especially the youth, that issue of being hostile and fighting throughout is not what we want. We want peaceful coexistence. No one should abduct someone’s child or should take the others’ cattle,” Kiir said.

The head of the state made the call during the swearing-in ceremony of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Telecommunication and Postal Service, Dr Jacob M Baba Korok in Juba on Wednesday.

Dr Baba, who was appointed on October 19 as the predecessor Baba Medan Konyi, also hails from the Pibor Administrative Area where cases of child abduction have been rampant.

The President called on Dr Baba to collaborate with the long-serving Minister of Information, Telecommunication, and Postal Service, Michael Makuei Lueth to ensure service delivery to the people of South Sudan.

In April this year, at least 58 women and children who were abducted in 2020 during vicious intercommunal fighting in Greater Jonglei State were reunited with their families.

This came following a community-led goodwill agreement between the Lou Nuer, Murle, and Dinka Bor ethnic communities to exchange abducted women and children.

The three communities have been living in hostility characterised by cattle rustling, child and women abduction and revenge attacks. The intensive efforts backed by UNMISS to broker peace between them remain underway since December 2020.

In 2020, between January and August, an estimated 686 women and children were abducted during the extreme violence between communities in Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

In June this year, six children who were allegedly abducted by Murle were reunited with their families in Eastern Equatoria State though many more are said to be missing.