Tombura market reopens after months of conflicts

Tombura market reopens after months of conflicts
Bystanders look on as Tombura residents flee renewed clashes in August (photo credit: courtesy)

Traders in Tombura County resumed their duties after months of closure following cyclic conflicts.

Tombura County has been in inter-communal violence since June, this year in which thousands of civilians, comprising women and children, were displaced and hundreds of lives lost.

Due to massive displacement in the area, traders lost their property to looting as they ran for their lives.

Rimondo Digi, a businessman in Tombura who also serves as Balanda youth leader told The City Review that the business people in the area have reopened their shops.

“Tombura is calm for the last few days after Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the various groups,’’ he revealed.

“The business people have gone back to the Tombura main market and opened their shops. I am now talking to you from the main market,” Mr Digi revealed.

According to the area youth leader, since the signing of the MoU, calm had returned in the county hence giving the traders confidence in reopening their businesses.

“We hope that the peace signed in the county will hold, and if it holds things will be better for some days to come, and we wish to see Tombura back as before,” Digi said.

Although he said that normalcy was creeping in, some people are yet to fully believe and are still have the fear to come back to town.

He urged those who fled the area to return home, adding that the area is peaceful and calm.

The Tombura County Police Commissioner Lt. Col. James Paulino also confirmed the reopening of the Tombura main market.

“Tombura is very okay, though many people [are] still in UNMISS camps, churches, schools and other places but [it] is now a week and there are no disturbances,’’ he said.

“The market has reopened (from Saturday) and the numbers keep increasing. That is what I have seen so far,” the police commissioner cited.

He said the only traders who have not resumed their business were those from far-flung areas of the state.

Col Paulino said most of the traders who remained in the area had resumed their duties.

“Yes, they have resumed and as police, we are committed to continuing to protect them with their property and making sure business resumed fully,” he promised.

However, Col. Paulino stressed that some people were hesitating to come back because they want to see real peace. He said if the peace holds for sometimes people will surely come back willingly.

During the phone interview, the reporter was able to hear some sound systems in the background and noises similar to those usually made at the market.

Last week, the forces of Gen. James Nando and the rival youth leader Angelo Davide who were accused of causing insecurity in Tombura County conflicts reconciled and promised not to go back to war.

 “Yes, it was a few days back, we were in communications with Gen. James Nando about bringing peace in the area. It was on Monday and Tuesday that we came together and we [greeted each other and made up],” Davide told to The City Review after their reconcile last week.