Tombura residents, gov’t agree on conflict elimination steps

Tombura residents, gov’t agree on conflict elimination steps
Alfred Futuyo, Western Equatoria State Governor (photo credit: Kitab Unango/The City Review)

The armed rival youth in Tombura County and the local government have resolved to use an “eye for an eye” approach to weed out crime in the distressed area.

The agreement reached last week in Tombura stipulates that any individual found guilty of murder or attempting to kill someone shall equally be killed in the manner of the offence committed.

“Penalties for violation of these guiding rules [shall be that] any person who attempts to kill or kills another person will be killed the same way he or she killed the other person without compromise,” the agreement signed read in part.

In attendance were Tombura County Commissioner, Mathew Mabenge, who represented the Western Equatoria State government, representative of security organs Col Makoal Anyar, the  SSPDF battalion commander in Tombura as well as representatives of chiefs from rival communities, youth, and women.


They resolved that armed civilians should peacefully surrender their weapons to the authorities failure to which the government will apply force to disarm the civil population.

The parties also agreed to cease movement with guns, including traditional weapons such as machetes, knives, sticks, or any other harmful objects. Members of organised forces shall also cease carrying their guns when off duty.

To prevent further armed clashes, the commissioner and chiefs will be protected by legally deployed police personnel instead of the community’s armed youth. No civilian shall wear uniforms of organised forces, and if found shall be fined to pay SSP100, 000.

Others included a fine of SSP100, 000 for moving with guns and SSP150 000 for firing a bullet, arresting and interrogating members of organised forces that shall be found in civilian population areas, and immediately after moving to a nearby organised forces’ base.

In the past few months, Tombura has been witnessing inter-communal violence that displaced thousands and claimed more than 200 lives.

Victims of war

According to the UN agencies, more than 800, 000 people, among them women, children, and elderly people have been displaced and need humanitarian assistance.

Several attempts by the state, the national government and religious leaders to quell the violence have been unsuccessful with rival armed youth returning to violence shortly after passing the resolutions.

However, the armed forces of Gen. James Nando and those of SPLA-IO accused of backing the conflict have already been relocated from the area to pave ways for sustainable peace and stability.

Last month, Western Equatoria State’s members of Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly and Council of State held a consultative meeting on how to resolve the protracted Tombura conflict in Juba.

The former Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, Angelo Beda, called on the magistrate court to prosecute individuals accused of committing atrocities during the conflicts in Tombura County.

“A magistrate court can go there [in Tombura] to start prosecuting those who have killed,” said Beda “If People think it is the [SPLA] IO forces [that cause problem], so [they] collect them from that place and [let them] go but what about the people who have been killed?”

 “Their relatives have just kept quiet. What will the government do about it when nobody is being punished?” Beda who was once tasked with addressing the root causes of South Sudan’s conflict said.