communities of Lakes State working together to resolve their communal conflict, says Commissioner

Justice, Peace & Reconciliation
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[Rumbek, South Sudan, CT] The three communities of Pakam, Kuei and Ruop in Rumbek Central and Rumbek North Counties, Lakes State, have resolved to end the hostilities amongst each other. Youth representatives from the three sections organized a peace dialogue in Rumbek over the weekend and agreed to allow free movement of cattle within their areas, which was not happening for the last three years. Rumbek Central County has witnessed a cycle of cattle raids and revenge attacks that have led to the loss of many lives. Speaking to TCT on the phone, Mr. Mawet Manuer, the County commissioner of Rumbek Center says he is confident that the agreement will hold. “I am confident that these people have accepted peace. They have organized themselves and they are going to the cattle camps to implement peace as they have agreed among themselves as Kuei, Ruop and Pakam. In fact, the initiative came from the youth themselves. The aim was peace among these communities, and now the government will engage them by following up on this peace”, said Manuer. Meanwhile, the prevailing cultural norms that marginalize women have been singled out as some of the major causes for continued gender-based violence against women in Unity State. Speaking to TCT Rose Nyaboth, the State Advisor for Gender, Child and Social Development, said there must be respect for women, and that they should be included in decision-making processes. “Especially the harmful cultural beliefs, norms, taboos and practices these must bute and increase the women’s and girls’ vulnerability to different forms of violence. The women should participate more and effectively. They should participate in the peace process because the people who are facing a lot of challenges are the women”, she said. If women are given chance for peace they will implement by using human rights-based approach to handle the violence against women and will also promote the solidarity among the women. Nyaboth’s comments were made in connection with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence whereby women are facing hash treatment in the hands of their spouses, and as a result of cultural activities that are violent to women.
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