Greater Jonglei leaders urged to dissuade youth from fighting

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has appealed to greater Jonglei community leaders to encourage youth to “refrain from using violence as a means of resolving grievances”.

The call comes amidst fears of reported mobilization of armed Murle and Lou Nuer youth in the greater Jonglei area.

The conflicts between the youth from the two communities is often attributed to cattle, pasture, child abduction, and revenge killings.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, UNMISS does not give further details on the mobilization, but believes that it has the “potential to trigger violent attacks” on civilians.

“UNMISS, therefore, calls on leaders of the Lou Nuer and Murle communities to exert positive and constructive influences on their youth groups, encouraging them to embrace dialogue and refrain from using violence as a means of resolving grievances,” reads the statement in parts.

Fighting between the two youth groups in the recent past lead to loss of lives, abduction of women and children, displacement of thousands of civilians, and destruction of property.

The mission urged both local authorities and the national government to de-escalate hostilities.

However, in January 2021, President Salva Kiir told the communities in greater Jonglei that he would not intervene again if they engaged in ethnic conflict.