Joint force restores calm in disputed Manyang

To calm the Manyang land dispute, the governments of Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal have jointly deployed forces along Kuajok-Wau road.

“People are now able to access the road just because there are soldiers manning them,” William Wol, Warrap State information minister, told Mayardit FM on Tuesday.

The forces, which comprise of police and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, were deployed on Monday to quell tensions in the disputed Manyang area, where clashes have claimed lives and disrupted transport.

In August 2023, communities clashed over the land ownership, and this resulted in displacement of some residents. At least 10 people suspected of inciting the conflict are in police custody.

At the weekend, days after the state governments recommended deployment of security forces in the area, fighting over the land erupted again, leaving 10 people dead, and five injured.

This affected movements along roads linking Wau with Warrap via Acongcong and Tharkueng after armed youth mounted road blocks they used to target travelers from rival community.

Officials say they are yet to establish what triggered the renewed fighting.

“The two governments headed up by Governor Manheim Bol and Governor Sarah Cleto, are working hard hand-in-hand to find a lasting solution to this conflict,” Wol added.

Some of the travels who managed to travel the road today confirmed heavy presence of security forces along the highway.

Dut Garang said: ” Yes, there are soldiers on the roads. There are no more attacks, but it is still scary to see too much army along the road.”

A conductor, whom the conflict had affected, Gabriel Mou, explained that he carried passengers from Wau to Kuajok.

“We got stranded in Wau because of this crisis, but we drove to Kuajok today after we had heard of deployment of soldiers,” he added.