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Two people killed in communal clashes in Lafon County

Two people killed in communal clashes in Lafon County
August 2021: UNMISS helps promote reconciliation among feuding residents in Lafon. Photo by Moses Yakudu/UNMISS.

Two people have been killed and one wounded in what authorities have described as a retaliatory attack in Lafon County of Eastern Equatoria State.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning between Lohutok and Ibahure village.

According to the area Commissioner, he received information from a local chief in Lohutok that a group of youth from Ibahure village allegedly attacked farmers while cultivating in Lohutok on June 5 and June 6.

Magisto Okuch said the two incidents are believed to have provoked the youths from Lohutok to launch an attack that resulted in the death of two people from Ibahure village.

“On the 7th at around 6AM, they started fighting with the people in a place where Ibahure are cultivating. We as the government sent forces to the ground to rescue the situation.”

According to the UN Mission in South Sudan, cattle raids, revenge killings and land disputes have led to a recurring cycle of conflict in the remote areas of Lafon. It said people living in Lohutok and Ibahure payams are perhaps worst affected by the violence.

“Why are we killing ourselves? We want to live this land to who?” Commissioner Okuch pondered.

Lack of proper rule of law and security institutions in the area have, unfortunately, empowered perpetrators of violence.

But Commissioner Okuch disclosed that security personnel have been deployed in the area to quell further fighting.  He cautioned the two communities not to engage in counter-attacks.

“Let us stop killing and focus on agriculture so that next year no one will cry because of hunger.”

In August last year, UNMISS reported that it has made several attempts in the past to reconcile the communities of the two payams. However, the peacekeeping mission hasn’t had much success in establishing a sustained peace. It maintains that it will continue to sensitize the locals on the provisions contained within the Revitalized Peace Agreement because “there can be no development without peace.”