South Sudan – 4th SitRep on the Conflict in Jonglei State

LWF South Sudan – Weekly Update No. 4

23 January 2012

Situation Report

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs approximately 60,000 people have been affected by inter-communal violence in Jonglei State which lies North East of the capital Juba.

Over fifty people were killed late on Monday 16 January in Duk Padiat County, according to the local Commissioner. The State Governor said that the attackers briefly occupied the town before the local youths from Duk forced them out on Monday night. He expected the number of wounded to increase as the search for missing persons continues.

In Lekuangole, which was burnt to the ground, the local government estimates that at least 10,000 people have been made homeless as a result of the violence. Some people have been waiting for up to three weeks for supplies.

ACT Response – LWF is currently leading the joint response of the ACT Alliance in South Sudan. A team from Norwegian Church Aid and LWF travelled to the area last week to assess the needs of those affected by the violence. The assessment reported that some of the boreholes had been destroyed, so the ACT Alliance in Juba will send a water specialist from NCA to the area, if requested by UN, to see how they can be repaired and rehabilitated.

Juba – As road accessibility is an issue, the United Nations Mission to South Sudan is airlifting the injured to Juba for treatment. LWF is providing milk, blankets, soap and drinking water for these people and their families in hospitals in Juba.

Pibor – According to the assessment, most people have lost what meagre possessions they owned and have dispersed into the bush around Pibor. Most have not yet received any assistance and some have waited up to three weeks.

Lekuangole – LWF will be distributing 2000 kits containing a plastic sheet, two blankets, two sleeping mats, two mosquito nets, 10-15 bars of soap, a cooking set and two collapsible jerry cans, in collaboration with IOM & Government Humanitarian Arm and a local organisation called Nashingol.

Duk & Uror counties – LWF is based here but the security situation is volatile, making work difficult, however, an interagency assessment will be conducted next week.

Conflict Resolution – The assessment team that travelled to Pibor and Lekuangole found that many of the people affected by the violence think peaceful dialogue and disarmament will resolve it. But the dialogue must include the youth, who appear to be the main perpetrators behind the latest wave of attacks.

In a country that is just getting back on its’ feet after almost five decades of civil war, the current wave of violence has dealt a shattering blow. Most of those killed have been men, leaving families without fathers and mothers struggling through the conflict on their own. In the area covered by the ACT assessment, most mothers have at least four children, some as many as eight. Many fear further violence, which makes peace-building initiatives vital.

The Churches of Sudan are leading the peace process with an announcement on Friday 20 January that they would spearhead a peace initiative between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities. At a briefing to NGOs and media, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church, Daniel Deng Bul, the Catholic Archbishop, Paulino Lukudu Loro, the Presiding Bishop of the Africa Inland Church, Arkanjelo Wani and the Chair of Sudan Council of Churches, Bishop Michael Taban Toro, announced a two track process. The first track being a high level political process and the second a grassroots peace process that will try to involve the armed youth.

LWF is contributing to this process by funding the Sudan Council of Churches’ peace-building program.

Thanks too Melany Markham to put this update together, she will be our communication officer for the coming four weeks.

Regards,

Arie Den Toom

LWF South Sudan Representative

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