Home | News    Saturday 11 February 2012

FEATURE: Jonglei’s Pibor resumes business after displacement


February 10, 2012 (BOR) – Juma Korok, a 13 year old pupil at Pibor school, goes fishing and hunting for birds using hooks and bows accompanied by his classmates at the river running east of the town that was a the centre of a large scale conflict only a few weeks ago.

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Internally displaced people are seen in Pibor January 12, 2012. (Reuters)

Korok took refuge at the South Sudan’s army barracks in Pibor when over 6,000 men from the Lou Nuer ethnic group carried out, what they say was, a revenge attack on Murle land in December and January.

On 1 January they advanced on Pibor, the headquarters of Pibor County, setting fire to huts and a health centre ran by medical charity, Medicine San Frontiers (MSF). Many of the burnt down huts remain in disrepair long after the Luo Nuer retreated after the United Nations (UN) and South Sudanese army deployed more forces to the area.

The influx of humanitarian organisations to Pibor county has restored some confidence that the lives of local people can return to normal, Pibor commissioner Joshua Konyi said.

Raids between the two cattle herding communities in June and August last year killed over 1,000, according to the United Nations (UN). So far the UN has been able to confirm only a relatively small number deaths, compared to the 3,000 that the Pibor Commissioner says were killed.

As well as cattle stolen from previous raids, the Luo Nuer and Dinka Bor who attacked Pibor say that they were also motivated to return women and children they say the Murle have abducted.

Jonglei state was flooded with weapons during the decades long north-south civil war that ended with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement giving South Sudan the right to secede, an option it took overwhelmingly in a referendum last year.

The recent inter-tribal clashes, including counter raids by the Murle, have left 140,000 people requiring humanitarian assistance.

Like other counties in Jonglei state, Pibor county has no road connection with the state’s capital Bor. Only the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are able to easily reach the county headquarters using helicopters.

Unlike early January, where misery and anxiety over safety from further attacks welcomed visiting delegates, people’s lives continue to normalise in Pibor, authorities say.

“Most of the IDPs [internally displace persons] are returning to their villages and only few people are still here,” Pibor county commissioner Joshua Konyi told reporters at Pibor airstrip on Thursday.

“There is enough police and [South Sudanese] army in the county and people feel safer,” he said, speaking Arabic.

Inhabited by the Murle, Kachipo and Jie tribes, Pibor county is ethnically diverse compared to other counties in Jonglei state. But the Murle are the more well known as they are repeatedly accused of involvement in cattle raids and child abduction against the Dinka Bor and Nuer to the west and north respectively.

This week some members of the Murle tribe called for the county to seceded from Jonglei and become a state in its own right. Jonglei is by far the largest of South Sudan’s ten states.

Meeting the European Union Special Representative to South Sudan and Sudan, Rosalind Marsden, Murle traditional leaders accused the Jonglei state government of encouraging tribalism by claiming that all attacks on their county are engineered in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

Sudan Tribune has not been able to independently verify the claim.


In Pibor town, business goes on as usual. The market is flooded by women bring firewood and grass for thatching huts. Girls whose necks are crowned by beads of several colours and young men with dotted marks on their shoulders and upper arm move gently from shop to shop looking for things to buy.

At the banks of river, just east of the market, children go fishing. After throwing his fishing hook five times, a young boy, who couldn’t communicate with Sudan Tribune’s reporter due to a language barrier, caught a Blaria fish.

Another boy, who identified himself as Juma Korok managed to speak with the Sudan Tribune using South Sudanese colloquial Arabic, said that many of the boys his age in Pibor has been displaced by the recent fighting.

“I am in primary one but these boys came from the village because of the fear,” Korok said, jokingly holding his hunting bow and fingers crossed.

In Pibor town, young people gather to chat under trees or play cards and other games, symptomatic of the lack of activities for youth across Jonglei state.

These convergences of jobless youth, even with education, are also numerous in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.


Foreign investors may have been deterred by inter-tribal conflict but the government is hopeful that it can create jobs for young people.

Returning from Juba on Thursday after a week long meeting with investors, Jonglei Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, said the the investors had not been thrilled by the reports of insecurity.

“We will wait to see how serious they are. [But] according to their talks, they seem to be serious investors who want to come in spite of insecurity they hear in Jonglei,” Governor Kuol told reporters at his arrival at Bor airstrip on Thursday.

Whether, if they do invest in Jonglei, such investment would create opportunities for youth, which could discourage them from pursuing cattle raiding and using their gun as a means to a livelihood is unclear.

Local people are waiting to hear when the promised disarmament will commence as reports of fighting continue to a regular basis.

But in Pibor town, the frequent visitations of high profile delegations, including the European Union Special Representative to South Sudan and Sudan on Thursday, has given some people hope that international community and the government are taking serious steps to end the cycle of violence.

A recent Human Rights Watch report called on the government to investigate the violence and bring those responsible to justice.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 February 2012 08:00, by allan

    These people dont take shower how come they so dark like that

    repondre message

    • 11 February 2012 08:15, by N.Sudan

      don’t make fun of these ppls
      look at those children and apology to them.

      repondre message

      • 11 February 2012 08:19, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M


        We are trying to help them get clean but they don’t listern to the dov’t we want to give them,

        repondre message

        • 11 February 2012 20:29, by Ahmed Chol

          Why is a woman surrounded by many children that seems not be from the same woman due to the appearance in age and physique.

          Are those the abducted kids the NUER LOU and DINKA BOR are looking for?

          repondre message

    • 11 February 2012 08:18, by omoni jr.

      Jonglei state deserve Not have the following thing.
      3-food,becoze they have animals.

      repondre message

    • 11 February 2012 10:21, by Acinitos

      You are lucky you coward government sign non aggression othewise you need South to teach you how to behave yourself . And know why people in the picture could not take shower.think in your desert what will you do,? Do not think Kiir is going to baby-sit you all the time,you are going to respect those people one day and kiss theirs feet .

      repondre message

      • 11 February 2012 18:11, by Acinitos

        To Allen Correction I thought you are an Arab,but the true is this is man made problem, you never know tomorrow will be who.

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    • 11 February 2012 13:32, by NGAANGOLTIIN

      Alan wala . . .

      Look at. How come? A hyena insulting the most beautiful people on earth, the Murle. You don’t know what you are talkin’ about you little wretch

      repondre message

  • 11 February 2012 08:25, by WendeMajok

    @Allan, you sound like a racist but believe it that its not showering that change your skin colour.

    This should be a lesson learnt to those who acquire their education and democratic ways of life and refuse to go back home and sensitize the few individuals at the grassroot to know the importance of life and how to live in harmony with the neighbors.

    Misery in the village can reach you in town.

    repondre message

  • 11 February 2012 08:31, by Anynya One

    They are the very generations of slaves mistreated and manipulated by Arabs for long time. This people are worriers who will be going back to Khartoum in search of their original lands taken by Arabs. They don’t fuck around like Arabs do, and yes they are not clean like Arab gay..

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  • 11 February 2012 09:11, by JAMES KUOI STEPHEN

    Compitation in the Pibor land,is against the principle of SPLA/M!.Why people fought for 21years? Is it becasue of such hatred between tribes,which had happen?.Therefore,the government of South Sudan should make intervention to this conflict,which is against Murile people’s life.While it is not in the SPLA/M principles of liberity and peace, to ecourage civilan into conflict!.

    repondre message

    • 11 February 2012 11:55, by allan

      To anynya one or anynya ten i dont care but dont talk to me like that im not arab i was just saying cuz these murle are killing our bros n sis for nothing , n now they are sitting like they have problem when they are people running around stealling people property , therefore lets em suffer

      repondre message

      • 11 February 2012 12:02, by allan

        To dinka dominated splem
        I believe u bro dealling wit those animals are like looking after cattle

        I dont know wen i our people gonna learn how to live like brotherhoods

        repondre message

      • 11 February 2012 12:33, by Gumbulla Junior

        To Allan,
        Dear bro,your words are not acceptable by some our colleagues who participate in this web-forum.well,You can not call a kettle or a pot black,or dirty yet you are one of them.truly speaking, those innocent kids and women posted on this article are not the devils dat kill,raid or abduct your brothers.we men are the problem and devils who carry out all those atrocities..God have mercy

        repondre message

        • 11 February 2012 18:52, by Ruach

          Jebe/Gumbulla.Look @ your mothers.No shower.The main foood for u is hyena.I heard that u were caught by police men because of killing hyena in the zoo

          repondre message

          • 11 February 2012 20:16, by Gumbulla Junior

            @ Ruach,
            Liel muor,if my mum is dirty,ur mum stink more than he-goat.just stand before a mirror and see ur true image and scary face of urs with six railway lines on ur damn ass.hw ugly is u and ur family maggot.we don’t team hyenas n we don’t eat them,zipped ur toothless gums u glutton stooges of Jalaba..be logical child!

            repondre message

            • 11 February 2012 22:04, by From the South

              hahahahahah Gumbulla,you just made my days, this silly ass Ruach have nothing in his mind.....RACIIIIIIIISSSST.

              repondre message

              • 12 February 2012 09:25, by Ruach

                To Jebe/jabaar/Murle Gumbulla & Mary Boyoi aka from the south.Your dirty mothers with broken mouths can’t be compared with my beautiful,healthy & productive mom.When I danced with Mary Boyoi ’s,it was fantastic at Lilkuangole & Pibor village.Pibor state?Rate of education is nearly -0.0000001%.How ’ll it succeed?What is the population there?Who ’ll approve it?who are the evils?Death to u all.

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            • 12 February 2012 02:48, by Daniel Buolmawei

              Gumbulla Junior, you understand better that Murle young men are the devils who befall our beaufiful state into insecurity chaos but you always stand with them side by side, how could you expect peace between us while you are a sympathizer of the devils, the young criminals you acknowledged as devils?

              repondre message

    • 11 February 2012 12:42, by Gumbulla Junior

      @ James Kuoi Stephen,
      Bravo!..u ve well spoken.I wish every south sudanese from all four corners of our country should ask themselves such question.so dat soon or later we shall find a solution to this tribal lines and bridge our differences.as it is written in our court of arm and national anthem..PEACE,LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY..shall reign.those big words have lost their meaning.

      repondre message

    • 12 February 2012 02:43, by Daniel Buolmawei

      You think Murle lives are more important than Dinka and Nuer lives, right?

      repondre message

  • 11 February 2012 17:17, by Cadaai ?o?
  • 11 February 2012 20:36, by morogot batal

    every body in south sudan was like these people before they become proffessors. they are also the same as the southerners that were in khartoum and yet khartoum robbed their resources.then listen carefuly..the dirty those people looks like can be wash tomorrow and they will be our ministers, doctors.no one can deny it. our main problem are fake arabs of khartoum.how do we as south think about them

    repondre message

  • 11 February 2012 20:50, by morogot batal

    stop abusing your own people like you fall down from heaven...what will you think about adorob who told as in one of our journey kasala to khartoum that go and great president abud?the citizens that doesnt know their president...dear brothers.stop your silly abuse to your own people otherwise you are showing out your fulishness

    repondre message

  • 13 February 2012 08:49, by Yangman

    Murle, they will not get development nutill the end of their life in the world, if they not change the life from raids cattles and abducted of childern, if the change their mines from that life to development life, like puting the childern to school this where murle it is be welfare rather then today life.

    repondre message

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