NAIROBI, March 30, 2004 (IRIN) — Fighting has broken out between the Dinkas of Aluakluak Payam [location] of Yirol County and those of the Akot and Pacuong payams of Rumbek County, resulting in a number of deaths, injuries and displacements, according to a report issued by the NGO PACT on 24 March.
It said the fighting, which broke out on 16 March, had also led to looting of property, and was affecting about 15,000 people from Aluakluak and 5,000 from Akot and Pacuong. “The fighting mostly affected the people of Aluakluak Payam who are now displaced from their homes and are now staying under trees,” the report said.
The report recommends that food distributions to the affected populations be undertaken “without delay”. It also calls for the provision of household items, such as pots, blankets and mosquito nets, as well as seeds, which they have lost to looting.
The report recommends that agencies concerned in peace-building undertake projects to normalise the “relationship between the two communities through peace and reconciliation”. It also stresses the need for the perpetrators of the violence “to be brought to book immediately”.
Yirol and Rumbek are neighbouring counties in the Buhayrat [Lakes] region of Bahr al-Ghazal. The inhabitants are Dinkas, the great majority of whom are agro-pastoralists. Although the people of the two counties share the same language and culture and often intermarry, long-standing internecine strife has rendered their relations very fragile.