By Manyang Mayom
March 24, 2011 (RUMBEK) – The commissioner of Yirol West county of Lakes state, Makur Kulang Liei said that clashes between pastoralists of Mapuordit payam (district) and those in Mvolo county in Western Equatoria state are back under control after the county authorities intensified efforts to control the situation.
Kulang described the situation in Mapuordit: “Yes, the situation is under control, because we are talking to youth so that they stop the unnecessary conflict. We are talking to chiefs so that this conflict can be solved in amiable way – this conflict is baseless because it has no objective – the number of people killed from my side is 14 people and 9 people wounded plus 500 households were burnt down ash”.
However, Kulang said that his counterpart in Mvolo has abandoned talks with him over the phone. He added that there is no need to advance into “baseless conflict” with Western Equatoria state and that the “Government will investigate these clashes and my youth are going to be found not guilty”.
Kulang said that “my last message is to my counterpart – the commissioner of Mvolo that what is happening is really baseless – let us sit down with youth from both side of Mvolo and Yirol West county to bring this conflict to an end, because the people from one government, one party and one constitution cannot just go to unnecessary war”. He called upon GoSS to “provide full security to community”.
He explained that, “I tried to contact him one day and I told him that I wanted to meet to discuss this situation because clashes are alarming. The Mvolo commissioner replied that he does not have time to talk to us: neither me nor commissioner of Rumbek East county.” Kulang explained that Makur went on to arrange a meeting in Rumbek at which he “did not need to meet Rumbek East county commissioner”.
Lakes state security advisor, Santo Domic revealed that the Commissioner of Yirol West county had failed to establish communication with his Mvolo county counterpart, admitting that the situation remains challenging and that the revenge attacks may escalate if not tackled by the top government officials from Lakes and Western Equatoria states.
Dominic affirmed his office had only gathered information from Yirol West county, explaining that there are currently no efforts being made to get intelligence on how the clashes have affected Mvolo.
He noted that Lakes government has asked Yirol West Commissioner to establish a base at Mapuordit to be monitor to the situation and to make every effort to re-establish communication with the Commissioner of Mvolo.
Despite the deal the South remains heavily armed both in organised forces, militias and civilians. Conflict over cattle raiding and banditry are common in some parts of the south.