Tergol, Ethiopia — Leaders of the Anyuak, Lou Nuer, Jikany Nuer tribes living in the border are between South Sudan and Ethiopia on Friday signed a peace agreement in Tergol County (woreda) of Ethiopia.
Chiefs, traditional leaders, youths and religious leaders from Nasser and Akobo counties of South Sudan and Tergol and Nyininyang counties of Gambella Region signed the agreement. It was witnessed by the Commissioner of Tergol County Simon Dol Kek and representatives from the Gambella Justice Bureau and Akobo County administrators.
Points of the agreement include: to live in harmony with one other, control movement of firearms across borders, clear feeder roads connecting their counties, decrease dowry payments, intermarry, accept displaced people, work in collaboration with their respective administrations, and share fishing and grazing lands.
Alemu Bekele, a public relations officer at Gambella Justice Bureau representing Gambella Regional Government at the ceremony said that the initiative was brought down to the local community leaders’ level to enable them to design laws that are effective in their own communities.
Tergol Commissioner Simon Dol Kek, the host of the peace event, said that reduction of dowry payments will reduce violence among the communities. He noted that high dowry requirements encourages young men to raid cattle.
Gatluak Pai, deputy executive director of Akobo East County, said that the agreement will create unity especially between Lou Nuer of South Sudan and Jikany Nuer of Ethiopia who previously had poor relations due to border conflicts between them.
Meanwhile, Anyuak leaders said that they are not taking any part in the current conflict in South Sudan. They denied accusations from some of the Lou Nuer that they were supporting the Juba government. Several thousand members of the Anyuak Community had fled Akobo County of South Sudan since December 2013.
The peace initiative was implemented with the Gambella Regional Justice Bureau and funded through ZOA-Ethiopia, a non-governmental organization that supports communities and refugees in Ethiopia.
Source: Radio Tamazuj