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WAU - 14 May 2024

Top security leaders in Wau to address Apuk-Giir and Marial-Wau fighting

A delegation of high-ranking security officials arrived in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state, on Monday. The team includes General Santino Deng Wol, Chief of Staff of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces; General Atem Marol, Inspector General of Police (IGP); and General Akol Khor Kuc, Director of the National Security Service. They travelled to Wau after a journey through Abyei and Kuajok.

After spending a few days in Abyei to meet with the community, where they addressed the conflict between the Ngok Dinka and Twic communities, which has been ongoing for the past two years, the team moved to Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states

In Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states, the team plans to visit areas of conflict, including Manyang and Tharkueng, to engage with the local population on ways to maintain peace.

Speaking to the media upon their arrival in Wau on Monday, Warrap State Governor Kuol Muor stated that he had travelled from Warrap state to participate in a security committee meeting involving both Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states.

“I have come from Warrap to attend a security committee meeting involving the two states, Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal, concerning the issues between the Apuk and Marial-Wau communities,” said Muor.

“The high-level committee arrived from Juba, and I welcome them to Twic. They spent two days in Ngok, and we stayed overnight in Kuajok. We had discussions. I came this morning to attend a meeting with them because this is a high-level security team of the country led by General Santino Deng Wol, the Inspector General of Police, and the Director General of the National Security, accompanied by some officers,” said Muor.

On Monday, the team met with Western Bahr el Ghazal state Deputy Governor Zackaria Joseph Garang, and they agreed to visit Manyang and Tharkueng, the most affected areas during the past two days of conflict.

“I am joining my brother Zackaria Joseph because the state governor is in Juba, but she will join us tomorrow. Together, we will first go to Manyang, and shortly afterward, we will proceed to Tharkueng to address the people. The aim is to foster peaceful coexistence between the two communities because the Warrap community hails from Wau, Aweil, and Rumbek,” he added.

“We are all relatives, and that is why our president issued orders and sent the country’s leaders responsible for security to deploy forces that do not belong to the two states. They deployed forces in Anet between Twic and Ngok, and now trucks and citizens are moving without problems. This is what they aim to achieve in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap because people are entering the farming period,” he said.

Muor mentioned that the conflict between the two sisterly states has already ceased, but some crimes are still being committed by criminals, which need to be handled by the security forces.

Western Bahr el Ghazal State Deputy Governor Zackaria Joseph Garang confirmed the team’s arrival.

“We have conducted a very important meeting as a joint security committee of Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap State. The meeting brought together high-ranking security leaders of South Sudan, including the Chief of Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Director of National Security, and other officers,” said Garang. “We discussed crucial issues, including security stability in the Manyang area and other affected regions.”

“We urgently need stability in all areas so that those who have fled their homes can return, and peace can be restored among all communities, as it was before,” Garang emphasized.

The communities of Apuk-Giir and Marial-Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap have been in a cycle of conflict for over two years, resulting in the loss of over 100 lives, destruction of homes, and loss of property, forcing more than 5,000 people to flee their homes. Additionally, the conflict between the Twic and Ngok-Dinka communities has also claimed dozens of innocent lives.