OPINION – The unresolved conflict that rooted from 2013 crisis still carries the negative impact on the young people of Unity State. This conflict had sharply fractionalized the peaceful and harmonious counties of Unity State into different existing political parties to the conflict: SPLM-IG, SPLM-O, SSOA, and etc.
As a consequence of internal divisions within Nuer nation, many Nuer sections see Mayom county people as absolute betrayers and as the obstacles in Nuer political progress which has developed hatreds and antagonism by Nuer sections against them on the pretext that many youth from Mayom stood up with government during the conflict.
Despite the fact that Mayom and Rubkona have been the true brothers and sisters when it comes to social cohesion in centuries, this conflict had divided them and made them look themselves as the enemies, a mental picture that needs to be expunged in depository so that they can live in peace and harmony.
WHAT TURNED THE PEACE TOURNAMENT COMPETITION TO VIOLENT?
In August, 2018 Mayom and Rubkona communities fought as a result of personal dispute between their members which left scores injured during their fighting. As their fighting was intensifying, many youth groups from other Nuer sections joined efforts with Rubkona county youths which forced some Bul community (Mayom) out of the UNMISS protection of civilians cite in Juba to live in Mangateen, a suburb in Juba. The post conflict discernments are still persisting and mentality of revenge, hypothetical belief of being braved then others pose threats to peaceful co-existence among the two communities.
As a matter fact, this conflict was given a less attention by the government of Unity State to address it in the sense that it was just an inter and intra communal feud which does not requires time and resources to settle as the state was putting more attention to implementation of revitalized peace agreement forgot that unresolved internal matters spark the major conflicts.
These parties’ conflicts have made youth siding with their supported political organizations hence, leaving behind the spirit of brotherhood and nationalism.
The peace tournament that saw Rubkona County won over Mayom County with 3 goals to 1 in favor of Rubkona county team bred the emotional anger supported by a revenge mentality of previous wounds of conflict from Protection of Civilians Cite sparked the violent.
However, with these underlining discernments, Unity State’s government would have surely taken a structural approach to resolve the persistent and heinous conflict that youths have still carry in their minds before organizing peace tournament.
The violent that happened two days ago between Mayom and Rubkona counties youths in peace tournament, was a great lesson that signalizes the government of Unity State that it has unresolved task to be done in ensuring that a true peace is returned through internal dispute resolution mechanisms.
WHAT SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT OF UNITY STATE HAVE DONE BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT PEACE TOURNAMENT?
The state’s government should have avoided the peace tournament commencement before addressing the heinous conflict that these communities ( Rubkona, Mayom, Koch, Leer, and Mayiandit) carry in hearts. It is undoubted that the conflict is still at its peak and needs a constructive approach to bring it to an end thus, forcing them to have peace tournament that does not define the reality in its content, is like” putting the cart before the horse”.
In addressing these odds, government of Unity State should have organized and called for a peace conference in Juba that allows the participations of youth’s leaders, women’s leaders, traditional leaders, and church’s leaders, members of parliament in various conflicted communities as well as politicians to discuss and resolve the persistent conflict among the communities within Unity State’s jurisdiction. This would pave away for peaceful and harmonious environment for peace tournament,
As a long term solution to address this heinous conflict, state’s government should employ educational scholarships as it provides knowledge, training and skills as well as inculcates new thoughts and attitudes among the youth. Giving them (youths) scholarship would enlighten them with knowledge and skills that would help in bringing to an end this continuous conflict and violence.
In conclusion, I personally advise Unity State youths to refrain from such negative attitudes and behaviors which have no place in our forefathers’ history or background. Lets’ love ourselves, be the champion of peace, unity and development in our state. We have right to play fairly and non-violently with each other as we inculcate the spirit of togetherness and pursuit of the common good of our people. Your future is ahead of you; time for democracy will soon be realized and when this time comes, your county alone wouldn’t bring you; all counties can. So do not spoil your future with hatreds, communal mindsets, and violence. Let the violence not defines us but define the violence. Encourage the spirit of peace, unity and development.
The author is a concerned citizen of Unity State. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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