6th December 2021
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Conflicting forces in Tambura ‘leave for peace’

Authors: Charles Wote | Alex Misogo | Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A UN peacekeeper escorts women and children in the violence-rocked Tambura County, Western Equatoria State recently | Credit | Denis Louro/UNMISS

The conflicting forces in Tambura County, Western Equatorial State, have agreed to cease hostilities and withdraw from the area to allow peace to prevail.

In June this year, fighting broke out between two armed groups in Tambura, leaving over 200 people dead and nearly 100,000 others displaced.

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan in September described the deaths as massacres sponsored by SPLA-IO and SSPDF forces in Tambura.

On Tuesday, James Nando, an SSPDF general and an alleged SPLA-IO-backed youth leader – Angelo Davido – agreed to cease hostilities during a rally held in Tambura town.

“The community agreed and we have signed a memorandum of understanding that no one is to raise a gun again to kill his brother; no one to stay in the bush,” Mathew Mabenge, county commissioner, confirmed to Eye Radio.

He said some forces loyal to Gen. Nando have started to withdraw from Tambura to allow neutral forces take charge of security there.

“So, the forces of IO are gathering now, but the other forces which had been accused by Gen. Nando left Tambura for Maridi two days ago,” Mabenge added.

In July, the governor of Western Equatoria has accused four prominent politicians from the state of perpetuating the violence that left at least eight civilians dead in Tombura County recently.

The four individuals include Jemma Nunu Kumba, the incumbent Reconstituted-TNLA speaker; and Patrick Raphael Zamoi, the former governor of the defunct Tambura state, now the county.

Others include Hon. Pascal Bandindi, an MP representing Tombura County at the Reconstituted TNLA; and Hon. Salle Sayid Uku.

According to Governor Alfred Futuyo, the four politicians are responsible for the instigation of conflicts within the state.

In August, the government resolved to relocate SPLA-IO and other forces out of Tambura County to contain the violence in the area.

The resolution was unveiled after a meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir and attended by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and leaders from Western Equatoria State.

Religious leaders there have often called on the state and national governments to address the rapid increase and expansion of the breakdown of the law and order in Tambura.

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