27th November 2020
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Jonglei asked to return abducted Buma children

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Child abduction and cattle raiding are some of the causes of conflict among greater Jonglei communities | Credit | Mandala Projects

Buma authorities have appealed to Jonglei government to quickly identify and hand over children that it recently confirms are somewhere in the state.

According to Buma State Information Minister, a dozen children were forcefully taken away from their villages during an attack by armed youth from Jonglei.

Last week, Jonglei State Governor Maker Thiong confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that the children were in Jonglei and he had set up a committee to trace the minors.

“The main challenge now is the rainy season that made roads impassable in Jonglei,” the Governor told the Nairobi-based media outlet.

The recovery and return of children is in line with an agreement the then governor of Jonglei State, Philip Aguer and Buma’s David Yau Yau inked in May.

The deal obliges the authorities to ensure that no more retaliatory attack, child abduction and cattle raiding between the neighboring states.

Since then, Buma state has reportedly returned a number of children to Jonglei, Jubek and Torit states.

“We have provided the details [of the minors] to them such that they will look for them as we did,” Buma State Information Minister John Kaka told Eye Radio.

“So, it’s actually up to the government of Jonglei State when they want to recover the children and reunite them with their biological parents in Buma state.

“We are not…pressuring them, because it was not the government that abducted the children but individual criminals.”

When contacted by Eye Radio, the Minister of Information in Jonglei State – Atong Kuol – said efforts are still underway to identify the abducted children.

“I believe come this November or December, we will be able to work on that and confirm who are with these children and how they got them,” she stated.

“So, the government is working on that. We have the list and I believe that it’s just the rainy season that has not allowed Jonglei state government to do the work. We believe in two-way traffic.”

Cattle, child abduction and grazing land have been the causes of conflict among the communities in greater Jonglei.

During the twentieth century, historians say, the proliferation of guns, the commercialization of cattle and rising bride prices made cattle raiding more violent and more lucrative.

The current state governments are now seen to be working towards ending these problems.

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