Authorities in the central state of Warrap, South Sudan, today reiterated their call for civilians to turn in hundreds of weapons in their possession, in order to reduce communal violence in the territory.
The appeal by the state governor, General Aleu Ayieny Alewu, comes after the commissioner of Tonj East County, John Denk Kok, said that residents of the localities have already voluntarily handed in more than 30 weapons.
Meanwhile, Ring Deng Ading, the government’s information officer in Warrap, said that the disarmament programme is being promoted in the counties of East Tonj, North Tonj and South Tonj in the first phase without coercion and in the second phase as a compulsory programme.
Humanitarian organisations noted that weapons are abundant in rural areas of South Sudan as many villagers use them to repel attacks by criminal groups who steal their livestock.
Warrap is the scene of a long-running conflict between Luacnujanb Thiik and Lou Paher communities over control of land for cattle grazing or agricultural development.
On the other hand, in 2020, armed clashes between the army and civilians in Tonj East County left more than a hundred dead and dozens wounded, according to government sources.
South Sudan, where a government of national unity was formed in 2020 as part of a peace pact, experienced an armed conflict from 2013 to 2018 that left thousands dead and wounded, according to humanitarian sources.