Ayod officials hand over 7 abductees to Pibor
Officials in Ayod County of Jonglei State on Friday returned seven abductees to the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) as a response to calls reiterated during the recent Jonglei-GPAA peace conference in Bor.
The handover was facilitated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The former abductees; 5 children and two women, were abducted during a raid on parts of GPAA earlier this year.
“On Friday, we agreed on the exchange of abductees with Pibor. We also agreed to stop the violence. So as a result, we released seven abductees to Pibor as a peace gesture,” James Chuol Jiek, the Ayod County commissioner, told Radio Tamazuj.
He called on his Pibor counterparts to reciprocate his move to boost trust among the locals.
For his part, Keta Ngachino, the Pibor County commissioner, said: “On Friday, we received seven of our abductees from Ayod and one from Uror authorities. We welcome this move and from our side, we have also been directed to do the same.”
The state advisor on human rights in Jonglei Simon Manyok Deng welcomed the commitment shown by the local authorities of the two areas as a peace gesture.
“The governments in Jonglei and GPAA are committed. This is reflected by the events like the abductees' handover. However, as a human rights defender, my concern is that ambushes are still being reported against the backdrop of this peace. I know warmongers are behind it but again, control of such incidents is the government's responsibility. So, that is my message to Pibor,” he said.
The communities of Jonglei State and Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) held a three-day peace conference to review the status of the implementation of the Pieri peace conference last week.
More than 50 representatives of Dinka Bor, Murle, and Nuer communities recommitted to peaceful coexistence, including the return of abducted persons, blood compensation, punishment of the perpetrators, and allow free movement among the communities.