Gov't gives warring communities 7-day ultimatum to turn in criminals in Torit
The Eastern Equatoria State government has, following recent tensions and repeated clashes between the warring Hiyalla and Haforiere villages, given a seven-day ultimatum to each community to apprehend and hand over the perpetrators of conflict.
Addressing the media yesterday, the press secretary in the office of the governor, Oringa John Godfrey, outlined orders given by Governor Louis Lobong Lojore to contain the situation.
“Hiyalla was given seven days to produce the culprits of the crimes committed because we have realized there were some incidents that happened and it also prompted the government to find out. If the community policing and other peace actors are struggling then the government will intervene immediately,” Oringa said.
According to the governor’s press secretary, Lobong has also ordered the communities of Torit East to stop moving with guns under the pretext of guarding their villages and animals with immediate effect.
“It is this kind of patrol which is bringing this kind of insecurity and he (governor) has urged them to stop with immediate effect and if your belongings are stolen you need to follow up with the chiefs but not to take the law into your hands,” Oringa added.
The ultimatum came into force on Monday when the governor returned to Torit from Juba and immediately proceeded to the warring villages.
Hiyalla Chief, John Oromo, said he could not identify the criminals but stressed that his youth are ready to make recompense.
“The Monyomiji (youth) spoke with one voice and they said as the government has come like this, they are ready to pay compensation for anybody they killed and that the other side also compensates for the things that they took like the goats and the rape of a girl from our side,” Chief Oromo said. “They have to pay and we will pay for their person killed but we don’t know the person who did the killing so the whole Monyomiji(youth) will compensate.”
Meanwhile, Haforiere youth leader, Mario Oito, said they are ready to show the culprit if the government reaches their area but that arresting remains difficult since they are well-armed.
“Monyomiji (youth) today said that they are ready to hand over the culprits. The problem is that the suspects move with guns and will be a problem when they shoot anyone from Monyomiji. When the government comes, I know their homes and I will show them to the government. For me, I need peace for all Monyomiji in Hiyalla, Haforiere, Tirangore. All I need is peace,” he said.
In May Otuho community in Diaspora contributed money and established the Otuho Peace Taskforce and later Hujang Kingdom Peace and Reconciliation Committee to initiate dialogue to restore the broken relations amongst the communities in Otuho land.
But early this month, Hiyala and Haforiere got involved in deadly clashes living two deaths and four recorded gunshot injuries.