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ABYEI - 31 Dec 2016

Abyei community groups hope for more stability in 2016

Community leaders from Abyei are hoping for a more stable situation and peaceful year ahead, allowing for more people to plant crops and harvest, according to interviews carried out by the Abyei Today program.

The chairperson of the Padang women’s society, Nyankiir Chol Piok, wished for peace, stability and security to the entire community. Nyankiir also urged people to make more use of natural resources to overcome their difficulties. She said there was a long tradition of eating wild fruits such as lalob and nabak. People could either eat wild food themselves or sell it in the market.

The information secretary of the Abyei Youth Union, Wuor Chol, called for renewed negotiations to secure peace between the Dinka Ngok and the Misseriya Ajaira. He also wanted young people to form themselves into groups of 15 or 16 to cultivate new gardens along the river known locally as the Kiir. That would provide fresh food as well as an opportunity to make money by selling produce.

Mijok Kuol Lual, the chief of the Mareng clan, one of the Dinka Ngok chiefdoms, said he hoped that attempts to bring peace inside South Sudan would have beneficial knock-on effects in Abyei. He said the instability in northern Abyei made it very difficult for people to raise animals to provide food and milk.

A long-serving Catholic priest in Abyei, Karlo Kau, said the church was urging people to make renewed efforts towards peace. He echoed Nyankiir Chol Piok’s call for people to gather wild food, saying honey and gum could be harvested and sold.

Source: Abyei Today