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JUBA - 21 Sep 2016

Cultural activities in Juba PoC suspended due to insecurity

The chairperson of the cultural groups in the protection camps in Juba says cultural shows and dances which were regularly held every Sunday in the PoCs have been suspended due to insecurity in areas surrounding the camps.

Speaking to media in the PoC, Deng Chioh says the culture activities were highly appreciated in the camp and he urges supporters of the culture to be patient until the camp leadership informs them of when the dances will be re-opened.

Deng says that stresses among the young people living in the PoCs have increased due to lack of leisure activities such as cultural events.

He appreciated all cultural groups in the camp for doing their best to keep Nuer culture alive and contributing to campaigning for peace in the PoCs. “Fighting among the IDPs was common but when the cultural events were introduced they stopped,” he said.

He also urged the people to observe the cultural value of respecting the dead. “Mourning can take months in the Nuer culture” when someone dies in the community, he said.

“You see people have been buried inside the premises of the PoC - we cannot continue to dance,” he said referring to the burial of the IDPs killed during July fighting in Juba.

The cultural groups are Liech, Latjor, Bieh, Buorchar and Shilluk groups. The cultural activities were opened at the end of 2014 to alleviate stresses and create unity among the IDPs.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Nuer citizens have been living in the UN Protection of Civilians camps, known as PoCs, since December 2013 when mass killings were carried out in Juba. In 2015 the UN Mission in South Sudan was making plans to encourage voluntary resettlement back into Juba but the recent violence seems to have put a hold on those plans.