South Sudan

By Gabriel Kuot Akok 

Luo community is one of the Bahr-el-ghazal based communities which co-exists together with Dinka (muònyjàng) community for eight centuries. Luo is commonly known as Jo-luo or jo-luoi within Luo ethnic group of Bahr-el-ghazal Region. The Luo community of Bahr-el-ghazal Region's ancestor is believed to be Dimo the second brother after Nyikang and Gielo, the youngest and the last born of the Luo family. 

It occupies most areas of the then Western Bahr-el-ghazal state and some parts of former Northern Bahr-el-ghazal state which include Aya kuajiena, Mapel, Ekena, Umbili, Roch roch dong, Udici, Kulo, Getti, Gana, Bar-Mayen, Nimir kamsa(kangi), Alel-thony, Baaw, Aroyo, Udhum, Barurud, Mabaga, Tot- ujanga, Barwaya, Alel Ugona, Pamath kòng, Thuragòk, Barudiera and many more.

Luo land shares the common border with Dinka Nyang Akoc- majook of Tonj state, Marial- baai of Wau state in the northern part of the state, Kuac Ayok -magong community of Gogrial State, Kòngdèr-Dut and Ajak-Wek Ateny of Aweil state, southern part of defunct Northern Bahr-el-ghazal state and Dinka Malual ( Malual- gechai) of West Aweil.

Thus, since the eruption of conflict between the two sisterly communities of Jo- Luo  and muònygjàng Tonj and later on Ujang of Dong Mayar Madut early this year, I have monitored it closely and I have come to observe that the source of conflict is value, individual differences, communication, cultural differences and clash of political interest but the major one is the valuable resource like "agricultural products" which is the source of Luo's economy and "cows" which are the supreme valuable resources of Dinka livelihood.

The fact remains that it is not the first time for some Luo community members and Dinka pastoralists to have dispute over the said matter but this does not mean that Luo community as a whole has a problem with Dinka tribe. It happens even between Dinka tribesmen when the shepherd allows cattle to destroy crops of a neighbour or any other tribesman's garden but it could be resolved amicably.

As per the source at the scene, Luo farmers are not happy with some careless, reckless and negligent Ujanga pastoralists who fail to take good care of their herd of cattle but still they acknowledge their historical relations and weĺl being with Dinka and as such some of Jur Chol traditional leaders condemned the merciless and irresponsible act of their tribesmen of taking law into their hands by killing their brothers.

Further, on the other hand, Dinka community in all and sundry, urge for calm and peaceful coexistence as usual and urge their sons to refrain from revenge killing.

With these remarks from both sides of the Conflicting parties, I'm impressed by their words of accepting the evil challenge and their readiness to solve it. That's the spirit of brotherhood and I call upon the the two parties to the conflict to solve their differences peacefully such that we have a peaceful and stable Bahr-el-ghazal.

Conflict is destructive and should these two great and strong communities loggerheads, Bahr-el-ghazal Region will be unstable and weak politically, socially and economically and therefore I solicit the parties to the conflict to put aside their differences by respecting their values bssed on Marial Agreement (2017) and take their diversity as a pride & blessing rather than using it as a curse and embark on agriculture since it is agricultural season because this fight will give us nothing other than poverty and meaningless loss of precious life.

However, I also call upon the government of Tonj state, Wau state, Gogrial State, Aweil state and Lol State to intervene and bring back the situation to its normalcy by any means possible because I don't need more bloodshed between and among Bahr-el-ghazal people in particular  as well as people of South Sudan in toto.

Nevertheless, I once again appeal to those who ignite the spark of this Intergroup conflict if there is any to put their political interests on other things rather than using our innocent and vulnerable people to kill themselves over a simple matter. Last but not least, our people of the said communities must be wise and vigilant enough to understand the interest of those who use them as tools to achieve their political goals and refrain from engaging with such self-centred personalities.

Finally, my last message goes to the youth of greater Bahr-el-ghazal region in general and especially Luo and Dinka youth whether back home or everywhere to discourage this on going communal clashes by using technical compromising and collaborating conflict resolution approaches to put this disharmony on halt and coexist with a peaceful and prosperous live as normal.

The writer is a student of Conflict Resolution Education at Whitaker Community Learning Centre for Peace and Development Initiative and can be reached via email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on WhatsApp number +211912143263. 

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