By Jerry Omondi
Calm is slowly returning to South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria province, the United Nations mission in the country, UNMISS, said on Thursday, noting however that displaced persons remain fearful of returning home.
A sudden outbreak of clashes in Omoruo two weeks ago forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.
The area was attacked by neighbors from Lohilai and Lohiri, leaving many people injured.
Both sides accused each other of orchestrating targeted killings and road ambushes in past months.
Following the clashes, UNMISS deployed a team to quell the violence and restore calm.
The mission intensified patrols in the affected areas and increased calls for dialogue to solve disputes.
“Such conflicts disrupt trade, prevent the sick from reaching healthcare providers in time, and take a disproportionate toll on women and children,” said Francis Jeremiah, a Civil Affairs Officer from UNMISS.
“The only productive way forward is through dialogue; you all have a collective responsibility to nurture a sustained peace with your,” he told residents.
The area Member of Parliament from Eastern Equatoria’s State Legislative Assembly, Angela Quitino, said the government was working to restore security to help restore calm.
“Our role as the government is to make sure that these communities reconcile, the roads are safe and such attacks do not take place again,” said Quitino.