Being a victim of Apaak & Agaar (Arool) conflict

Cattle herders walk with their herd of cows as they graze near Tonj, Warrap State, 16 February 2020. © AFP - Alex McBrideCattle herders walk with their herd of cows as they graze near Tonj, Warrap State, 16 February 2020. © AFP - Alex McBride

Opinion by: Bol Majok Kuc

I’m a victim of wars we fought as two communities of Agaar and Apaak, I lost closed relative both in Agaar and Apaak, my fathers hails from the Apaak community and my mother’s hails from Agaar community and there is saying that said( I wish my parental uncles and maternal uncles don’t fight each other)when it comes to reality we lost a lot of lives since the 1980s until now without a proper reason of to why are we fighting these wars?

These issues of Agaar attacking us (Apaak) and by the way this community called Apaak are very good people, we only do self-defense we don’t attack and I started witnessing them when I was in a cattle camp in 2002 when we were told Arool (Agaar)are coming to attack us in amau cattle camp and we had to run with a herd of our cattle to another side of the river of toc jaang (Ciec Manyiel) for our safety with our cattle, after them hearing our youth are ready for self-defend than they went back without carrying out any attack and we have to return to our previous Cattle camp where I lost one of my cattle in this process of running and coming back.

Again in 2004 Arool (Agaar) killed one gentleman within Pan Apaak at night, just in the morning we were told Arool are coming to attack us and I have to run from my place of residence to Agany for safety while on the process I was beaten up by someone I don’t know until now because I knocked down his old mother with a bicycle while they were running too and the speed I used was terrible and all of u know better the speed someone can use when she/he in fear. The following morning, I have to go back to the house to carry some food to Agany while on my way coming back Arool has already started exchanging fires with our youth and I have to speed up so that I can reach Agany so fast to help my sister carrying the little kids to the bush before the fighting reach Agany, in the process of offloading the things the fighting have already reached at Agany Primary school so I have to run with little kids on my bicycle while on speed one of the kid felt down and got a too bad injury at her leg which I still don’t like until now. We reached the hiding place called pirja village some miles away from Agany in tears and the little girl was in too many pains and it was already 2 pm no food and no water because it was dry season around March when there is too much sunshine imagine that situation.

In 2005 again around in June when people were cultivating Arool(Agaar) carried out an attack and we have to run again because we are the first people to be running remember not Apaak all are running only us who got no weapons and women with little children because we are at the border with them in a place called Alaakbai, leaving all our belongings in the house food and clothes including my sheeps which I had never seen until now and my sister was pregnant so the following morning when we were in Mamer nearby Agany she delivered baby girl around 4 am reaching 7:30 am which later named Atong, we start hearing guns shots from parielbek village toward Agany and we have to run to the bush to hide so that crossfires don’t reach us and we have to use the wheelbarrow to carry her because she is still in pains and she can’t walk and you all know how hard is that movement when in a fear of hearing those guns shots it’s a terrible one.

From thereafter some times now we have to relocate to Agany because Arool(Agaar) have made our areas a touring place at night by looting people properties so there we left our fertile land for cultivation away and start living in a town where we got it to be difficult slowly by slowly now am based in Yirol and what is the caused of all these was insecurity and I hope is the same situation on the other side of my maternal uncles some might have been displaced from their original area to towns or other areas for settlements because of this insecurity.

In 2019 May, My wife and I -plus my brother went to Aluakluak to see my mother and some of our relatives while reaching there just like spending 2 hours Arool have already attacked Aluak luak killing people and took some cattle. The following morning other attacks in Agany making us run for hidings far away from Aluakluak leaving my wife and mother behind imagine that situation is not easy. Even our well plan visits turned to be hiding missions until we have to return to Yirol without meeting again the relatives.

June 2020 I dreamt when we met with Arool (Agaar) in the bush while looking after our cattle and it’s happened we met them with our cattle and they start taking some of our cattle to theirs and we asked them where are u taking our cattle? They start opening fires on us and we took off with very high speed to the extent I almost break my bed and to make it worse I got no gun.

In my conclusion, brothers and sisters we all have gone through hard times of community conflicts whether you have witnessed it or not, still pains of all these may have reached you wherever you are if you are from Lakes. Now it is the time to say enough is enough For our communities to enjoy peace and freedom for them to have their time on the farm to fight hunger like now in lakes the NGOs are providing our communities with food and what are the causes of the food insecurity in the state, is the insecurity and there are no proper reasons to why we were having all these? Is our role as a youth, elders, women to bring this to an end, and if this continues then in the nearest future we will have no generation, and all of us who have witnessed it in Lakes it has reached the killing of a youth in town so it is not for them alone now if we said they are local (gulweng) youth alone fighting and already the outcome of ignorance have reached us. There is no government for people now so let the people care for their own people now and there will be a time for the government of the people to come.

I’m calling for all the entire youth of the Agaar (Rumbek)community and Apaak (Yirol) community or lakes, in general, to say enough is enough for

-Clans conflicts

-Revenge killings

-Road ambushes

-Cattle raiding or cattle thefts etc

-Violates against women

-Early marriages

We have lost enough people in all those unnecessary wars. We have that capacity that can bring all these to an end. I’m not just giving you this piece of history to just read but to do something at your capacity as an individual to make Lakes great again. God bless lakes and South Sudan.

 

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