COMPILED AND PRESENTED
BY JUOL NHOMNGEK GEC,
JUBA SOUTH SUDAN
This Summary of the report is about the people killed in communal violence in Cueibet County. The report covers the two-year period 2019 to January 2021.
The data of the people killed in communal violence in Cueibet County is not the complete report of the people who have been killed there over the two years but it is the summary only as the full report will be published in the due course.
The report is structured as follows: the first part is introduction, the second part is the population as it was reported in 2008 and the estimate as it was projected in 2020, the third part is geographical location and size, fourth is the ethnic groups occupying Cueibet County, the fifth part is economy and livelihoods, the sixth part is the Communal Violence and those killed as a result, the seventh part is adminstrative units, the eighth part is conclusion and recommendations and then followed by references. I will begin in that order.
- Population of 2008 and 2020
The population of Cueibet County in Sudan Population Census of 2008 was reported to be 117,755 people. However, this population in 2020 projection to 173,715 people. This means that the population growth of Cueibet County between 2008 and 2020, which is the period of twelve (12) years is about 55, 960 and average of 4,663.3 per year.
The population density of Cueibet County according to 2008 Population Census was 24.40. It should however be noted that the counting of the people in Cueibet to reach the above population was based on those present in the County only but not those who were outside the County when the counting took place. This takes me to the third part of this report.
- Geographical location and size
Cueibet County is one of the eight counties of Lakes State. It is located in the Western Lakes State (Rumbek) in the Bahr el Ghazal region in South Sudan. Its Area in Square Kilometers is 4, 823. 60 as per estimate of ,2008 Sudan population Census.
Geographically Cueibet County orders Rumbek Centre in the East, Rumbek North in the North-east, Warrap State (Tonj East in the North, Tonj South to the west to the North-west and West), Western Equatoria to the Southwest and the South and Wulu County to the South-east.
What is covered here are not exact border location as the minute details of the exact borders as in 1955 are compiled in the full report. This takes me to the next part.
- Ethnic groups occupying Cueibet County since 1956
Cueibet County was turned into Adminstrative Unit in 1937 according to the British Policy of South Sudan separation from the North though it was not completely independent like its status as a county today. It was part of Rumbek District.
The borders that were created in 1937 in accordance with Closed Doors Ordinances of 1920s when the British introduced the Policy of separating Southern Sudan from the North. It was through this policy when the British created Administrative units of South Sudan.
When the British created Administrative Units, Cueibet was created as one of the Administrative Units occupied by three Ethnic groups and languages. These ethnic groups were: Dinka Gok‘, Jur Bel or Belli and Bongo. This has been confirmed by Sudan Notes and Records Vol. 12 of 1929 at Page 3. In this Page,
In the page referred to above, Sudan Notes and Records states that the section of Bongo who escaped from the Arab slavery ran to the country of either zande or Dinka Country. …one Colony of Bongo was by then living amongst the Gok Dinka at Gok el Hassan to the East of Djur Ghattas (Tonj) though the Sudan Notes and Records reports that they preserve their nationality. The Sudan Notes and Records further discusses the presence of Beli in Cueibet County in the South East. This takes me to the fifth part of this report.
- Economic and Livelihoods
Cueibet county according to geography falls within two livelihood zones, i.e.: the ironstone plateau agro-pastoral and Western floodplain sorghum and cattle (according to FEWSNET 2018).
Being partly agro-pastoral soil, the cattle keeping is part of lives among the Gok Dinka. Hence, cattle herding and subsistence farming are the predominant means of livelihood for Cueibet County residents.
One of the reports stated that it was estimated in 2018 that 88% of households engage in agriculture (FAO & WFP 2018). Residents grow cereal such as maize and sorghum, and local vegetables such as kudra. in 2020, the State Ministry of Agriculture reports the widespread use of ox-ploughs in the county, which allows residents to obtain higher crop yields when compared to hand cultivation (FAO 2020).
The presence of the Bahr Gel River provides opportunities for fishing. It should therefore be noted that in there were stable security, the famine and hunger which are rampant now due to Communal Violence would have been the things of the past.
In fact, if there is peace in Cueibet County, the food production can increase and Cueibet can become the breadbasket of Lakes State if not the whole of Bahr El Ghazal if not the whole of South Sudan. During the liberation war of South Sudan between 1983 and 2005, Cueibet County was the Centre of the SPLM/A due to its high productivity and its loyalty to the Movement.
However, today Cueibet County is the least county which has the sanctuary of insecurity where citizens are killed on daily basis as seen in the extract of the data of those killed in the Communal Violence in part 6 below.
- Communal Violence and those who have been killed as a result of it
In Cueibet County, killings are very ramoant. Since 2019 to date about five people are killed in each week Grassroots violence, including clashes related to cattle raiding, represents the predominant challenge to people’s livelihoods in County. It has played a disruptive role in the economy.
Violent cattle raids and their associated revenge attacks force people from their homes as people are killed indiscriminately and houses are burnt down. This has interrupted cultivation. The people of Cueibet do not sleep at night as Attackers often loot valuable food stocks from those they are targeting at night.
The Communal Violence since 2019 has become worse as a day or if it has stayed long, a week cannot be passed without a person reported killed. The summary of those reported below killed does not represent the total number of people killed in Cueibet since 2019. The examples are given below:
On July 5, 2019, armed youth from Western Lakes attacked Alel Village in Cueibet and killed seven (7) people and injured three others. The attack was reported to be in retaliation to an earlier cattle raid carried out by Gok youth on Western Lakes State (Radio Tamazuj, 12 July 2019).
On August 31, 2019 in Gok State, South Sudan People Defense Forces-SSPDF soldiers who were taking cattle to the State Capital, Cueibet were abused by the cattle keeper’s armed youth of which eight soldiers and two youth died as a result.
On December 25, 2019, the Christmas Day, cattle raiders attacked traders with large herds of cattle in Madiriya in Gok State. Six traders were killed, 12 injured and 1, 400 heads of cattle were raised. The issue of raiding traders who deal in cows’ business has continued from 2019 to date. It has affected the business involving cows.
On December 2,8, 2019 clashes between Gok and Manuer sections of Pakam Community in Maper Town flared up again and 23 persons were killed.
In January 2020, fifteen (15) people were killed and seven were wounded in Cueibet County when armed youth from Duony Payam raided cattle from Cueibet Payam. The cattle raiders then shot at the raiders killing 15 instantly and wounded seven others.
In March 2020, Inmate Goljok Makuac Abdalla was shot and killed while he was going to Cueibet Hospital for treatment from Prison. He was killed by the unknown gunman.
The killings continued between January and May 2020 though I have not yet got more details about those killings. On June 28, 2020, the Ambulance Driver that was transporting an injured person to Cueibet Town Hospital was killed. The Driver was working with the International NGO.
At Amerhduol Village in Abiriu Payam, Cueibet County, on July 11, 2020 , Seven SSPDF soldiers raped two women and a 10-year old girl. Two perpetrators were reportedly arrested (ACLED) though up to date we have not heard about the case to be presented in the court.
On September 1, 2020, three people were killed and among them was First Lieutenant Athian Theem, Tutpuou Mamer Malok and Mabil Marial Mading. The report about the killers is not clear whether they were later arrested or not.
On Thursday, September 24, 2020 about five people were killed between Pagok and Ayiel sections in the outskirt of Agangrial. The fighting that resulted into killing was caused by cattle raids at Guaru Cattle Camp. The fighting resulted when one person was killed on the side of Pagok section on that day which Ayiel youth went to raid the cattle there.
On September 25, 2020, eight people were killed in Agangrial Area. The fighting erupted when a youth stole a goat but instead he shot a woman that led to the full-scale war that later left 8 people dead. The report has it that the youth from Duony was the one who tried to steal the goat but instead shot the woman dead. This led to the killing of five women and three others.
On October 23, 2020, the Veterinary Doctor, Chol Mawan working in Cueibet was ambushed and killed on his way from Cueibet County to Rumbek Centre. He was VSF Vet.
On Wednesday, December 11, 2020, a fight erupted between Waat and Joth and later joined by other sections of the Gok community in Mayath Payam. The clashes were triggered by the killing of a prison officer, Captain Makol Mathiang, by one of Pagor section in Mayath Payam. Captain Makol Mathiang was hailed from the Waat section of Pagor Payam. The fighting resulted into killing of 15 people in total and 28 people were wounded.
On the day of December 11, 2020, Dr. Chol Maker Luk from Agar section who was traveling from Wau to Rumbek through Cueibet County was killed at Amerhduol Village in Abiriu Payam Cueibet County. The motivation for killing was revenge.
Cueibet, like the rest of Lakes State, also experiences annual flooding that became worse in 2020. During the rainy season, parts of the county’s north such as Tiaptiap, Pagor and Chitchok payams are cut off from the rest of the county as the nearby Bahr Gel River overflows, which can inhibit access to markets and trigger movements of pastoralist groups further south.
On January 1, 2021, suspects reported to be from Pagor and Duong Payams killed a Sub-chief, Athugi Atool, and raided 56 head of cattle in Agangrial village of Ngap Payam. Athugi Atool was from the Jurbeli section of Ngap Payam,
On January 9, 2021, Captain Bith Malok Manak was killed by armed civilians while he was traveling from Pagor Payam to Mayath Payam. He was working in CID Department under South Sudan National Police Service, -SSNPS.
On January 17, 2021, fresh revenge attacks among the Gok community in Cueibet County of Lakes State led to the deaths of two children. The children aged 8 and 9 years old from the Ayiel and Waat sections of the Gok community respectively were killed in the Alel area and along the road to Pagor Payam. The names of the two children were Dau Makur Dau and Machiek Anei Majuec.
On January 23, 2021, the Executive iin Pajul Section, Abiriu Payam Cueibet County was killed when he was trying to save his cows fr being stolen by thieves.
The above incidences of killings are not full report as the Insecurity in Lakes State in general and in Cueibet County in particular has reached disproportionate level. The insecurity has reached rgw extent where one has to kill to avoid being killed. Every youth walks around with the gun open ready to shoot. Keeping cows has become a license to death as anyone can kill anyone because of insecurity.
- Administrative Units of Cueibet County
In terms of Adminstrative Units, Cueibet is currently consisted of eight Payams and Constituencies. These Payams are: Mayath, Abiriu, Duony,, Pagor, Tiaptiap, Citcok, Malou-Pech and Ngap. The Payams that need roads and hospitals are Duony, Pagor, Tiaptiap and Cueibet. These Payams and their people are more indeed than other Payams of Abiriu Mayath, Ngap and Malou Pec. The modern services and roads are absent from the four counties.
- Conclusion and Recommendations
Communal violence poses a severe threat to human security as it kills hundreds of the people in Cueibet County and thousands of people in Lakes State. There is need to control it. The comprehensive disarmament be undertaken followed by National reconciliation.
- CEPO. (2015). Lakes State Peace Conference Concluded. Retrieved from: http://cepo-southsudan.org/news/lakes-state-peace-conference-concluded
- FAO. (2020). Special Report – 2019 FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to the Republic of South Sudan. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/3/ca9282en/ca9282en.pdf
- FAO & WFP. (2018). Special Report: FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to South Sudan. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/ca3643EN/ca3643en.pdf
- FEWSNET. (2018). Livelihoods Zone Map and Descriptions for the Republic of South Sudan (Updated).
- OCHA. (2019). Humanitarian Needs Overview: South Sudan 2020.
- OCHA. (2020). Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan condemns killiong of an aid worker in Lakes and calls for an end to violence. Retrieved from: https://reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/humanitarian-coordinator-south-sudan-condemns-killing-aid-worker-lakes-and-calls
- Radio Tamazuj. (2020). 15 killed in fresh inter-clan clashes in Lakes. 21 May 2020. Retrieved from: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/15-killed-in-fresh-inter-clan-clashes-in-lakes
- REACH. (2019). Western Lakes Pop. Movement, Livelihoods and Food Security Profile. Retrieved from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/reach_ssd_profile_westernlakesstate_august2019.pdf
- Sudan Tribune. (2014). Death Toll Rises in Rumbek Clashes Between Pastoralists. Retrieved from: https://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51129
- UNDP. (2012). Community Consultation Report: Lakes State. Retrieved from: https://www.ss.undp.org/content/south_sudan/en/home.html
REPORTS on CUEIBET
- AVSI. (2017). Conflict Mapping Survey: Cueibet County, Lakes, South Sudan. Retrieved from https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www.humanitarianresponse.info/files/assessments/cueibet_county_conflict_mapping_survey_-_01_08_2017.pdf
- REACH. (2014). Conflict Analysis: Lakes, Northern Bahr El Gazhal and Warrap States.