UNISFA welcomes outcome of the Ngok and Twic Peace Conference in Wau
Abyei, 20 April 2023 - The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei UNISFA welcomes efforts by the Ngok Dinka and Twic Dinka communities to find a peaceful resolution to the intercommunal violence that has threatened the peace and security in the southern part of the Abyei Box and northern Warrap State of South Sudan. From 3 to 6 April, representatives from both communities including women and youth, leaders and politicians participated in the Inter-Communal Peace Conference in Wau, South Sudan. The event was organised and facilitated by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Concordis and IOM, with support from FAO, UNDP, UNISFA and UNMISS.
The communities agreed on the cessation of hostilities, unhindered movement along the roads including for humanitarian assistance, and a return of the communities displaced as a result of the conflict as well as the removal of fighters not belonging to either community. The four-day meeting agreed to refer contentious issues to the government of South Sudan. Leaders from neighbouring communities who attended the meeting echoed calls for peaceful coexistence.
UNISFA congratulates both communities – members and leaders, chiefs and paramount chiefs, politicians and MPs, women and youth representatives – for having continued on the path towards peace, following last year’s meetings and engagements, and to have spent a week in dialogue together to discuss how to implement the “President’s Four Points”, that they have agreed on three points and referred, under the guidance of the Governor of Warrap and the Civil Administrator of Abyei, the fourth point of a “buffer zone” to the responsible authorities at the South Sudan national security level and Presidency.
UNISFA urges the two parties to adhere to the outcome of the meeting and to continue engaging constructively in order to resolve their differences. This is crucial to ease tension and ensure sustainable peace and security in Abyei and northern South Sudan.
We wish to stress that any allegations that UNISFA is supporting one party of the conflict are unfounded and baseless. They are rooted in misinformation and disinformation, which can undermine the peace process. UNISFA remains impartial and is fully committed to the implementation of its mandate and shall continue to prioritize the Protection of Civilians (POC).
The Mission will, nevertheless, continue to support the peace process between the Ngok Dinka and Twic Dinka, through engagement with the communities and political leaders.
We wish to reiterate UNISFA’s continued readiness to meet with Ngok Dinka and Twic Dinka community representatives and politicians on all levels to listen to any potential concerns and questions and provide comprehensive and transparent information on its mandate, activities and the rules and regulations under which it operates.
UNISFA voices its support to the proposal, from the Governor of Warrap and the Chief Administrator of Abyei, to establish a joint committee – with the two communities and peace partners (incl. UNISFA and UNMISS) – to meet with H.E. President Kiir and the political and security leadership of South Sudan to convey the community ideas and concerns regarding the “buffer zones” as well as the peace partners’ inputs and hopes that such a meeting could be held soon, to capitalize on the current peace-making momentum.