Torit and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Before and just close to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Diocese witnessed some of the most fascist and bloodiest wars in living memories of the country. It was also a hideout for the outlawed Ugandan rebels, the Lord’s Resistance Army who carried out numerous raids and killing of innocent civilians of the area. The coming into force of the CPA witnessed a return to relative peace and security in the region with exception of intertribal tensions, mainly between the Dinka and the locals over land and cultural divides. The Dinka were displaced there at the height of the civil war and are heavily settled in Lobone, Owiny Kibul, Kapoeta, Natinga, Nadifal, new Site, New Cush, Ikotos and Nimule.

As one of the leading community based institutions on the ground the Diocese is a committed partner to the CPA. As recently as 3years ago the Diocese set up a Development and Relief Department (DARD)which entered into partnership arrangement with the German eed under the umbrella of Action Africa Help International (AAH-I)and also the UNHCR. This agency assisted implementing education, Health and livelihood projects in Eastern equatorial State.

It managed 8 primary schools, 20 health centers, and offerered some technical assistance to returnees and the farming community.

In the last three months the number of returnees to the diocese has increased by about 300,000 putting pressure on existing infrastructures and social services evidenced by inter-ethnic and tribal tensions. Taking into account the agency’s experience of working with the returnees and the displaced communities we have noted with great concern the urgent need to address this matter. The existence of the intertribal conflicts and cattle rustling poses a bottle neck to the realization of the dividend from the CPA and which in turn threatens the very survival and livelihood of these people. Experience shows that this trend of migration and settlement pattern if left unchecked can result in contagious ethnic cleansing with serious consequences for National and regional Security.