REPORT OF VISIT TO NYAL AND GANGLIEL IN PREPARATION FOR THE COMING NUER – DINKA CONFERENCE (WEST BANK)
By: Rev. Mathew M. Deang
Justice & Peace Coordinator
I left Nairobi on 12th October 1998 for Lokichoggio. I spent 5 days in Loki waiting for transport to Nyal. I went to Nyal on October 17th 1998. On my arrival in Nyal I was welcome by both the Presbyterian and Catholic Christians. After greetings at the airstrip. I was taken to RASS compound for accommodation, because the Church compound has been taken over by the floods, also the PRDA compound is occupied by W.F.P people who are repairing Nyal airstrip.
On 19th October 1998, I had a meeting with the administrative authority of Nyal, attended by the following personalities:
It should be noted that Dinka sent back six (6) Nuer captives and the Nuer were collecting Dinka captives to be returned to Dinka land. By the time I was visiting Nyal, four (4) Dinka captives were taken back to Dinka lands. They should have been returned earlier but the arrangement was disrupted by the attack on Leer by Paulino Matip Mhiaal’s Militia on 29th June 1998, July 17th and September 25th 1998. Dinka bordering Nyal, Ganyliel and Leer are very friendly due the Peace Conference conducted in Lokichoggio during June 1998.
Also by the time I left the area, the children of a Dinka man called James Magok were ready to be taken back to Dinka. They were six (6) children plus their mother. They were to be exchanged with three (3) Nuer children who were in the Dinka land with the same man James Magok. The names of the Nuer Children are :
Dinka children names who are in the Nuer land are:
The chiefs and community leaders also recommended very strongly that exchange visits, which were recommended during the June conference, must be done before the major Nuer-Dinka Peace Conference. Two Chiefs from the Nuer side should go and visit Dinka land and two Dinka Chiefs should go and visit the Nuer land as soon as possible. The two from Nuer are:
1) Isaac Magok Gatluak of Leer
2) Peter Nyuong Danhier of Nyal
They asked NSCC to carry out this if possible. Concerning the Western Nuer sub-tribes reconciliation: It is not possible now because of insecurity in the areas. But a preparation process leading to hold a conference is going on.
While in the area of Western Upper Nile following situation was reported.
The summary of people affected by insecurity and flood are as follow:-
95% of the people in Leer, Koch, Duar, Nhial Diew and Mankien are due to insecurity.
75% of the people in Payinjar district south of Leer area of Nyal and Gangliel are due to flooding, the villages concerned are Gakal, Youb, Palual, Tharbar, Nyadoung, Pathiel and Luali.
Towns considered requiring assistance in order of priority are
Fish and wild vegetables are the major sources of food. There is report of some house holds having started bartering their livestock for grain at Adok port with traders coming from Malakal.
There is no health services in the areas of Leer, Koch, Duar and Nhial Diu. While there is an acute health need such as relapsing fever and scabies that are affecting the population, the main ailments are relapsing fever which has killed mainly pregnant women and children and also scabies and Malaria. While I was in Nyal one person died of relapsing fever. Malnutrition rates were reported to be very high in Nyal. About three hundred and eighty (380) malnutrition children are in feeding centres.
The immediate priority as expressed by the people are food, drugs (human and vet) non-food items are mosquito nets and fishing tools, education materials and constructing tools and seeds and tools are expressed to be their long term needs.