SOUTH SUDAN / CROSS-BORDER PASTORALISTS CONFERENCE

25-Jul-2019 00:02:46
Nomadic pastoralists and a host farming community in Al-Gelhak in South Sudan’s Northern Upper Nile area, have resolved to share land and water points at a cross-border migration conference, following long-standing disagreements and frequent conflicts over land and water. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / CROSS-BORDER PASTORALISTS CONFERENCE
TRT: 02:43
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH /ARABIC /NATS
DATELINE: 25 JULY 2019, AL GELHAK, SOUTH SUDAN

SHORTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Al Gelhak venue of the conference
2. Wide shot, host community and pastoral community dance
3. Med shot, dance for peace and co-existence
4. Med shot, a host community woman signing document
5. Med shot, local county commissioner signing document
6. Med shot, a Falata pastoralist representative signing document
7. Close up, signed document
8. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdalla Bilal Adam Ahmed, Arab migrant pastoralist:
“The resolutions that we agreed upon and passed, if really followed and implemented, then there won’t be any problem again from our side as nomads so the [resolution] is a witness between us and our brothers in South Sudan.”
9. Pan right, host community of Al Gelhak and pastoral community
10. Close up, face
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Achan Alieu, local resident:
“The conflicts happen as a result of the cows crossing into our farm land and destroying our crops. If the cows move out of the farms, we don’t have problem because the crops are what we survive on, and that is where conflict starts and people fight.”
12. Med shot, host participants
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Tor Ajak, Commissioner of Al Gelhak, Northern Upper Nile:
“How can we co-exist? It is only when there is security and by protecting yourselves, then it is your responsibility. If any problem arises between you [pastoralist] and the defender [host community], don’t shoot and don’t create any problem with them.”
14. Wide shot, UNMISS and local officials
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Jinnah Nyallay, Civil Affairs Officer, UNMISS:
“Together we shall continue to work and make sure that we achieve peaceful intercommunal relations between the visiting nomads from Sudan and the local host community in South Sudan, in northern Upper Nile state specifically.”
16. Med shot, participants clapping hands
17. Tracking shot, Al Gelhak tukuls
18. Wide shot, cattle of the pastoralist crossing road in Al Gelhak
19. Wide shot, cattle
20. Wide shot, cattle

STORYLINE:

Nomadic pastoralists and a host farming community in Al-Gelhak in South Sudan’s Northern Upper Nile area, have resolved to share land and water points at a cross-border migration conference, following long-standing disagreements and frequent conflicts over land and water.

Representatives of two feuding pastoral communities from Sudan dance in celebration of a freshly signed grazing agreement, which will allow them to live peacefully with their host community in South Sudan.

For years, these pastoral communities have grazed their animals in Al Gelhak, a remote town in northern South Sudan. The attraction of lush pastoral lands, fed by the rainy season, entices the pastoralists to travel long distances with their animals. However, over time, disagreements have developed between the pastoral Arab and Falata tribes - and also between the pastoralists and their host communities in South Sudan.

At a cross border conference, held near grazing lands next to the Nile, the two groups signed an agreement resolving a number of contentious issues. These issues include reducing taxes charged by the host communities; vaccinations for the pastoralists’ animals, respect for the norms and traditions of host communities by the nomadic tribes; ensuring grazing is conducted in designated areas; and the formation of a peace committee to prevent further conflict.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdalla Bilal Adam Ahmed, Arab migrant pastoralist:
“The resolutions that we agreed upon and passed, if really followed and implemented, then there won’t be any problem again from our side as nomads so the [resolution] is a witness between us and our brothers in South Sudan.”

While the local community in Al Gelhak remain concerned about the presence of the visiting nomads, they are prepared to give the agreement a chance.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Achan Alieu, local resident:
“The conflicts happen as a result of the cows crossing into our farm land and destroying our crops. If the cows move out of the farms, we don’t have problem because the crops are what we survive on, and that is where conflict starts and people fight.”

Local authorities are pleased with the progress made and have some advice for participants in the conference.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Tor Ajak, Commissioner of Al Gelhak, Northern Upper Nile:
“How can we co-exist? It is only when there is security and by protecting yourselves, then it is your responsibility. If any problem arises between you [pastoralist] and the defender [host community], don’t shoot and don’t create any problem with them.”

Since 2017, regional and local authorities, supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), have been engaging the pastoral and host communities to resolve their differences.

SOUNDBITE (English) Jinnah Nyallay, Civil Affairs Officer, UNMISS:
“Together we shall continue to work and make sure that we achieve peaceful intercommunal relations between the visiting nomads from Sudan and the local host community in South Sudan, in northern Upper Nile state specifically.”

If respected, the agreement will allow the age-old seasonal migratory exodus of the nomadic pastoralist Arabs and the Falata families to continue, from north to south, as they search for precious grazing land and water sources. Only now, their movements will be controlled and monitored by South Sudanese authorities to reduce conflict and inter-communal tensions.

The local community will also continue to benefit from this traditional practice, including buying cows, sheep, goats and milk from the nomads.
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