Leek Vs Jikany: a Resources Motivated Conflict

These two tribes of Leek in Rubkona and Jikany in Guit were engaged in deadly fights in 2007 leaving 21 people dead in spontaneous fights. The government led by former governor Lt. Taban Deng Gai a Jikany by tribe managed to quench the war temporarily. There were no resolutions put forth for the conflict to end, it was just daily doses of “do not fight, you are one people” or “this is the work of NCP!” or “wait the national government is planning to demarcate counties, communities borders, the problem will be solve soon and everybody will take its rights”. But there must be someone to pay the prices of the incidents to show that government or his Excellency the governor is serious, commissioner of that and this county is degreed out, dismissed!

In 2007, the two communities were asked to live peacefully side by side until the national government demarcates the tribal and clannish boundaries. Despite the promises to demarcate the boundaries, the boundaries were not demarcated and there are no signs of near future demarcations as long as the borders between South Sudan and Sudan are not demarcated.

Disputed areas by the two tribes:

Leek in Rubkona and Jikany in Guit have land problems with all their neighbors in the state. Leek have problem with Pariang to the north, and Guit to the east, they have problem with Koch in the south and Mayom in the west. Jikany of Guit has problems with Pariang in the north, with Rubkona in the west and Koch to south. These two communities have troubles all around, interestingly; they were under one chieftain and one county long time back. This joint history has contributed to complicating their conflict story. The conflict story goes like this: both communities calms ownership of these areas: 1) Yoaunyang Madersa 2) New Bentiu, south of Bentiu town, an extension of the town to accommodate the huge returnees to the state capital, 3) Suq Sabha, 4) Bentiu port.

Leek-Jikany conflict map

It is very clear that the two communities are mad for lands, more lands. However; there is no evident that the two communities were influenced by their politicians. Taban Deng Gai was the governor of Unity state when the two tribes fought in 2007, he managed to reprimand the two communities using the big man tone “stop fighting or I will wipe you all out of this land”! The two tribes obeyed the instruction especially when the instructions were mixed with the doses of promises that the borders demarcations between counties will solved the problem soon.

Another factor fueling this conflict is that, Bentiu port and Suq Sabha and Youanyang Madersa are good places for business; there is all kind of taxation in Bentiu port, the same thing for Suq Sabha, (7 market). For Youanyang, there is the Madersa, the school is a good reason to fight for here, New Bentiu is also good business place, the tribe who owns it can decide how to distribute plots to new comers and take the money.

Recent fighting has left 9 dead from the police and the SPLA and 3 from the Leek. No reports about how many have died from Jikany. Because the incident involved the security forces engaged fighting with the civilians, the reported number of victims are not convincing, there is lot of secrecy around the real number of death among the civilians as well as the soldiers. It was said in the town sittings that, there were 200 men armed to teeth who mobilized themselves to revenge on the killing of their fallen brothers on 19 November 2013 by Jikany.

As result of the fighting on 28/2013, Rev. Thomas Maluit, commissioner for Rubkona and Mr. James Liyliy governor security advisor for security affairs were dismissed from their positions.

Is the problem solved and finished? No, not solved and finish.


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