Dinka Malual, Luo and Misseriya Cattle Pre-migration Conference
Every year, at the onset of the dry season in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, the Misseriya, the Rezeigat of Eastern Darfur, and other pastoral communities, migrate from their original settlements in Sudan into South Sudan in search of water points and grazing grounds for their livestock, as well as trade opportunities with host communities.
This seasonal movement has been an integral part of the socio-economic inter-connectedness of both migrant and host societies for generations. The Dinka Malual, a border community in South Sudan, trade animals and purchase goods from the pastoralists at the markets along the border. However, with these opportunities, also come negative touchpoints like raids and other deadly disputes amongst the partisan communities, giving rise to cycles of intercommunal conflicts.
Led by the communities themselves, progress has been made to support peace coexistence through regular yearly pre- and post-migration peace conferences. The peace conferences serve as a forum to encourage communities to engage in locally led community-based dialogues that have potential to avert conflict and seek peaceful resolutions, instead of resorting to violent ways of resolving disputes. Under the patronage of the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission, UNDP supports these conferences in close collaboration with UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The 2020 migration season interrupted a trend of decreased violence and came with its unique set of challenges with the heightened inclusion of South Sudan’s Peoples Defence Force (SSPDF) soldiers as actors. Conflict involving Dinka Malual, Misseriya, Rezeigat, and the SSPDF ranked the season as one of the deadliest migration seasons in the past decade. In comparison, the 2019 migration season had reported no major incidents.