The Kabarthe women started their group under a tree in 2017 in Manyirany, Pibor town, where they met twice a week to brainstorm how to approach conflict and improve social bonding among the Murle, Anyuak, Jie and Kachepo communities. Their approach quickly spread to other villages, including Likuangule, Berteth, Gumuruk, Manyabole and Jebel Boma.
Despite their best efforts, seasonal flooding and rainfall would disrupt the women's peacebuilding efforts. The new centre will specifically help the women and broader communities conduct time-sensitive peacebuilding activities regardless of weather conditions.
Age-set youth violence leads to retaliation and revenge killings, and all are common in the area. Following cycles of cattle raids and child abductions, social cohesion and reconciliation amongst neighbouring communities has fractured.
The Kabarthe women took up the challenge of disrupting this pattern. Together they advocate, amongst other things, for the disposal of weapons and the return of abducted children.
“If there is peace in the country, there shall be no fight between neighbors. If there is peace, children will grow up in a good way: they will go to school, they engage in farming, they will eat, and they will have peace of mind -- if there is peace in the country. This is the benefit of this centre, which we were looking for, so that we can have a space to converge and conduct our meetings,” said Joice Arkanyjilo, head of the Kabarthe Women’s Group and one of the managers of the new peace centre.