A facilitator from the Community Aid for Relief and Development (CARD) organization taking participants through a session on conflict sensitivity in Tambura County of Western Equatoria State. Photo Credit: CARD
Western Equatoria State is recovering from a deadly wave of inter-communal violence that broke out early last year between the predominant Zande Ethnic group and the Balanda from which the current state governor hails. What started as a political disagreement between individual politicians from the state soon turned into an inter-ethnic conflict between the Zande and Balanda in Tambura County of WES. There were early warning signs before the conflict started but this escaped the attention of authorities due to the lack of conflict sensitivity amongst the state leadership and response institutions such as the police, local chiefs, and faith-based leader, making the conflict inevitable in the end. As a result of this challenge, South Sudan CEWERU through its early warning system with support from the Rapid Response Fund of IGAD’s Conflict Early Warning and Early Response Mechanism (CEWARN) is putting in place mechanisms to sensitize community leaders in WES to avoid a repeat of the 2021 violence.