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KUAJOK - 13 May 2021

Workshop on the joint mobile court underway in Warrap

Participants at the workshop. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]
Participants at the workshop. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

A 4-day workshop on the Joint Special Mobile Court, established to try cases of murder, rape, among others in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states commenced on Tuesday in Kuajok, Warrap state.

The workshop has drawn about 40 participants composed of prosecutors, mobile judges, chiefs, and director generals of both local governments for Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

The president of the court, Justice John Yel Aleu said the court was established on February 16, 2021, by the governments of the two states to handle conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. 

"The court is dealing with criminal cases like rape, cattle raiding, theft or any violence that is happening between two communities of Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal and this is our jurisdiction as mobile court body," he said.

Yel pointed out that more than 900 cases are pending and no arrests have been made. 

"The assessment was made by judges in Tonj North, Mapel, and Kuarjena and the finding is 1,000 cases of different categories but on the ground, the report will be different," he said.

For his part, Emilio Fada Alexander, the director-general for Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency in Western Bahr el Ghazal state said, "The joint co+urt is concerning all of us and more especially the neighboring states to Western Bahr el Ghazal. We have come to make a solution so everyone must exert efforts to solve problems between cattle herders and farmers." 

UNMISS Senior Rule of Law Officer Douglass Hansen said the court infuses traditional and modern justice systems to address cattle-related crimes.

 "The establishment of Joint Special mobile court is a call from communities in the Marial-bai agreement and UNMISS is supporting it to bring honorable judges and chiefs to solve cattle migration violence in a comprehensive way," he said.

The workshop is sponsored by UNMISS under the Resilience Sustainability Reconciliation Trust Fund (RSRTF) Project and the workshop.