Mayiendit County, Unity
2016 population projection: 77,212
Major population centers: Mayendit, Rupkuai and Madol towns
Major ethnic group: Nuer (Adok clan)
There has been significant displacement within Mayendit County throughout the conflict, as it has been a major site of conflict. Local sources reported that the County was hosting approximately 33,000 IDPs in March 2014, however an IRNA team could not verify the numbers.
Economy & livelihoods
Residents practice agro pastoralism and also supplement their diets through fishing and foraging. According to a 2013 IOM assessment, 36 percent of the population relies on agriculture, 36 percent livestock rearing, and 27 percent fishing for their livelihoods. The main crops raised in this area are maize, and long and short maturing sorghum. Sorghum is the staple cereal. Vegetables such as cowpeas, pumpkin and okra are also cultivated. People also keep cattle, sheep and goats. The plentiful rivers, swamps and water courses provide an import source of nutrition in the dry season. Wild produce in the area which residents also consume include laloub nuts, dolieb palm nuts, leau nuts and water lilies. Selling charcoal, firewood, grass and labor is also a livelihood activity.
Livelihood activities were seriously disrupted as Mayendit County was a site of major fighting between the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A IO from 2013 2015. Humanitarian agencies estimated that the majority of residents did not cultivate crops at all in 2015 due to insecurity and displacement.
IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016
The County is classified as “Emergency” for this time period. According to the Annual Needs and Livelihood Analysis 2014 2015** report, the County had a deficit of 6,208 tons of cereal in 2015.
Dominant Control during conflict: SPLA IO
Mayendit, along with other southern Unity counties, was predominantly a SPLA IO stronghold throughout the national conflict which began in 2013. Opposition forces maintained control of the County throughout the first year of conflict and by January 2015 had instituted a system of governance, which was essentially a military administration. In early 2015, the SPLA IO recruited heavily among the populations of Mayendit, Leer and Panyijiar in preparation for predicted intensive fighting during the dry season. Some youth reportedly volunteered to join the Opposition, however it is believed forced recruitment also took place. The multi pronged SPLA offensive against SPLA IO positions in Southern Unity beginning in May 2015 did not eradicate SPLA IO presence in Mayendit County. SPLA forces attacked the county (and Panyijiar County) from Maper in Lakes state however the SPLA IO chose to retreat instead of engaging. As a result, once government forces withdrew the Opposition was able to once again establish a presence in southern Unity.
Government allied youth groups and SPLA elements reportedly continued to attack civilians in October 2015. It also appears skirmishes between Government and SPLA IO forces have continued into 2016. For example in March 2016 SPLA elements in coordination with armed youth conducted cattle raids in Mayendit which led to a skirmish with Opposition forces, during which seven government soldiers were killed.
Mayendit experienced significant displacement due to the presence of fighting between the two main warring sides from 2013 2015. Local sources reported that the county was hosting approximately 33,000 IDPs by March 2014, however this figure could not be verified by an IRNA team at the time.
Geography & logistics
Bor, Dablual, Luom, Maal, Pabuong, Rubkuay, Thaker, Tharjiath, Tutnyang
The eastern half of the County belongs to the Nile Sobat Rivers livelihood zone and the western half falls under the Western Flood Plains zone. The County has flat plains with a mix of savannah grassland, bushes and forest. The eastern areas of the county have permanent swamps and grasslands which flood in the rainy season, though flooding is also common in the Western Flood Plains zone. The soil in the County’s western areas is black clay and the eastern areas are black cotton soils. Both types of soil are suitable for cultivating a variety of crops but flooding often becomes an impediment to agricultural activities. Areas around Rubkuay and Tharjiath payams are prone to flooding, with rivers also flowing through those areas.
A primary road runs roughly vertically through the County, connecting its main towns including Mayom to Koch County at its north and Rumbek North County (Lakes State) at its south. The road also branches off to connect to Leer. Apart from a segment near Madol town, the road is only passable in the dry season. However, it is open to all vehicles. A secondary road also runs south out of Mayendit to connect to Nyal town in Panyijar County. It is only accessible by 4WD (<3.5 metric tons) with unknown seasonal conditions.
All season fixed-wing airstrips
None. Airfields at Madol, Pabuoung and Dablual were marked as not in current use as of a 2013 Logistics Cluster map. Mayendit town is accessible by helicopter.
Information last updated: 26/08/16
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