Lainya County, Central Equatoria
2016 population projection: 122,928
Major population centers: Lainya and Kupera Payams are the county’s most populous, accounting for 54 percent of the population.
Major ethnic group: Pajulu
There is low risk of internal displacement but the county received a significant influx of IDPs from Juba at the onset of fighting and in late 2015, due to conflict in neighboring counties (mainly Wonduruba and Katigiri).
Economy & livelihoods
A 2013 IOM survey found that 48 percent of the population relied on farming and 42 percent on livestock for their livelihoods. Main crops cultivated include sorghum, groundnut, maize and cassava. During the dry season, residents also engage in small scale hunting and fishing. The County is part of the country’s greenbelt and experiences sufficient rainfall for agriculture.
Cattle-related conflict has been a source of insecurity in Lainya. For example, Mundari peoples from neighboring counties, including Terekeka, reportedly graze their cattle in Lainya County which has led to conflict with local peoples. In January 2013 Terekeka County’s deputy chairperson visited Lainya to urge fellow Mundari to take their cattle camps home. However, movement of Mundari herds into Lainya does not appear to have stopped.
IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016
Lainya is classified as “Stressed” for this time period. According to the WFP-led Annual Needs and Livelihood Analysis 2014-2015 report, the food security situation had improved within the reporting period, with a surplus of 8,395 tons of cereal in 2015.
Lainya County has not been a center of fighting in the national conflict but has seen pockets of violence and received IDPs from more turbulent areas.
The County has remained under SPLA control since the outbreak of fighting, but sporadic clashes continued between government and various militia groups throughout 2015, which caused internal displacement. In August, forces believed to be under the control of Riek Machar launched a surprise attack against the town before withdrawing (no casualties reported). In September, perhaps in retaliation, government troops reportedly targeted civilians whom they suspected of supporting opposition groups by burning homes and looting stores. The problem is reportedly difficult to resolve because the troops deployed in the area are outside the regular command and control structure. Tensions and suspicion reportedly continue between government forces and the local community.
In the aftermath of December 2013 fighting in neighboring Juba, 4,554 IDPs arrived in Lainya County – the majority of which previously lived in the capital. Hundreds of Nuer family members of soldiers who had defected in favor of Riek Machar’s cause had also fled the city. Reportedly roughly 100 Nuer people sought the protection of the Lainya county commissioner in January 2014. The County is also among those in Central Equatoria State which received an influx of IDPs following the outbreak of violence in Western Equatoria State beginning in May 2015. Reports also indicate an estimated 11,000 civilians fled into Lainya County or the bush in September owing to fighting in Wonduruba and Katigiri, according to media reports.
The new arrivals included heavily armed cattle herders from conflict-affected Jonglei State (though the majority who fled to Central Equatoria headed to Magwi County). In March 2014, a senior government official warned that the arrivals in Lainya and Terekeka counties were driving their animals onto farmland and destroying crops.
Geography & logistics
Kenyi, Kupera, Lainya, Mukaya, Wuji
Lainya County is hilly, with many streams and valleys. It is home to Mount Gumbiri, which with its 915m summit is the highest peak in Central Equatoria State.
Lainya is located in the middle of primary road running between Juba to its northeast and Yei to its southwest. Road conditions are relatively good, providing all season access for vehicles including trailers (>20 metric tons). There is also a secondary road which connects Lainya to Jambo town in neighboring Mundri East County. The initial segment out of Lainya town is passable year round for vehicles up to 20 metric tons in all seasons but beyond Tukudungwen it is accessible only in the dry season for 4WD (<3.5 metric tons). A number of deadly ambushes along the Lainya-Wonduruba road at the end of 2015 made the road impassable for some time.
All season fixed-wing airstrips
None. Closest airfields are in neighboring counties, specifically Yei, Kajo-Keji and Juba.
Information last updated: 26/08/16
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