Terekeka County, Central Equatoria
2016 population projection: 198,810
Major population centers: Tali Payam is the most populous, followed by Terekeka and Reggo Payams
Major ethnic group: Mundari
No large No large cale displacement, No large scale displacement but some residents forced to flee owing to sporadic clashes. The county also received a significant number of IDPs from neighboring conflict-affected states.
Economy & livelihoods
The Mundari tribe are traditionally pastoralists but also engage in subsistence farming, foraging and fishing. As is customary in many parts of South Sudan, though the Mundari keep herds of cattle, they are slaughtered only in emergencies and the prized animals are instead kept for milk and as a sign of status. Cattle raids and reprisal attacks between Mundari people and neighboring communities have been a longstanding problem.
There is potential for farming but the majority of the population still carries out production at subsistence level, owing to various conflict factors. The main crops are sorghum, maize, sesame and beans. Conditions are also ideal for largescale groundnut production. In April and May, when little other food is available, people also forage the bush for wild vegetables including green leaves, tubers and fruit. Several humanitarian projects in the area have focused on encouraging greater use of fishery resources. Terekeka has abundant aquaculture resources, but an Integrated Food Security Classification (IPC) survey found that just 4 percent of households said they relied on fish as a food source. Traditionally, the Mundari people looked down on fishing as a means of income, but this could be changing as the sector creates employment not just for fishermen but also those providing associated services (refrigeration, transport etc).
IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016
Terekeka County 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 in the county had deteriorated within the reporting period, with a deficit of 6,532 tons of cereal in 2015. The decline in food security was due to adverse weather and lower seed rates (needed to replant).
After conflict erupted in Juba in December 2013, a wave of SPLA defectors swept out of the city and through Terekeka County’s Gameiza and Mangala Payams. They raided villages for livestock, food and seeds, which exacerbated the already dire food security situation in the area. Thousands of residents were displaced and sought refuge in the islands of the Nile River or bush around the JubaBor highway. By May 2014 they still had not returned home owing to fears for their safety. Approximately 2,000 IDPs from Jonglei State had also arrived in Terekeka’s Tombek payam by March 2014, where they reportedly lived in harmony with local populations. The county received an estimated 9,000 IDPs, mainly from Jonglei and Upper Nile states, by May 2014, according to the county commissioner.
There has been no major fighting between Government and Opposition forces in Terekeka, however skirmishes between the SPLA and local armed groups have occurred. The conflict is related to President Kiir’s decision to split Central Equatoria State into three, as part of his move to establish 28 states in December 2015. The initiative was reportedly highly unpopular among the Mundari as they perceived it as a curb on their influence. State governors have traditionally come from the Mundari tribe, and the new borders limit the Mundari tribe to governing their own, smaller district, around Terekeka. This dispute has resulted in heightened tensions in the area. In January 2016, thousands of armed Mundari youth reportedly closed off the TerekekaRumbek road to traffic (which also cuts off a main transport link between Juba and Greater Bahr el Ghazal), though it is unclear what their specific requests were.
The new state borders have been a source of contention. Both newlycreated Jubek and Terekeka states claimed the new Mangala County, which lies along the proposed border of the two states. The county was eventually classified as under Jubek’s administration. In May 2016, fighting broke out between SPLA forces and what were most likely Mundari militia during the inauguration ceremony for the new county government. Approximately 1,200 people were displaced as a result of the clashes, which resulted in the deaths of three government soldiers and one civilian. Senior officials also said Mundari militia also attacked the SPLA at Koda the previous day, but provided no details.
There has been significant conflict over cattle grazing rights, including as cattle camps from Jonglei and Lakes States enter Terekeka County in search of grazing land. There has been ethnic conflict between the Dinka and Mundari herders. Deadly cattle raids and conflict arising from destruction of farmland by cattle have been increasing and will likely continue.
Geography & logistics
Gameiza, Nyori, Mangala North, Muni, Reggo, Rijong, Tali, Terekeka, Tombek, Tindilo
There are both low lying swamps which provide grazing in the dry season and fish in the wet season (flooding in the wet season), as well as areas with less fertile, sandy soils at higher elevation. The northern part of the county is part of the Ironstone Plateau livelihood zone and the southern portion, the Hills and Mountains zone. The county enjoys sufficient rainfall annually for agriculture. The Nile River runs down the eastern bank of Terekeka Town, and the islands on the Nile have also provided shelter for those seeking refuge from conflict. Lake Madi is located to the county’s west.
There is a primary road to Lakes State’s Awerial to its north and Juba to its south, as well as a secondary road heading west to Mundri East County. The roads to Awerial and Juba are open yearround to all vehicles. The road heading to Mundri East County is only open to 4WD (<3.5 metric tons) with unknown seasonal conditions.
All season fixed-wing airstrips
None; Magara, Juban, Gabur and Gell River Po airfields all in disuse according to a May 2013 Logistics Cluster update. The closest functioning airfield is Juba.
Information last updated: 26/08/16
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