USAID this week handed over five speedboats to South Sudan’s Jonglei State government, to help state authorities deter threats to community security in a part of South Sudan that has experienced significant intercommunal violence this year, and where roads are extremely limited. During August alone, at least 600 people were killed in fighting between the Murle and the Lou Nuer communities in Jonglei State, according to the United Nations.

By providing these speedboats along with accessories including lifejackets and 25 barrels of fuel to the state Ministry of Local Government and county authorities, USAID will further enhance the government’s capacity to reach isolated counties and deter emerging community security threats.

Due to limited road infrastructure and rains that flood the area for many months of the year, many payams (sub-county administrative units) are cut off from county headquarters, which are themselves isolated from the state capital, Bor. River transport is often the only means to reach remote areas in the rainy season.

“We know that there is an inextricable link between peace and development,” Deputy Mission Director Peter Natiello told the crowd assembled at the Nile River in Bor as the boats were delivered to the state government. “And we know that the development that we seek to support the citizens of Jonglei with will not be possible unless we work together on the security issues, to help achieve peace. We’re happy to support the efforts of the local government in Jonglei.”

Read more about USAID’s efforts to prevent conflict in the newly independent nation of South Sudan, including USAID’s transition strategy.