By Philip Buda Ladu
At least eight people have been shot death on Thursday evening 18th March 2021 in a sporadic shooting by suspected armed cattle keepers at a fishing camp along the Nile in Sokare Village of Kangapo One Payam of Kajo-Keji County in Central Equatoria state, authorities said Out of the eight people, five were South Sudanese Nationals and two Ugandan Nationals who were believed to have gone for fishing were killed by the suspected gunmen and one unidentified person, the Commissioner of Kajo-Keji County, Erasto Kenyi told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper via Phone yesterday. He said the shooting seemed like a revenge killing following reports of disappearance of two cattle keepers since last week.
The situation according to the commissioner became volatile when three other cattle herders sustained injuries after going in search of their lost colleagues. “On the 15th March 2021, certain report came to my office that around Sokare, there were two cattle keepers who went missing for almost two days and then their colleagues decided to go and look for them, and thereafter they fell into an ambush in which three were injured and the two injured were taken to Juba for treatment. So I am suspecting this incident to be kind of a revenge to two lost cattle keepers” Kenyi exclaimed. Kenyi who held an emergency meeting after receiving the shooting incident said the prime suspects were the cattle keepers.
“According to the report they were suspecting the cattle keepers but our security apparatus are still investigating the matter and going into details whether it’s really the cattle keepers or not but the suspects are the cattle keepers according to the survivor” he said. Kenyi further said according to the reports he received from the local area chief the armed men were seen covering themselves with blankets and bed sheets and went on a shooting spree upon reaching the fishing site in Sokare. The Commissioner said the security situation in the Kajo-Keji County is not normal due to the presence of the cattle keepers in his county making the indigenous uncomfortable although his administration is trying to mitigate.
Yesterday, the Ugandan media alleged that 9 Ugandan fishermen were killed, by armed men from South Sudan who raided Moyo in Uganda. Commissioner Erasto Kenyi dismissed the media reports. Kenyi said there was no such incident that happened there across the border in Moyo district saying the Ugandan media might be misrepresenting the Sokare incident in Kajo-Keji County. “Yes we got that information but when we looked into it critically, we realized it is the same incident that is misinterpreted and I don’t understand why they actually reported it as if it happened in Uganda. Sokare! There is no village called Sokare in Uganda, Sokare is inside South Sudan” he explained.