Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong Lojore meeting with representative of the cattle keepers/Photo: Arop Daniel Otto
By Arop Daniel Otto
The governor of Eastern Equatoria State said the state government will work collectively with the cattle keepers to ensure peaceful return to their home of origin in an act to implement Presidential Republican order.
In 2017, the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a Republican Order, ordering cattle keepers in the Equatoria region to return to their respective areas of origin.
However, laxity has been recorded in compliance with Presidential Directives by pastoralists in Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria States.
Governor Louis Lobong Lojore said the state government is conscious about the cattle incursion which induced fear among the community of Magwi County.
He said the state government will employ peaceful means to relinquish the cattle keepers from the state to give farmers space for land preparation in the onset of rainy season.
Lobong who visited the cattle camp in Pageri on Friday underscored that the pastoralists point green pastures and presence of water in Magwi County as their major source of attraction.
According to the governor, the herders reiterated their commitment to return in their respective state during rainy season.
He highlighted that they will initiate dialogue between the cattle keepers and farmers to sort out existing differences.
For her part, a women representative in Pageri Payam Agnes Andua said the presence of cattle in their area have led to massive destruction of crops such as cassava from the garden hence leaving community in great loses.
She said there is no mutual understanding and cooperation among the indigenous farmers and pastoralists.
Meanwhile Abraham Makur, the chief of Mundari cattle keepers in Opari said presence of water and pastures prompted their migration in the area.
He said they shall return back in their home of origin during rainy season.
For his part, interim secretary General of SPLM party said he will forward the issue of cattle invasion in Magwi County to the President of for quick intervention.
Mr. Lam Both questions the credibility of cattle keepers whose cattle are destroying food crops of farmers in Magwi County.
He stated that the invasion of cattle and its act of destruction in the farmland must be dealt with accordingly.
Mr. Charles Onen Lokwaruk, the chairperson of the civil society network urges government to intervene using peaceful way to drive out the cattle keepers from the farmland in Magwi County.
He explained that, people of Magwi County are farmers whose livelihood and economic background depend on farming.
Mr. Charles called on the government to protect the civil population in Magwi against random kidnapping activities.
More than three people have been kidnapped this year since arrival of the cattle keepers.
He urged government for faster intervention to pave ways for indigenous farmers to begin land preparation.