By Taban Henry
At least one SSPDF soldier was reportedly killed after armed cattle raiders entered the cattle camp near Sherikat military barracks in Torit town, Eastern Equatoria State and exchanged bullets with the soldiers there.
In his statement, he reported that over 400 cattle were also raided in the incident causing panic among the residents of the town. The incident happened on Friday evening while the residents of the area were in the mood of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter Festival).
“It happened on Friday. The cows were raided just near the military barracks. Those cattle people used to buy for milk production to feed children unfortunately, some of the criminals came across and raided, taking together of 400 cattle. The military, the police and the communities around are following the foot marks of the attackers,” the Mayor of Torit municipality, Joseph Oswaha told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in a telephone interview.
Mr. Oswaha did not mention where the raiders came from, but said the authority in Torit were following the footsteps of the attackers.
However, the authority did not identify the officer by name, but said he was killed during a gun fire exchange with the attackers.
“The authority is still waiting for the result. The cattle are kept somewhere. The army and the nearby communities are continuing to follow the footmarks. Whenever the cattle are raided, the authority of the State have to follow.” Mr. Oswaha said.
Nevertheless, the mayor stressed that, he heard from the Commissioner of Torit County, saying the cattle was heading toward Ikotos County, also of Eastern Equatoria State.
“The problem of cattle raiding has become a major issue in the State, not only threatening the army but it has been happening several times even in their own villages”. He added.
He stated that the authority has put in place some measures to curb the issue of raiding in the state and the raiders will be held accountable for causing havoc once arrested. He appealed to the cattle keepers to withdraw or stop the ideology of raiding cattle.
Mr. Oswaha reiterated that they are still pursuing the people who have killed the officer and raided cattle. He however said that, the government in Torit have arrested more than 30 gang robbers who are prompting robbery cases in the town, adding that the cliques are now under their custody.