By Adia Jildo
Cattle raid has a long history in South Sudan; it is a custom of some tribes in the country.
However, in most parts of Equatoria region, cattle raid is not a custom. Yesterday, the commissioner of Yei River County, Aggrey Cyrus reported the case of cattle raiding in his county.
He said over 300 cattle were raided from Mugwo payam at Lun and Yei town respectively. According to him, the raiders seem to be from the Mundari community, one of the communities in Equatoria region that keeps and raids cattle.
However, the commissioner noted that the government has identified the cattle raiders who came from the cattle camps in Kupera payam of Lainya, heading towards the West.
One person who was abducted was released later by the cattle raiders. The raided cattle belonged to 7 people from Yei community.
“The people whom they raided the cattle from did not have arms. These cattle belong to the community of Yei,” Cyrus said.
Cyrus condemned the actions of the cattle raiders who use raids to create fear and insecurities in communities.
He called on the people not to use cattle as a property to inflict pain and create conflicts between communities and to generate sympathy for their actions.
“Cattle are animals, it’s a source of income economically, and it’s a source of food. It should not be used to divide people or it should not be used to create bitterness and hatred,” he said.
“Cattle should not be used to humiliate the other brothers and sisters who do not have the powers of cattle and it should not be used as a political tool for some people to generate sympathy, favours, or to show themselves that they are present,” Cyrus said.
He said cattle should be used in positive ways that will boost the economy of the country, boost food production and food security.
“I condemn anybody who uses cattle for political and economic gain by disorganizing societal peace. This is uncalled for; it is against the principles of humanity and the principles of animals,” he said.
Cyrus stated that the security situation is approximately stable with exception of the activities of cattle raiders. Raiders were ready to open fire when SSPDF soldiers requested them to return the cattle back to their owners.