By Taban Henry
With a sore relationship between cattle herders and farming communities in recent days, a member of parliament, Angelo Beda calls on the two conflicting communities to stop killing each other.
Beda made the remark last week while addressing Council of State whilst the two governors of Eastern and Central Equatoria States and the Minister in President’s office appeared before the council of states to answer queries on the security threats and imposed by encroachment of cattle into Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State.
The MP said they were concerned about the movement of cattle to Eastern Equatoria State, arguing that they realized that the cattle herders were moving and making a camp without consulting the natives of the area, and nobody asked why they were there, instead confronted with a gun and shot at.
“It is forbidden to kill, and if we talk like this it’s like we are accusing the government. We must look at the issue of the cattle very well because the people who are affected are very poor people who have never come to hang around here for employment. A farmer is helping the government to produce and sell food and also the one who has cattle is helping his family and the government as well,” he said
further, Angelo Beda said that in earlier days, cattle keepers and the farming communities were living in harmony during time of the British in the then Sudan.
“Ever since that time no problems were arising like that of Magwi, Lainya and Western Equatoria because people who were leaving their places and going to the other areas first sought authorities of the area they are going to, like the chiefs or the governor,” Beda said.
“You don’t just go with arms to any area so that once somebody asked you; you start firing at the person. If you are going to somebody’s house greet the person first, you go and seek the authority of the owner of the house, he might do you better than what you think,” he continued.
The lawmaker noted that if the country was developed, cattle and food crops would have been exported to get foreign exchange for the country; therefore, the importance of both farmers and cattle keepers and hence need for their peaceful co-existence.
He said that government should be updated about any movement of cattle, and the governor of Jonglei should check on the governor of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria to get better ways of bringing their cattle, stating that once they come you don’t know when they will go back.
Beda said it is not possible for somebody to come to your house without telling you when he will go back, reiterating that these are things which can be easily solved.