By Taban Henry
The government in Eastern Equatoria State under the leadership of Louis Lobong Lojore has been accused for allegedly backing up the heavily well-armed and organized youth to raid cattle and kill innocent civilians.
The cattle herder’s actions were criticized since they kept on attacking even though the civilians started leaving the areas in response to the demand by the indigenous communities in the state.
“Earlier last week, 20 cattle herders were left dead and 11 orders wounded after unknown gunmen suspected to have been from Murle stormed Kormanyang, Melijo cattle camp in Nimule payam of Magwi County and carried out the attacks” a Police official said on Wednesday.
In a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Sunday, Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol who is the Chairperson of Bor Community has blamed the Eastern Equatoria government for facilitating the heavily well-armed and organized youth to raid cattle and kill innocent civilians even though those civilians started leaving the areas in response to the demand by the indigenous communities in the state.
“We are profoundly saddened and shocked by the recent attack on innocent civilian in Mugali, Magwi County which happened on Wednesday last week. These senseless attacks resulted in civilian casualties. The attackers made away with huge number of cattle and abducted children. These numerous attacks are carried out by the youth organized and facilitated by the government of Eastern Equatoria State,” Angok said.
The Bor Community Chairperson described that act as contradicting to the calls for peaceful co-existence by the government of South Sudan adding that similar attacks were carried out in the same area three weeks ago when their people were loading their cattle in Jeli near Jebel Gordon to leave for Jonglei.
He stated that the attackers killed people and walked away with thousands of cattle citing those targeted and coordinated genocidal attacks on civilians resulted into the loss of many lives followed by last Wednesday’s attacks which he claimed, 33 civilians were wounded. He added that among those who lost their dear lives were; 13 children, 11 women, 8 men while the children (3 girls and 2 boys) were abducted.
“We would like to make it categorically clear to the public that our people started moving with their cattle towards Juba when they were attacked by the youth who were organized and facilitated by the government of Eastern Equatoria State. A huge number of cattle keepers have left the area and are already in the North of the capital Juba heading to their homeland because they heeded to the advice from the government, community and traditional leaders are not surprised to receive the sad news of the massacre of the innocent people because it was looming as we got numerous hate statements uttered by the commissioner of Magwi County. Some members of parliament from the area and the Governor of Eastern Equatoria State himself in the presentation of the reports to the Council of States and in several rallies in the state,” he stated.
Gordon condemned the brutal attacks on innocent civilians in the strongest terms possible and equally called upon the authorities concerned to seize the looted cattle from their organized and facilitated youth and return them to their rightful owners immediately.
He also called upon the government to carry out appropriate investigation on why the youths are attacking the cattle herders who are already leaving the area and urged that the perpetrators be brought to book.
“We are a peaceful community and we ask our people to remain calm as they continue to leave the area. We also remind Eastern Equatoria government that the Presidential Orders about repatriation of cattle from Equatoria Region does not call for killing of innocent people but orders them to leave the area. We are committed to peaceful co-existence and we call upon our people not to react or respond in the manner so that the authorities concerned take the necessary measures to return the looted cattle,” he explained.