By Taban Henry
The government in Eastern Equatoria state has blamed the Murle for the recent violence that left over 20 people dead and left others injured in Mugali and Melijo of Magwi County.
Earlier last week, 20 cattle keepers were left dead and 11 others wounded after unknown gunmen whom the governor suspected to have been from Murle stormed a cattle camp in Kormayang, Melijo cattle camp in Nimule payam of Magwi County.
In a statement released to the media on Saturday, the Governor of Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong Lojore revealed who the attackers were and what the situation of the Madi is.
“Cattle camps of Bor herders, in Mugali and Melijo areas were attacked by a group of Murle raiders from Greater Pibor and a number of people were killed including women, children and elderly and hundreds of the Madi natives were displaced to Nimule town. We immediately deployed policemen to the area to protect the fleeing people from Mugali” Lobong said.
“I would like to make it clear that the unfortunate situation in Magwi county of Eastern Equatoria state is the result of influx of cattle herders and cattle raiders from Greater Jonglei region. The people of Eastern Equatoria region are suffering from a conflict that is transferred from Greater Jonglei region to Eastern Equatoria State,” he added.
Lobong said that two policemen deployed to protect the displaced, were shot dead in Nimule by cattle herders from Bor. The herders went on rampage shooting and looting shops in Nimule town.
He appealed to the people of Jonglei to go back and address their issues among themselves while calling upon the leadership of both Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area to immediately take all necessary measures to withdraw their people from Eastern Equatoria State.
“The government of Eastern Equatoria state has since then been calling on the cattle herders, their community leaders and their government to take the cows back to their areas for the sake of peace. The cattle herders heeded not to our call or to the plea of their leaders,” he added
Lobong further sent condolences to the families of the two policemen who were killed in their line of duty.
“My condolences also go to the families of the women, children and elderly who were killed during the cattle raids in Mugali and Melijo. We condemn these barbaric acts and will not rest until peace is restored. I call upon our people in Nimule to remain calm and to exercise maximum restraint because the state government is doing all it can to address the situation” he said.