By Taban Henry
A high-level security team on Sunday paid a visit to Nimule Payam of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State with an aim of diffusing ongoing tensions in the area.
Last week, over 20 cattle keepers were left dead and 11 others wounded after unknown gunmen whom the governor suspected to have been from Murle stormed cattle camps in Kormayang and Melijo in Nimule payam of Magwi County.
The high-level security team included the Chief of Defense, Gen. Santino Deng Wol, Inspector General of Police, Gen. Majak Kech Malok, and Director General of the Internal Security Bureau of the National Security Service Gen. Akol Koor among others.
In a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Monday, the Eastern Equatoria State governor Louis Lobong Lojore who chaired the meeting in Nimule on Sunday called for concerted efforts to address the crisis brought about by the cattle influx into the area adding that the meeting was to diffuse heightened tension in the area, as a result a cattle raid in Mugali payam.
He added that the representatives of both the cattle keepers and the host community presented their grievances to the High-Level security committee.
“I appeal to the cattle keepers to listen to the voice of reason and evacuate the animals back to Jonglei state to allow peace prevail in the region.
Authorities in Eastern Equatoria State however said that the ongoing cattle raiding in the state is the work of youth from Greater Jonglei region.
“The leaderships of Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative Area should withdraw their people from Eastern Equatoria to avoid making the state a war theatre,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Police Chief Gen. Majak Akech said that security forces are ready to escort the pastoralists back to their areas of origin, calling for cooperation from all stakeholders to execute the return process of the livestock.
For his part, the Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Santino Deng Wol, encouraged the politicians to refrain from sowing the seeds of discord among communities.
“I encourage the political leaders to help settle disputes among communities,” he stated.
“The Police said that the Wednesday 11 May 2022 incident left 21 people dead and 5 others wounded and that more than 3,000 heads of cattle were raided, 52 cows shot dead while 13 cows got wounded,” according to the police reports.