By Taban Henry
A recommendation has been given to the government of the Republic of South Sudan to criminalize cattle raiding in order to reduce the exorbitant dowries and disarm pastoralists.
This came after the National Conference on Livestock was concluded on Saturday in Juba with a call for effective regulatory framework to end cattle raiding and migration-related conflict in the country.
The conference has passed a number of resolutions including criminalizing cattle raiding, livestock identification and traceability should be introduced as well as disarming pastoralists, reduce high dowry, and provide water to cattle keepers, promote education of youth on life skills, community sensitization, enact stringent rules to deal with raiding, grazing areas should be gazetted to control migration, creation of Anti-Cattle theft Mobile Police Force to deal with issues and establishment of Police Posts in cattle populated areas,” the conference resolved saying raiders will face tough punitive measures.
In a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Sunday from the official Facebook page of the office of the governor of Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong Lojore recommended the government to criminalize cattle raiding in order to reduce the exorbitant dowries and disarm pastoralists.
He added that massive disarmament exercise is needed in all areas to stem out cattle raiding and Migration-related conflicts adding that it also called for provision of adequate security to communities after disarmament.
“Cattle raiding has increased and has caused huge casualties in recent months, with the government now saying this menace must stop,” Lobong said.
The Eastern Equatoria leader said livestock should be protected by law and raiders must be dealt with according to the law.
He however calls on the government to gazette all the grazing areas in an effort to control the movement of livestock.
“The lack of laws is the main driver of cattle rustling, because raiders have not been punished to deter them from committing this criminal act,” Lobong added.
Meanwhile, the Country Director for FAO Meshach Malo said they are disappointed by the lack of commercialization of the livestock sector in South Sudan that would have earned the country millions of money in hard currency.