By William Madouk
Central Equatoria State transitional legislative assembly has expressed surprise by the ‘deadly silence’ from Jonglei politicians and community leaders over the recent violence that killed 27 people in Kajo-Keji County.
The state parliament is bothered by the display of indifference shown over the incident of the massacre of the men and two women by the cattle herders suspected to be from Jonglei on February 2, 2023.
Nonetheless, Moris Andrea Lupe, the Deputy Chairperson of Specialized Committee for Information at State Assembly said, both the state and national government must intervene in bringing the offenders to face justice.
“We therefore, also express our surprise on the silence of the political and community leaders of Jonglei state. On the same note, we urge them to reign on their people so as to relocate the cattle and owners to their state of origin,” Lupe said in a press conference yesterday.
“We thus, call on the government of CES and the national government to intervene in arresting, investigating and bringing the culprits into book to face the law,” he added.
MP Lupe also appealed to Jonglei state authority to help in tracing three abducted children including an unspecified number of others to be handed to their rightful parents.
He further noted that continuous roaming of cattle in the State is a clear disrespect to presidential and gubernatorial orders for the return of cattle to their original places. He as well called on aid agencies to assist the needy.
“We call on the humanitarian and developmental partners to urgently intervene and provide humanitarian support to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Central Equatoria State,” he stated.
Lawmaker Lupe said Kajo-Keji massacre brought shame to the people of South Sudan because it occurred on the eve of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis and his accompanying delegation.
According to the parliament, this was not the first attack by cattle keepers from Bor, for instance 5 people were killed and 2 others wounded on January 24, 2023. In a separate attack, same month 13 people were also killed in Gondokoro.
It adds that on December 2022, armed cattle herders also attacked and killed 11 civilians in Mangalla Payam, burnt houses, looted properties and displaced many others.
Similarly, 8 people were again killed by herders in Ngerjebe Boma of Lokiliri Payam, while separately 9 people got murdered in Lirya Payam and 3 children abducted in 2022.
Recently, UNMISS and the Troika countries urged the government to swiftly arrest and prosecute suspected killers of Kajo-keji massacre.