Evicted cattle herders vacate Kajo-Keji County

By Emelda Siama John

Authorities in Kajo Keji County of Central Equatoria State said most of the cattle herders are leaving the area on the way back to their places of origin.

This comes barely a day after the governor of Central Equatoria State issued orders directing all the six county commissioners to ensure the implementation of the Presidential Order on the evacuation of cattle herders to their places of origin.

Phanuel Dumo, Commissioner of Kajo Keji County told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in a telephone interview that the eviction of cattle herders started on Wednesday following the meeting between herders and the authorities to pave way for their journey.

After a wider condemnation following the heinous incident early this month where 27 people were massacred, governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony temporally relocated his State government to Kajo-Keji county with security forces to fish out the whereabouts of herders scattered in the bushes of the County.

“Today we met their [cattle herders] leaders and they were told today to cross the bridge. The meeting point will be in Lemu where they will come and collect their animals and go direct to Bor,” Dumo told this reporter.

“We are moving all over the county. From Liwolo side, all those animals have left. They are going to go through Lainya, Auwgi, to Dogoro area that is now Lainya County,” he added.

The Commissioner assured that that the government at national, state, county, Payam and Boma levels will play collective roles to ensure that herders are relocated back to their place of origin, adding that even state government is shifted to Kajo Keji to handle the issue closely. 

“Following the tragedy caused by cattle herders, in which we have lost 27 people and three injured are now in hospital. One was taken to Gulu [hospital] and the two were taken to Moyo [hospital]. On the other side, eight were evacuated to Juba. So far, we have not registered any (new) dead,” he explained.

Dumo further said he is in touch with the area commander of the Army, Fire Brigade, Wildlife and the police.

He said the internally displaced persons whom they asked not to go to camps are given shelter in school like Kajo-Keji secondary school temporarily, until when the situation stabilizes then they will go back to their homes.

The commissioner said in regards to humanitarian aid response, the international partner’s organizations are on Thursday delivering three tracks of food assistance to the IDPs.

 “At the beginning of the clashes they registered in the name of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) 3,000 plus people who are displaced, currently, the total registered number is above 12,000. And we are still trying to get more,” Dumo said.

“We don’t want our people to go to camps. The refugees ration in the camps are reduced. Life also is going to be harder for them. Here at least they have their own cassava, the food stock. When everybody wants to get their food we will give them. Up to date since that incident happened, the people are depending on their food. I don’t think people have desire to go back to their area,” he added.

He also appealed to the community to come in and address the issues of food because some of the family’s belongings were looted by the cattle herders and they need rehabilitation.

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