News, Western Equatoria State

Western Equatoria state gives herders 7 days to leave

By Alex Digi

Western Equatoria State in South Sudan has given a one-week ultimatum to the roaming cattle keepers to vacate the state with all their cattle.

The State Governor, Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba traveled to Kotobi Payam in Mundri West, on Wednesday to meet the cattle keepers and farmers to resolve misunderstanding between the two groups.

In early February this year, cattle herders moved from Bor to greater Mundri destroying farm crops in Bongolo and Kotobi payams of Mundri.

Following concerns raised by the communities, the state Government ordered cattle keepers to leave within a week or else they are forcefully evicted from Mundri and Western Equatoria state at large.

The governor however, directed cattle keepers to leave peacefully at the earlier time.

“There is nothing that the cattle will stay here, but if you want to stay with us the people, you are welcome but your cows should be where you came from” Governor Futuyo echoed.

“If there is any cattle camp which does not want leave, I will go there with forces, and this will lead to loss of cattle, this is the serious order” Futuyo warned

Western Equatoria state governor further cautioned the cattle herders that should they take gun against anyone in the state; the battle will be between armed herders and the government, not communities.

“It will be the army who will respond to you. What I said must be implemented but if anyone wanting to buy things in the market, you are welcome do it freely but don’t come with cattle,” he emphasized.

However, efforts by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper to reach the cattle keepers and farmers for their reaction to the governor’s order were futile by press time.

Armed cattle herders mainly from the Jonglei have continued to cause havoc in the Equatoria region despite several orders issued for them to leave farmlands.

Conflicts between farmers and cattle keepers have been rampant in Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states.

Early this year, at least 20 civilians were reportedly dragged out of their homes and gunned down in Lire Payam in Central Equatoria State’s Kajo Keji County by armed pastoralists from Jonglei State.

In 2017, President Salva Kiir issued an order instructing the army to ensure immediate withdrawal of pastoralists together with their cattle from the Equatoria region and leave for their states.

But the cattle herders have since continued to defy the orders.



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