Central Equatoria State, News

State officials profiting from cattle-related insecurities -MP

By Gladys Fred Kole

Central Equatoria State Transitional Legislative Assembly member accuses some state officials of using cattle-related insecurity for profiteering.

SPLM-IO party state Assembly chief whip, Hon. Dabe Francis claimed that cattle-related insecurity that often results into formation of committees given millions of pounds have turned into lucrative businesses.

The opposition lawmaker, who hails from Kajo-Keji County, spoke to this outlet on the sidelines of the occasion staged by the Central Equatoria state government in Kajo-Keji Freedom Square to commemorate the 12th anniversary of South Sudan independence.

Dabe said poor locals in his home village in Gaderu Boma, Nyepo Payam of Kajo-Keji County, have no power to tell the armed marauding herders to vacate their farmlands.

“If you go to my village in Gaderu, we have no capacity to tell the cattle keepers to go back because these cattle herders even tell you that the owners of these cattle are in Juba if you want to talk to them, not us.”

According to the state MP, these cattle are controlled from Juba, arguing it is useless to form committees anymore because they consume money for no reason.

“Mind you, some of these cattle belong to politicians; the same politicians who want to beg for votes,” he echoed.

The alleged Dinka Bor herders normally graze their cattle close to the local community settlements and farmland, including roadsides, but when people complain a lot, they go to hide in the vicinities and the bushes, and once the voices go quiet, they come out and beat drums, said the MP.

Dabe said they are not being honest as politicians, adding that they will not deliver the country to the destiny that the people have aspired for since 1947.

He further slammed the Central Equatoria State (CES) gov’t for not being capable of addressing the cattle-induced instability in the state.

“Much as they (CES) say they are capable, some bosses are shareholders in this lucrative business; these things (cows) belong to powerful individuals who are untouchable,” he said.

MP Dabe said the state’s governor, Emmanuel Adil, fears disclosing the owners of the cattle roaming the state and causing atrocities.

“He (governor) only deals with your money and claims to form a committee, but he will not touch it because he fears being removed.”

However, Kajo-Keji County local government council security coordinator Wani Richard said that as much as previous incidences of the armed herders’ atrocities still linger in the minds of the people, the general security situation on the ground is calm.

“The situation has come to normalcy; no more fear, no more deaths, and issues of insecurities on the ground are normal as people even move freely at night,” he stated.

But Wani noted that there is still one cattle camp that exists along areas of the Kayaya River, north of Kajo-Keji County.

He added that the presence of that single kraal was taken note of with a lot of security concern.

“The stories of cattle still moving in Kajo-Keji randomly here have really been taken as a priority by the government, and we didn’t expect that by this time these cattle keepers would come back,” he reiterated.

Wani stated that in terms of preparedness, the government is on alert with its forces and will respond quickly as soon as the forces are informed.

“We human beings are responsible for our safety; we have to take that responsibility as citizens of this country to build peace through our actions,” Wani underscored.

However, during the independence celebration, the Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. Wani Igga, directed Kajo-Keji county military commander Gen. Malong Agat to take action to control the roaming cattle herders and tell them to return to their places of origin.


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