By Yang Ater Yang
Authorities in Lakes State said at least 3 people have been killed and 2 others wounded in three separate cattle theft incidences.
The Three incidents reportedly occurred on Tuesday, and Wednesday in Wulu, Rumbek East, Cueibet and Rumbek Central Counties of Lakes State respectively.
Elijah Mabor Makuac, the police spokesperson in Lakes State, who confirmed the incidents to the No. 1 Citizen Daily newspaper yesterday said on Wednesday a police officer was killed by the cattle raiders Wulu County.
“What happened yesterday (Wednesday) at 4:00 a.m. was that the police sergeant identified as Justin Laat Mading was killed by criminals at Makila village under Wulu county,” he told this outlet.
According to Mabor, the criminals came to the Charalook area, stole 14 herds of cattle in the grazing field, and abducted a young boy who was herding the cattle.
He said the cattle owner whose cows were raided reported the incident to police in Wulu County, where they responded by pursuing the raiders.
“Immediately the police managed to respond by sending a force to the criminals for recovery, but unfortunately after they reached the place called Makila, the criminals laid ambushed after understanding that they were being followed, and they shot the sergeant in the stomach, and they went away with the cattle,” Maj. Mabor narrated.
He said the deceased was carried by his colleagues, as they got back, but not lucky enough; he later died from the gunshot wound he sustained on his stomach.
However, the police state spokesperson said the perpetrators were not identified, but according to other sources, the attackers were believed to have come from Cueibet County.
Maj. Mabor also reported that another incident happened at the border between Rumbek Central and Cueibet counties when some armed criminals went to Pul-chum under Abiriu Payam of Cueibet County and stole 13 cattle.
He said the attackers also killed a 19-year-old young man who was herding the cattle.
He said the information reached the cattle owners, who pursued the criminals until they reached a place called Alongdiar, where the cattle owners and raiders clashed.
During the clashes, another person was reported wounded by the cattle owners, and one went missing from the same cattle camp.
“According to the information we received, 2 cows from 13 returned back to where the cattle were raided, while 11 herds of cattle are still missing up to now,” Mabor noted.
He said the authorities were able to identify the ringleaders behind the cattle theft, and measures are being taken to apprehend them for investigation.
Meanwhile, a third cattle theft incident was reported in Rumbek East County, according to police spokesperson Maj. Elijah Mabor.
He stated that at 12:00 midnight on Tuesday, a thief sneaked into Mamer cattle camp and attempted to steal some cows.
Mabor said the thief first took two heifers to a distance from the cattle camp and tied them down, then came back for a third, but upon his return with the third catch, he was confronted by police guiding the camp, in which he tried to escape but was shot in the buttocks and later died.
“Now, the stolen cows are under police custody as evidence for an investigation, and the policeman (shooter) is under arrest for some investigation for the time being,” Maj. Mabor noted.
He added that the law shall determine the fate of the police officer who shot the thief—whether he will be released or there is a case to be filed against him.
“Yes, the deceased is identified, and his family is known, and the investigation is going on and the measures are going, but later it will be up to the judge to determine the nature of the case, simply because this soldier was in self-defense and it was not intentional killings,” Mabor lamented.