National, News

Over 20 pastoralists arrested in Lainya

By Bosco Bush


Authorities in Lainya County, Central Equatoria State, have arrested at least 22 Ambororo cattle herders on the orders of the County Commissioner, citing environmental damage and non-compliance with directives.

On Saturday, June 15th, 2024, Lainya County Commissioner Emmanuel Khamis directed the local security forces to conduct a crackdown on the Ambororo herders grazing their animals around the county.

Khamis also issued a 72-hour ultimatum for the herders to “leave” the area.

“We have arrested 22 and we will arrest more,” Khamis told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

According to the Commissioner, the mass arrests and ultimatum were triggered by the Ambororo’s harmful practices that were damaging the local ecosystem and posing a long-term threat to the livelihoods of the people.

“The Ambororo or the Falata cattle keepers’ actions are so terrible that they buy salt in large quantities, dilute it with water, and spread it on the grass. Now, when the cattle eat this grass, they consume it down to the roots, affecting soil fertility and destroying the environment,” Khamis explained.

“So, this is a threat to soil fertility and we feel that it will have a very long impact on soil fertility in our region which will contribute to acute hunger in the future. Therefore, unnecessary roaming of cattle is not allowed.”

Lainya County has experienced several disturbances caused by cattle keepers seeking greener pastures for their livestock.

Khamis asserted that his government cannot compromise on any encroachment, in line with the Presidential Order for the return of all cattle keepers to their areas of origin.

“On the indigenous cattle keepers, the South Sudanese from the Dinka Bor and Mundari, the directives of the President and the Governor are clear – these cattle must return to their areas of origin,” he stated.

“In Lainya County, we are not compromising on that. They have to leave and go back so that it creates a conducive environment for our people to live their agricultural lives and engage in farming.”

Khamis stated that appropriate measures have been put in place to ensure the successful implementation of this exercise, and that the authorities will continue to provide guidance and advice to address the “misbehaviour and misconduct that threatens stability” in the county.

“Therefore, in Lainya I am not compromising on the order of the President and that of the Governor to ensure that these cattle keepers leave and allow our people in a new environment where they can engage in farming so that it can contribute to addressing the challenges affecting our economy.”

The Ambororo are a group of nomadic cattle herders originally from Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Mali, and Niger, who have entered South Sudan through the Western Equatoria State corridors.


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