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Herder demands over $900k as compensation for looted livestock
Figure 173-year-old, Hassan Idris Zidan speaks to Juba Echo on Wednesday. [Photo: Awan Achiek/Juba Echo]

Herder demands over $900k as compensation for looted livestock

A cattle keeper whose animals were looted by alleged SPLA-IO forces during the 2016 insurgency in Mundri County of Western Equatoria State is demanding an estimated $915,600 as compensation for the livestock.

In December 2016, forces loyal to SPLA-IO stormed the compound of Hassan Idris Zidan and robbed 387 herds of cattle, 148 goats and sheep; burned 10 houses, 3 AK-47 assault rifles, and one box of cattle drugs looted.

 Zidan (73) said he had recorded a property loss worth $915,600.

“Those who took my properties are my neighbours who are well-known. They sold my properties and used the money to buy weapons and ammunition,” Idris told Juba Echo Wednesday.

“Lawyers failed to help me in court. I went to the office of the SPLA-IO chairman in Juba and we negotiated and I presented to them a bill of 915,600 U.S. Dollars,” he said.

Idris alleged that the operation was carried out by the SPLA-IO Division 9 sector 6 in Western Equatoria State under the command of General Wesley Welebe Samson.

Idris claimed that 6 members of his family later died due to hunger and drought after all their properties were taken by the armed opposition.

“Now my clan is out of everything and as a clan which is self-reliant, we are now in poverty, slavery, and now displaced. I have become a refugee in my own land,” he lamented.

He said the robbery perpetrated by the SPLA-IO forces has crippled their livelihood and left them in poverty.   

 “Now I am in a critical condition, my children are out of school and my wives have abandoned me and returned to their fathers’ homes due to lack of food to eat,” he said.

He said the promise by the First Vice President and leader of the SPLA-IO, Dr Riek Machar to compensate him is taking forever to be fulfilled.

 “I have been in the office of chairman of the SPLM/A-IO Dr Riek Machar four times these three years but nothing has come out from him. He doesn’t know how I am suffering there,” he said.

The hopeless herder said he would have sued Dr Riek Machar if he had money.

“I want to open a case against Dr Riek Machar but want money. They need 50,000 U.S dollars but I don’t have such an amount of money since I have been displaced and forced to be a refugee in my own home,” he said.

 When contacted by Juba Echo, the Acting spokesperson in the Office of the First Vice President, Puok Both Baluang, declined to comment.

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