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File photo of a cattle herder

Central Equatoria orders cattle herders to leave in the wake of five killings

The Central Equatoria State has given cattle herders 72-hours ultimatum to leave the State in the wake of five farmers being killed on Saturday in Ngerjebe village of Lokiliri Payam.

“The Governor has issued an ultimatum of seventy-two hours for the cattle herders to unconditionally leave to their areas of origin or face forceful eviction because their presence is harmful in the State,” said a statement issued by the state’s ministry of information over the weekend in Juba.

It said that suspected armed herders from neighboring Jonglei State attacked Juba County, killing five people and wounding six others.

“The security organs in the State are directed to immediately track the perpetrators for apprehension to face the law,” it said.

It disclosed that a fact-finding committee has been set up to probe the circumstances that led to the killings.

 “The Committee visited the scene of the incident today and met the displaced population, and further assured them of the government’s commitment to end their plight especially the unwarranted displacement, destruction of crops and looting of their property,” it said.

Central Equatoria officials have urged the affected communities to be calm as the government is working to bring the culprits to justice.

“Governor Anthony Adil urges the communities of the State to be calm but vigilant as the government is taking drastic measures to salvage the situation,” it said.

Armed cattle herders since the start of this year have wracked havoc in Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria states displacing majority of farmers from their land.

President Salva Kiir in 2017 ordered all cattle herders to leave Greater Equatoria region, but this has not prevented them from intruding into the region with their cattle.

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