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Activist says situation in Jonglei conducive for returning cattle herders

Civil society activist has faulted cattle herders for overstaying their welcome in Greater Equatoria region when currently the floods have subsided in Jonglei State where they hail from.

“The issue of cattle herders and host community around Equatoria region has caused too much tension, Jonglei state is now calm, the floods have subsided and there are a lot of pastures, cattle keepers should now return to their place of origin to avoid occurrence of violence,” David Garang Goch, the head of Jonglei Civil Society Network told The Dawn in interview on Friday.

His remarks follow the recent ultimatum issued by the Central Equatoria State Governor Emmanuel Anthony Adil to cattle keepers to vacate areas they are occupying.

The gubernatorial order came in the aftermath of the violence on February 2nd which left 22 locals of Kajo Keji County and 6 people from the cattle keeping community killed.

 “We are calling on the government to sit down and see the strategies of bringing the cattle to their state of origin, we do not want killing of animals and people, animals are the country’s economic resources and people are the nation,” Goch said.

“The conflict has taken certain dimension it has become political, we do not want the situation whereby communities fight themselves it will create war again and we do not like the country to go back to war,” he added.

Since early 2022, conflict between cattle keepers and local communities has been reported in Eastern Equatoria State and neighboring Central Equatoria State.

Several people have lost lives during these conflicts, despite the Presidential orders issued in 2015 and 2017 ordering cattle keepers to vacate Greater Equatoria region.

 President Salva Kiir Mayardit last week directed the law enforcement agencies to urgently and thoroughly investigate the recent killings in Kajo-Keji County.

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