Cattle herders fleeing Eastern Equatoria kill 21 people near Juba

File photo of a South Sudanese cattle herder with his animals

By Tapeng Michael Ohure

Cattle herders fleeing from South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria attacked residence of Lokiliri Payam close to the capital city leaving 21 people dead, the police said.

The nomads are part of those who deserted Magwi County after the government of Eastern Equatoria introduced force to flush them out.

South Sudan’s government said it has already dispatched a heavy force to parts of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria and Lokiliri Payam in Central Equatoria to ensure the cattle keepers return to Bor in Jonglei.

“Those civilians were shot and killed in their homes,” Police Spokesman Daniel Justin Buolo told Juba Echo by phone on Wednesday.

“They fled their homesteads but a force was sent there and the situation is now calm because a lot of forces are deployed there,” Buolo said.

Buolo said the “huge joint force” would use any means to ensure the cattle keepers return to their homeland.

“Now there is a special defence force that will take these cattle to Bor.”

Buolo said the clashes which so far left over 50 people dead began with an attack by cattle raiders on the nomads last month.

“There were losses of lives from the raiders, but later people sat down to resolve the issue through the state government in Eastern Equatoria so cattle keepers should return and live in peace with the host communities but the situation keeps on escalating,” he said.

“Now a joint force has been sent on the ground to force the cattle keepers to return to their homes of origin.”

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