By Simon Deng
The Governor of Eastern Equatoria state Louis Lobong Lojoreon Wednesday called on the national legislative council of states to establish legal frame work to guide movement of cattle in the country.
“In order to avoid clashes between cattle keepers and the predominantly farming communities, as well as between different cattle keeping communities, there is need to establish a legal framework to guide the movement of cattle in South Sudan,” said Lojore while appearing before law makers in Juba.
Lobong and other officials were summoned by members of the council of states to brief them about the ongoing tension and clashes between cattle herders and farmers in particularly Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria.
Armed cattle herders from Jonglei State earlier this year in search of water and pastures crossed into Magwi County leading to clashes and displacement of thousands of locals.
“The situation in Eastern Equatoria caused by cattle herders from neighboring states, resulted in unnecessary losses and pain to the communities of Eastern Equatoria. The presence of such laws and the proper sensitization of our citizens will be of great importance in preventing clashes between different communities,” added Lojore.
The Magwi County Commissioner, Otto David had earlier on said the presence of cattle keepers forced farmers to abandon their farms, thus disrupting livelihoods.
The law makers had summoned seven top government officials over persistent insecurity, but only four turned up.
Those who appeared for questioning include, Lojore the Governor of Eastern Equatoria, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Minster of Presidential Affairs, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the Governor of Central Equatoria State and Mahmoud Solomon Agok, the Minister of Interior.
Meanwhile, those who did not honor the summons include, Denay Jok Chagor, the Governor of Jonglei State, Joseph NguenMonytuil, the Governor of Unity State, Lokole Anei, the Chief Administrator of Pibor Administrative Area and Angelina Teny,the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
Agok, the Minister of Interior blamed the tension and displacement of civilians in some parts of the country on persistent sub-national violence.
Adding that inter-communal conflicts are fueled by politiciansand competition for local resources.
“The issues being witnessed in Eastern Equatoria state are linked to conflict over resources, for instance, 70 houses in Magwi County were razed to ashes following clashes between cattle herders and farmers,” said Agok.