Official demands Eastern Equatoria cancels Nimule prayers over insecurity

MP Okello Odongto Lawiri

By Kidega Livingstone

Following tensions that have heightened between communities in East Equatoria and cattle keepers, State authorities have been called upon to cancel prayers organised by Bor Episcopal Church in Nimule.

Insecurity has risen in parts of the State after cattle keepers attacked local settlements leading to loss of lives and destruction of villages.

Bor Episcopal Church, in Jonglei where the cattle keepers come from, will hold the prayers in Nimule on Sunday for the installation of the Bishop for Nimule.

According to Okello Odongto Lawiri, the representative for Magwi County in the Council of States, is demanding the prayers be cancelled for security purposes and security boosted on the highway leading from Juba to Nimule.

He described the prayer as a “planned prayer” for attacks on people.

“We condemn this move in the strongest terms possible because our people are the people of peace and we don’t want more bloodshed in our land,” Lawiri said in an interview with Juba Echo.

Members of Parliament hailing from Eastern Equatoria, at both the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States urged the cattle keepers to return the cattle to their land of origin as the people of greater Magwi County are preparing their gardens for the first rainy season.

Attacks on communities by cattle keepers in Magwi county in recent weeks have left at least 5 people dead with homes burnt down.

The attack was in response to the killing of at least 23 people and injuring of 27 others when cattle keepers were also attacked earlier.

According to the Executive Director for Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Magwi County, Ocheng David, the number of internally displaced people that fled the fighting from Agoro, Omeyo, and Abara reached more than 4,000 people, mostly women and children.

The United Nation Mission in South Sudan recently warned that the frequent attacks could fuel more conflict in the state if the state and national government didn’t intervene immediately.

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