29th March 2023
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Law-maker suggests creation of special court to try cattle raiders

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Monday, April 25, 2022

Hon. Paul Yoane Bonju, former chairperson of the Information Committee at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) of South Sudan - courtesy

A lawmaker representing Yei River at the reconstituted national assembly has recommended the establishment of special courts to try cattle raiders in the country.

Cattle raiding is the act of stealing animals, particularly cows.

Cattle raiding is a common practice among pastoralist communities in South Sudan.

Just last week, over 200 heads of cattle were reportedly raided in Lun village, Mugo Payam of Yei River County by suspected raiders.

Speaking to Eye Radio this morning, Honorable Paul Yoane Bonju said special courts should be established to address rampant cattle theft and cattle-related atrocities.

“In my humble opinion, to address the issue of cattle raid holistically, to me there are two things. One, we need to have a special court to deal with such issue of cattle raiding, cattle theft in the country.

“The second thing is to hold the leaders of these communities which are causing problems in many parts of our country, their leaders should be hold responsible and there should face the law.”

Recently, the Secretary General of Pastoralist Union in South Sudan told Eye Radio that there is no government policy to guide pastoralists in the country.

The concern was raised after the country recorded several incidents of conflicts brought about by the presence of cattle in farming communities.

“As a leader, they are supposed to abide and to respect even what you say. But what you say as a leader is not respected, then something somewhere is wrong,” he added.

Unlike in Centeral Equatoria, in Upper Nile, herders and farmers have devised mechanisms to deal with pastoralists-farmers conflict.

Chief, Ahemad Omer Yonis, a nomadic herder in Upper Nile state said “When we reach the area, we send explorers to determine the places of cultivation and the roads that we can take after making sure that there is no farm in the area in which we will settle after that, we will camp there.”

This, Yonis said, helps minimize creating bad blood between herders and farmers.

“The relationship between farmers in the area is good but if the livestock spoil the crops, we always try to sit down and compromise and compensate the farm owner.

Yonis said the herders in the Renk area pay the area administrative officer what he called as traffic fees to allow the passage of their cattle.

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