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Makuei appeals for calm as gov’t promises to remove cattle from Magwi

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Friday, March 4, 2022

Some of cattle in Magwi County - Courtesy

Efforts are underway to ensure cattle herders in Magwi County return to their state despite flooding and insecurity in Jonglei, the minister of information has said.

The move came after violent clashes between herders and the host community left at least 28 people dead from both sides in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State.

This includes areas of Abara, Ayii, Kit and Agoro-Somboro villages in Magwi County.

Michael Makuei told Eye Radio that the herders have left Magwi County and are currently in Southern Bari of Central Equatoria State.

He says within a short period the cattle herders will leave Southern Bari for Jonglei.

Yesterday, Eastern Equatoria State governor called on the national government to deploy the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces to contain an ongoing insecurity in Magwi.

According to him, five children were killed, houses burnt down and several cattle raided by the cattle keepers on Wednesday.

But Makuei says calm has returned in the area and the government is exacting efforts to ensure that all herders from Jonglei return home.

“People are saying the cattle are the problem, meanwhile the local community is talking about their cattle being looted, I don’t know which cattle are causing problems and which cattle that do not cause problems,” Makuei said.

“We are exerting efforts to ensure that all these cattle owners who came from Jonglei despite the disaster that sent them away from Jonglei, need to move to Jonglei.

“We are already moving the Dinka Bor people, we are talking to them and they are now moving and within a short period they will leave at least Southern Bari.”

Makuei appealed to herders and the host communities to desist from hostilities.

“My message to the people on the ground is that we are trying our level best and they should be patient. I am appealing to both sides to be patient and to leave all these hostilities and because what we need is peace and peaceful co-existence,” said Makuei.

“We want a final and lasting solution, don’t fight again and people will continue to fight no, we want them to be patient and we resolve the whole problem.”

Meanwhile, Father Dario Hakim, the Parish priest of Palaotaka Parish in Eastern Equatoria state, told Eye Radio that despite relative calm in the area, locals in the County are fleeing for safety.

“The situation is calm although there’s a lot of movement of the people leaving the area, they are going eastward, like to Lobone, Oboo and some even cross to Uganda,” Hakim said.

Yesterday, religious leaders have called on citizens to end intercommoned violence ahead of the papal visit to the country.

In 2017, President Salva Kiir issued a decree ordering cattle keepers to move all their livestock out of the greater Equatoria region.

A committee was also set up to ensure that the animals were returned to their respective states.

However, the decree seems to have not been implemented due to unclear reasons.

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