Cattle keepers walk past their herd at a camp outside the town of Rumbek, South Sudan.
South Sudan Police authorities have reported more than 17 cattle herders and five attackers have been killed in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State, on Sunday. According to Police, the attackers are host community from Eastern Equatoria.
It’s said that most of the people killed during the attack included women and children. There is an unspecified number of children and women were reported missing.
Last week, cattle keepers from Jonglei who are camping in Magwi County clashed with host community which the authority said have displaced 400 households in Agoro Payam.
Brigadier Daniel Justine, the South Sudan National Police Service spokesperson, says that around 23 wounded from both sides have been transferred to Juba for treatment.
“Yesterday, the host community attacked the cattle keepers-as a result, the cattle keepers lost about 17 people, and 22 people were injured during the attack. The injured people were rushed to Juba Hospital. On the other hand, five people were killed by the attackers, and one was also injured. He is also taken to the hospital.”
Daniel states that the Eastern Equatoria government is putting some security measures to contain the situation.
He says there is no clear reason triggered the fight among the cattle keepers and the attackers but believe to be the issues of cattle and farming.
“The initial problem was between the farmers and the cattle keepers, the government came and asked them to be calm and that committee was to be formed, of course, the committee started its work and yesterday the attack was launched by the host community against cattle keepers.”
In response, the governor in Eastern Equatoria state, Louise Lobong Lojore, says the attackers are cattle raiders from the area but he didn’t specified the action government taken to arrest the suspects.
Lobong recommended the ongoing disputes between the cattle keepers from Jonglei and the host community in Eastern Equatoria and called for dialogue.
‘’The raiders attacked a cattle camp, not an IDPs. I think that was misinformation. So, I want categorically to say that that was not true. What happened was an attack of cattle camp, not IDPs’’. Long explains.
Eastern Equatoria governor Luis Lobong Lojore was concerned over the influx of cattle herders to the area, citing fear of clashes between the two groups.
In January, deputy governor of Jonglei state Antipas Nyok told the radio Community that his government is aware of the situation and will work with Eastern Equatoria state authorities on measures to help prevent violence and destruction