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36 suspected cattle raiders arrested in Tonj North

36 suspected cattle raiders arrested in Tonj North
An armed young cattle keepers walks among his cattle in South Sudan. Rustling is one of the causes of intercommunal conflict in the country | Credit | Courtesy Courtesy image

Authorities have arrested 36 young men accused of cattle theft in Tonj North County, Warrap state.

The suspects raided the cows in Leer last year. They were reportedly driven to Nuoi area.

The State government established mobile courts to try suspects who engaged in cattle raiding activities.

The court is mandated to recover all stolen animals and hand them over to their rightful owners.

According to the Acting commissioner of Tonj North, the young men who rounded up through the help of local chiefs and their communities.

“Returning the cows will restore peace among the communities and this will allow free moment of people,”  Bak Ajuot said.

He also mentioned that those accused of stealing people’s cows will be penalized for any missing cow – once caught.

“If you loose one cow, our teams will go and include 3 cows plus one more [as penalty] to be 4. This will  increase you loss. Be serious,” he advised.

Last weekend, at least 175 cows were returned to Leer community, while 161 cows were given back to their rightful owners in Nuoi community.

Some cattle owners whose cows were retuned told Mayardit FM that the act will promote peaceful coexistence between the two communities.

“Now we understand that when somebody takes your things by force and you go to government, it is possible to recover your cows,” one cattle keeper said.

I’m cannot recover my cows by force from the raider, but through the government, I have been able to get my cows back. I am so happy,” another said.

“I really appreciate the government for a job well done.”

Warrap State authorities have warned young people against cattle raiding, revenge killings and banditry.