Authorities in Kapoeta North County in Eastern Equatoria state have recovered forty-one cattle raided in Chumakori Payam last week.
The animals were reportedly stolen by a notorious group of bandits led by one Lopeta – a well-known criminal in Kapoeta East County.
The infamous group of raiders raided 49 cattle, but only 41 were retrieved by the authorities.
The cattle were recovered at Lojokomur Boma in Lomeyen Payam on Monday at around 11 AM.
Epone Emmanuel Lolimo, Commissioner of Kapoeta North County the animals were returned following a brief exchange of gunfire between the raiders and a combined group of police and armed civilians – who are part of community policing.
No casualty was reported during the confrontation.
“Some youths went to raid some cattle in Mogos, so I had to alert all the people to be vigilant because the footmarks were heading this side. Yesterday, we were able to trace them and in the process people exchanged gunfire with the suspects. Luckily, no one was hurt but 41 cows were recovered,” he narrated.
Most of the cattle are said to belong to a man only identified as Chapirkou from Chumakori Payam in Kapoeta North County. The cattle have been handed over to him.
Commissioner Lolimo said they are still searching for the remaining nine cows.
He stated that the suspected ring leader of the cattle raiders must be arrested and prosecuted.
Marko Pedo, the Executive Director for Jie area called for joint efforts to contain the banditry led by the suspect – Lopeta.
“This boy for many years now he has been doing this…I learned yesterday that he joined with youths from Karukomuge and took cows. Let the Commissioner of Riwoto and the Director who is based in Karukomuge arrest this boy,” Lolimo appealed.