Kapoeta youth told to shun raiding, embark on farming

The payam administrator of Kimotong in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria State, has appealed to greater Kapoeta youth to refrain from cattle theft and revenge killing and embark on farming.

Greater Kapoeta areas are the three counties of Kapoeta – South, North, and East – and Budi.

The call comes after a 15-year-old boy was reported killed by unidentified gunmen in Thuguro Boma on Saturday last week.

These raids are practiced as means of reciprocity, for poor families to acquire livestock and restock particularly after droughts or epidemics, according to researchers.

Arkanjelo Lokolimoi, administrator of Kimotong Payam, says the culprits killed the boy in his asleep in a kraal at midnight after they failed to drive cattle out of the enclosure.

Lokolimoi condemn the act and ask the youth in greater Kapoeta to stop criminality rather embrace peace, love and unity.

“I am telling youth to stop this issue of killing and cattle theft. Youth of greater Kapoeta, in the four counties, should stop this violence,” he told Singaita FM on Wednesday.

According to the local official, the investigation is still ongoing to find out the killers in order to be brought to book.

Meanwhile, Lokolimoi encouraged the area youth should focus on land cultivation to produce enough food for their families – an activity he thinks could end the cycles of retaliatory attack and cattle rustling.

“People should cultivate their farms and do other economic activities, instead of going to kill a human beings over food,” he added.

Traditionally, both communities practiced cattle raids with neighboring communities, using crude weapons such as; sticks, spears, bows, arrows and clubs.

With the proliferation of firearms in the hands of civilians, however, many use military-grade weapons to raid cattle, leaving many people dead in the process, mostly in Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Pibor Administrative Area, Lakes, and Warrap states.