Lobong Condemns attack on the cattle herders in Magwi

The Governor of Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong Lojore has strongly condemned Sunday’s attack on the cattle camp in Magwi County. At least 22 people were reported killed, and destruction of property in an attack attributed to cattle raiders in the areas.

Most cattle keepers camping in Eastern Equatoria are from Jonglei State. On Monday, the National Police spokesperson Daniel Justin said the attackers are host communities from Eastern Equatoria.

Other sources suggested the attackers are from armed group of National Salvation Front-NAS led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo, an holdout group who did not sign peace with government. The NAS has denied such claims saying the allegation is false and propaganda, describing it as baseless. It stated that their group doesn’t have presence in the area where the incident happened.

The Governor of EES Hon. Louis Lobong speaks in a news conference condemning the attack and calling the national government to intervene quickly before the conflict escalates.

“If the situation is not urgently addressed, this may completely disrupt farming activities this year as it has already discouraged the return process of the people from the refugee camps,” he said.

Authority in Eastern Equatoria said the conflict has displaced over 400 households in Magwi and called the humanitarian agencies to assist.

Mr. Lobong reiterated the need for dialogue between the farmers and the cattle keepers to find amicable short-term modalities to ensure peace prevails.  He said cattle keepers should also find an urgent exit strategy per the presidential order.

In 2017, President Salva Kiir ordered cattle keepers to move all their livestock out of the Greater Equatoria region, but the decree has largely remained unimplemented.

Lobong appealed to the communities to denounce violence and respect human lives. The State Government has dispatched a fact-finding Committee to Magwi to establish the actual situation on the ground.