Tension mounts between farmers & herders in Magwi county

Authorities in Eastern Equatoria state say they are worrying about the raising tension between cattle keepers who crossed from Jonglei state and local farmers in Magwi county.

Farmers have accused the herders of allowing animals to destroyed crops. Authority says there has been high influx of cattle entering Magwi County since  last year.

David Otto is the county commissioner of Magwi in Eastern Equatoria state. He says animals are roaming all over the county, destroying several farms and causing destruction of properties to the host communities.

“They destroyed farms, eating cassava, potatoes even the people who are moving after the cattle they also end up destroying the cassava,” he said.

Mr. Otto said Jonglei herders should inform the community before entering the area to avoid confusion.

One of the local Chief of Moli Payam in Magwi County, Margret Olivia, said she is concerned about the destruction of crops. She said it might lead to hunger if the government does not intervene and rescue the situation.

Some of the farmers in Magwi who spoke to Singaita FM on the phone, say the presence of animals in their farms land is unacceptable. They called on the government to relocate the cattle keepers ahead of the rainy season to ensure that farmland is not used as cattle camps.

The deputy governor of Jonglei state, Antipas Nyok said they are aware of cattle keepers in having migrated to Eastern Equatoria territory. He said the pastoralists were forced out by flood to move their cattle to dry land for the safety.

Mr. Nyok said that his government is coordinating with Eastern Equatoria state authorities on measures to help prevent violence and destruction. “We will see what measures will be put down to see that these people are convinced to come back whenever the situation subsides at home,” Nyok said.