December 31, 2012 (BOR) - Cattle raiders in South Sudan’s Jonglei State killed two and wounded two others in an attempted cattle raid on Nyirol County on Friday, the area’s commissioner said Monday.
- Nyirol County Commissioner, Isaac Kuach Duoth, speaking to Sudan Tribune in Bor, 31 December 2012 (ST)
Isaac Kuach Duouth said the cattle rustlers killed a mother and her a child, while another mother child were wounded in Waat Payam [district] of Nyirol County.
Commissioner Kuach, received information of the attack while traveling to the state capital, Bor. The raiders are suspected to members of the Murle tribe from Pibor County.
The cattle rustlers escaped with some raided cattle and goats, he said, but South Sudan’s army (SPLA) managed to rescue them. Some of the raiders received some injuries when they exchanged gunfire with SPLA forces, according to the Commissioner. However, he declined to mention the number of casualties on the side of the attackers.
Nyirol is one of the three Jonglei counties predominantly populated by the Lou Nuer tribe.
This time last year between 4,000 and 6,000 armed young men from the Lou Nuer tribe entered Pibor County in an attempt to return cattle and abducted people taken over the previous year.
In the last two years, around 2,000 people have died in the fighting between Jonglei’s various cattle herding groups. After the conflict between the state’s ethnic groups reaching a peak in between December 2011 and February 2012, South Sudan’s President announced a disarmament campaign in order to stop the violence.
However, some groups avoided the process and did not attend the inter-communal peace conference held in May. Jonglei is also suffering from a rebellion in Pibor County.
DEVELOPMENT PRIORITY FOR 2013
Commissioner Kuach said that due to heavy rains and flooding for over eight months of the last year, his county has not made the progress he had hoped for in terms of development.
He said he hoped that “at the end of February there will be resumptions of constructions beginning with commissioner’s residential home and some other small projects in the county".
During the rainy season there was no way of transporting health services to Nyirol County, he said, except with the assistance of the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS) helicopters, which usually help them in delivering services to county by air.
"The health services given to us are not enough but better than nothing," Kuach said.
“They have the great expectation of improving their conditions of agriculture", he said, adding that people had "increased their efforts on agriculture projects [so] as to get rid of poverty.”
Michael Ruot Koryom, a member of South Sudan’s national parliament in Juba, recently visited the county with Commissioner Kuach to see for himself the situation in the area that he represents.
The MP said that the lack of good roads remains a major challenge to the Nyirol County traders in transporting their goods to the county for sale.
He urged his people to adopt peaceful coexistence within their communities so that everybody has peace and stops acts such as cattle raiding, child abduction and the killing of innocent people.
Koryom urged Jonglei State’s communities not to carry out attacks on themselves and call for the South Sudanese army (SPLA) protecting civilians from raiders and the rebels in Pibor.