By Ngor Arol Garang
March, 13, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Deadly clashes over access to grazing lands, has on Friday 12, evening left three people dead in southern State of Unity, following an attack by Messeriya herders on SPLA military outpost at Awarpiny.
Awarpiny is in Biennon County at the border with Twic Mayardit of Warrap State and Abyei.
Four wounded SPLA soldiers in critical condition were airlifted to Abyei by United nation Mission in Sudan’s Helicopter to Kadugli from where they are seeking referral to Khartoum.
Colonel Bol Chol, a local commanding officer told Area Joint Military Committee (AJMC)that Messeriya nomads launched a surprise attack on their post after Friday meeting with local authorities in the area demanding Meseriya to pay five Sudanese pounds for each cow to access grazing and lands without arms in the South.
There was a meeting called by traditional authorities with Messeriya to discuss how they could access water and grazing lands south of area but never reached any consensus, he said.
Officials say the perpetrators must be followed and brought to justice adding the attacks appear to be retaliation for violence in the villages in January, when most of the victims were said to be innocent civilian mostly women and children.
Deng Yuot, a local official in the area blamed unity state authority saying they have paid little attention to solve this pastoral feud since beginning of the year. “Enough is enough. Governor Taban must act now not tomorrow. We need more protection so that our people do not become victim of the conflict all the time.”
All we are asking is that our people, be they soldiers or civilians should not be killed any more. We demand justice done to these perpetuators, he said.
He added that local authorities should beef up security in this troubled area so that we would be able to know that people that go to bed will wake up the next day and life will continue, he said.