Home | News    Saturday 8 December 2012

Cattle raids kill 10 as Unity and Lakes exchange accusations and denials


December 7, 2012 (PAYINJIAR & RUMBEK) - Officials from South Sudan’s Unity and Lakes have accused youth from the other’s states of raiding cattle and killing local people. Ten people have died and 14 have been injured in cattle raids between the states between 5-6 December.

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Gatkuoth Juong who was shot in the abdomen during the 6 December attack on Makur village, being treated at Panyajiar County Hospital, Lakes State, South Sudan, 7 December 2012 (ST)

On Thursday raiders attacked a cattle camp near Makur village in Unity State’s Payinjiar County, according to the area’s Commissioner, claiming the lives of eight civilians and injuring ten.

Commissioner Peter Gai Joak condemned the deadly attack and alleged that the attackers had come from Rumbek Central and Rumbek North in neighbouring Lakes State.

Abraham Mayen Kuc, the Commissioner of Rumbek Central County, told Sudan Tribune on Friday that he had received a phone call from his Payinjiar counterpart regarding the raid, but said that further investigation was needed to verify who carried out the attack.

However, he said that had put his "security forces on maximum alert to intercept the return" of any raiders from Unity State, adding that "if they arrive with those cows, we must return them back by all means”.

Mayen added that on 5 December youth from Payinjiar had raided cows from the Manyang-Rel and Amonyping cattle camps, clashing with civilians and members of South Sudan’s armed forces (SPLA), killing two and injuring four people.

The Commissioners of both Rumbek Central County and Payinjiar both appealed to the South Sudanese government to bring an end cattle rustling in the 17-month-year-old country by enforcing law and order.

"Let us join hands to consider this threat as the national security issue. It should not be looked at as the problem between county to county and from state to another state alone. We need to fight cattle raiding. That needs to be prioritised and considered as [the] number one hindrance [to] development in the young nation South Sudan", said Commissioner Joak.

The Commissioner of Rumbek East of Lakes State, David Marial Gumke, told Sudan Tribune that no youth from his county had been involved in the recent fighting.

“Completely no", he said, "my youth of Rumbek East County had not attacked any state". However, he repeated the allegation that youth from Payinjiar raided cattle from his state on Wednesday, only for the cows to be recovered on Thursday.


One of the survivors of the attack on Lakes State’s Payinjiar County on Thursday, Patai Kai, told Sudan Tribune that the attack was a barbaric attempt to destabilize the communities in Lakes and Unity State.

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Patai Kai, lies on a bed in Payinjiar Hospital after he was shot in his leg during the 6 December attack on Makur village, Panyajiar County, Lakes State, South Sudan, 7 December 2012 (ST) 7 December 2012 (ST)

Kai, who comes from Makur village was shot in his leg during the raid, and is being treated at Payinjiar Hospital.

The attack, Kai told Sudan Tribune, occured at 6:30 pm with raiders firing on the whole camp, murdering two girls, a woman, a boy and six men. Kai and some other men attempted to fight back using "local spears", he said.

Payinjiar County was disarmed in 2011 as part of the country’s policy not to allow civilians to carry arms, which have are prevalant as a consquence of decades of civil war preceeding the 2005 peace deal that allowed South Sudan to secede last year.

South Sudan’s army and police have vowed to protect communities that have been disarmed but the Payinjiar community are unhappy that they have been left exposed to such attacks from cattle rustlers.

Kai estimated that the group which attacked Payinjiar numbered more than 100, adding that some of them wore army uniforms and were armed with AK47s and PKM machine guns.

“We need police deployment to protect us from enemies. It has become a situation of tears and we wonder why South Sudanese people from Lake State attack us with no reason every day”, Kai said.

He urged the two state governments to deploy more police forces on the state border prevent further revenge attacks between the Dinka Agar of Lakes State and the Nuer-Nyuong of Payinjiar, Unity State.

Police from Payinjiar County attempted to recover the cattle after arriving at the scene 45 minutes after the raid but were unable to recapture the stolen cows. Authorities in the area claim over 200 heads of cattle were taken from Makur village.

Thursday’s raid follows raids the previous day on Lakes State, which officials there blamed on youth from bordering counties in Unity State.

However, Payinjiar’s Commissioner denied that any young men from his county had been involved in rading Lakes State. Sudan Tribune was unable to contact Commissioner Gideon Gatpan Thoar of Mayiandit County for comment on the allegations on Friday.

The Lakes-Unity-Warrap border is notoriously tense, with communities on either side reguarly accusing their neighbours of cattle raiding and other crimes. South Sudan’s administrative divisions often reflect the ethnic constituency of many areas.

Cattle raiding is a common but deadly practice in South Sudan. Young men need cattle in order to pay pride prices and cycles of violence between communities can last for months or years if reparations and reconciliation is not completed satisfactorily.

However, violence on the Lakes-Unity-Warrap axis has been dwarved in the last two years by raids and counter raids between groups in Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest state where around 2,000 people have been killed, according to the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Some have accused South Sudan’s parliament of failing to respond adequately to the scurge of cattle raiding and insecurity that is hampering the young nation’s effort to develop after decades of civil war and crippling underinvestment.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 8 December 2012 07:32, by George Bol

    Primitiveness and lack of education is hunting our population. Killing and taking someone properties is not something that can do any good but devil that hunt the devil doers.

    repondre message

    • 8 December 2012 08:35, by Young Lotuko

      Somebbody is trying to make Dinka and Nuer fight one another..

      repondre message

      • 8 December 2012 08:48, by wang

        Young Lotuko
        No one bro, those are thugs and thieves and police will deal with them

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    • 8 December 2012 08:41, by Malou Manyiel

      To be honest, there is no ground to blame national parliament for having not address issue of cattle raiding among the 3 states of Warrap, Unity and Lakes. What is the role of these state governments? It’s their duty to make sure that they address their own problems.The big issue here is the covering up of each state’s criminalas or raiders without being arrested. These 3 states are to be blamed.

      repondre message

      • 8 December 2012 08:56, by Malou Manyiel

        I would agree with the strategy and statement of Abraham Mayen Kuc, the commissioner of Rumbek Centre in Lakes State, that he will deploy security forces at the border to make sure these criminals are arrested and return cattles they raided back to their owners. This strategy will work if county’s commissioners bordering each state apply. This will discourage raiders to stop such endless practice.

        repondre message

        • 8 December 2012 10:46, by master

          the deploy of police forces btw borders means dividing of south sudan it self & new problems will emerge

          repondre message

        • 8 December 2012 15:31, by Mapuor

          Dear Malou Manyiel
          It would be impossible to deploy security forces at the borders because those who are on uniform service pay roll are students studying in East Africa and women.Few young man in uniform services are enough to secure major towns in South Sudan.May be all know this reality in all states.Uniform services are preserve of their commanders clans and tribes.

          repondre message

      • 8 December 2012 09:02, by wang

        Malou Manyiel
        You are absolutely right it is a duty of state governments and Taban Deng Gai, Chol Tong and Nyandeng Malek must have to get their ass together and sorts out that youth problems before it reach the boiling points.

        repondre message

        • 8 December 2012 09:54, by Ruach

          Wang:These Dinka Agaar have been accussed of carnivalisms! They can’t stay without tasting meat single day! If a woman is delivering,meat is roasted(baa ring bul)to ease the coming out of child safely.They are very greedy. They killed 80 in Warrap,10 in Unity State and among themselves! They thought they should be viewed as braves,which is not true

          repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 08:46, by master

    new Somallia in making
    failed state emerging gradually
    south sudan reeling !!!

    repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 08:47, by Bol Pur

    Why government is allowing our people to die in the hands of criminals? If Lakes state cattle camp was attacked by people wearing army uniform and Makur was attacked by the same identities, then who are these group? May be militia at Mayom has moved to states border. I condemned all the attacks in strongest terms possible. Condolences to families who lost their love ones. Commissioners stop blame

    repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 08:51, by Bol Pur

    and start deploying security to protect the lives and properties of our people that’s why your were appointed. I am always disturbs by act of our government by getting information earlier failed to take action until lives are lost that’s when you hear oh, oh, and oh. Anyway, it is time now deploy SPLA forces at states border, because such act can be militia activities.

    repondre message

    • 8 December 2012 09:17, by Ruach

      I don’t understand the objective of Dinka Agaar who recently killed 80 people in Warrap,10 in Unity State and among themselves! What a greedy animals in Lake State who don’t value the live of human being! These people have been accused of carnivalisms which can not make them live harmony with the rest even with their Dinka brothers even though they are disarmed! The gov’t should disarm them=Jongle

      repondre message

      • 8 December 2012 10:05, by king of Africa

        Ruach, U r stupid monkey. If u have nothing to

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      • 8 December 2012 10:24, by king of Africa

        Lick your dirty and stinky anus and go to your bed. You are a coward gluttonous tribe (Rek). Shut up! Dinka Agaar have a value. You Dinka Rek have nothing to talk with beautiful Agar Community.

        repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 09:55, by king of Africa

    Our people must learn how to get wealth by not looting themselves.

    repondre message

    • 8 December 2012 11:18, by Ruach

      King of Agaar:I was just condemning these stupid acts from Agar killing people in Unity State,Warrap and among themselves.They have been accused several times of carnivalisms by Dinka Malual,Nuer,Ngook...Anyuak,Jurs!

      repondre message

      • 8 December 2012 15:40, by Mapuor

        Human beings are different species from lions.Yeah this implies that EDUCATION is not doing enough to make South Sudanese understand their suroundings.Why did you study biology you Dinka Malual,Rek,Nuer,Dinka Ngok.You better go back to shool and study the Bible and natural sciences.POOOO

        repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 14:54, by panchol

    Dinka,Nuer,Shuluk etc are children of one mother and father.
    I condemn such two acts of cattle rustling with the strongest possible term. This should be the time for development no killing and stealing.
    "I am from Lakes State - Rumbek East County"

    repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 15:20, by panchol

    This shouldn’t be the way we the intellectuals of such communities comment. This must be the time we come out in large number to condemn such evils act of cattle rustling with the strongest possible term.

    repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 15:23, by panchol

    This shouldn’t be the way we the intellectuals of such communities comment. This must be the time we come out in large number to condemn such evils act of cattle rustling with the strongest possible term.

    repondre message

    • 8 December 2012 19:00, by Ruach

      Forgive me,but I was frustrated for cattle rustling which has no end in the new nation. The government of the Republic of South Sudan should disarm all communities killing themselves like in Jonglei State

      repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 20:09, by Nyakuzuny

    hey my bothers tell the Dinka Agaar that is the Development is not time for cattle raids let them feeding their Cattle.

    repondre message

  • 8 December 2012 20:24, by Nyakuzuny

    let us ask our Government to deployed more than 50’000 troops ,millitary forces in lake state borders to contolling those of cattle raiding of both States: Lake , warrap , and Unity States.

    repondre message

  • 9 December 2012 05:54, by golong

    In respond to what the commissioner of Rumbek central county said is that we are not really concern about cattle but the lives of those whom welost forever. Can you all focus on how we going to bring killing into any end? The blood of those we allow other to kill them will cry on us because are suposeto protect them but we do fail. Can we creat some programmes to bring our people into one umbrella

    repondre message

  • 9 December 2012 12:52, by mudfish

    only two states destroying and creating insecurity in South Sudan,ie Lakes and unity ignorant bullish.

    repondre message

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