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Unity state: Authorities initiate campaign to reduce cattle rustling


By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

December 20, 2012 (BENTIU) Commissioners from the nine counties in South Sudan’s Unity state on Wednesday vowed to ensure effective service delivery to rural communities as a mechanism for reduce cattle rustling and border conflicts.

The resolution during a two-day commissioners’ forum held in the state for the first time since South Sudan become independent in July last year.
The forum agenda, officials told Sudan Tribune, mainly focused on deliverance of developmental projects to communities, seen as a way of eliminating unrests emanating from cattle rustling practices in counties bordering each other.

Over the years, tension has been high among the Dinka and Nuer tribes, and this forum was regarded a foundation for resolving the seemingly historical grievance between these two neighboring communities.

Most parts of South Sudan, having experienced decades of civil war, remain highly marginalized with poor infrastructures, low agricultural activities and generally poor living standards among the population.

At least half of South Sudanese, according to a recent household survey from the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), are extremely poor and live on less than a dollar (SSP4.5) per day.

Majok Gatdet Deng, the Parieng county commissioner said he believes rural-urban influx would massively reduce, if more schools, health centers and roads were constructed rural areas.

Such developmental initiatives, he added, could also contribute to reduction in cattle rustling among communities.

“We are in power [and] we are [the] delegates to send the towns to the people and bring the services close so that people would not be able to move to go and to minimize the influx of the people from villages to the town such that [they] can [be] able to get services that they need from the town,” Deng told Sudan Tribune.

Making services available to the rural population, he added, will encourage self-reliance and encourage sustainable development.
South Sudan, prior to its secession from the north, used to benefit from the strong trade relations with its neighbor, but a dispute over the two borders has gravely affected business activities in the young nation.

Meanwhile, the Parieng commissioner blamed Unity state lawmakers for alleged failure in their mandate to implement laws related to settlement of marriage-related disputes.

A case in point, he said, was the lack of advocacy from MPs for the reduction in marriage dowry, which they claim have immensely contributed to cattle rustling activities in the communities.

“So it might be the policy of our elders [to] try to lay down the mechanism of which they should have to minimize or to reduce the dowry because it is one of the factors which may force one to steal cattle from other community in order to pay bride price,” Deng remarked.

In their proposal, however, commissioners at the forum agitated that at least 20 cows be introduced as the benchmark for traditional marriage, instead of over 100, usually required as dowry by most communities.


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  • 21 December 2012 09:12, by Juba City

    You are are right to do so. We Civilian also need to campaign against the system because the government doesn’t provide the security to us.

    repondre message

  • 21 December 2012 09:28, by Malou Manyiel

    I’m very appreciative to the authorities in Unity State.If we wish to concentrate on peace and development, we must learn how to suspend ourselves in the present and focus on the future we ultimately wish to work on together. I wish Warrap and Lakes states should do the same.

    repondre message

  • 21 December 2012 09:30, by jienge

    Thanks Majok Gakdet. You should start by providing services first and then they will move by themselves. Keep your word and follow it by action, not just talking.

    repondre message

    • 21 December 2012 10:02, by nuer food lovers

      mr.salva only to fire Taban and Kuol like Rizik of wau we will exprience peace rather than war or violence,cattle raiding.every day. Bravo majok Gatdet,Taban is a huamn being like u,say ur vioce.i can see now ur feet is pitting in Mabiek Lang shoes.

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  • 21 December 2012 09:55, by Tutbol

    Lot of thanks to unity state’s citizens’ courage to bring to attention the ailment that is wreaking havoc on our country’s back bone, our cattles & our people who keep them. Cattles & our people fought for our country’s independence, we need to keep it that way, as long as we want our cattles. I hope my state of Jonglei borrows the unity state’s peace initiative. May God changes our people hearts.

    repondre message

    • 21 December 2012 10:16, by EES Kingmaker

      The issue of cattle rustling is a headache in South Sudan. It causes unnecessary deaths. Reducing dowry that fuels raiding, will be a great achievement__effects radical shift from such primitive practice that makes our people shed their blood for no good reason. If Unity State succeeds in laying down law for curbing this crime, then it will be emulated in other states like EES, Jonglei and Warrap.

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  • 21 December 2012 11:07, by master

    if they want perminent peace they should kill all cattle in south sudan otherwise it is wasting of time

    repondre message

    • 21 December 2012 14:20, by EES Kingmaker

      Killing all cattle this is funny. For them killing their cattle is like killing humans. Do you know that their lives are inextricably linked to cattle? Kill human beings, there is no much regret. Kill cattle the whole village will go mourning for weeks, months. Give them this suggestion(killing all cattle) in an open meeting, you become the enemy number one.

      repondre message

      • 21 December 2012 16:22, by Nyakuzuny

        Dear brother EES King I will not Agree for Killing all Cattle if we kills all cattle were will you getting the Meats while you like Nyama chuma too-much?

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  • 22 December 2012 06:57, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear colleagues
    It‘s a great liar from unity state authority, they already mobilized their youths including some Nuer soldiers who are in the SPLA armed with heavy machine guns, to attack all villages neighboring unity state before Christmas days. Mark my word

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